The Trinity Ė Strategically Biblical
The Trinity is strategically biblical. The Elohim of Genesis 1:1, the plural form of the One God, is used over 2500 times in the Old Testament. Not surprisingly then, the us in Genesis 1:26, 3:22, and 11:7 suggests at least a duality of persons -- which other Old and subsequent New Testament texts clarify as the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Itís unreasonable to assume that the Old Testament, with its stringent emphasis on monotheism, would contradict itself by also teaching polytheism. Itís altogether consistent with Genesis 1:1, and succeeding texts, that the Trinity would be stressed repeatedly, though guardedly, in Moses and the prophets. Genesis 16:7-14, Exodus 3:2-7, Deuteronomy 18:18, Joshua 5:13-15 and Judges 6:12-25 offer a few examples.
The Trinity Ė Distinctively Christian
With many references to the Holy Spirit, God, and Jesus as three distinct persons (Matthew 28:19, Romans 1:1-4, 1 Peter 1:1-2, Revelation 1:4-5), New Testament writers happily realized and publicized what their ancient associates anticipated. Which is expected if the Bible is true history: forecast first, then implementation; shadow first, then substance; type first, then anti-type. Equally important, the New Testamentís view of the Trinity harmonizes with Old Testament expectations: the Father originates and the Son executes through the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit particularly reinforces the Old Covenantís emphasis. Genesis 1:1-2 notes that the Holy Spirit created life from a dark, formless, empty deep. In Romans 8:11, Paul notes that the Holy Spirit re-creates life from old human natures. If, in the one He organized physical elements, and in the other spiritual beings, creation was and is His work. And, as from His brooding over the chaos, all succeeding fertility and order derives, so now, from His convicting of and residence in the converted, all spiritual life comes.
The Trinity Ė Inherently Essential
We cannot logically say that the Trinity is undecipherable and, therefore, unacceptable. Much of the everyday life in the universe, including weather patterns, crop growth, conception and birth remain mysterious, but acceptable; inexplicable, but believable. Nor should we make the mistake of Michael Servetus, who charged the doctrine with being philosophically indefensible. A doctrine doesnít have to be philosophically defensible to be biblical. The mechanics of Christís blood shed to forgive sin is just one example. All the theological theories of atonement postulated canít make forgiveness more secure than merely believing it true because Jesus said so!
The word god has meaning to all who speak or conjure it, if itís only an animist pleading for protection from evil spirits. The biblical God certainly has meaning as He defines it, with our understanding of self and the world tied to Godís definition. He is one nature or essence expressed in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each is co-equal and co-eternal with the other. They live in total, unreserved, perfect love that is absolutely whole, lacking and needing nothing -- not even a universe of creatures, not even humanity for fellowship. Most importantly, God did create the universe, with humanity made in His image as its climax, because LOVE must be shared, expressed, and dramatized. Furthermore, humanity derives all its notions of fellowship, togetherness, association, and relationships from the Trinity as their flawless model.
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