A biblical defense for the Trinity - 08/11/2003
Just today for the umtith time I had a couple of really nice people come to my door with tracts in their hands wanting to convert me JW. This time I only thought I was ready for them and handed them a tract of my own. I had done some research on the web and found some interesting stuff and did a comparison paper on Christianity vs Jehovah Witness. They were so ready to deny everthing in it and tried to convince me I was the one that was wrong. So again here I am searching for the answers I need to help them if I can by the grace of God.
I do have a question the gentlemen handed me a tract entitled "Should You Believe in the Trinity?" with sub-title " Is Jesus Christ the Almighty God? He told me that the concept of the "Trinity" didn't arrive on the scene until the 4th century B.C. Is this so?
I thank you so much for your web site and just pray that the Good Lord continues to bless you and yours.
Sincerely in Christ Jesus our Saviour,
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hi Deb. Thank you so much for writing us, and thank you for your kind words. It is such a blessing to hear that people like you are out there contending for your faith and confronting heresy. The doctrine of the Trinity seems to confound people so much, but the very nature of God is something very important to make clear. The concept of a triune God can be kind of confusing at times. If we humans could fully comprehend everything about the nature of God, He would be a pretty small God, wouldn't he? It doesn't surprise me in the least that our limited comprehension has difficulty grasping the full nature of the One who spoke the universe into existence.
You won't find the word "Trinity" used in the Bible to describe God. I'm not sure when the term was coined, but the term aptly describes the true nature of God as evidenced in Scripture. Paul may not have used the term, but I'm sure he understood the concept. We're not talking a polytheistic doctrine (three separate gods), nor are we talking about a three-headed boogieman. The existence of one God in three Persons (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) is the only logical conclusion we can draw from Scripture.
First of all, we know that there is ONLY ONE GOD (Deuteronomy 6:4, 1 Timothy 2:5, Isaiah 44:6).
Yet there is a plurality to God:
- "Let us make man in our image" (Genesis 1:26)
- "God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of us" (Genesis 3:22).
Some would say that God could be speaking to the angels in these verses, but that's simply not correct. God was speaking to co-creator(s) in these verses. The Bible tells us that Jesus - not angels - created all things:
- "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:3
- "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him," Colossians 1:15-19.
- "but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe." Hebrews 1:2
The Bible refers to each person of the triune God uniquely. There is God the Father ("Paul, an apostle--sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead--", Galatians 1:1), God the Son (see John 1:1-18 and 5:18), and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18, 3:11, 12:32, John 14:26).
In Luke 3:22, we find the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove upon Jesus, while God the Father spoke from Heaven. Three persons - but still just One God.
In John 14:10, Jesus said, "Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work."
So you can see, that while the term "trinity" developed after the Bible was written, the nature of God that it describes is evidenced in Scripture. Dr. John Warwick Montgomery said, "The doctrine of the Trinity is not 'irrational'; what is irrational is to suppress the biblical evidence for trinity in favor of unity....The choice is clear: either the Trinity or a 'God' who is only a pale imitation of the Lord of biblical and confessional Christianity." I am not a great theologian, and I won't pretend that I fully comprehend the triune nature of our omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God. But I do understand the basic concept, and can easily see that it is really the only logical conclusion when scriptural evidence is assessed.
Thanks again for writing us, Deb. You will be in our prayers as you contend for the faith! May the Lord richly bless you as you serve Him.
Your brother and sister in Christ,
Ben and Jennifer Rast