Thursday, August 26, 2010

Doctrine of the Trinity-Part 4

One of the issues raised as an objection to the Trinity is that the word Trinity does not exist in scripture. Well, neither do we find commonly agreed upon words such as: Divinity, Atheism, or even Rapture. Simply because a term is not found explicitly in scripture does not make the word or the concept it defines unbiblical.

Another common objection is that since God is a God of order (1 Cor 14:33) why would He devise something so confusing. Simply by asking if one thinks that we will necessarily understand all of God and how He works should answer this question (Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 Cor 13:12).

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~ Is 55:8-9

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” ~ 1 Cor 13:12

Still others will claim that “Jesus never said He was God” and while those exact words are not found we will see as we go through the scriptures that look at the Trinity that Jesus indeed did claim to be God. When we look at these verses in an upcoming part it will be clear that Christ claimed to be God and those hearing Him speak understood His claims as such.

What I find in most arguments I have heard is that they revolve around the issue of apprehension and comprehension. When the two are conflated, or made equal, then often people try and reformulate doctrines to match what they see as making sense and comprehensible to them. Simply because we do not “get” a doctrine does not make it unscriptural. Because I think that many issues revolve around misunderstanding the difference between apprehending a subject, or in this case doctrine, and comprehending it I would like to touch on the difference. To apprehend something is to see it as so. Thus it is about grasping and seeing the subject in the text. Apprehending a subject is to see that it is there, that it exists in the text. However to comprehend a subject is to understand how it is so, such as how it takes place. As it relates to the Trinity apprehending its truth is to see it is so in the text of scripture while comprehending it is to understand how it takes place. We can apprehend doctrine by carful study but we will not always be able to comprehend a doctrine as God’s ways are not ours (Is 55:8-9).

In this series we will look at the doctrine of the Trinity as it is seen in scripture. This study does not however explain the “How” and that is the issue with most that question the Trinity and or deny it. Again, as we look at the Trinity we are going to look at its existence in scripture and not the manner of God’s accomplishing what the doctrine of the Trinity states. By keeping the foundational pillars (3 divine persons, Equality, Monotheism) in mind and looking at the scriptures methodically we will be able to see, apprehend, the Trinity revealed in them. To do this we will look at 4 areas in the upcoming posts:

I) That there are 3 persons
II) They are all called God
III) There is One God (Monotheism)
IV) Thus they must all be God (Trinity)

Doctrine of the Trinity Series:

Sermon Series on The Doctrine of the Trinity:  Part 1   and   Part 2

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

(all verses used are from the ESV unless stated otherwise)

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