What We Believe Series: What We Believe As Baptist
Week #2 What We Believe About God
On Sunday January 22, 2017
Isaiah 45:5, 1 John 5:7, Isaiah 48:16-17, Deuteronomy 6:14, Genesis 1:1-31, Deut. 32:39, Matthew 3:16-17, John 17:20-26 Exodus 20:3, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Deuteronomy 4:35, 1 Kings 8:60, Ps 86:10, Isa. 43:10, Isaiah 45:21-22, Isaiah 44:6,
John 17:3, 1 Tim. 1:17, 1 Tim. 2:5
Article II of the Baptist Faith & Message: God
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
- Who God is not.
- The God of Scripture is not Allah, who is worshiped by Islam. Islam does not believe or worship Jesus as God. Also Islam does not believe God is a personal, loving God and he cannot be known. Christianity we do believe God is a personal and loving God who can be known. Islam does not believe Jesus is God or the son of God. Christianity does believe Jesus is God and the Son of God.
- The God of Scripture is not the god of the Buddhism. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not part of Buddhism.
- The God of Scripture is not the god of Hinduism. Hinduism believes in 330 million gods. Jesus is just a teacher or guru and He is not the son of God. The Holy Spirit is not part of Hinduism.
- The God of Scripture is not the god of the Mormons – they believe that as we are he once was and as he is we shall someday be.
- The God of Scripture is not the god of the Jehovah’s Witnesses – they deny the divinity of Christ and of the Holy Spirit and teach that the doctrine of the trinity is heresy.
- The God of Scripture is not the god of the New Agers – they believe God to be a higher force or some sort of cosmic energy. The God you and I believe in is not some nebulous, indeterminate blob of spiritual energy.
- The God of Scripture is not the god of sentimentality often referred to by Hollywood – “The sad truth is that many Americans have only a superficial idea of God. The God they imagine is not the living God of the Bible but more the product of sentimentality.”
- The God of the Bible is Jehovah God and only Jehovah God.
- There is only one true GOD.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Deuteronomy 4:35, 1 Kings 8:60, Deut. 32:39, Ps 86:10, Isa. 43:10,
Isaiah 45:5, Isaiah 45:21-22, Isaiah 44:6, John 17:3, 1 Tim. 1:17, 1 Tim. 2:5
- Any other god other than Jehovah God is a false and fake god.
Deuteronomy 32:17, 1 Corinthians 10:20
- The Trinity (3-in-1).
But Pastor Shane does this not contradict the one true God?
Many have used that to try to discredit the Bible and say look the Bible has an error or contradiction.
But when you study the original Hebrew language you find out that there is not any error or contradiction.
God is 3 distinct persons but only 1 God.
The word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible.
But the concept and the teaching of the Trinity is most certainly found and taught in Scripture.
This word is derived from the Greek trias, first used by Theophilus (A.D. 168-183), or from the Latin trinitas, first used by Tertullian (A.D. 155–220), to express this doctrine.
Tertullian was the first to use the word trinity in an effort to summarize a great amount of biblical truth.
So what is the doctrine of the Trinity?
- To say that God exists as a trinity does not mean there are three Gods. What God as the Trinity means – is that there is one God, who eternally exists as 3 distinct Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- The term Trinity is used to express the doctrine of the unity of God as subsisting in three distinct Persons but only 1 God (3-in-1 Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
- “Person” does not mean that God the Father or God the Spirit became human beings. Rather, it means that each member of the Trinity thinks, acts, feels, speaks, and relates because they are persons and not impersonal forces.
- While the three members of the Trinity are distinct, this does not mean that any is inferior to the other.
- Each is fully 100% God.
Wayne Grudem writes, “When we speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together we are not speaking of any greater being than when we speak of the Father alone, the Son alone, or the Holy Spirit alone” (Ibid., 252).
Wayne Grudem wrote “the being of each Person is equal to the whole being of God” (Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, 1994, page 255).
- The divine essence is not something that is divided between the three persons, but is fully in all three persons without being divided into “parts.”
- They are all identical in attributes.
- They are equal in power, love, mercy, justice, holiness, knowledge, and all other qualities.
- Further, each member of the Trinity is equally God, which means that they share the divine attributes, such as eternality, omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence.
- The Trinity describes the unity of the Godhead as three coeternal, coequal Persons, each having the same substance, but distinct subsistence
Illustration: The Westminster Confession of Faith (1647) summarizes the doctrine by saying “In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.”
Illustration: Wayne Grudem defines the doctrine of the Trinity as follows: “God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God” (Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 226).
Illustration: Bruce Ware provides another helpful definition: “The doctrine of the Trinity affirms that God’s whole and undivided essence belongs equally, eternally, simultaneously, and fully to each of the three distinct Persons of the Godhead.” (Ware, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, p. 41).
The first time we see the Trinity in Scripture is in the creation account in Genesis when God created man.
Genesis 1:1—1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The word God here is the Hebrew word Elohim.
The word Elohim is a plural word.
Elohim is a plural word, but always with a singular verb.
Plural- 3 distinct persons, singular verb- 1 God. (3-in-1)
From the very first verse of the Bible God says He is a Trinity.
Genesis 1:2-3:24—Every time the word God is used it is the Hebrew word Elohim.
Meaning every time the word God is word it is in the plural form.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5—4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
- This passage is known as the Shema, it is the
Jewish confession of faith, recited twice daily by the devout, along with Deuteronomy 11:13–21 and Numbers 15:37–41. The word Shema in the Hebrew means hear. So this verse reads “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! There is but one and only one God manifested in three distinct persons in perfect harmony. God’s whole and undivided essence belongs equally, eternally, simultaneously, and fully to each of the three Persons of the Godhead, so that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each is fully God while each is his own personal expression, in role and activity, of the one eternal and undivided divine essence. There is one God, but three personal expressions of the one undivided, infinite, and eternal nature of God. By “nature,” the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each is equally God, and each is fully God, as each possesses fully the one undivided nature. Yet each is a different Person, and as such, each is different in role and position within the Godhead. The Father is supreme in authority, the Son under the Father, and the Spirit under the Father and the Son. Not three God’s but one God in three Persons, the blessed Trinity.
- The word used for “one” in this passage does not mean “singleness,” but “unity.” This is the unity of the 3 persons of the trinity.
Deuteronomy 4:35, 1 Kings 8:60, Deut. 32:39, Ps 86:10, Isa. 43:10, Isaiah 45:5.
4 How God has revealed Himself to humanity.
- The word “Theology,” is derived from two Greek words.
- “Theos,” which means God, and “logos,” which means “word.”
- God is Sovereign.
- God is Holy.
- God is infinite.
2 Peter 3:8
- God is omnipresent.
- God is omniscient.
- God is unchanging.
- God is righteous.
- He is just.
- God is merciful.
- God is love.
1 John 4:8,