Attributes of God Session 4 - Trinity

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Logos Educators Network Presentation - Attributes of God Session 4 - The Trinity

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ATTRIBUTES OF GOD – SESSION 4: The Divine Trinity:

ATTRIBUTES OF GOD – SESSION 4: The Divine Trinity Logos Educators Network

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God Foundational Truths Which Are Crucial to this Doctrine. There is but One God . There is in this Divine Being but one indivisible essence. In Scripture there are three who are recognized as God. These three are so described in Scripture that we are compelled to conceive of them as distinct Persons .

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God This tri-personality is not tri-theism, for while there are three persons there is but one essence . The three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are equal . The Christian Church confesses the Trinity to be a mystery that is incomprehensible outside of divine revelation.

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God The Unity of God (there is but One) Although the Bible affirms trinitarianism , it is outspokenly monotheistic . For the New Testament writers no conflict exists between the teachings of God as one and at the same time he is three in one . We see the paradoxical nature of this in 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 “There is no God but one…There is one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God Orthodox Christian doctrine states that the three persons in the Trinity are not only one in person and agreement, but they are one in essence . In our attempts to express the mystery of the Trinity, we must not do so in a way that tends toward tri-theism. Some who have rejected the doctrine of the Trinity have done so in reaction to expressions of the Trinity that ultimately are tri-theistic.

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God The Bible clearly teaches that there is but one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-6; 21-22; 1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 3:30; James 2:19) .

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God Old Testament Witness to the Doctrine of the Trinity The doctrine of the Trinity is not fully revealed in the Old Testament . This is true of many doctrines. There is process of revelation which proper biblical interpretation takes into account. The doctrine of the Trinity is not offensive to Old Testament theology.

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God Old Testament allusions to the Trinity . Passages which speak to a plurality in the Godhead (Genesis 1:26-27; 3:22; 11:1-9; Isaiah 6:8). Passages relating to the Angel of the Lord , who is seen as identified with God and yet distinguished from him (Genesis 16:7-15; 21:17-19; 31:11-13; 48:8-16; Judges 6:11-24; 13:21). Passages which describe the Messiah as being one with Jehovah and yet in some sense distinct from him (Isaiah 9:5; Micah 5:2; Psalm 45:6, 7; Malachi 3:1).

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God Passages which indicate the Holy Spirit as being of the same essence as Jehovah, but distinct from him (Isaiah 48:16; 61:1;). The three-fold “holy, holy, holy” of Isaiah 6:3 is considered an allusion to the Holy Trinity

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God New Testament Witness To The Doctrine Of The Trinity It is perfectly natural that the New Testament presents a fuller revelation of the Trinity.  It records the incarnation of the Son . It records the outpouring of the Holy Spirit .

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God New Testament disclosures of the Trinity.  At the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16, 17) The baptismal formula in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19, 20) The common apostolic benediction (2 Corinthians 13:14, et. al.)  God the Father send the Son (John 3:16), the Son communes with the Father (Matthew 11:25, 26), the Holy Spirit prays to the Father within the believer (Romans 8:26) The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit jointly affect a believer’s salvation (1 Peter 1:2).

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God A Consideration of the Three Persons of the Trinity The Father  Sometimes this term is used to refer to the Triune God who is the creator, the Father of Israel, and the Father of all believers (1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 3:15; Hebrews 12:9).

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God As Father in the Trinity, his unique, primary work is the eternal generation of the Son (Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5, 6). The Son is eternally begotten from the Father. The concept of the generation of the Son by the Father is but an approximate expression of the truth It does not imply: The creation of the Son by the Father. The commencement of the existence of the Son A free act of the Father’s will

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God The Son  The name son is applied to the Second Person of the Trinity because of his eternal generation from the Father. This generation is a timeless act whereby a second mode of existence within the divine being is caused. The term generation means a divine sonship existed prior to the incarnation of Jesus (John 1:18; 1 John 4:9; Galatians 4:4). The generation of the Son is “that eternal and necessary act of the first person of the Trinity, whereby He, within the divine Being, is the ground of a second personal subsistence like His own, and puts this second person in possession of the whole divine essence, without any division, alienation or change.” (Louis Berkof ).

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God Jesus was conscious of his unique relationship with the Father. He taught his disciples to pray “our Father.” He always addresses the Father as “Father” or “my Father..

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God The Holy Spirit  The Holy Spirit is not the influence or the power of God. He is the third person of the Trinity. He proceeds from the Father and the Son (“spiration”).

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God There is no difference between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in essence or attributes . The only difference between them is the way they relate to each other and to creation . The unique quality of the Father is the way he relates as Father to the Son and the Holy Spirit. The unique quality of the Son is the way he relates as a Son. All three are called God, perform divine acts, and are worshipped (Romans 1:7; Hebrew 1:8; Acts 5:3, 4). What can be said of one in relationship to the divine essence must be said of all.

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God The Father is the fullness of the Godhead invisible (John 1:18). The Son is the fullness of the Godhead visible (John 1:14; Colossians 2:9). The Holy Spirit is the fullness of the Godhead acting immediately on the creature (1 Corinthians 2:9, 10).

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God The Doctrine of the Trinity in Church History The historical interpretation of the Church is both interesting and important. The early beginnings of Trinitarian doctrine   The Apostle’s Creed (c. A.D. 150): This early creed is not clearly Trinitarian since the Son and the Father are not declared to be divine. It is, however, not anti-Trinitarian. Tertullian (c. 165-220): Early Church Father who was the first to use the term “ Trinity ” in reference to God.

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God Augustine (354-430): Early Church Father made the following statement, “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and each of these by himself is God, and at the same time they are all one God; and each of them by Himself is complete substance, and yet they are all one substance .” The Council of Nicea (325): This group of over 300 bishops unanimously condemned the teaching of Arius (Arianism) and declared the deity of Jesus Christ. Athanasius was the champion of this cause.

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God The Council of Constantanople (381): This council enlarged the Nicean Creed to include reference to the deity of the Holy Spirit. The Athanasian Creed (mid 5th Century): This creed states: We worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity is unity; we distinguish among the persons, but we do not divide the substance…The entire three persons are coeternal and coequal with one another so that…we worship complete unity in Trinity and Trinity in unity.”

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God Synopsis of early doctrinal heresies regarding the Godhead   Arianism (Arius, c. 250-33) Christ is the highest created being—a god, but not God. Jesus was the mediator between God and man, but he is not of the same substance with the Father. He is banned as a heretic at the Council of Nicea in 325.

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God Monarchianism (3rd Century) It exalted the unity of God at the expense of Christ’s deity. Dynamic Monarchianism: Jesus is a man on whom a special divine influence came to reside. He was an “indwelt man,” and not God. So Great was this growing influence in Jesus that “out of this man cam God” (Paul of Samosata, Bishop of Antioch, 260-272). Modalistic Monarchianism: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three modes of expression that were successively assumed by the Godhead.

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God Later doctrinal issue over the Trinity The doctrine of the Trinity suffered in the deistic atmosphere of the 18th Century and many theologians became Unitarian. The teaching of the Trinity almost vanished in mainline theology. The teaching of the Trinity has been revived in the 20th Century thanks largely through the work of theologian Karl Barth. The “New Issue” that arose among early Pentecostalism (1914) was a revival of Sabellianism. It led to the eventual formation of several Unitarian Pentecostal denominations.

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God The Jehovah’s Witnesses completely reject the Trinity and embrace Arianism as the truth of the Godhead.

Attributes of God:

Attributes of God Conclusion: The Trinity is a mystery. We cannot fully comprehend it or make it fully intelligible. The Church has never tried to explain the mystery of the Trinity. It has only sought to formulate the doctrine of the Trinity in such a manner that the errors which endangered it were warded off. It is a mystery beyond our comprehension. It is the incomprehensible glory of God.

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