In the Beginning: The Trinity “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 The LOGICAL Question •Is the doctrine of the Trinity illogical? •How can 1+1+1=1??? •If there is a contradiction, what should we do? The LOGICAL Question •There is no contradiction with the logic of the doctrine of the Trinity. •The issue is not logical (problem with logic). •The issue is analogical (problem with analogy). The LOGICAL Question The Trinity in Mathematical Terms (for illustration) •The Church has historically taught: •P+P+P=G (This is completely logical) •The Church does not teach: •G+G+G=G (This is illogical and contradictory) The LOGICAL Question •The Church has always carefully maintained that all three Persons are fully divine because they share in one essential being. •There are not three beings (three gods) but one indivisible being (one God). The LOGICAL Question •The problem (what seems illogical to us) is not in the logic, it is in the lack of analogy (analogical). •There is something to this teaching about God that lacks analogy to anything else in human experience. The Trinity is without Analogy •We understand complex things by making analogies to things we are familiar with. •In human experience, there is no analogy that we can use to get comfortable with One God in Three Persons. The Trinity is without Analogy •Analogies that break down: • Water current: ground-spring, fountain, stream • Three Leaf Clover • Love only exists where: there is one who is love, one who loves, and the love itself • Egg: shell, white, yoke • Grandfather, father, son • Three dimensions of space • Apple: core, skin, flesh The Trinity is without Analogy •All analogies of the Trinity break down and if followed to their conclusion teach a heresy. •That’s why Augustine, when using an analogy always gave a disclaimer that his analogies were merely hints of the Trinity’s likeness shadowed in creation, but wholly inadequate as actual comparisons. The Doctrine of the Trinity 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) God the Father is God. God the Son is God. God the Holy Spirit is God. The Father is not the Son. The Son is not the Spirit. The Spirit is not the Father. Nevertheless, there is only one God. The Doctrine of the Trinity Augustine’s definition of the doctrine of the Trinity: “The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and each of these by Himself, is God, and at the same time they are all one God… The Father is not the Son nor the Holy Spirit; the Son is not the Father nor the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is not the Father nor the Son: but the Father is only Father, the Son is only Son, and the Holy Spirit is only Holy Spirit.” The Doctrine of the Trinity Definition of the Trinity: •“God is three persons in one essence. The Divine essence subsists wholly and indivisibly, simultaneously, and eternally, in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Old Testament Hints & Shadows • God (Elohim) is plural (Royal Plural is ruled out by plural verbs) • Gen 1:26, “Let Us, make man in Our image”. • Genesis 11:7 “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” • Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Old Testament Hints & Shadows • 3 Persons intimated in 1 text: • Isaiah 48:16 “Come near to Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.” • Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; New Testament Teaching •The Bible clearly states that there is but one God (Deut 6:4; Isa 43:10, 44:6, 44:8, 45:5). •Scripture plainly refers to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as God (Exo 20:2; Joh 20:28; Act 5:3,4). New Testament Teaching •The Bible teaches there is one God in three distinct Persons. •Each Person is distinct, in other words, the Father is distinct from the Son, and the Son is distinct from the Holy Spirit yet they are of one substance. The Trinity is Relational Language •“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” •Inside the Trinity from all eternity there was loving communication, community, and relationship. The Trinity is Relational Language John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. The Trinity is Relational Language •“No child was ever as one with his mother, no husband was ever as one with his wife, no soul was ever as one with its body as the Son was one with his Father.” Adoration of our Triune God •Any god who is not eternally Triune (Jehovah’s witnesses, Mormons, Islam just to name a few) is a defective god. •A god who is not Triune is a god who never loved. It is a needy god who had to create in order to love. Adoration of our Triune God •The God of the Bible, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, three persons is love. •Our God had perfect other focused love in eternity past. •God did not create in order to love, God created because God is love and always has been love. Adoration of our Triune God Hear – Believe – Live Our God is One Our God is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Bow down and worship Him alone.