Summary: Brief teaching on the trinity followed by why the deity of Christ is important
Deity of Christ
CCCAG June 22nd, 2019
Commentary on video (St Patrick's Bad Analogies- Youtube)- I’ve probably tried to explain the trinity using every one of those heresy’s mentioned.
When I first got into the ministry, I made it a goal to try to easily explain everything in the Bible in ways that everyone could understand it. The more I studied and the further I went and Bible school the more I understood that this goal is impossible.
What I have found is that any attempt to fully explain an infinite God using finite language will always fall short, and especially when we speak of His triune nature as revealed in the bible.
What I had to do is embrace the concept of mystery. A mystery is a phenomenon or an occurrence that cannot be explained.
Mystery as part of our faith- Think about this idea for a moment-
If God was small enough for our minds, He wouldn’t be God.
So I've learned to be comfortable with mystery and in many ways it gives me a sense of peace because I don't have to know everything because I trust in a God that does know everything and if I need to know it he will reveal it and if I don't need to know it then it's not important.
It sounds like a really strange way to begin a bible lesson doesn’t it?
I admit- I’ll need a lot of help this morning, so let’s let God bless us as we delve into some deep waters this morning
We will start this morning briefly touching on the trinity. Here is A little historical background as to the doctrine of the Trinity
In the early 300’s AD, the Christian church came out from under the intense persecution of the Roman Empire with the conversion of Emperor Constantine. Prior to this, within this church that no exists in what we today call Europe, Asia, and Africa there was no agreed upon bible, or theology agreed upon by the church as a whole because they couldn’t risk their leaders all meeting together to hash all of this out.
These leaders wrote letters to churches trying to help them understand the deep things of the faith, but it was still fragmented and not cohesive for the entire church to operate like that, so you had little pockets of Christianity that were believing things that were not in line with the revealed truth of scripture.
The first major meeting of the church leaders took place in 325AD in Nicaea, a city in what is now modern Turkey. (Iznik.) This council was called specifically to address a belief held by the Eastern Orthodox church called Arianism that held that Jesus was not eternal but was a created being. This doctrine was rejected, and the council created the Nicene Creed that spelled out the nature of the triune God. In Lutheran confirmation class, we were required to memorize this along with the apostle’s creed.
In the video, they also mentioned the Athanasian Creed. I’m going to focus on one part here- Christians worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding (or confusing) the Persons, nor dividing the Essence.
Refer to the diagram for visual learners- Human language is limited in it’s ability to properly describe this truth, and it has to be taken as a matter of mystery in faith. There is a criticism of this doctrine- the word trinity doesn’t appear in the bible.
That is true- While the word trinity does not appear in the bible, the concept is unmistakable and the best way to understand the nature of the God we worship.
For years I've tried to explain the trinity to people an always fallen back into one of those heresies that were discussed in the video so I'm going to take the advice of a very wise man named Forrest Gump who once said, “That’s all I’m gonna say about that!”
So we know from last message in this series that God the father is God- we can all agree on that. This week we will briefly speak on the Holy Spirit being God as the Holy Spirit gets His own message in a few weeks.
Just to give you a few scriptural references about the triune God that might help you if a JW or Mormon comes to the door-
The doctrine of the trinity is first seen in the first sentences of the bible in Genesis 1. I’m going to read it, and say the name of God as stated in the original texts-
“In the Beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void and darkness was over the face of the deep. And Rauch Elohim was hovering over the face of the waters”