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Holy Vessels/ Unholy Use

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sunday School, Trinity on January 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Holy Vessels/ Unholy Use

 Daniel 5: 1-6 is basis for study:

(Dan 5:1-12 ESV)  King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand. Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote. Then the king’s color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declared to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation. King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, and his color changed, and his lords were perplexed. The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, “O king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you or your color change. There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father–your father the king–made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers, because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”

(Dan 5:26-30 ESV)  This is the interpretation of the matter:

 MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end;

TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting;

PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed.

 The point of the study we are going to look at closely is as follows:

Vessels that have been treated as unholy can be treated as Holy again.

1. Unholy use.

Do you feel like Satan has used you in any way to any degree to bring dishonor to the name of Christ?

All manner of abuses to the physical body apply, but think even more broadly.

Have we, the people of God who are called to be builders of home and church, ever been used by the enemy to tear them down?

  • Have we been used by the enemy to cause others to stumble or to have less faith?
  • Were we once cynics and scoffers in regard to spiritual things that are now dear to us?
  • Do we fear that we may have influenced others adversely before we changed and don’t know how to make up for it?
  • Have we treated someone dishonorably even though we were Christians, and now it’s too late to fix it?

If you are wiling however generally describe a way Satan has tried to use you, a holy vessel, for an unholy cause…

(Mat 5:18-20 ESV)  For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

9. Do not lie- have you ever told a lie even a white lie or a small deception? The law says we have broken it and we are liars. The judgment for lying:  (Rev 21:8 HCSB)  But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars–their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

10. Do not covet- have you ever wanted something so bad you have and would put yourself at finical risk to have it at any means? The law says we have broken it and we are coveters. (Jas 4:2-4 HCSB)  You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and don’t receive because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on your desires for pleasure. Adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.

8. Do not steal- have you ever taken anything that wasn’t yours no matter how small? The law says we have broken it and we are thieves. (1Co 6:9-10 HCSB)  Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: no sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.

 We’ve only covered 3 of the 10 commandments and the pattern is already in place break the commands of God no matter how small and the judgment of God is in place to penalize you. Hell is a real place that real sinners go to when they die.

 (Mat 10:28 AMP)  And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna).

(Mat 13:41-43 HCSB)  The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sin and those guilty of lawlessness. They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Anyone who has ears should listen!

The first inappropriate response to the awareness that we have treated holy things as unholy is a lack of repentance. The other extreme is debilitating guilt and an unwillingness to let go of the past failure long after repentance.

2. Regret-Repentance returning to Holiness

REGRET’, n.

  1. Grief; sorrow; pain of mind. We feel regret at the loss of friends, regret for our own misfortunes, or for the misfortunes of others

 

REPENT’ANCE, n.

2. In theology, the pain, regret or affliction which a person feels on account of his past conduct, because it exposes him to punishment. This sorrow proceeding merely from the fear of punishment is called legal repentance, as being excited by the terrors of legal penalties, and it may exist without an amendment of life.

Repentance of sin is one of the most wonderful privileges Christ has given us through His cross. Let’s examine the difference in regret and repentance.

(2Co 7:10 AMP)  For godly grief and the pain God is permitted to direct, produce a repentance that leads and contributes to salvation and deliverance from evil, and it never brings regret; but worldly grief (the hopeless sorrow that is characteristic of the pagan world) is deadly [breeding and ending in death].

Regret would be defined as worldly grief, repentance leads to salvation. We see in the story from Daniel that the king was scared but not because of his action of defaming Holy vessels but because God confronted him for his wicked behavior. Had he had any regard for God’s holy vessels this incident would have never occurred.

(2Sa 12:13 ESV)  David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.

(Act 11:18 ESV)  When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

(Pro 17:22 ESV)  A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Have you ever felt “hopeless sorrow”? If so what kind of future did you picture for yourself?

Hopeless sorrow totally misses the meaning of the biblical redemption; God redeems something by buying it back through the payment of a ransom. He gave the life of His Son as the ransom to buy us back from the debt of sin.

(Psa 130:7 ESV)  O (insert your name for Israel) Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.

Praying for forgiveness, some examples of Biblical prayers:

(Psa 69:5-6 ESV)  O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.

(Psa 130:2-5 ESV)  O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

(Luk 18:13 ESV)  But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

3. Redemption

Redemption requires we bow our will and break our pride.

Do we refuse to repent because we are afraid of?

Worldly individuals who might think you’ve lost your mind?

Mediocre Christians who might think you’ve gone too far?

(2Ch 16:9 ESV)  For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.”

(Dan 5:23 ESV)  but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.

 The Law is to be used lawfully, not to make us more religious that others or more pious.

It is designed to help us see our need for repentance to help us flee from the wrath to come. The law cannot save us but it will point us to Calvary and the cross. It is also our school master and teacher when we have accepted Jesus and His offer to pay the penalty that the law demands and make Jesus Lord and master of our lives. God is not looking for perfection He is looking for purity of heart, our authentic desire to do His will and give Him glory. He sees us reading His word and it pleases Him when we attempt to apply it to our lives.

Gal 3:24 KJV)  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

 (Jas 4:17 HCSB)  So, for the person who knows to do good and doesn’t do it, it is a sin.

Food for thought and consideration:

(Mar 8:36-38 HCSB)  For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his life?What can a man give in exchange for his life? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

 (Act 3:19 HCSB)  Therefore repent and turn back, that your sins may be wiped out so that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

(1Jn 1:8 ESV)  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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Does the Son exist as a Divine Person before all eternity?

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Sunday School, Trinity on January 2, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Some basic premises are needed before going into detail on this subject. We do not worship what we do not know. I believe the Bible makes the existence of the Son as a divine person before all eternity is expressed from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible speaks as one voice beginning with Genesis 1 to Revelation 22:21 through 66 books and over 40 authors spanning some 1500 years to reveal God’s purpose, plan, and person to us His creature’s. To put into perspective the basis for authority on doctrine we must turn to the 5 solas:

SOLA SCRIPTURA: 
This slogan means “Scripture Alone.” 
This truth declares that the Bible alone is our only authority for faith (what we believe) and conduct (how we live).  The Bible alone is God’s Word written.  It is without error, it is authoritative, it is sufficient for all things pertaining to life and godliness.  It must be preached and taught and lived out. 
All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness: so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 
(2 Timothy 3:16-17) 

SOLA GRATIA: 
This slogan means “Grace Alone.” 
It answers the question of who does what in salvation.  Many think that salvation is a “grace and…” project.  If this is true, then “grace is no longer grace” (Romans 11:6).  The Bible is clear, salvation is all of grace and grace alone because “salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). 
(He) who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 
(2 Timothy 1:9) 

SOLA FIDE: 
This slogan means “Faith Alone.” 
Faith alone is the instrument of our salvation.  Salvation is not by works; it is by faith, that is, trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Even saving faith is a gift of God’s grace. 
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 
(Ephesians 2:8-9) 

SOLUS CHRISTUS: 
This slogan means “Through Christ Alone.” 
It is in Christ alone that we have salvation.  In His perfect life and substitutionary death, alone we have salvation.  Through Him and Him alone, we have the forgiveness of our sins and are declared righteous before God. 
He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 
(Titus 3:5-7) 

SOLI DEO GLORIA: 
This slogan means “To God alone be the Glory.” 
It is the great goal of all of God’s purposes in Jesus Christ.  All that God does, He does for His own glory.  He created all things for His glory.  He sustains and rules over the world and our lives for His glory.  Our salvation is all of grace through Christ for all His glory.  One important thing to notice, the word alone.  God and God alone is worthy of all glory and praise! 

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen. 
(Romans 11:36)

With this foundation let’s look at the meaning of the words we so quickly use to this very vital subject:

God- n.

theos (G2316), (I) in the polytheism of the Greeks, denoted “a god or deity,” e.g., Act_14:11; Act_19:26; Act_28:6; 1Co_8:5; Gal_4:8.

(II) (a) Hence the word was appropriated by Jews and retained by Christians to denote “the one true God.” In the Sept. Theos translates (with few exceptions) the Hebrew words Elohim and Jehovah, the former indicating His power and preeminence, the latter His unoriginated, immutable, eternal and self-sustained existence.

 el-o-heem’ Plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: – angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.

1. The Supreme Being; Jehovah; the eternal and infinite spirit, the creator, and the sovereign of the universe.

God is a spirit; and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4.

Jesus the Christ-Jesus

iesous (G2424) is a transliteration of the Heb. “Joshua,” meaning “Jehovah is salvation,” i.e., “is the Savior,” “a common name among the Jews, e.g., Exo_17:9; Luk_3:29 (RV); Col_4:11. It was given to the Son of God in Incarnation as His personal name, in obedience to the command of an angel to Joseph, the husband of His Mother, Mary, shortly before He was born, Mat_1:21. By it He is spoken of throughout the Gospel narratives generally, but not without exception, as in Mar_16:19, Mar_16:20; Luk_7:13, and a dozen other places in that Gospel, and a few in John.

“‘Jesus Christ’ occurs only in Mat_1:1, Mat_1:18; Mat_16:21, marg.; Mar_1:1; Joh_1:17; Joh_17:3. In Acts the name ‘Jesus’ is found frequently. ‘Lord Jesus’ is the normal usage, as in Act_8:16; Act_19:5, Act_19:17; see also the reports of the words of Stephen, Act_7:59, of Ananias, Act_9:17, and of Paul, Act_16:31; though both Peter, Act_10:36, and Paul, Act_16:18, also used ‘Jesus Christ.’

“In the Epistles of James, Peter, John and Jude, the personal name is not once found alone, but in Rev. eight times (RV), Rev_1:9; Rev_12:17; Rev_14:12; Rev_17:6; Rev_19:10 (twice); Rev_20:4; Rev_22:16.

“In the Epistles of Paul ‘Jesus’ appears alone just thirteen times, and in the Hebrews eight times; in the latter the title ‘Lord’ is added once only, at Heb_13:20. In the Epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude, men who had companied with the Lord in the days of His flesh, ‘Jesus Christ’ is the invariable order (in the RV) of the Name and Title, for this was the order of their experience; as ‘Jesus’ they knew Him first, that He was Messiah they learnt finally in His resurrection. But Paul came to know Him first in the glory of heaven, Act_9:1-6, and his experience being thus the reverse of theirs, the reverse order, ‘Christ Jesus,’ is of frequent occurrence in his letters, but, with the exception of Act_24:24, does not occur elsewhere in the RV.

“In Paul’s letters the order is always in harmony with the context. Thus ‘Christ Jesus’ describes the Exalted One who emptied Himself, Phi_2:5, and testifies to His pre-existence; ‘Jesus Christ’ describes the despised and rejected One Who was afterwards glorified, Phi_2:11, and testifies to His resurrection. ‘Christ Jesus’ suggests His grace, ‘Jesus Christ’ suggests His glory.”*

* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 16, 29.

Holy Spirit-pneuma (G4151) primarily denotes “the wind” (akin to pneo, “to breathe, blow”); also “breath”; then, especially “the spirit,” which, like the wind, is invisible, immaterial and powerful. The subject of the “Holy Spirit” in the NT may be considered as to His divine attributes; His distinct Personality in the Godhead; His operation in connection with the Lord Jesus in His birth, His life, His baptism, His death; His operations in the world; in the church; His having been sent at Pentecost by the Father and by Christ; His operations in the individual believer; in local churches; His operations in the production of Holy Scripture; His work in the world, etc.

In the Old Testament we see a progressive revelation from the beginning of man to the revealed mystery of Jesus the Christ. We see the personal God who is there demanding from His people an absolute allegiance to Him alone in the poly-theistic rebellion of the Gentiles. This is expressed in the Shema:

(Deu 6:4 ESV)  “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.

Shema Yisrael, Yehowah, Elohainoo, Yehowah aichod.

 This verse is called the Shema from the Hebrew word for “Hear.” The Lord our God, the Lord is one. The Lord alone is Israel’s God, “the only one.” It is a statement of exclusivity, not of the internal unity of God. This point arises from the argument of ch. 4 and the first commandment. While Deuteronomy does not argue theoretically for monotheism, it requires Israel to observe a practical monotheism (cf. 4:35). This stands in sharp contrast to the polytheistic Canaanites.

(Deu 6:4)  Hear,H8085 O Israel:H3478 The LORDH3068 our GodH430 is oneH259 LORD:H3068

H3068- יהוה

yehôvâh – yeh-ho-vaw’ From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: – Jehovah, the Lord. Compare H3050, H3069.

H430 – אלהים

‘ĕlôhîym – el-o-heem’ –Plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: – angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.

“Hear, Israel, Jehovah, our God, is one Jehovah.” On this passage the Jews lay great stress; and it is one of the four passages which they write on their phylacteries. On the word Elohim, Simeon ben Joachi says: “Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim. There are three degrees, and each degree is by itself alone, and yet they are all one, and joined together in one, and are not divided from each other.”

the Lord: Deu_4:35-36; Deu_5:6; 1Ki_18:21; 2Ki_19:5; 1Ch_29:10, Isa_42:8; Isa_44:6, Isa_44:8; Isa_45:5-6; Jer_10:10-11; Mar_12:29-32; Joh_17:8; 1Co_8:4-6; 1Ti_2:5

It is not our intention to delve into Hebrew grammar, but some points need to be made for the purpose of further discussion. The word El as stated above is in the singular form. The word Elohiym (pronounced Eloheem) is in the plural form. Hebrew words are unique because they can show number, gender, and direction depending upon the prefixes and suffixes that are attached to the root word. For the sake of this discussion, we will only consider the gender and number of the words. Again, we must start with the root of the word, which in this case is(El) and defined as “God.” If we wanted to make the word El dual (that is, plural showing more than one but less than three), we could simply add the ending making the word (font not available) (Eloheyim). This would make the word plural (dual), two in number. Since the word ends with the dual ending of and the final mem or mem sophit, this word is also masculine. In order to make the word plural with reference to “three” as well as masculine, we would write it (font not available) . The ending makes the word masculine and plural, three or more. This is a very important fact in the opening verse of the Shema and would almost make the Shema obscure without this understanding. Understanding this plurality in the Godhead is a very different concept than polytheism. To believe in the plurality in one God does not make one a believer in polytheism. With this understanding, we can see that the first part of the Shema could read, “Hear, understand, and act on the fact, O Israel, the Lord, the God of us [three in number, masculine], the Lord is echad.”

H259 – אחד

‘echâd – ekh-awd’ –A numeral from H258; properly united, that is, one; or (as an ordinal) first: – a, alike, alone, altogether, and, any (-thing), apiece, a certain [dai-] ly, each (one), + eleven, every, few, first, + highway, a man, once, one, only, other, some, together.

According to Gesenius Hebrew/Chaldee Lexicon To The Old Testament,  (echad) means, “to unite, to join together, to be in unity.”2 Echad also conveys the idea of being “bound together” like the cords of a rope. The tighter the cords are bound, the greater the strength produced. Echad does indeed mean “one” but it is a oneness that is produced by unity. We see this idea of echad in Genesis 2:23-24 when Adam said, “This is now bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh: she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one ( echad) flesh.” Here we see two distinct individuals declared as “one” flesh. This is not talking about one in number but one in unity, harmony, peace, and the sharing of common goals. Adam and Eve were joined together, twisted, bound, and wrapped together in singleness of purpose.

In Matthew 19:3-6 Jesus says that when a man and woman are married, the two of them become one flesh. They are united, joined, and wrapped together like the cords of a rope. They have singleness of purpose in marriage, and no man should try to destroy that unity. This unity does not destroy the diversity nor the individuality of the people in the relationship.

This is the very idea presented in the Shema. We have seen that Eloheem  is both plural and masculine. What is being said in this statement, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one”? Israel: hear, understand, and act on the fact that our God is a God of unity, and that this plurality and unity of the Godhead is tightly bound together like the cords of a rope. They have singleness of purpose, and you should partake of this unity by sharing the same goals with God.

So as we can see from the correct understanding of the language and the context of the Scripture there is none like Him He is alone God. In absolute terms He is “one” the personal God who is there.

Anyone who calls themselves Christian should believe in the incarnation of Christ, The Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary and Jesus the Christ coming as the Son of Man. Jesus the Christ is eternal God and he is very God of very God and very man of very man.

The fact that the personal God who is there exists as one God in not the real issue, but is He Unitarian or Trinitarian in existence becomes the substance of disagreement. Does He exist as the unlimited infinite being as a divine Person in the Godhead as Son in Eternity? The word clearly speaks to this issue beginning in the Old Testament we just examined the shema  and its foreshadowing of the revelation of God’s triune existence in the New Testament. The Scripture always builds its foundation before building on it. As in prophecies we see through a lens darkly or from a distance till God is ready to reveal the detail in His time. It has been likened to traveling in the distance you see the mountains but they are not distinct till we have clear skies and we are close enough to make out the detail. So it is with the trinity going from Old to New Testament.

(Joh 17:5 ESV)  And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

In John 17 we see that Jesus the Christ was not a plan, not a concept, not a thought in the mind of God, but has fellowship with the Father before the world existed in glory.

(Php 2:6 HCSB)  who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.

(Php 2:6 AMP)  Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained,

(Php 2:7 HCSB)  Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form,

(Php 2:7 AMP)  But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.

We see in Phil Jesus the Christ emptying His whole life this has a grammatical relationship to what is happening. Being made in likeness of man the means He emptied into that which He created. 

(Joh 14:28 ESV)  You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

We see in John 14 the Father is greater than the He is-where He was before. The Son through whom all things are made and nothing that exists did He not create.

(Col 1:15-17 ESV)  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him.

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

We see Jesus the Christ and God the Father sharing the divine title Jehovah. The use of firstborn does not indicate birth order but relationship. The Hebrews understood that concept of firstborn represented a position in their society. The word for first born was used with the Israelites, David etc.

A basic definition of the Trinity is in order. Within the One Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal Persons, namely the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. You could express it several ways To the Father through the Son by the Spirit. We can also see the trinity at work by that which is called a gift of the Spirit is made known through the Son and is operated by God the Father. The Father gives existence to all things, the Son grants a rational nature to His creatures, and by partaking of the Spirit we are made Holy and cleansed from pollution and ignorance. We see three persons that share One Devine being.

  1. Being-Existing in a certain state. It is what makes something what it is.
  2. Person-A person is a thinking intelligent being. It is what makes someone who they are.

 

To put is simply 1-What  3-Who’s

Now we address the most common errors in understanding the disagreement over the Trinity. Everyone believes there is one God. Saying that God is one in the category of being does not prove that He is one in the category of person. The real question is does the Bible reveal that this oneness is a oneness of being alone, or a oneness of both being and person?

Biblical data must prove this out and the Bible speaks foundationally of the Trinity:

Foundation One- Monotheism

Foundation Two- Three divine persons

Foundation Three- Co equal and Coeternal

We see in Isa 9:6, and John 10:30 The Bible clearly and consistently demonstrates differentiae’s between the persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Never does the Bible identify the Father as the Son, the Son as the Spirit, or the Spirit as the Father.

If we let the Bible speak for itself we take truths from the Scripture and let the Holy Spirit illumine our hearts and minds. We can see 3 foundational truths presenting themselves. The Bible clearly teaches that the Father has eternally existed as a divine person. That the Son eternally existed as a divine person and that the Spirit has existed eternally as a divine person.

To review does the Bible teach that there are 3 distinct persons? Is there scriptural support that the Son existed as a divine person in eternity past? I believe the Bible speaks to these issues quite clearly and shows the Son to have existed from eternity past. While there are many such references in Scriptures I’ll focus on three that teach the eternal pre-existing, personhood and deity of the Son.

John1:1-3, 18

John 17:3-5

Philippians 2:5-7 (The Carmon Christi)

(John 1:1-3 ESV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Every major translation has Jesus the Christ in the beginning with the personal God who is there.

John 1:2

(AMP)  He was present originally with God.

(ASV)  The same was in the beginning with God.

(BBE)  This Word was from the first in relation with God.

(Bishops)  The same was in the begynnyng with God.

(CEV)  From the very beginning the Word was with God.

(DRB)  The same was in the beginning with God.

(ESV)  He was in the beginning with God.

(Geneva)  This same was in the beginning with God.

(HCSB)  He was with God in the beginning.

(KJV)  The same was in the beginning with God.

(KJV-1611)  The same was in the beginning with God.

(LITV)  He was in the beginning with God.

(MKJV)  He was in the beginning with God.

In the beginning was the Word (Logos), Logos was eternal it has existed from eternity past. Was equals timeless existence, the Greek the original language of the New Testament expresses this concept as timeless existence. No point of origination and the New Testament writers were careful to point out what “was” is what came into existence! The Word was with God, face to face having communion, Logos and Theos had relationship. We see in the Greek:

with= pros

A strengthened form of G4253; a preposition of direction; forward to, that is, toward (with the genitive case the side of, that is, pertaining to; with the dative case by the side of, that is, near to; usually with the accusative case the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, that is, whither or for which it is predicated).

Next we deal with the Word was God! As a side notes the Jehovah Witness teach the Word was (A) God. In reality in the construct we see the Word was Deity, the nature of the Logos.

log’-os

From G3004; something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (that is, Christ): – account, cause, communication, X concerning, doctrine, fame, X have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say (-ing), shew, X speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.

The use of this meaning of the Logos is used over 173 times in the New Testament pertaining to the Divine nature of the Logos. The Word was with God, who is the God the word was with?

(Joh 1:18 ESV)  No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

(Joh 1:18 AMP)  No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known]. [Prov. 8:30.]

The God who has not been seen is the Father, but it is “God the only Son” Jesus the Christ, who is close to the Fathers bosom (heart) who makes known the Father. The God with whom the Word eternally existed is, likewise the Father.

John 1:18 can only be understood in light of the Trinity, men have seen God!

IN John 1:1 we see the Word eternally existed. John tells us by using the phrase “ God the only Son” in John 1:18 clearly indicated that the Son is (and was) deity, and the Son was with the Father from eternity just as we see it in John 1:1. The Son has existed eternally as a divine Person.

(John 17:3-5 ESV)  And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

“Now Father” Jesus the Christ is addressing someone else in His prayer He addresses Himself (I) had (with you) before the world was. Given the personal pronouns, there is no question that these are of one person speaking to another person. The Son is speaking of sharing glory before or in eternity past, “together with yourself” a truly divine glory. (Jesus the Christ uses the imperative mode!). To see it from the view of the Amplified Bible translation:

(Joh 17:3 AMP)  And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.

(Joh 17:4 AMP)  I have glorified You down here on the earth by completing the work that You gave Me to do.

(Joh 17:5 AMP)  And now, Father, glorify Me along with Yourself and restore Me to such majesty and honor in Your presence as I had with You before the world existed.

The Greek word para

Thayer Definition:

1) from, of at, by, besides, near

Part of Speech: preposition

Dr. AT Robertson (1863-1934) recognized as the greatest Greek scholar America has ever produced wrote-“with Thine own self” “By the Side of thyself” Jesus the Christ prays for the pre-incarnate glory and fellowship enjoyed before the incarnation. This is not just an ideal preexistence or thought in God’s mind, but actual and conscience existence at the Father’s side.

In this part of John 17 Jesus is first praying for Himself verses 1-5, then for His disciples verses 6-19 then finally for later believers verses 20-26. Jesus the Christ is praying His final prayer and giving an account of His early mission to the Father who sent Him.

All of the prayers of the Lord Jesus demonstrate the distinct personhood of the Son, while at the same time proving the deity of the Son as well. Not just examples of the “human side” praying to the “divine side” but of a divine yet incarnate Person the Son communicating with a divine eternal Father. To quote an early church Father Athanasius: This generation is unlike human generation. We must not conceive of things of God in a human way, or we will fall into error. We understand the terms in different senses for God and men, for humans are incapable of self-existence and are enclosed in place, whereas God is self-existent and encloses all things. So the Son’s generation is inseparable from the nature of the Father, He and the Father are ever one – the Word (logos) ever in the Father, and the Father in the Word, as radiance is to the light. Again, God does not, like man, beget a son by division of himself. The Father is not himself from a father as a human father is, nor is the Son a part of the Father. Nor does the Son beget as he has been begotten, but is the” whole image and radiance of the whole” (holos holou). The Father is eternally Father and the Son is eternally Son. The Father can never be a son, nor can the Son ever be a father. The Son is Son of the Father. How can we understand in any other way?

Last of the three basic versus we began with “the Carmen Christi” the hymn to Jesus the Christ as God.

(Php 2:5-7 ESV)  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Let’s look at the amplified version of this as well for a more comprehensive translation.

(Php 2:5-7 AMP)  Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.

This is thought to be a possible fragment of a hymn from the ancients of the anti-Nicene church. Let’s dive right in and examine the verse. What time frame are we discussing? Christian exegetes (one who practices exegesis Exposition; explanation; interpretation.) down through the centuries have understood the passage to refer to the period prior to the incarnation, when the Son had equality with the Father in Heaven itself. There are those who advocate this passage refers to the time of Jesus the Christ’s human ministry. This would reduce Jesus the Christ to a being less than God more than man a sort of Aeon, or avatar or the demiurge. We know from the Scriptures that Jesus the Christ is 100% man and had to 100% God to be the propitiation for our sins. If this passage refers to the period before the incarnation of Jesus the Christ then it is plain that the Son existed as a Person and was active, and divine. The trinitarian position is established.

To borrow from a well respected Apologist Dr. James White: “The Verbs determine the Truth” essentially one, in the form, stripped Himself, taking the form, being born are actions that only a person can do. The actions of existing and considering equality go together this is important since “to consider” is the action of a person. One of the key verbs to consider is “emptied” the Son (Jesus the Christ) had possession of equality prior to the incarnation, and the emptying which took place after possessing the equality with the Father. Jesus was made in the likeness of man at the incarnation! A person grasps:

  1. The deity of Christ
  2. The person of Christ

 

The Son as the Son is eternal eternally!

  1. The Logos existed as God and was in fellowship with the Father – John 1:1
  2. The Son shared glory with the Father before the world existed – John 17:5
  3. Prior to the incarnation the Son was divine and active – Phil 2: 5-7

 

We see the meaning of the oneness of God from the passages in the Old Testament. They refer to a oneness of being not a oneness of person, since we have now seen conclusively the existence of the Father and the Son as distinct, yet eternal, divine persons.  Unless the combined testimony of these 3 inspired scriptural witnesses can be overthrown the denial of the trinity is proven unscriptural and without basis. To do so one must do so on the basis of the text itself “not other considerations” We cannot read into scripture what we want it to say. This would be eisegesis ((from the Greek root εις, meaning into, in, among) is the process of misinterpreting a text in such a way that it introduces one’s own ideas, reading into the text. This is best understood when contrasted with exegesis. The discipline of Bible study demands we export only not import into the scriptures. Philosophy is not the issue the word forces us to.

Some commonly misunderstood texts:

(Joh 10:30 ESV)  I and the Father are one.”  

Some claim that Jesus is identifying Himself as the Father. However at if we look at the original languages and we see the intended use of the word “are” we see the full revelation.

es-men’ Frist person plural indicative of G1510; we are: – are, be, have our being, X have hope, + [the gospel] was [preached unto] us.

Some try to fit the singular “I am” into this verse to imply the Father and Son are singular one. If we use the proper translation of this word it reads. “I and the Father, We are one”. They are one in bringing the about the salvation of man.

(Joh 14:9-10 ESV)  Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

Philip apparently asks for some sort of appearance by God. In the OT, Moses asked for and was given a limited vision of God’s glory (Ex. 33:18; cf. Ex. 24:10). Isaiah, too, received a vision of God (Isa. 6:1; see note on John 12:41). Jesus is the greater fulfillment of these limited OT events (see also Ezek. 1:26–28). In keeping with OT teaching, Jesus denied the possibility of a direct vision of God (John 5:37; 6:46; cf. 1:18), yet he makes the stunning assertion that those who have seen him have seen the Father—a clear claim to deity. Philip’s request shows that he has not yet understood the point of Jesus’ coming, namely, to reveal the Father (1:14, 18).

Though there is a complete mutual indwelling of the Father and the Son, the Father and the Son remain distinct persons within the Trinity, as does the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14), and the three of them still constitute only one Being in three persons.

This is the Son speaking the same Son who in just a matter of a few sentences says (John 14:28) I go to the Father. A clear difference from here and returning to His former place! Next we have to ask who is speaking here. If Jesus the Christ is identifying Himself as Father in verses 9-10, then who is speaking here in verse 28?

(Isa 9:6 ESV)  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

A gift of divine grace to sinners. a child . . . a son. This is the invincible figure striding across the world stage, taking gracious command, according to vv. 4–5 (cf. Ps. 2:7–9; Luke 1:32). Isaiah presents the events as if it were the time of the child’s arrival, with an expectation of what he will achieve (Isa. 9:7). Wonderful Counselor. A “counselor” is one who is able to make wise plans (cf. 11:2). He is a ruler whose wisdom is beyond merely human capabilities, unlike intelligent but foolish Ahaz (cf. 28:29). Mighty God. A title of the Lord himself (10:20–21; Deut. 10:17; Neh. 9:32; Jer. 32:18). Everlasting Father. A “father” here is a benevolent protector (cf. Isa. 22:21; Job 29:16), which is the task of the ideal king and is also the way God himself cares for his people (cf. Isa. 63:16; 64:8; Ps. 103:13). (That is, this is not using the Trinitarian title “Father” for the Messiah; rather, it is portraying him as a king.) Prince of Peace. He is the ruler whose reign will bring about peace because the nations will rely on his just decisions in their disputes (cf. Isa. 2:4; 11:6–9; 42:4; 49:7; 52:15). This kind of king contrasts with even the best of the Davidic line that Judah has experienced so far, because these titles show that this king will be divine. Thus this cannot refer to, say, Hezekiah (whose father Ahaz was king at the time), who for all his piety was nevertheless flawed (cf. 39:5–8) and only human.

We also know that the title Father in the Old Testament refers to creator. In Mal 2:10 Father is the same as God, Isa 64:8 Our Father translates creator.

 (Col 1:15 ESV)  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

Firstborn was understood as a title not a birth order as we use it today. It bestows all the rights and privileges of the first born male in Hebrew society.

(Joh 1:3 ESV)  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

He is the creator meaning Jesus the Christ.

(Heb 1:2-3 ESV)  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Here we see the right and privileges of the title of firstborn of creation. He is the radiance as the Father is the light, you can’t separate light form radiance. Light and radiance represent the same expression as 1 being 3 persons. From Athanasius we learn more of this idea. As the Father is light and the Son his radiance, we see in the Son the Spirit by whom we are enlightened. In turn, when the Spirit enlightens us, Christ in him enlightens us. As the Father is in the fountain and Son is called a river, we are said to drink the Spirit. When we drink the Spirit, we drink of Christ. Since Christ is the true Son, when we receive the Spirit we are made sons. When the Spirit is given to us, God is in us. When God is in us, the Son is in us. When we quickened by the Spirit, Christ lives in us. The Trinity is indivisible, and so just as it is true that wherever the Father is mentioned, the Son is also understood, so also it is true that wherever the Son is, the Holy Spirit is also, in him.

(Joh 5:22-23 ESV)  The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

In John 5:23 Jesus the Christ identifies Himself, for the cross to satisfy the penalty nothing less than an eternal preexistent divine Son would be sufficient  pay the price. Jesus the Christ is to be honored as the Father is honored. The language used here speaks of 2 persons in distinction.

(1Jn 2:23 ESV)  No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.

Who is the Son of God? A human nature indwelt by God or is He the eternal Logos in relation to the Father from eternity past? The one and only Father is the Father of a Son who is one and only. The Spirit cannot change, fills all things and I the word is present in all things. In closing, let’s look at one of the most fruitful biblical accounts for an understanding of the relationship between the Son and Spirit, that of the baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan. There Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit, and in turn supplied the Spirit to his church. Since he sanctified himself for our sake, the decent of the Spirit at the Jordan was a decent upon us because Jesus bore our body. When he was washed in the Jordan, we were washed in him and by him. When he received the Spirit, we received it through him. The flesh that he assumed was anointed and this for us. Only the Son could unite us to the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit is his. (Athanasius)

The glorious Son is the only one who can pay our terrible debt and is the only acceptable sacrifice for sin.

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