Trinity: Supporting Passages



We pick up on our discussion of the Trinity again.


Reminder:


Discussed why the study/contemplation of God is our highest calling as humans.


We discussed some of the common heresies related to the Trinity.


We saw the overwhelming statements of the oneness of God.  There is no other god besides Him.


We then saw that within that oneness that the bible comfortably describes a plurality and happily shifts back and forth between single and plurality.


Then we left off with a caution not to use analogies to describe God.  They all fail. In fact, they’re all actually one form of heresy or another.  Instead, we ought to embrace the Trinity as an inherent mystery.


So what we want to do now is consider several passages that are Trinitarian in nature.


This occurs more frequently than people often realize.


Partly because of how we read but don’t grasp what we are reading.  Eyes just pass over words.


Also, we often  we look at verses  outside of their context.


We looked at some of these last time, but it’s worth seeing others that we passed by.


"Come near to Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord GOD has sent Me, and His Spirit." (Isa. 48:16 NAU)


So, who is the “me?”


The other two are easy.  The Lord GOD, literally the adonai, YHWH and the Spirit.


But if you were to read backward to figure out who the “me” is, you’d find out that it’s the Lord (YHWH) of hosts in vs 2.  From there, it’s a listing of things that God alone has done:


"I declared the former things long ago And they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. (Isa. 48:3 NAU)


For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, And for My praise I restrain it for you, In order not to cut you off. (Isa. 48:9 NAU)


"Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last. Surely My hand founded the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call to them, they stand together. (Isa. 48:12-13 NAU)


The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; (Isa. 61:1 NAU)


This, of course, is read by Jesus in Luke 4 and then He says that in Him is the fulfillment of this passage.


So the referent, here, is prophetically speaking of the coming Messiah, but it also mentions the Spirit and YHWH in the passage.


But there is more.  If you were to continue to read in Isaiah 61 you’d see that the “me” (who we just determined is the Messiah/Jesus Christ) continues to state what He’s going to do and what Israel’s going to experience by way of blessings.


There is NO shift in who’s speaking.  So now hear vss 7-8: “Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, Everlasting joy will be theirs.  For I, the LORD, love justice, I hate robbery in the burnt offering; And I will faithfully give them their recompense And make an everlasting covenant with them” (Isa. 61:7-8 NAU)


Again we have now the idea of the Messiah clearly being someone more than a mere undergod or great man.  Rather, the Messiah figure is somehow YHWH, anointed by YHWH, and also has the Spirit of YHWH upon Him.


This is heavy material!


 "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. (Zech. 12:10 NAU)


So with this one, you need to figure out a pronouns, and the shift of the pronouns in mid-sentence.

First, the verse begins with “I” and it is easy to figure out.  You can just read backwards, and see that in verse 1 that it’s YHWH.


Next (quoting verse 10 again), “they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him.”


So the “me” has to be YHWH - He’s the One Who’s pierced.


But then the “me” becomes “Him,”  so that now everyone is mourning for Him.


Now the NT tells us clearly that this is a reference to Jesus in John 19:37; Revelation 1:7 and Matthew 24:30.

So one again, you have here, the implication of YHWH being the Messiah Himself, or as we would say it, Christ.


But what’s interesting, is that Zechariah 12:10 is careful to draw a distinction (with the pronoun shift), to reveal that the referent is one and yet different (or separate) in some way.


Beyond even that, it’s difficult to miss the fact that the passage also references the Spirit, here described as the Spirit of grace and supplication.


"I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. . . . I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;  that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. (Jn. 17:11, 20-23 NAU)

We can’t go into this in its fullness, but what needs to be heard is how intimate the relationship is between the Father and the Son.


So in vs 11, Jesus asks the Father to keep the people that He’s redeeming on the Cross in the Father’s name.  But this name, then, is also what the Father has given to the Son.


Now what’s meant by that, is rather complex and also fascinating.


However, in simple terms, it’s speaking of the church remaining loyal and faithful to who God is [name].


But having said that, the name of God is seen in its fullest sense in the person of Jesus Christ.  And so the only way that they can be kept in a manner that’s faithful to that name, is if they remain faithful to the One who is the perfect expression of the Father, Jesus Christ.


So the purpose of this request, here,  is that the church would be one. That there would be a unity that pervades the entire church in a continuous manner.


So this is not just a unity of purpose, but a unity of existence.  It is built off of the unity that is part of the Son and the Father.


Now, this unity is picked up again in vss 20-23.


This is a glorious passage, in the sense that it speaks of the utter closeness that the Church enjoys with the person of God Himself.


Notice, we see the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father, and also the Church, then, in both of them.


So yes, the Father and the Son are one, but they’re also distinguishable here.  So this also speaks of equality of being for both of them. There’s no sense of some kind of hierarchy.


Now we see this same thing when it comes to the Spirit and the Father.

 

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 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. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, (1 Cor. 2:10-12 NAS)


So only the Spirit is capable of revealing the mind of God.  Nothing else can.


Why?  Because, according to verse 12, the Spirit proceeds from (ek) the Father.  A picture of inter-relationship.  Much like Christ’s statement in John 17:21, “I in you and you in me.”


And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:11 NAS)


Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. (1 Cor. 12:4-6 NAS)


Now this is an overtly Trinitarian passage.


So what’s interesting, is that as you follow along further into the passage, you’ll begin to notice how all three are flowing in the text.


But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. (1 Cor. 12:11-18 NAS)


The Spirit is equated as being God.


Both the Spirit and God are described as being the sovereign distributors of the gifts.


So a distinction is being made between the Spirit and God, and yet the terms are used interchangeably as if they’re one and the same.


The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. (2 Cor. 13:14 NAS)


Here Paul gives us a benediction.


Paul is giving each one of them distinction and yet also equality.


Ephesians 1:3-14 - a passage that’s triune in its construction.


Verses 3-6 speak of the Father’s work.


Blessed us with every spiritual blessing. (3)


Chose those whom He desired to save (4).  But not is some vague way . . . .


Lovingly predestined those chosen to be adopted as sons—His sons (5)


For the goal that His grace would be made known and we would praise Him alone for His saving work (6).


Verses 7-12 speaks of Christ’s works.


It is Christ who redeems us from the penalty of sin (7).


Christ is revealer of the will of the Father (9-10).


Verses 13-14 is the work of the Spirit.


He seals us in Christ.


He is the proof of the fact that we are fellow heirs to all things with Christ.


through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. (Eph. 2:18 NAS)


There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (Eph. 4:4-6 NAS)


But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.  And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thess. 2:13-14 NAS)


Summary and Conclusion.


We’ve done several episodes now, showing  how God’s revealed right from the beginning of the bible as this mysterious God, who’s both singular and plural.


Yet God continued to reveal more and more of Himself until now in the N.T. we have the fullest treatment of Triune nature of God.  And not simply Trinitarian, but also Triune. This is critical to see and understand.


So in light this, next time we'll begin to talk about how each person of the Trinity’s, in fact, the fullness of God Himself.

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