Lucia's Blog: THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT - THE TRINITY - PART ONE
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Saturday, May 17, 2014

THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT - THE TRINITY - PART ONE

  "After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." 
Matthew 3:16-17


INTRODUCTION

Recently, I had a discussion on Facebook about the Holy Spirit with a supposed brother in Christ who insisted on his error about the gift of the Holy Spirit.  He ended up casting insults at me and ultimately unfriended me.  I did not take it to heart since I am aware that this is the price we all have to pay for loving the Truth.  This discussion led me to pursue more investigation regarding the Holy Spirit and how it relates to us as Christians.

Sadly, there is much misunderstanding and error among many who claim to be followers of Christ concerning the Holy Spirit.  The study of the Holy Spirit is often neglected.  We speak of God, His love and His grace but we fail to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit is God also.

I have noticed in the Hymns we sing for worship that the Holy Spirit is mentioned.  For example, Blessed Assurance reminds us that we are born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.  The Hymn Heaven Came Down states that the Son was born of the Spirit with life from above.  There are many Hymns we sing for worship that mention the Holy Spirit.  The subject of the Holy Spirit has begun to intrigue me personally so I would like to study it in depth and write about it as I have so many other themes.  I write for my own understanding that I may draw nearer to the Truth.  I know that many brethren differ on the Holy Spirit.  Many disagree on whether or not the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian and in what sense does He dwell in us.  There is disagreement regarding the nature of the gift of the Holy Spirit promised in Acts 2:38.  There is disagreement regarding the function of the spiritual gifts.  These disagreements are not just a concern in the religious world in general, but they are also a concern among us.  My goal as I study the Holy Spirit is to have a deeper understanding of the subject.  I have divided this study into several sections.  I hope that you find it useful.


THE TRINITY (THE GODHEAD) - PART ONE

Although the word TRINITY is not found in the Bible, the truth of the TRINITY is revealed in the Bible.  So, what does the word TRINITY really mean?  It describes the three PERSONS known as the ONE GOD.  These three PERSONS are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  It is here that the confusion arises.  It has always been an enigma to me that these three PERSONS, each known as God are in any case ONLY ONE God.  We believe the Father is God; we believe the Son is God; and finally, we believe the Holy Spirit is also God.  Doesn't that make three?  So, my questions is then, how can three PERSONS be considered ONE?  Confusing, NO?

Let us consider a few examples of plurality and diversity yielding UNITY.  For example in the case of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:24, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh."  We can see in this text that a man and a woman are joined together as husband and wife.  The two are one flesh.  In others words it is like adding 1 + 1 = 1.  One must be thinking how is that for math?  We see clearly plurality coexisting with UNITY.  By the way, this is old math.  The Hebrew word translated for ONE (echad) is used when speaking of UNITY as well of more than one.  As it is in the case of a woman and a man equaling ONE; UNITED in marriage and are considered ONE.  Another example for the use of this word is found in Judges 6:16, "But the Lord said to him, 'Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.'"  And Judges 20:8, "Then all the people arose as one man, saying, 'Not one of us will go to his tent, nor will any of us return to his house.'"

We must keep in mind that this concept of plurality coexisting with UNITY is vital to our understanding of the Scriptural definition of UNITY.  God though composed of three PERSONS is ONE.  Let us look at a few more examples that emphasize only ONE God:
  1. Deuteronomy 6:4“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!  This is what Moses told the Israelites. 
  2. Isaiah 45:5-6 “I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God.  I will gird you, though you have not known Me; that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me."  This is what our Jehovah God spoke through Isaiah, the prophet.
  3. Ephesians 4:6: "One God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."  This is what the apostle Paul declared.
  4. James 2:19"You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder."  This is what James wrote.
  5. Genesis 1:1"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  Although this verse speaks of ONE God, it clearly indicates a plurality in God.
  6. Genesis 1:26"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  Notice that the Hebrew word for God here is Elohim, being the masculine plural noun.  One might be thinking why is it then singular, God?  The word God is singular because it is subject to the verb CREATED.  This Hebrew verb is bara which is singular.  Although the noun does not agree with the verb grammatically, it is not an ERROR.  It reveals a deeper TRUTH and that is the THREE PERSONS of the GODHEAD.
  7. Isaiah 6:8:  "Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!"   Here is another example of multiple personalities, but ONE GOD. 
  8. John 12:39-41 "For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, 'He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.'  These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him."' 
  9. Acts 28:25-26:  "And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word, 'The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say, 'You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive.'"   Paul is describing the words that Isaiah heard as spoken by the Holy Spirit.  He presents us a picture of the Father God speaking.  Notice that here we see again the three PERSONS of the GODHEAD, the US and OUR as stated in Genesis 1:26.
When speaking of creation all THREE PERSONS  were involved.  ALL THREE were working together.  Consider:
  • THE FATHER:  "Of old You founded the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands."  Psalm 102:25 
  • THE SON:  "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him."  Colossians 1:16 
  • THE HOLY SPIRIT "The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters."  Genesis 1:2

ALL IN ONE

God involves the THREE:  The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  This helps us to grasp the concept of ONE GOD as described in Genesis 1:1.  Consider a few verses where the THREE PERSONS are mentioned:  
  1. Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." 
  2. Matthew 3:16-17"After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, (The Father) “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."
  3. 2 Corinthians 13:14:  "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God (the Father), and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all." 
  4. 2 Thessalonians 2:13"But we should always give thanks to God (the Father)  for you, brethren beloved by the Lord (the Son), because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth." 
  5. Revelation 1:4-5"John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him (the Father) who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits (the Holy Spirit) who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—"

THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

I.  GOD IS OMNISCIENT (ALL-KNOWING)

In the Bible we find that ALL THREE PERSONS own the same ATTRIBUTES.  Let us consider them:
  • THE FATHER"I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds."  Jeremiah 17:10
  • THE SON:  "And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds."  Revelation 2:23
  • THE SPIRIT"For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God."  I Corinthians 2:11
II.  GOD IS OMNIPRESENT (EVERYWHERE)

  • THE FATHER:  “Pray, then, in this way:  ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name."  Matthew 6:9 God is in heaven.  The apostle John saw a vision of God the Father in heaven seated on His throne.  "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good." Proverbs 15:3
  • JESUS CHRIST:  "Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,  a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.Hebrews 8:1-2We know from what we read about Jesus in the Gospels that He is fully God and fully man who was raised from the dead and ascended to heaven.  Jesus is now in heaven awaiting His coming a second time, I Thessalonains 4:15-17.  Another verse about His omnipresence is found in Matthew 28:20, "Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
  • THE SPIRIT:  "Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, You are there;  If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.  If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.  Psalm 139:7-10
III.  GOD IS OMNIPOTENT (ALL POWERFUL)
  •  THE FATHER:  "Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son."  Genesis 18:14
"Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You."  Jeremiah 32:17
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”  Jeremiah 32:27
  • THE SON"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."  Matthew 28:18
"Who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him."  I Peter 3:22
"The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand."  John 3:35.  Also, John 3:31 and Daniel 7:13-14
  • THE SPIRIT:  "You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the ground."  Psalm 104:30  "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you..." Romans 8:11.  "a young lion came roaring toward him.  And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a kid though he had nothing in his hand." Judges 14:5-6
  IV.  GOD IS HOLY
  • THE FATHER "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”  Isaiah 6:3.  "Pray, then, in this way:  ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name."  Matthew 6:9.  “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?  For You alone are holy; for all the nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”  Revelation 15:4
  • THE SON"But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you."  Acts 3:14 
  • THE SPIRIT:  Usually referred to as the "Holy Spirit."
III. GOD IS TRUTH
  • THE FATHER:  "Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, 'You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.'"  John 7:28  
  • THE SON "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:  He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this: Revelation 3:7 
  • THE SPIRIT"This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth."  I John 5:6
  IV.  GOD IS IMMUTABLE  (UNCHANGING) 
  • THE FATHER:  "For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed."  Malachi 3:6 
    THE SON:  "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."  Hebrews 13:8
  • THE SPIRIT:  "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.I Corinthians 12:4 
V.  GOD IS ETERNAL (EVERLASTING)
  • THE FATHER:  "Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God.  Genesis 21:33
"Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God."  Psalm 90:2
"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."  I Timothy 6:16
"And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say,Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”  Revelation 4:8
  • THE SON:  "I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."  Revelation 1:8
"When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, 'Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last.'"  Revelation 1:17
"Then He said to me, 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.'"  Revelation 21:6
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”   Revelation 22:13
  • THE SPIRIT:  "How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"  Hebrews 9:14

  

EACH OF THE THREE PERSONS IS IDENTIFIED AS GOD

Let us consider some Scriptures that clearly identify each of the three persons of the Godhead as "God."
  • THE FATHER:  Most people have no problem accepting the Father as God.
"Jesus answered, 'If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, He is our God'"  John 8:54
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."  I Corinthians 1:3
"Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead)."  Galatians 1:1
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." 
Ephesians 1:2-3

The Son and the Holy Spirit of the Godhead are distinctly revealed as God.  Sadly, there are many who discount their DEITY.  I cannot fathom how anyone could question the TRUTH of their DEITY after reviewing so many Scriptural texts that prove it..
  • THE SON:  The Gospel of John is one of the most distinctive texts that proves the DEITY OF CHRIST.
"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 came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."  John 1:1-3

In this text John makes it abundantly clear that the Son existed prior to His birth as A MAN.  In John 1:14 he wrote, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."  NOTICE that John is recognizing the Son's equality with God.  Is it not wonderful that God became flesh dwelling among us as a man in the person of Jesus our Lord and Savior!  What is amazing to me is that the Creator, Jesus, became as the created!  We read of this in Colossians 1:16, "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him."  The words of the apostle Paul harmonize with the Genesis account of creation.  It is undeniable that he is speaking of Christ the Son's involvement in the process of CREATION.  The following Scriptural verses further prove the Deity of Christ and will work well in refuting the Jehovah's Witnesses who deny it:
  1. Isaiah 41:4 "Who has performed and accomplished it, calling forth the generations from the beginning?  ‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.'"  So my question is, who is the "first and the last?"  The answer is obvious, it is Jehovah God.
  2. Isaiah 44:6:  "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:  ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me."  Again, "the first and the last" describes Jehovah God.
  3. Isaiah 48:12 "Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last."  Notice again that "the first and the last" refers to Jehovah God as mentioned previously.
  4. Revelation 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."  Who is the Alpha and the Omega in this text?  Once again, the answer is God.
  5. Revelation 1:17: "When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last."  Who is this text describing as the Alpha and the Omega?  Obviously God.
  6. Revelation 22:13 "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."  Alpha and Omega refers to GOD.  It is undeniably true!
  7. Revelation 2:8 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:  The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life."  Notice that the first and the last here was dead and came back to life.  Can God die?  Here we see an undeniable picture of Christ's DEITY and His resurrection as well.
  8. Philippians 2:5-7 "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men."  This passage is very clear about Jesus' DEITY.
  9. Hebrews 1:8-12:  "But of the Son He says,  'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.  'You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your companions.”  And, 'You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; and they all will become old like a garment, and like a mantle You will roll them up; like a garment they will also be changed.  But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.'"   I cannot fathom how someone might miss this obvious TRUTH
  • THE HOLY SPIRIT:   The Scripture that is most relevant to the Holy Spirit as God is found in Acts 5:3-4  "But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.'"

The question is then, to whom did Ananias lie?  Was it God or the Holy Spirit?  We know well that the Holy Spirit is equal with God.  He is God.  This passage is an excellent defense against the arguments made by those who deny that the Holy Spirit is God also.  This passage clearly reveals the TRUTH.  All we need in Scripture is one passage to prove the TRUTH and yet there are other passages that establish the TRUTH as well such as:  Luke 1:67-70; 2 Peter 1:21, Isaiah 40:13 and Romans 11:34.

It is undeniable that Holy Spirit is consistently attached to the Father and the Son forming His DEITY.  The Holy Spirit is a person of the Godhead.  Let us consider a few examples:
  1. "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever."  John 14:16
  2. "That is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you."  John 14:17
  3. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.John 14:26

These passages clearly indicate that the Holy Spirit is a PERSON.  He is unique and distinct from the Father and the Son, but most definitely a person of the Godhead.

In conclusion, the doctrine of the TRINITY (THE GODHEAD) is not hard to understand if one decides not to be prejudiced.  In my next study we shall consider the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.


Luci