Tue, March 15, planting time. 2022.
Grace to you this morning.
When I think about it, I suspect this trinity thing is part of the spiritual warfare we’re engaged in. Let me explain.
My morning prayer is for a spirit of wisdom and understanding, in the realization of God.
Now, regarding the trinity, my “main” scripture will be what John the baptists once said…
“BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD”. — That works for me. I want to see God. I want to see His Son. I want to “behold” this one who “takes away the sin of the world”
I got into it last night with a freewiller/trinity guy. Those two always seem to go together for some reason.
He was insistent that Jesus is “God” in every way, and every sense imaginable.
So, like a fool, I thought he wanted to discuss some, perhaps, big ideas… but NO… he wanted to straighten my butt out regarding this pet doctrine of his.
In one sense, I don’t thing it’s a big thing to believe or not believe in the “trinity”… But here’s where I think it’s important… I COR 15: 1-4… We believe Christ died and rose the third day for the forgiveness of sins. Believe it or not, THIS is a trinity verse. Or rather, an “anti-trinity” verse.
You see, those trinity guys actually believe that Christ did not die when He died. They insist that since Christ is some mystical 2nd person of some mystical “trinity”… and is every bit as much “God” as “God is… then, the “2nd person of the trinity” cannot die… so, they say “His body died, but He did not die”… and thus they muddy the waters when it comes to fully appreciating the fact that Christ did not deem it pillaging to be equal with the Father but left His estate and humbled Himself and became a man, and was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore… check it out… wherefore, God HIGHLY EXALTED Him. And gave Him a name above all names… so that… at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow. And guess what… every tongue will acclaim: Jesus is Lord. What a mouthful… but it doesn’t stop… all this happens to the “Glory of God the Father.”
It all kinda starts with this idea that Christ DIED for us. And if you’re not clear that the dead are dead, you kind of don’t see what we’re seeing. This is a matter of faith.
Christ died for our sins. Died. Dead. Kaput. Out of here. No more. This is serious. We’re not kidding around. Even the 11 apostles and the women were in no mood to for some screw ball coming along and saying “He is risen”… this is serious. Stop it. Can’t you see that we’re grieving here??????
So, I think, in a practical way, that the place to start in understanding trinity VS non-trinity… is in understanding DEATH… And Christ died for our sins.
So, in looking into the Bible’s teaching on “death” we have to factor in the ole favorite of man-made religion: the belief in the “immortal soul”.
So, I’m thinking you can’t look at the “trinity” without also looking at the nature of death and the teaching of the immortal soul. I.E. Christ died for our sins.
Now I admit that for many years of my epic journey into this faith… I kind of bought into the trinity stuff. I never did understand it, but I had no arguments with it. And I definitely bought into the “immortal soul” stuff. And because of this, I secretly wondered “What’s the big deal about the resurrection?”
You see, if Jesus had an “immortal soul”… He wasn’t really dead, when He was dead… And this resurrection thing was just a show, an act, not something we should take seriously. And guess what… most churches DON’T TAKE THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION SERIOUSLY.
They hardly mention the cross in their sermons. Oh yeah, they’re kind of forced to talk about it on Easter… but “Let’s get this over with” is their attitude.
Take a peek… Paul was different, he was all about the cross. He wouldn’t shut up about it. It was like his opening thought, his closing thought, and everything in the middle he was relating to God’s work in Christ’s cross.
So much so that he bragged: I HAVE DETERMINED TO KNOW NOTHING AMONG YOU SAVE CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED.
When Paul was out yakking with the Greek Stoic Philosophers in Athens… He couldn’t leave it alone. He was all about “God gives life and breath and all to all, and by the way, God raised His boy from the dead.” (Acts 17) — And they be like “Get this nut job out of here.”
So, if you can get in your mind that Christ DIED and was really dead… before God raised Him from the dead, then you get a better idea of the plan and purpose of God altogether.
Those trinity guys, sure do hate it when you say “Christ died…”
I’m thinking here…
Can we go down this road… that if Christ didn’t really die, then He didn’t really die for our sins, as well, right?
Oh my God, my brain is hurting… hang on… maybe a refill on my coffee will help:
6:00 a.m. (and it’s still dark out.)
Sure those trinity guys have plenty of verses to back up there claim that there is this thing called a “trinity” — but somehow they jump to a wild ass conclusion that if you don’t agree with them in this trinity thing, you’re going to hell.
My oh my.
And when you look at their supporting verses for the trinity… they’re mostly inconclusive. Vague. Inference. And at best, figurative language. Nothing that you’d want to send someone to hell over, (seems to me.)
Keep in mind, Christ died for our sins and was raised the third day… and that is the topic and real discussion here. Don’t be sidetracked into useless rabbit holes. Christ died for our sins, and it means something. He was raised the third day and it means something. In fact, it means everything. It changes everything.
When we’re chatting about whether or not we should use trinity language…
OK… I can agree with Christ’s “pre-existence”. And I can look at all those verses they bring up which seem to back up their trinity notion. But we talking the DEATH and RESURRECTION of Christ, here.
And if you are confused by the vagarity of the lingo used… so am I… Is there a difference between God and His Son? Well, yeahhhhhh. Did God create His Son? Wow, is that too much to ask? How about: When did God create His Son? REV 3:14 seems to say “at the beginning”. The same with COL 1:16.
REV 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
So, who is this Jesus? Well, He’s the “AMEN”… What, pray tell, does that mean? I confess, I’ve no idea. But He’s the Amen. So, let’s go with it.
Up next it says He is the “FAITHFUL AND TRUE WITNESS”… again, what’s that all about? I can understand Him being a faithful and true witness a bit more than Him being “the Amen”… these things are big, boys and girls. Bigger than my Kentucky fried brain.
Then… He says He’s “THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD.”…. Holy smoke, I think we got a big one on the line… what is this?
Dare we say that Jesus Christ is the “beginning of the creation of God”? No. No, say it isn’t so… those trinitarians will kick you out of fellowship “if you say that one more time… I mean it…”
So we say, “Please pass the potatoes and gravy.” instead.
Now, when we are looking at scriptures, it helps to keep in mind that there are plenty of figures of speech all over the word of God.
There is one figure of speech in which you say THIS IS THAT. (I forgot what this figure is called but it has a name.) For example “This cup is my blood” (THIS IS THAT)… “This bread is my body” (THIS IS THAT) … Etc.
Brother Bullinger has a lovely book on Figures of speech.
And keep in mind that often, we run into problems in our understanding when we don’t see the RELATIVE vs the ABSOLUTE.
You see, some things are RELATIVELY true… and some things are ABSOLUTELY true.
The “relative” might be true as to feeling. But not as to fact. Paul says “None are righteous, no not one”. (3 negatives in one sentence… wow.)
But John the baptist’s parents were “righteous” says the scripture.
Which is true?
Both, but in a different sense.
John’s parents were “righteous” relative to everyone else in their life… at the time of John’s birth. But Paul was right in the ABSOLUTE sense, in God’s eyes, NONE ARE RIGHTEOUS, NO NOT ONE.
So, don’t be afraid to cast your eyes on a passage of scripture and consider that it might be figurative language.
So is Christ literally “the beginning of creation” or was something created before Christ?
And REV 3:14 is not the only place where we find strange and wonderful language.
Check out COL 1:16… Christ is the “Firstborn of creation”. — wow… but again… don’t say that…just say “Pass the potatoes please.”
Again, we don’t want to stray too far down rabbit holes, let’s keep in mind CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS, WAS ENTOMBED AND WAS RAISE FROM THE DEAD ON THE THIRD DAY. And this means something. It changes everything.
If Christ was “the Firstborn of creation” and “The Beginning of creation” — it might be easier to see His role as our elder brother, with responsibilities toward the family as the “Firstborn”… right? Being “Firstborn” means among other things, that you are OBLIGATED to redeem kin who get into trouble, right? The kinsman redeemer plays a big part in our understanding of who Christ is and God’s purpose of the eons.
So the firstborn is obligated to redeem family if family gets into debt or prison. See the story of Ruth and Boaz. Ruth’s proper “kinsman” redeemer passed on his obligation and his name is blocked out of the story. It’s the way of things. If the proper kin does not redeem, his name is mud. But if the proper kinsman does what’s right (redeem) his name is exalted. As with Boaz.
And Christ, as our kinsman redeemer (Firstborn of creation) comes along and “humbles himself and becomes obedient unto death… wherefore… God gives him a name… and wow… Christ died FOR our sins… it’s part of the KINSMAN REDEEMER story.
And if Christ did not die (as our trinitarian friends suggest) then, neither are we redeemed.
What puzzles me the most, is why are these guys so insistent that we toe-the-line, regarding trinity language?
It’s to the point where I have been told I’m not saved unless I use trinity lingo.
Didn’t Paul say to Timothy… “Have a pattern of sound words”… and elsewhere… “Do not go beyond what is written” ???
So, if I don’t want to use clever trinity lingo like “God the Son” or “triune” … or all the other mystical, but non-scriptural phrases… why am I booted out of fellowship?
Is Jesus God? Sure. Is the term “God” used in a relative sense sometimes? Sure. Is it used in an absolute sense sometimes? Sure.
Did Jesus “have” a God? I think He says “My God” in His prayers from time to time.
Paul, in Ephesians even prays to “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”. — So why do they insists that we get the trinity lingo right?
I run back to the cross. What was accomplished there? Was death really death? Is the resurrection from the dead a really big deal? Did Christ die for our sins?
Are the notions of the “immortal soul” tied in with the cleverness of the “trinity” ???? They seem to be.
There is a wonderful essay over on Concordant.org called “WHAT IS DEATH?”
It’s right on the front page of their site.
And this is why we’re here chatting about the “trinity”… we want to see what was accomplished on the cross of Christ.
Did Christ “pre-exist” before He showed up in Bethlehem? Sure. Is He “eternal” like His Father? — Oh bother… that word “eternal” sure gets around a lot. It’s an English word ya know. There is no word like it, in the entire book of God. The word AION is sometimes translated “eternal”… but quite often it’s IMPOSSIBLE to translate it “eternal”… as the sentence might say “the end of the (AION)”… so it would look silly to slip in “eternal” on such a sentence.
Therefore I bugs me when we ascribe a rather new English word (“eternal” was invented by John Wyclife about 600 years ago) to God and/or His Son.
How about we ask if God is eonian? Hmmm… Yes, Romans 16:26 says as much.
What about if we ask if Jesus is eonian? Oh, my, let me think for a moment. Well, Hebrews 1:2 says the eons were made in the Son of God, so, I’d say YES Jesus is eonian.
Will I go to hell for believing Jesus is the “beginning of creation” (Rev 3:14) and for believing the “eternals” (GK aions) were made in Him?
So many questions, please, pass the potatoes and gravy.
Grace to you.
7:21 a.m. 37º out there, with a high of 60º expected.
I better scoot.