Summary: The last message looked at the Trinity revealed in the Old Testament, this looks at the New Testament doctrine of the Trinity.
The Trinity in the New Testament
The New Testament is filled with references to the uniqueness of the persons of the Godhead while affirming the One God. Those who affirm the deity of Christ and still deny His eternal distinction from the Father have to explain away Trinity-supporting scriptures. Some argue that the Son was a thought in the mind of God and that each person of the Godhead is a different mode that God enters. However, if God does not change, as the Bible claims, different modes are unbiblical. It is also impossible to explain scripture that reveals more than one ‘mode’ at the same time. We should never have to explain away scripture. Scripture was written as God’s revelation of Himself and His plan. When scripture can’t be explained away, critics of the Trinity deny the reliability of scripture itself. It should always raise a red flag when someone claims to be a Christian but then discredits scripture. If the Trinity is true, we are criticizing God when we criticize the Trinity revealed in scripture. A misunderstanding of God always leads to error. Therefore it is vital that we seek to know God, not make Him fit the ideal that we feel is rational or compliant to our beliefs.
Throughout the gospels, we see the Father and the Son together. Begin by looking at these two passages:
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, ’into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ " Having said this, He breathed His last.
Jesus cried out to God. Similar to the Old Testament references, we have God speaking to God. How can Jesus commit His spirit to the Father if He is the Father? Oneness writer and teacher David Bernard quotes Praxeus as a resource. Praxeus taught that God was numerically one in person and the names Father and Son were different offices of that one person, who is God. How can this be reconciled with these passages above? God, in the office of the Son cried out to the office of the Father, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” How did God, while holding the office or residing in the mode of Jesus commit to the Father His spirit? Oneness doctrine can’t claim that this is a change of office, because it doesn’t explain Jesus’ plea for help on the cross. It also does not explain Jesus’ daily prayer life. Look at Matthew 26:
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He withdrew to be alone to pray. In John 11, Jesus used prayer to reveal His relationship with the Father to those around Him, but Jesus’ daily prayer life was spent alone with the Father. Luke 5:16 tells us, “Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” What purpose is there in slipping away alone to pray unless it truly is a communion between the Father and the Son? How can God plead with Himself to find another way of redemption other than the cross unless the Son and the Father are distinct persons?
Jesus testified to this distinction. Look at John 8
16 "And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me."
29 "And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him."
I am not alone? The Father has not left me alone? He who sent Me is with Me? Next we will examine an even greater example of this unity and distinction. Look at Matthew 22
43 He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him ’Lord,’ saying:
44 ’The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool" ’?
45 "If David then calls Him ’Lord,’ how is He his Son?"
Here Jesus is referring to the prophecy of Psalm 110:1
The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."
Don’t miss the importance of this passage. The Father said to sit at His right hand ‘till’ I make Your enemies Your footstool. This has not happened. This is the future reign of Christ. This is repeated again in Philippians 2:
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,