Summary: Getting a grip on the Bible teaching - The Holy Trinity
Have you ever tried to solve a mystery? The teaching on the Trinity is one of them. One woman told this story - After shopping at a busy store, another woman and I happened to leave at the same time, only to be faced with the daunting task of finding our cars in the crowded parking lot. The mystery of the missing car. Just then my car horn beeped, and I was able to locate my vehicle easily. “Wow," the woman said. "I sure could use a gadget like that to help me find my car." "Actually," I replied, "that’s my husband."
This happens to me quite often. Park in Metrotown then forget where I parked. Sure wish I have a gadget that would locate where my car was parked. Incident in Calgary where I gave up looking for my car and was about to call the police to report a stolen car. I wish I had a gadget as well, to help me get a handle on the teaching of the church regarding this mystery Three persons in one. Christians all over the world who read and treasure the Bible worship a Trinitarian God. BUT One = 3 makes for bad math, does it not? Yet we as Baptist General Conference people here at GIBC affirm this statement as affirmation of faith #2.
THE TRINITY: We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct, but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.
“One living and true God, eternally existing in three persons” - How does this make sense? It did not make sense to me as a young Christian. How can I understand this? When I was just new to the faith, I was challenged by some attractive JWs regarding this basic fundamental Christian doctrine of the Trinity. They pointed to Col 1:15 (KJV)
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.”
They reasoned he we have it Jesus was born, God creates him. They confused me by saying how can Jesus be God, since he is firstborn, creature, , hence could not be equal with God, not the same substance, not at all like God. I panicked, by deep in my heart I knew those JWs were twisting the facts. Something inside me just moved me to reject the JW’s line of reasoning. I felt like I was in a James Bond movie, needing a gadget to get out this trap that I fell into unwittingly with two attractive female JWs challenging me. I did not have any tools to refute them. I did not know how to read the Bible correctly. But if I had read the smarts then to read further on , I would have not panic so much, and I would find this Col.1:16-20 (NIV)
16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
What Col.1 is teaching is not that Jesus was less than God but in reality it declares the supremacy of Christ. The firstborn reference is referring to Jesus rising from the dead, the first resurrection from the dead (v.18) and the ancient custom that the firstborn is merely a reference to the status of supremacy as the rest of the passage of Col.1 indicates. As the unique Son of God, Jesus owns everything that the Father has in his possession. All of God’s fullness dwell in Christ. That is what Col.1 wants to say about Jesus. It makes a big difference because if Jesus is not God, and equal to God, what we have is 2000 years of fraud perpetrated by the church. What we have is lies, deceit.
A. GOD IS ONE
“God is one” is the claim of the Bible, In the OT “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deut.6:4, NIV).
In a almost game-show like fashion, one of Jesus opponents tried to use a trick question on Jesus. Kinda like who wants to be a millionaire. This is the commandment Jesus himself said is the Greatest Commandment. Read Matthew 22:35-38 (NLT)