Biographical Sketch of Dr. Stuart E. Lease / Bible Messages by Dr. Stuart E. Lease
[include file=/StatCounter-AllPages.txt] [include file=/StatCounter-SCM.txt]
GOD: THE REALITY OF THE TRINITY
Many people even some who claim to be Christiansdo not believe in the Trinity. Can the fact of the Trinity be proved from the Word of God or is it a matter of pure speculation?
Confusion and uncertainty regarding the Trinity exist even among Bible-taught believers. Trinity is a compound word combining tri, meaning three, and unitas, meaning one. Thus, Trinity literally means three in one. The word trinity is not in the Bible, but the truth that God eternally exists as three Persons in one Godhead is clearly and convincingly taught. Not only are unity and plurality set forth concerning God but also three distinct Individuals are specified as God in passages in the Old as well as the New Testament.
The unity, or oneness, of God is clear from the beginning to the end of the Bible. Genesis 1:1 says, In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The great affirmation of Israelites for centuries is taken from Deuteronomy 6:4: Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord. By stating this, they have said that they cannot, dare not and will not believe in the Trinity because their God is one God. In addition, Isaiah 44:6 declared, Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. Isaiah 45:5 says, I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me. In the New Testament, I Timothy 2:5 states, For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. The concluding chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22, in its ninth verse admonishes, ....worship God.
Is it possible to have more than one person in the one God?
Since these verses reveal the unity, or oneness, of God, how can there be a Trinity? Is it possible to have more than one person in the one God, and are three Persons actually specified as God? Yes, this plurality is not only possible but present in the Bibles teaching about God, and three persons are clearly specified in Old and New Testament passages.
First, the word for God in Genesis 1:1 is Elohim, which is a plural word and has within it the idea of more than one. The Hebrew word echad, allows for many, or a plurality, within its unity; and indeed plurality is required in the Numbers 13:23 reference.
Second, there are plural pronouns used in reference to God. For example, in Genesis 1:26 God said, Let us make man in our image. And referring to going down to the Tower of Babel, God declared, Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language (11:7).
Third, there are references to three Persons within specific verses of the Old Testament. The Book of Isaiah has been referred to as the Gospel According to Isaiah, and in this book there are at least three references to three Persons in the Godhead. It is profitable to circle or underline the words that refer to the Persons of the Trinity in these verses. Isaiah 42:1 reads, Behold my servant whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him. In this single verse the Son [servant], the Father [I] and the Holy Spirit [spirit] are mentioned.
A second reference is Isaiah 48:16, Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me. In this verse, I and me refer to the Father, and his spirit is the Holy Spirit. So here again are three Persons in one verse.
But probably the most clearly convincing Old Testament Trinity verse is Isaiah 61:1, The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me. This verse was even quoted by the Lord Jesus Himself in Luke 4:18, and in verse 21 He said, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears, proving that the me referred to Christ Himself, the Lord God to the Father, and the Spirit to the Holy Spirit. Christ, therefore, clearly identified Himself as a member of the blessed Trinity which Isaiah had so specifically set forth.
Fourth, there are Trinity passages in the Gospels that clearly relate to the Lord Jesus Christ. The first has to do with the promise of His birth made by the angel to Mary in Luke 1:35, And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. It is obvious here that the Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son are specifically designated.
The next passage, Matthew 3:16,17, sets forth the baptism of Christ: Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. So the Lord Jesus was on earth, the Father spoke from heaven, and the Holy Spirit as a dove was descendingall in these two verses.
A thirdand probably the clearestdeclaration of the Trinity is found in Christs statement in Matthew 28:18,19, when He commissioned His disciples to serve Him. All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Notice that it saysname, not names, when referring to the Godhead, but it then speaks of three PersonsFather, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thus, there is both unity [name] and plurality [the three Persons] in this verse presented by the Lord Jesus Christ. John 14:16 also specifies the three Persons of the Trinity. Speaking of the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter. There are the three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Fifth, there are Trinity passages in the New Testament epistles. The Apostle Paul demonstrates his belief in the Trinity in II Corinthians 13:14, which is called the Apostolic Benediction: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. (NASB) He also teaches the working of the Trinity in Ephesians 1:3-14. The Apostle Peter joins together the three Persons of the Trinity in one verse, I Peter 1:2, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. While the order of the Persons varies in the New Testament passages, the reality that all three are present and are specifically named is readily apparent.
In dealing with Jehovahs Witnesses or others who dont believe in the Trinity, many Christians have sought to use I John 5:7, which reads, For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. Now unfortunately this particular verse is not found in the more ancient manuscripts and is recognized by reputable Bible scholars as an interpolation, meaning that the verse was added to the text after the text was originally written and thus cannot be retained in the text. Jehovahs Witnesses are well aware of this and thus wont accept the use of this verse as a defense of the doctrine of the Trinity.
However, the truth of the Trinity is clearly presented in the verses immediately preceding and following I John 5:7. Verse 4 says, Whatsoever is born of God; verse 5 says, Jesus is the Son of God; and the latter part of verse 6 says, And it is the Spirit....
I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter.
Thus God, Jesus as the Son of God and the Spirit are all mentioned in these three verses preceding I John 5:7. Verse 8 also mentions the Spirit, and the end of verse 9 speaks of ....the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son. Therefore, the verses which follow I John 5:7 also clearly set forth the Trinity.
Sixth, each member of the Trinity is referred to as God. The Father is designated as God our Father in Romans 1:7; the Son, Jesus Christ, is referred to as God in John 20:28 when Thomas exclaims, My Lord and my God; and the Holy Spirit is identified as God in Acts 5:3,4 when Ananias decided ....to lie to the Holy Ghost.... Peter said, Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. There are, of course, other references that prove that each member of the Trinity is God, but the three presented here are crystal clear concerning this Truth.
In spite of all the opposition that has been raised through the centuries concerning belief in the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity, I am more convinced than ever before that the Bible does clearly and convincingly present the reality of this Truth. God has existed eternally, exists now, and will forever exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit three Persons in one Godhead. With the living creatures of Revelation 4:8 I will joyfully declare, Holy, holy, holy [Notice this triple reference as also in Isaiah 6:3], Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. This is our God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
Dear FATHER Thank You so very much for Yourself, Your Son, and the Holy SpiritBlessed Trinity! We bless and adore You for all that You have revealed Yourself to be in Your Holy Word. We honor and praise You for all that You mean to us. How blessed it is to contemplate the fact that we will praise You throughout eternity! You are the Blessed God, Holy Trinity! Amen.
This writing, by Dr. Stuart E. Lease, was printed in the December 1979 issue of the Good News Broadcaster by The Good News Broadcasting Association, Inc., Lincoln, Nebraska.