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October 19, 2020 2:00 am
The doctrine of the Trinity can be one of the most confusing doctrines to understand. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Dive into this mystery with Skip as he shares the message "I Don't Get It! How Can Three Be One?"
This teaching is from the series The Biography of God.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
It's not that easy to be able to relate to someone who is all-knowing and all-powerful everywhere present, perfectly holy.
He is so like us to relate to him we find difficult. The greatest of all conundrums in my view is this one get it one was one with one equals one. This new math. Very few topics about God or causes much controversy and confusion as the Trinity is God's regards were just one today on connect with script-Skip tackles this challenging topic. Exploring the Bible reveals about the Trinity with the Trinity reveals to you about God's nature cures resource that draws on philosophy and science to help you understand who God is and how you can know him on a deeper level. Can you imagine reading a biography about your life, only to find details about your life that were wrong felt it would be frustrating, wouldn't God's nature, character and motives have often been poorly portrayed, and even intentionally misstated. That's one of the reasons I decided to write the book, the biography of God to open your eyes and heart to a larger picture of God. I hope you will go on this journey with me as we ask and answer the universal question. Can we know God. Here's how to get your copy of my newest book, the biography of God. The biography of God is our way to say thank you you give $35 or more today to help expand this Bible teaching outreach. The more people request your copy when you give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer or call 800-922-1888. Okay, let's get into today's teaching in Matthew chapter 20 as we begin our study with skip. I read about a man who was imprisoned and in solitary confinement in a place where he was at the solitary confinement meant a pitch black cell there was no light at all.
It's kind of place it would drive anybody nuts. This man had one single object. One thing he owned and I was a marble and he brought it in the solitary confinement in this dark prison cell, somebody would do to relieve the tension. The boredom is to throw the marble against the wall of the cell it would hit the ground all around. He would find it and then he would do it all over again. Day in and day out to relieve the boredom. One day he thought I have done this enough. I need to try some new so we thought in the dark.
He would throw the marble straight up in the air and then try to catch it in the dark so he threw it up and he waited and he heard nothing in That he thought maybe he missed it, but he didn't hear a drop. He searched the floor with his hands didn't find it any thought. How on earth did that thing just disappear while it drove him nuts. He went into madness and eventually he died in the guards who came to pull his body out of the cell. One of them noticed the light got his attention. He looked up he saw something really unusual. He saw a marble caught in the spiderweb in the prison guard said.
I don't get it. How did that spider managed to take that marble and put it all the way up there. While all of us have marbles in our lives. Questions that we can answer ministries that are unsolved and we stumble for answers in the dark and today were dealing with the greatest theological marble of all times and that is the Trinity. How can 3B1 we been doing a series as you know on the biography of God and one maybe overarching truth that we've discovered is that it's not that easy to be able to relate to someone who is all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere present, perfectly holy. He is so unlike us that to relate to him.
We find it difficult the greatest of all conundrums in my view is this three in one set of get one plus one plus one equals one is this new math. It's also an issue whenever you try to share your faith with a Jewish person Muslim a Jehovah witness a Mormon Unitarian. We find it difficult and they have lots of questions about that and then we in ourselves. Wonder questions like will. Who should I pray to address my part of the father do I address my prayer to Jesus or the Holy Spirit or all three at the same time if I don't give attention to one over the other with the other be offended or perhaps some of thoughts. When I traded these three persons aren't they just really three different names for the same person.
Are there really three distinct beings. And I know that there been all sorts of formulas that have been created to help us with it. I just want to caution any of us to not trivialize the transcendent God into a clever little formula whether you say God is sort of like an egg where you got that shell and the why and the yoke but it's when a dork he's like an apple with the scan in the core and the meteor he's like water can exist in three different states of vapor and liquid and solid and I know that those are simply finite ways to try to reach out and deal with infinite God, but they all fall short. They are inadequate and I will say right up front. I get this out on the table.
I don't completely understand this right.
I can't totally explain it and I don't trust anybody who will tell me they do understand it and they can totally explain.
This is one of those mysteries that we approach with great humility this morning.
What I'd like to do in this text is look at it and painted with two truth statements to statements statements that are principles that emerge from the text, but would you hang everything today on these two statements in the first is this the natural resists the supernatural. The natural resists the supernatural and the second truth is the scriptural remedies. The natural now let's look at the first the natural resists the supernatural. Let's look at these verses together and get a sense of what's happening. Verse 16 then the 11 disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. And low I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Seems that these disciples had always struggled with supernatural truth from the moment they met Jesus alter that Trina half your ministry. There are there are instances in which their natural mind struggled with supernatural truth. For example, when Jesus announced that he was going to Jerusalem and he would be crucified but he would rise the third day. Peter immediately piped up and said, far be it from you, Lord. This will not happen to you it again. It wasn't connecting the dots on another occasion Jesus announced that he would ascend into heaven, and he would return later and it would can, it was peters that how come I can't follow you.
Now, or the time when Jesus announced to his disciples where I'm going, you know, and the way you know it was Thomas who said excuse me, but we don't know where you're going, so how can we know the way there's so many of these occurrences were they just didn't grasp the supernatural that was happening in the midst of the natural and by the way, this is the biblical principle in first Corinthians chapter 2 verse 14, Paul says the natural man does not receive the things of the spirit of God. Okay, so here in our text. This is after the resurrection. Everybody among the group of the disciples they were abuzz.
He got hacked again and it's been out to the three weeks since the resurrection is happened.
By the time we get to the story but did you notice in verse 17 that strange mixture of worship and doubt they got to this mountain and Jesus came and they worship but says some doubted. There it is again the struggle of the natural with the supernatural. I do know what was going on in their minds.
Maybe they thought. Is this in imposters is really another person, did he really rise from the dead. Or maybe he didn't die whatever was some doubted. And there's a principal there. We who are confined to the natural, often struggle with the supernatural, so if you have ever struggled with the concept of three in one of the Trinity to say you're in good company.
Great company in ancient times and in modern times.
Modern theologians still have trouble with this one. RT Kendall theologian said the Trinity is the most difficult subject.
In Christian theology, and by the end of the day. In studying this you will feel like you're still out to see Dr. Billy Graham said the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches us that God is one, but he's manifested in three persons. Don't ask me to explain it.
I can't some possible for me.
I accepted by faith than years ago St. Augustine was walking on the beach one day and you struggling with three and 13 and one. How does this work is trying to explain the Trinity understand the Trinity that he might explain it is in his walk on the beach and he saw little boy with a bucket a little pale regarding water and put water in it dump into a hole in the sand that he had on the shore so and up to the little boy and said what are you doing. He said I he announced confidently.
I am putting that ocean in this whole and Augustine realizable that's what I've been trying to do. I've been trying to take this vast ocean of transcendent truth of God and stuff it in this whole called my brain and it won't fit is just a point at which it is mysterious but true, take you back to 1966 I was alive then. Some of you were to 1966.
The Gallup organization took a poll of Americans, and they discovered in 1966 that 92% of Americans claim to believe in God, a high amount of 92%.
They claim to believe in God, 83% believed that there were three persons in one God they believed in the Trinity, 83% of those who claim to believe in God would take us up to the modern era, and I would simply announce to you that this whole issue of the Trinity is becoming less important to American Christians and no I don't have the exact status of this year. I'll say this is not thought about very much. It's hardly ever taught from pulpits in fact there was one member of a law, a lifelong member of the denominational church, a mainline evangelical church.
She grew up in the church.
She said I never remember hearing even one whole sermon from the pulpit or in Sunday school on the Trinity, some churches have what is called Trinity Sunday, and it's sort of a long-standing tradition in Western denominational churches, many of them have a Trinity Sunday. Historically is the first Sunday after Pentecost. That's the Sunday that the preacher gets up and says something about the Trinity. Well, one Christian leader was visiting a church was Episcopal Church and was Trinity Sunday and expected sermon on the Trinity and get one a talk to the director about it afterwards.
Director stated well.
The Trinity is something just for pastors to think about ordinary people don't have to bother with it. I may remind you of something the truth need only be untaught for one generation for it to get lost. The truth need only be untaught for one generation for it to be lots were always just one generation away from losing salient truth, yet the Trinity is criticized by many, not all believe in it.
It is sometimes criticized semantically because the word Trinity isn't in the Bible. It's a very weak argument because I guess what I believe in the Trinity, because when I read the Bible. I never come across the word Trinity my answer. So what the term second coming isn't in the Bible, but I believe it's gonna happen. The word rapture isn't in the New Testament, but it's described the word millennium is and in the New Testament, but the terms thousand years is and the word Bible is in the Bible, but I only want so to say that I can't believe in anything unless it has the exact verbal expression of that term in the Scripture is a very ludicrous argument.
The teaching of the Trinity is throughout the biblical concept that expresses what the Bible teaches, then there is the criticism religiously goes like this will you know there's a lot of religious groups that have attacked the Trinity lots for my whole point.
The reason they have attacked the Trinity is whenever you turn on the porch light bugs, whenever you turn on any light of any truths from the Bible expect there to be attacks in the apostolic era. The air of the apostles and the post-apostolic era was never an issue. They believed in hell two and taught three persons in one God, later on became challenged. Later on, and because it got challenged. The church had to respond to the challenge by issuing a creed from time to time, of what we believe the Bible teaches about the us and such, but it is true in the second century, something known as Monarch Unionism arose and Monarch Unionism is teaching that says what is not really three distinct persons, but you have three names for the same person.
That's another name for that is called modal is a more God exists in three different modes sometimes is the father sometimes is the sun sometimes is the Holy Spirit, but is not three distinct persons, but the same person with three different names. Then in the fourth century guy named Darius I told you about him before he came and denied the deity of Christ and the personality of the Holy Spirit, saying the spirits and impersonal force.
And Jesus was just a man, and thus there is no Trinity. During the Reformation, a group known as the Sicilians attacked what was going on.
The Protestant Reformation, saying that any teaching of a triune God is simply polytheism worship of many gods. Well all those ancient voices somehow get recycled and they get recycled and they become the modern voice rehashed of the cults. One of the hallmarks of any cult. Is this the denial of the triune nature of God, you'll find the cults deny the deity of Christ, the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit and the idea of the Trinity and this is what they say.
I've heard it dozens of times while the Trinity was actually developed around the fourth century up till that point was never believed in, but suddenly it emerged in the fourth century because of the influence of pagan philosophy, etc., that simply is not true. It is not true.
Historically it was developed in the Bible times and later on in the fourth century it was attacked and because it was attacked. The church articulated the position in what is called the Nicene Creed but Jehovah witnesses Mormons the way international Unitarians all are anti-Trinity there all anti-Trinitarian. They deny the Trinity. In fact, the Mormons will say that all of Christendom was wrong for 1800 years until they arrived and that they have come to be the gatekeepers of all truth.
The Muslims have problems with the Trinity.
According to the Muslims. The Trinity is not only illogical but it is the major sin that can be committed is the ultimate infidelity to the Muslim according to their teaching, and I quote infidels are now they who say God is the Messiah, the son of Mary, according to their teaching, God will be merciful or maybe merciful. If he chooses to adulterers and liars never to Trinitarian's and the sewer off the Koran's five it says whoever shall join other gods with God shut God shall forbid him the garden and his abode shall be the fire, and it continues the Messiah, the son of Mary is but an apostle. Why am I bringing all that up simply to say this, cults are making inroads into historic Christian groups at record speeds today will find the disenfranchised find the people who were burned out and Churchill knocked on your door and be right there in their growing in numbers and Islam is when the world's fastest-growing religions today and no wonder if people can say I've never once heard just one sermon on the Trinity ever preached one veteran Jehovah witness even said I have never before met a Trinitarian who actually seem to believe the doctrine I can only imagine he met a Christian and that another Christian is it okay to Trinity explain it to me okay will not explain it to be released to be Scripture about why I should believe it. So it's an interesting statement for someone to say I've never actually met someone who actually believed was pretty obvious. The natural resists the supernatural. The natural resists the supernatural in any area, were it not for God's gracious revelation in Scripture there be no hope for truth, but that's takes us to our second true statement. While the natural resists the supernatural. It's also true that the scriptural remedies. The natural 11 explain myself once Scripture becomes the source of truth. It corrects a natural worldview into a supernatural worldview once it's this book that we appeal to once it's this book we look up and everything goes back to what saith Scripture than that correction can take place from the natural into the supernatural and remedies that so much or notice something in verse 18 in the midst of their doubt about the supernatural. Just an interesting mix. They worship some doubted.
In the midst of all that Jesus shows up to speak to them.
Verse 18 Jesus came and spoke to them saying all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth cannot I just suggest that we do this with this Trinity doctrine we going to notice Trinity than what I do you let God come to you and speak to you through the Scripture. If you're doubting and let his Word be the final authority.
Notice something else.
In verse 19 that Jesus gives the marching orders. But in the marching orders. He includes a statement about the nature of the triune God. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit you know that when you and I go out to preach the gospel, the triune God is a partner with you. You enter into a secret partnership that all three members of the Trinity are very interested. It's what they're all about that's good message from the series the biography. Now do you want to pursue your education invisible studies to tell you about a unique and exciting ways you could do that.
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