LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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Lesson 4 The Divine Trinity

 

Devotional Reading:   Numbers 6:22–27.

 

Memory Verse:           2 Corinthians 13:14.

        

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

 

LESSON TEXT

 

John 14:23–26. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

 

John 16:13–15. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.

 

COMMENTS ON THE LESSON TEXT

 

John 14:23. Jesus speaks of his Father and of himself as two separate persons with a common interest. Their omnipresence is also suggested. V24. Again two persons are spoken of and contrasted in such a way that Christ and the Father cannot be one person. V26. The Holy Ghost is here introduced as another person, all three being mentioned—Holy Ghost, Father and I.

John 16:13. This verse, in connection with the previous one, asserts the personality of the Holy Ghost. Personal powers are attributed to him as to teach, remind, guide, speak, hear, and show things to come. The last implies foreknowledge, a power belonging to God. Vv 14, 15. Again the three are brought to view as separate persons. The equality of the Father and Son is affirmed.

 

LESSON TOPIC: THE DIVINE TRINITY

 

Definition.

 

By the Trinity we mean one God in three persons. This is difficult to comprehend, for they are not distinct as three men are, nor are they but three manifestations of one person. The idea is best comprehended through the Scriptural teachings.

 

I. THE DENIAL OF THE TRINITY

 

1. Unitarianism.

 

This position denies the deity of Christ. He is called a perfect man, sometimes a divine man, but not God. This view accepts the deity of the Father but rejects the personality of the Holy Spirit.

 

2. “Jesus only” doctrine.

 

This idea was held in some form by Swedenborg and is now held with variations by certain factions. It holds that Jesus is the only divine person and that the Father is the divine side and the Son the human side of his nature. This view also rejects the personality of the Holy Spirit.

 

3. Modern liberalism.

 

Much is classed under this title. The degree of doubt often reaches coarse infidelity, yet parading as Christian. The attack is directed chiefly against Christ. We state it as follows: (a) Denial of the virgin birth. (b) Disbelief in the divine consciousness of Christ. (c) Denial of the miracles of Christ. (d) Disputing his bodily resurrection.

 

II. THE THREE PERSONS

 

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are referred to as separate persons. The lesson text gives examples of this.

 

1. The baptismal formula (Matthew 28:19).

 

Here all three are named separately, clearly showing that they are separate persons. That one is to be baptized in the name of all three shows that they are separate persons and suggest that they are of equal rank. This formula expresses the authority by which we are baptized.

 

2. The baptism of Christ (Matthew 3:16, 17).

 

Her all three are present and mentioned. The Holy Spirit descends upon Christ, and the Father recognized Christ as his son.

 

3. Christ regards himself as distinct from the Father (John 17).

 

Surely Christ did not pray to himself. Nor was it his human nature praying to his divine nature. This distinction is expressed repeatedly in John 5:17–23.

 

III. THE DEITY OF CHRIST

 

1. His claims.

   

Christ made claims that must be regarded as claims to divinity. Either these claims are true or they are false. A) The Son of God. On several occasions Christ claimed to be the Son of God (John 5:25). All Christians are called sons of God (1 John 3:2), but his claim is unique. Christ did not put himself, by his claim on an equality with us, but with the Father. The people so understood him (John 5:18), and the Jews sought to stone him for this claim which they regarded as blasphemy. He was finally tried and condemned on this charge which he admitted under oath (Matthew 26:63–66). B) Divine authority. He claims power to forgive sins—a power the Jews rightly judged belongs to God only (Matthew 9:2–6). He also proclaimed himself judge of all (Matthew 25:31–46), a right belonging only to omniscient God. He was all He claimed to be.

 

2. His birth, life, resurrection.

 

A) The virgin birth. The idea of the virgin birth is held by critics to be unimportant, yet they go to considerable labor to discredit it. It is supposed to be borrowed from heathen legends about their gods. The heathen have god-families and divine-human offspring, but no virgin birth. The idea is not borrowed but is original in the bible this doctrine is important because it is Scriptural (Matthew 1:18–23).