Summary: The Trinity 7 - The Definition
THE TRINITY 7
I want to begin this morning by telling you of an encounter I had with an individual a little while back. I do not believe this individual is what the Bible would define as a Christian. We were discussing John 6, specifically vss. 37-44 where Jesus speaks of the fact that no one can come to Him unless the Father draws them, and that those whom the Father has given to the Son, the Son will not lose any but raise them up on the last day.
The discussion turned to the sovereignty of God and the fact that the Bible teaches that God is omniscient, that He knows all things, that God by His very nature is unable to take in knowledge, because He already has all knowledge. We both seemed to agree that God was indeed omniscient. Somehow that conversation turned to the topic of evil. The individual stated that God because He is good and loving, evil is something that happens outside of God’s sovereignty, that it in essence does not have a purpose. He stated there is some evil that God can and does use, but there is other evil that God cannot. I stated that if God knows all things would He not then know of all the evil acts that ever would be committed and therefore while not promoting evil, He still has a purpose for it.
That individual stated that God does not know of all the evil acts that will be committed, but that he limits his own omniscience and does not in fact know all future events. He does not know all evil acts that will happen, he does not know who will or will not accept Him. I pointed out then He is not sovereign, nor is He omniscience. If God does not have all knowledge, regardless of whether it be self imposed or not, He is not omniscient.
The person stuck to His guns, and said, God cannot be a loving and caring God and know about all the evil in the world and do nothing about it. He cannot be loving and caring and create people He knows will reject Him and therefore suffer His wrath.
Here was the person’s problem. This person wanted a god he could figure out. A god he could handle, a god that fit into the box that he had build for him. As Martin Luther once states, “It is God who handles us, and not we who handle God!”
As McGrath notes we tend to treat God as if he is some sort of pet that we train and tame, something we can domesticate. But that is not the God of the Bible. If you honestly seek to know Him from the Scripture you will find that He will not stay in the crate. We must take God as He has revealed Himself, not as we want Him to be revealed. That is where so many folks end up with God. That is what happened with the previously mentioned person. God would not fit in his box, so he had to remove those parts of God, His absolute sovereignty and omniscience, that would not fit in the box. What the person ended up with was not the God of the Scriptures, but a god of his own creation.
That is what happens often when you talk about the trinity with folks. The triune nature of God just does not fit within their mental box of what God should be, or what they can understand God to be. So they cut of the parts that do not fit. Like the deity of Christ, or the eternal nature of Christ. The cut out the personality of the Holy Spirit, and make Him just a force, like electricity. Those things just will not fit into the box so that must be gotten rid of.
Thus far in our study into the trinity we have talked about how love is at the core of the trinity. We saw how God desires us to love Him as well as to love us. God has revealed for us how He wants to be loved, that is through His triune nature. We looked at how God is a jealous God, worship and praise belong to Him alone, and He will not share that we false gods.
We also looked at specific scriptural reasons at to why the study of the Trinity is so important. That is we have the command to know God, we are commanded to WORSHIP God in Spirit and in Truth, the gospel is proclaimed in the Trinity, and as God’s people we have been given the task to defend our faith.
We however have yet to dig into the definition of the Trinity. Today I want to take a close look at the definition we have been working with throughout these messages. That is the definition given by Dr. James White in his work the “Forgotten Trinity”.