Biblical Truth #9: The Trinity
Imagine an item that is both three distinct things, and yet also one whole thing. One simplistic example is H2O, which is commonly known as water. H2O can be a solid, liquid or gas (i.e., ice, water or steam), but regardless of the different state it’s still individually, and collectively, H2O. Another example is a triad on a piano. A triad is made of three notes that all sound distinct and different from one another, yet when played together they make one harmonizing sound. The Bible states God is like that triad. The Bible refers to these three notes as persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Yet these persons are all God apart from one another and also with one another, three but also one. If this sounds puzzling then don’t worry. If God is the author of things making “sense” then it is likely that some things about him will not make “sense”.
The Father and Son
The Father guides most of the Old Testament. It is to him that all Israelites prayed, to him who they sacrificed animals, and he who performed miraculous workings in nature. Then, in the New Testament the Son takes the center stage as the God-Man Jesus. He is born miraculously and begins to inform his followers how unique and special is the relationship between him and his father. He performs miracles upon command and with the authority of God. He finishes his work by his greatest miracle of all, rising from the dead.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is actually first mentioned in the Old Testament and is mostly referenced to human activity that is empowered by God. Humans that otherwise would be incapable of mighty deeds are described as having the Holy Spirit descend upon them. At Jesus’ baptism, one of the most trinitarian passages, the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus like a dove as God the Father claims Jesus as his son. Across the pages of Scripture, the Holy Spirit is seen as personally involved in the hearts of humanity. He is the one that changes hearts and guides the actions of Christians. He also provides gifts that empower the Christian in his lifetime. They are able to heal the sick, discern lying prophets from true prophets, hear the voice of the Lord as a message, and many more attributes that those living in the first century and beyond performed.
One of the most powerful demonstrations of the Holy Spirit is the speaking of differing languages by the first Christians that caused the Gospel to be spread quickly. Christians were able to journey to Spain, Rome, Ethiopia and other neighboring lands without difficulty because the Holy Spirit allowed the language barriers to disintegrate. Without this component, Christianity would have never spread as fast and as broad as it did, especially after the Roman persecution of Christians began. The Bible states that all of this was accomplished by the Holy Spirit, appearing spectacularly as tongues of fire that rested on each of the apostles.
Up until this moment, the Apostles were a rag-tag group of somewhat trained but still simple-minded fishermen, tax collectors, and zealots who were afraid of Jewish opinion and persecution. After the Holy Spirit descended on them, Peter, stands before a crowd of three thousand Jews condemning them for the murder of Jesus and a call to repentance. The change is so startling only a supernatural explanation fully explains it. Not only this, three thousand Jews accepted Peter the fisherman’s words as truth that very day. Only the power of the Holy Spirit could answer these powerful examples of Christianity’s beginnings.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here’s a quick test:
Q. Have you ever told a lie?
Q. Have you ever stolen anything?
Q. Have you ever used God’s name in vain?
Q. Have you ever lusted over someone?
Q. Have you ever hated someone?
If you have done these things, God sees you as a liar, a thief, a blasphemer, an adulterer-at-heart, and a murderer-at-heart. And this is only 5 of God’s Ten Commandments (a/k/a “God’s Law”). And the Bible warns that on the Day of Judgment, God will punish you in a terrible place called Hell. But, there is “good news”! God is not willing that any should perish. Sinners broke God’s Law, but Jesus paid their fine by shedding His sinless blood on a cross ~2,000 years ago. This means that God can legally dismiss their case (and yours!): “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Then Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death. Today, repent (turn away from your sins), put your complete trust in Jesus, and confess Jesus as your Lord & Savior… and God will give you eternal life as a free gift.
Contrary to popular belief, being a “good person”, doing “good deeds”, or being “religious” will not get you a ticket to heaven! Many people are hoping God will dismiss their sins because their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. They further hope that because God is “good” he will let them go unpunished and enter heaven. However, because God is “good” he must by nature punish sinners (i.e., God would not be a good judge if he let criminals go free). The Bible states: “There is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20) The Bible also states: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) And finally, think about this, if your goodness could save you, Jesus would have died in vain (i.e., for no good reason). The Bible states: “I (Jesus) am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through me. (John
14:6) Friends, please don’t “roll-the-dice” and gamble your eternal life on the life-threatening lie that being a “good person” will get you to heaven.
Here is a prayer you can use to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord & Savior. It is a suggested prayer – the key is that you are speaking from your heart.
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me turn away from sin going forward. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus into my heart and I confess him as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for sending your Holy Spirit to help me obey you, and to do your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
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