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God The Trinity. The Godhead. Belief in the Existence of God. The belief that a divine being exists greater than man has been common to all cultures and civilizations. This has been due in part to the fact that man reasons there must be an explanation for our world and for human experience.

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god the trinity

God The Trinity

The Godhead

belief in the existence of god
Belief in the Existence of God
  • The belief that a divine being exists greater than man has been common to all cultures and civilizations.
  • This has been due in part to the fact that man reasons there must be an explanation for our world and for human experience.
  • Man seems intuitively, by his very religious nature, to reach out to some sort of higher being.
  • This also can be explained in part by the work of the Holy Spirit in the world which extends to every creature John 16:8-11
belief in the existence of god1
Belief in the Existence of God
  • This work is designated in theology as common grace, in contrast to the special work of the Spirit relating to man’s salvation, efficacious grace .
  • The modern phenomenon of many who claim to be atheists arises from the perversion of man’s mind and the denial that any rational explanation of the universe is possible.
  • The Bible declares an atheist to be a fool. Psalm 14:1
  • Ordinary men do not ask for proofs of their own existence nor the existence of material things which they recognize by their senses.
belief in the existence of god2
Belief in the Existence of God
  • Although God is unseen as to His person, His existence is so evident that men generally require no proofs for the fact of God.
  • Doubt of God’s existence is evidently due to man’s own perversity and blindness and to satanic influence.
  • The evidence for the existence of God in creation is so clear that rejection of it is the ground of condemnation of the heathen world which has not heard the Gospel. Romans 1:19-20
belief in the existence of god3
Belief in the Existence of God
  • The revelation of God through prophets before Scripture was written, and the revelation coming from Scripture, have to some degree penetrated the total consciousness of man today.
  • Although the world in general is ignorant of scriptural revelation, some concepts of God have pervaded the thinking of the entire world so that belief in some sort of a higher being is generally true even among men untouched directly by Scripture.
belief in the existence of god4
Belief in the Existence of God
  • Although ancient Greek philosophers were unfamiliar with Biblical revelation, some attempts were made to explain our universe on the basis of a higher being.
  • Various systems of thought have evolved:
    • polytheism, the belief in many gods;
    • hylozoism, that identifies the life principle found in all creation as being God Himself;
belief in the existence of god5
Belief in the Existence of God
    • materialism, which argues that matter is self-functioning according to natural law and no god is necessary to its functioning, a theory supporting modern evolutionism;
    • and pantheism which holds that God is impersonal and identical with nature itself, that God is immanent but not transcendent.
  • Many variations of these concepts of God exist.
belief in the existence of god6
Belief in the Existence of God
  • In arguing for the existence of God from the facts of creation apart from the revelation of Scripture, four general classes or lines of reason may be observed:
    • The ontologicalargument holds that God must exist because man universally believes that He exists.

This is sometimes called an a priori argument.

belief in the existence of god7
Belief in the Existence of God
  • The cosmological argument holds that every effect must have its sufficient cause and, therefore, the universe, which is an effect, must have a Creator as its cause.

Involved in this argument is the complexity of an ordered universe which could not have come into existence by accident.

belief in the existence of god8
Belief in the Existence of God
  • The teleological argument points out that every design must have its designer, and as the whole creation is intricately designed and interrelated, creation must have a great designer.

The fact that all things work together indicate that this designer must be one of infinite power and wisdom.

belief in the existence of god9
Belief in the Existence of God
  • Theanthropological argument argues from the nature and existence of man as being unexplained apart from creation by God who has a nature similar to, but greater than, man’s.

Involved in this is the fact that man has

intellect (mentality, capacity to think),

sensibility (emotion, capacity to feel),

will (volition, capacity to make moral choices).

belief in the existence of god10
Belief in the Existence of God
  • Although these arguments for the existence of God have considerable validity and man may be justly condemned by God for rejecting them, as written by Paul in Romans 1:18-20

they have not been sufficient to bring man into proper relationship to God or to produce a real faith in God unassisted by scriptural revelation.

  • It is in the Bible that the complete revelation of God is given, confirming all the facts found in nature but adding to natural revelation many truths which natural revelation could not have disclosed.
the unity of the divine trinity
The Unity of the Divine Trinity
  • In general, the Old Testament emphasizes the unity of God,

Exodus 20:3

Deuteronomy 6:4

Isaiah 44:6

  • a fact which is also taught in the New Testament.

John 10:30

John 14:9

John 17:11

John 17:22-23

Colossians 1:15

the unity of the divine trinity1
The Unity of the Divine Trinity
  • Both the Old Testament and to a greater extent the New Testament, however, also indicate that God exists as a Trinity –
  • Many believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is implicit in the use of the word elohim, as a name for God which is in a plural form and seems to refer to the triune God.

God the Father

God the Son

God the Holy Spirit

the unity of the divine trinity2
The Unity of the Divine Trinity
  • Early in Genesis there are references to the Spirit of God, and the plural personal pronouns are used for God as in

Genesis 1:26

Genesis 3:22

Genesis 11:7

the unity of the divine trinity3
The Unity of the Divine Trinity
  • Frequently in the Old Testament there are distinctions within the nature of God in terms of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
  • Isaiah 7:14 speaks of the Son as the Immanuel,

“God with us,”

who was to be distinct from the Father and the Spirit.

  • This Son is called in Isaiah 9:6

“the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”

the unity of the divine trinity4
The Unity of the Divine Trinity

Psalm 2:7

"I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, `Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee.

  • It is His purpose to have His Son as the supreme sovereign over the earth.
  • God is also distinguished from the Holy Spirit as in Psalm 104:30
the unity of the divine trinity5
The Unity of the Divine Trinity
  • To these evidences may be added all the references to the Angel of Jehovah, which indicate the

appearances of the Son of God in the Old Testament as one sent by the Father,

and references to the Spirit of the Lord as the Holy Spirit distinct from the Father and the Son.

the unity of the divine trinity6
The Unity of the Divine Trinity
  • Here in the Person of Jesus Christ is God incarnate,

conceived by the Holy Spirit

and yet Son of God the Father.

  • At the baptism of Jesus, the distinctions in the Trinity are evident

with God the Father speaking from heaven,

the Holy Spirit descending like a dove

and Jesus Himself being baptized.

Matthew 3:16-17

the unity of the divine trinity7
The Unity of the Divine Trinity
  • These distinctions in the Trinity are also observed in such passages as John 14:16 where the Father and Comforter are distinguished from Christ Himself
  • and in Matthew 28:19 where the disciples are instructed to baptize believers “in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
  • Any departure from this is considered a departure from scriptural truth.
the unity of the divine trinity8
The Unity of the Divine Trinity
  • Although the word “trinity” does not occur in the Bible, the facts of scriptural revelation permit no other explanation.
  • While the doctrine of the Trinity is a central fact of Christian faith, it is also beyond human comprehension and has no parallel in human experience.
  • It is best defined as holding that, while God is one, He exists as three persons.
the unity of the divine trinity9
The Unity of the Divine Trinity

Jesus Christ is the unique person of the Godhead in that He is both God and Man

co-infinite

co-eternal

co-equal

the unity of the divine trinity10
The Unity of the Divine Trinity
  • This is called in theology the doctrine of procession,

the order is never reversed

  • The Son never sends the Father
  • The Spirit never sends the Son.
  • There is no illustration or parallel in human experience.
  • The doctrine should be accepted by faith on the basis of scriptural revelation even if it is beyond human comprehension and definition.
the names of god
The names of god
  • “Jehovah” or “Yahweh” - the name of God applied only to the true God.
  • The name first appears in connection with the Creation in Genesis 2:4

LORD [ hw`hy+Yahweh ]

God [ <yh!ýa$Elohim ]

  • The meaning of the name is defined in Exodus 3:13-14 as the “I am that I am,”

The self-existent, eternal God

the names of god1
The names of god
  • The most common name for God in the Old Testament is elohim, a word which is used both for the true God and for gods of the heathen world.
  • This name is introduced in Genesis 1:1
the names of god2
The names of god

<yh!ýa$ Elohim

  • The meaning of this name has been debated

the “strong one”

being one to be feared or reverenced.

  • Because it is in a plural form, it seems to include all the Trinity, although it can also be used of individual Persons of the Trinity.
the names of god3
The names of god
  • The third name for God in the Old Testament is adonai,

“master” or “lord”

  • Used not only of God as our Master but also of men who are masters over their servants.
  • It is frequently joined by elohim, as in Genesis 15:2
  • It emphasizes the fact that God is our Master or Lord.
  • The most frequent is Jehovah Elohim or Adonai Elohim.
the names of god4
The names of god
  • Jehovah-jireh, meaning “the Lord will provide”

Genesis 22:13-14

  • Jehovah-rapha, “the Lord who healeth”

Exodus 15:26

  • Jehovah-nissi, “the Lord my banner”

Exodus 17:8-15

the names of god5
The names of god
  • Jehovah-shalom, “the Lord our peace”

Judges 6:24

  • Jehovah-tsidkenu, “the Lord our righteousness”

Jeremiah 23:6

  • Jehovah-shammah, “the Lord is present”

Ezekiel 48:35

the names of god6
The names of god
  • In the New Testament additional titles of God are found
  • The First Person being distinguished as “the Father”
  • The Second Person distinguished as “the Son”
  • The Third Person distinguished as “the Holy Spirit”
the attributes of god
The attributes of god
  • God is a Spirit

John 4:24

  • God is life

John 5:26

  • God is self-existent

Exodus 3:14

  • God is infinite

Psalm 145:3

the attributes of god1
The attributes of god
  • God is immutable or changeless
  • God is truth

Psalm 102:27

Malachi 3:6

James 1:17

Deuteronomy 32:4

John 17:3

the attributes of god2
The attributes of god
  • God is love

1 John 4:8

  • God is eternal

Psalm 90:2

  • God is holy

1 Peter 1:16

1 John 1:5

the attributes of god3
The attributes of god
  • God is omnipresent
  • God is omniscient

Psalm 147:4-5

  • God is omnipotent

Matthew 19:26

Psalm 139:8

Jeremiah 23:23-24

the attributes of god4
The attributes of god
  • Variations of these attributes can be seen in the fact that
  • All perfections are ascribed to God to infinity
  • His works as well as His being are perfect

God is good

God is merciful

God is sovereign

the attributes of god5
The attributes of god
  • The great detail and design of the universe are evidence of His
  • His plan of salvation, as revealed in the Scriptures, is evidence of His
  • No aspect of creation is too large for Him to be in complete control,
  • No detail, even to the falling of a sparrow, is too small to be included in His sovereign plan.

Sovereignty

Power

Wisdom

Love

Righteousness

Grace

the sovereignty of god
The sovereignty of god
  • The attributes of God make clear that God is supreme over all.
  • He yields to no other power, authority or glory, and is not subject to any absolute greater than Himself.
  • He represents perfection to an infinite degree in every aspect of His being.
  • He can never be

surprised

defeated

uncertain

the sovereignty of god1
The sovereignty of god
  • It has pleased God to give to men a measure of freedom of choice [ volition ], and for the exercise of this choice God holds man responsible.
  • It is clear from Scripture that men do not turn to God apart from the moving of His Spirit in their hearts.

John 16:7-11

John 6:44

the sovereignty of god2
The sovereignty of god
  • Man is held responsible for unbelief and is commanded to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved.

Acts 16:31

  • It is also true that in the affairs of men, especially of Christians, God works to accomplish His will.

Philippians 2:13

the sovereignty of god3
The sovereignty of god
  • Yet He does not force men to yield themselves to God but rather beseeches them to do so.

Romans 12:1-2

  • The fact that God has given to men certain freedom does not introduce an element of uncertainty into the universe
  • God anticipates in advance and knows to infinity all that man will do in response to the divine and human influences which come into his life.
the decree of god
The decree of god
  • The sovereign purpose of God is defined theologically as the decree of God
  • The decree of God includes those events which God does Himself and also includes all that God accomplishes through natural law, over which He is completely sovereign.
  • More difficult to comprehend is the fact that His sovereign decree also extends to all the acts of men
the decree of god1
The decree of god
  • It is evident that the all-wise God, having complete knowledge of what man would do in his freedom, in electing to give man freedom of choice does not introduce any element of uncertainty.
  • The divine plan included permitting man to sin as Adam and Eve did with all the resultant acts of sin.
the decree of god2
The decree of god
  • It included the divine remedy of Christ dying on the cross and all the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing men to repentance and faith.
  • The Bible is plain that on the one hand what man does has been included in God’s eternal decree

and on the other hand man operates with freedom of choice and is held responsible for his choices.

the decree of god3
The decree of god
  • The decree of God is not fatalism

– a blind, mechanical control of all events –

but is an intelligent, loving, and wise plan in which man, responsible for his choices, is held accountable for what he does and rewarded for his good works.

the decree of god4
The decree of god
  • The decree of God may be divided into subdivisions such as
    • His decree to create,
    • His decree to preserve the world,
    • His decree of providence,
the decree of god5
The decree of god
  • His decree includes
    • the promises or covenants of God,
    • the dispensations or outworkings of God’s purpose,
    • and supremely His grace manifested toward man.
  • Before such a God, man can only bow in submission, love and adoration.
slide47
1. How can we account for the common belief in the existence of God?

Answer: This has been due in part to the fact that man reasons there must be an explanation for our world and for human experience, and that a being greater than man would serve to explain this. Man seems intuitively, by his very religious nature, to reach out to some sort of higher being. This also can be explained in part by the work of the Holy Spirit in the world which extends to every creature, a work which is designated in theology as common grace.

2. Why is atheism unreasonable?

Answer: Ordinary men do not ask for proofs of their own existence nor the existence of material things which they recognize by their senses. Although God is unseen as to His person, His existence is so evident that men generally require no proofs for the fact of God. Doubt of God’s existence is evidently due to man’s own perversity and blindness and to satanic influence.

slide48
3. How clear is the revelation of God in nature?

Answer: The evidence for the existence of God in creation is so clear that rejection of it is the ground of condemnation of the heathen world which has not heard the Gospel. According to Romans 1:19-20, their condemnation is, “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

4. Define four systems of thought which attempt to explain the universe on the basis of a higher being.

(1) polytheism, the belief in many gods;

(2) hylozoism, that identifies the life principle found in all creation as being God Himself;

(3) materialism, which argues that matter is self-functioning according to natural law and no god is necessary to its functioning, a theory supporting modern evolutionism;

(4) pantheism which holds that God is impersonal and identical with nature itself, that God is immanent but not transcendent.

slide49
5. What is the ontological argument for the existence of God?

Answer: The ontological argument holds that God must exist because man universally believes that He exists.

6. What is the cosmological argument for the existence of God?

Answer: The cosmological argument holds that every effect must have its sufficient cause and, therefore, the universe, which is an effect, must have a Creator as its cause.

7. What is the teleological argument for the existence of God?

Answer: The teleological argument points out that every design must have its designer, and as the whole creation is intricately designed and interrelated, creation must have a great designer.

8. What is the anthropological agreement for the existence of God?

Answer: The anthropological argument argues from the nature and existence of man as being unexplained apart from creation by God who has a nature similar to but greater than man’s.

slide50
9. To what extent does the Old and New Testament emphasize the unity of God?

Answer: Both the Old Testament and to a greater extent the New Testament, however, also indicate that God exists as a Trinity God, the Father,

God, the Son,

God, the Holy Spirit.

10. To what extend does the Old Testament teach the doctrine of the Trinity?

Answer: Plural personal pronouns are used for God. Frequently in the Old Testament there are distinctions within the nature of God in terms of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. To these evidences may be added all the references to the Angel of Jehovah, which indicate the appearances of the Son of God in the Old Testament as one sent by the Father, and references to the Spirit of the Lord as the Holy Spirit distinct from the Father and the Son.

slide51
11. To what extend does the New Testament teach the doctrine of the Trinity?

Answer: In the Person of Jesus Christ is God incarnate, conceived by the Holy Spirit and yet Son of God the Father. At the baptism of Jesus, the distinctions in the Trinity are evident with God, the Father speaking from heaven, the Holy Spirit descending like a dove and lighting upon Him, and Jesus Himself being baptized.

12. Distinguish the doctrine of the Trinity from tritheism.

Answer: The Trinity is best defined as holding that, while God is one, He exists as three persons.

Tritheism is a belief in three God\'s.

13. Why is the Trinity not to be explained as three modes of existence of God?

Answer: The Trinity must not be explained as three modes of existence, that is, one God manifesting Himself in three ways, because the Trinity is essential to the being of God and is more than a form of divine revelation.

slide52
14. Explain how the Trinity is distinguished by certain properties.

Answer: The First Person of the Trinity is called the Father. The Second Person is called the Son and is sent forth by the Father. The Third Person is the Holy Spirit who is sent forth by the Father and the Son. This is called in theology the doctrine of procession.

15. State and define the three most important names for God in the Old Testament.

1) The first name, “Jehovah” of “Yahweh” is the name of God applied only to the true God.

2) The most common name for God in the Old Testament is elohim, a word which is used both for the true God and for gods of the heathen world.

3) The third name for God in the Old Testament is adonai, which commonly means “master” or “lord” and is used not only of God as our Master but also of men who are masters over their servants.

slide53
16. What are some of the compound names for God in the Old Testament?

Jehovah-jireh, meaning “the Lord will provide”

Jehovah-rapha, “the Lord who healeth”

Jehovah-nissi, “the Lord my banner”

Jehovah-shalom, “the Lord our peace”

Jehovah-tsidkenu, “the Lord our righteousness”

Jehovah-shammah, “the Lord is present”

17. What are the distinguishing titles of the three persons of the Trinity in the New Testament?

First person – God, the Father

Second person – God, the Son

Third person – God, the Holy Spirit

slide54
18. Name some of the important attributes of God as revealed in Scripture.

Answer: God is a Spirit, God is life, God is self-existent, God is infinite, God is immutable or changeless, God is truth, God is love, God is eternal, God is holy, God is omnipresent God is omniscient, God is omnipotent

19. What is meant by the sovereignty of God?

Answer: God is supreme over all. He yields to no other power, authority or glory, and is not subject to any absolute greater than Himself.

20. What is meant by the decree of God?

Answer: The sovereign purpose of God is defined theologically as the decree of God, referring to the comprehensive plan that includes all events of every classification which will occur.

slide55
21. How can the decree of God be subdivided?

Answer: His decree to create, His decree to preserve the world, His decree of providence, or His wise guidance of the universe.

22. How can the decree of God be distinguished from fatalism?

Answer: The decree of God is not fatalism – a blind, mechanical control of all events – but is an intelligent, loving, and wise plan in which man, responsible for his choices, is held accountable for what he does and rewarded for his good works.

23. Why does the Biblical revelation of God demand our submission, love and adoration in relation to Him?

Answer: His decree includes the promises or covenants of God, the dispensations or outworkings of God’s purpose, and supremely His grace manifested toward man.

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