The Trinity • There is only one God. Deut. 6:4 • This one God exists in three eternal persons. Matt. 28:19 • These three persons are all equally God and distinct as persons.
Is the Trinity biblical? • “Trinity” is theological shorthand to talk about a collection of important related truths. • “trinitas” was coined for theology by Tertullian c. 200. • “persona” was also a Tertullian coinage. • A “person” is one with whom you can have a relationship.
The Trinity as Persons • The members of the Trinity are in relationship with one another (exactly what we see in Scripture). • Their relationship is a swirling vortex of joy. • We were created out of an overflow of love in the Trinity. • In the work of Jesus, we are brought into that relationship. • We have a relationship with each of the persons of the Trinity.
Trinitarian Question #1 Is Jesus fully God and fully Man? • The Bible reveals his full Godness. John 1:1 • The Bible reveals his full humanity. Heb. 4:15
Trinitarian Question #2 Is the Holy Spirit a “person” or a force? (Tim covered this in his first class.) • Jesus refers to the Spirit (neuter) as “him.” See John 14:17 and more. • He is constantly depicted as a person. • Acts 5:3 He can be lied to. • Acts 1:16 He speaks. • Acts 13:2 He gives commands.
Origin of the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit The church developed the doctrine of the Spirit, not to settle any theological controversy, but to make sense of their experience and relationship with the person of the Spirit himself.
The Church's Experience in the Bible • Galatians 3:1-6 Paul uses the Galatians' experience of the Holy Spirit as support for his argument that justification is by faith alone. • John 3:5-8 Jesus says that everyone who is born again will be born again by experience with the Spirit, who can be experienced, but not seen or touched.
Conclusion The Bible, Church history and Christian experience all testify that we: • Have a relationship with the person of the Spirit; • And that this relationship is not theoretical or merely theological but actual and experiential; • And that nothing in the Bible or the experience of the Church gives us any indication that anything has changed; • So, Christians should experience and seek an actual and experiential relationship with the Holy Spirit.