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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently asked a group of high school kids if they had any questions about God or the Bible or just life in general that had (1) never been answered at all, or (2) had never been answered satisfactorily.

All of them, without exception, were full of questions. Many Christians are afraid to face tough questions and admit that they don't know the answers. They seem to be afraid that it will reflect poorly on their faith, or something. But if we don't know, we should simply say so. I think many people would rather you stood beside them and faced the tough questions and looked for the answers together, rather than to try to force an answer.

Life is full of mystery . . . and so is faith. I think Christians should face such "mysterys" unafraid, and explore them with joy. Posting questions freely, without worry over what people will think is key to deepening our understanding of our life in Christ.

So let's explore the mystery!! Post your questions that have never been answered. Maybe they will have to go on seperate threads. Simple or tough, I for one am game to look em in the eye!!
 

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The Holy Trinity

This is a tough one for sure. Let me first say that I agree with what you said. I like the tough questions they teach me alot and make me dig my feet in to get answers. In addition they always seem to ground me even more firmly in my faith. So here goes The Holy Trinity. God the father,son, & holy ghost. That concept is hard for me to get my hands around totally. I believe in the trinity but am not quite sure how to explain Jesus refering to God in the 3rd person. This should be fun.

.............................................Roby......................................
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Trinity

Hey Cueball, why not just cut right to the toughest one?? :)

Didn't you see where I said all questions except those about the Trinity?! I'm kidding about not tackling it. But I'm not kidding about it being tough. However, I think it's really important.

TJ Craig started an interesting post on this topic on the old forum. I'd like to hear some input on this subject. Does it matter whether we believe in a Trinity? The word Trinity does not come up in scripture. Is it important that we see God as triune in nature? If so, why? And if so, how do we get our head around the concept??

What happens if we don't believe in a Trinity? As I see it, these are some of the questions and issues that are worth exploring. Maybe there are more.
 

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No mention of the trinity.

I honestly did not know that. I will do some digging in my bible and see what i come up with. It may not be mentioned but there are some strong reference to it. Or should I say to God and Christ being one. I would think we call all agree that the Holy spirit is the spirit of God. So if you can link Jesus and God as one then you have the God head the Trinity.

John 1 1-3
1. the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. He was in the beginning with God. 3. All things came into being though Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

John 14 7-9
7. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him. 8. Phiip said to Him, "Lord show us the Father, and it is enough for us." 9. Jesus said to him, " Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, Show us the Father?

I don't think believing in the trinity is mandatory to salvation but would be concerned that it could be mis understood.

Let me just say this for the record. I think that there are a large number of christian who are going to be in heaven who have misunderstood scripture. I would guess that I will be one of them. There are a few items that can't be misunderstood and still have salvation and the concept of the trinity in my view is not one of those items. I just have a desire to understand what it is that I believe and be able to discuss that with both believers and non-believers. The truth is that if i am misunderstanding scripture it is my true desire to fully understand what it is that God wants me to learn from that scripture.

....................................................Roby..........................................

:bow2: :jesus: :bow2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Cue,

I just noticed where you are from. I spent some time in your neck of the woods, hunting the swamps around Brandon. My buddies Kendall and Dwayne Rutledge are from down there and I lived in Jackson for almost a year!

I'm gonna enjoy discussing the Trinity with you. Maybe we can teach each other something. I also think it will be just a matter of time before someone else chimes in.

I think belief in the Trinity is a core, or foundational part of our faith. I don't think fully understanding the Trinity is a requirement of being saved...if it were, very few and perhaps none at all would be saved!! However, denying the Trinity is fatal to our faith. If we don't believe in Jesus as God, eternally begotten of the Father, to use the words of the Nicene Creed, then we have placed our faith in someone other than the one who was able to do what was done on the cross.

With that being said, believing the Trinity is a far cry from understanding the Trinity! Although we may not achieve a complete understanding, we may hope to gain a better understanding.

Someday a Jehovah's Witness may come knocking on the door, and that understanding will come in handy!!

More on this later.

Mike
 

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Genesis 1:26] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
[27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
John 10:[30] I and my Father are one.
John 14:[26] But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 15:[26] But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
II Cor 13:[14] The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
I Peter 1:[2] Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Bill
 

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So your a ******* too!

Mike, I think you caught one error for me. I agree that if you think that Jesus was not God then you have a major problem. I think the term that I should have used was understanding of the trinity.

I do believe in the Trinity. I just have a hard time with why Jesus always refered to God in 3rd person if it were really himself.

I heard this one time and it makes some sense but not a perfect fit for this application.

I am Roby Allen the son of James Allen.
The husband of Susan Allen.
And the father of Noah & Abby Allen

All three are me one in the same but three different roles. I just don't refer to myself in 3rd person to often.

.................................Roby.............................................

And if I did ask myself questions I aint telling you guys. :)
:bow2: :jesus: :bow2:
 

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oopps

Mike, I forgot to mention your stay here in MS. I love Brandon and do some hunting here as well most of my hunting is about 45 minutes away. I work in Jackson. If you didn't notice Cato (Mitchell is from Clinton). Come see us some time.

..........................................Roby..............................................
 

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Roby,

Look at Gen 1:26 and John 10:30 in my reply above.

Gen 1:26 "...Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..."

John 10:30 "I and my Father are one."

Even though these passages do not clearly state "Trinity" or "Triune Godhead", it is clear from reading them that it IS the case.

You know the great thing about the mysteries of God's Word is someday soon we will know the answers to everyone of them. He will tell us the answers when we are in His presence in Heaven!

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Roby,

I used to work for Patty Peck Honda. I was at a store they had called "the Other Place" selling high end used cars. The General Manager showed up unexpectedly one day and all the sales boys scurried for their cubicles to look busy. I was never much into pretense and I had done all I could do, including sell more cars than the other guys. So I just stood around while Ricky Lee sat in the showroom and watched me stand around, waiting...

Finally I propped open the doors at the end of the showroom and retrieved a magic marker from the front sales desk. As the GM watched I walked out into the neighboring sand lot, pacing 45 yards from the center of the showroom. At 45 yds I stuck the magic marker in the sand, standing it up on end. Then I walked back in. Ricky Lee just watched. No words had been exchanged in the hour he'd been there.

I went to my cubicle and retrieved my bow - an old Bear Whitetail II compound. Going back to the middle of the showroom I nocked an arrow and drew, looking across my peep sight at Ricky Lee who sat opposite me on a couch. Both of us in our white shirts and ties. After I shot I retrieved the magic marker, which I had hit and dented with the field tip. Returning, it I handed it to Ricky Lee and said, "That's how we do things in Kentucky."

He pulled his glasses down to the end of his nose and examined it, grunting. This was the only exchange we ever had while I worked at the Other Place. About a month later he shut that store down and moved me and one other salesman to County Line Road. Everyone else he fired. I know he was a hunter and I like to think he kept me on because I could shoot, but in reality it probably had more to do with the fact that I sold a lot of cars.

Being relatively honest, I never made any money on commissions and finally quit the job. Everyone I met thought I was a liar because I sold cars. I fixed that problem. Now I'm a lawyer! :)

Had some hard times and some good memories from Mississippi. I named my oldest boy after the son of a Baptist sunday school teacher who taught me to finish drywall and taught me alot about grace on the side. Bragg Drywall, if you ever need some good drywall work done! But that is another story...

Mike
 

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The existance of the Divine Trinity made sense to me when I looked at what made me...me.

I am more than a just a mind. I am more than just a body and I am more than just a spirit.

It takes ALL 3 to complete me just as it takes to ALL 3 to complete God.

He did make us in His image.

The Father = the mind
The Son = the body
The Holy Spirit = the spirit

Ray :cool:
 

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Thank You Blackwolf. That made alot of sense and something is clicking into place. Or at least attempting to.
 

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Your welcome BowDonkey.

He's another point...have you ever talked to yourself as when trying to make a decision or trying to understand something even if it is just in your head?

When Jesus prays and talks to God the Father, I don't see it as much different.

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wondered when you'd show up to help us out, Black Wolf! Good to see you.

You know, God is fundamentally about relationship. His very essence and nature is a relationship. God is love. This love that defines his essence exists in the context of relationship. (Within the persons of the Trinity). To help us understand this truth about who He is, he made us for relationship as well. Adam was not complete without a helper. God made man in his image, male and female he created them. Male and Female are both equally reflective of his image. Yet we are so different from each other. Neither is more like God than the other, yet because we are so different, neither is entirely like God on their own.

Male and Female, properly joined together in marriage to become one flesh, and rightly related to each other and to God, are together more fully reflective of God than is either man or woman, alone. We don't understand God as fully in a vaccuum as we do in a (proper) marriage. We are made for relationship, even as he is. And of course, we are ultimately made for relationship with Him.
 

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Before we are saved, our trinity is body, soul and dead spirit. When we are saved and accept Christ as our Saviour the Holy Spirit quickens our spirit and gives it life. Our new trinity is spirit, soul and body, as long as we are operating under the control and power of the Holy Spirit. When we become carnal, and we all do, then we become body, soul and spirit (albeit the spirit is not under the control of the Holy Spirit as it must be for us to live a victorious Christian life).

When God, the Triune Godhead, created Adam and Eve in their image, they did so in the realm of their time, Omnipresence, with the view of man, Adam and Eve, being in the image of Christ the man, and in the image of Christ and His bride, the Church. They did this with foreknowledge, Omniscience, as it would be thousands of years before Christ would come to earth as man, and thousands of years more before His bride, the Church, is complete and meets Him in the air for the wedding feast. Is That Wedding Music I Hear? Hallaleuah! Glory to God! Even so, come Lord Jesus!!

Bill
 

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The understanding that there is but one Sovereign God is the foundation of Christianity. Every single cult, group, collection, and religion that stands opposed to God, teaches {sometimes without knowing any better} that Jesus is not God, and/or that the Holy Spirit is not God, or that it is not the agent of Salvation. This is proliferated in many so called Christian churches where it is taught that there is a Father God, a Son God {Jesus}, and a Spirit God.

The "trinity" concept, though based partly in truth actually lends to confusion, for it teaches a "triune" nature of God, which is really incorrect, for through out Scripture we are continually told that there is but One God. The "trinity" concept is really more of a human conception of God, than one that is found via the Wisdom of the Spirit, but it still is based in partial truth nonetheless, therefore though I refuse to use the word "triune", or "trinity" in my teaching, I do not shy away from the fact that God does indeed say that "there are three who testify in heaven". In the human mind that in itself calls for the disconnection from Oneness, into triune. However If we read on the Scripture says that the "three are one", but this must be read in the Wisdom to understand it.

The reason that I do not teach, or suggest that a "trinity" concept be taught, is that the deeper triune doctrine teaches that the three parts of the "trinity" are distinct, and while we see numerous inferences to 'God the Father", and "the Son of God", and to the "holy Ghost", in Scripture, we need to understand that Jesus Christ who is called the "son of God" is also God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit. Let us read the prophet Isaiah as he speaks of the coming birth of Christ Jesus..........

"""For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace

there will be no end.

He will reign on David's throne

and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness

from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the LORD Almighty

will accomplish this. """

Here we see Jesus being called a son, but also being called "The Wonderful Counselor", {Counselor being the Holy Spirit} and also He is called "mighty God", the "Everlasting Father"., that is God the Father. In John 10:30 Jesus proclaims........"I and the Father are One"

Many people teach that Jesus is simply one part of a collection, yet the fact remains that according to the Word of God, He is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. He is not a part of, but rather He is the total package, for to seperate the package defies Scripture which tells us that they are one.

One of questions that those who are taught falsely that Jesus is not God ask is the following......."Who was Jesus praying to in the garden, Himself"???

the answer is a loud YES!.......Jesus, was praying to Himself, because Jesus is God the Father. Sadly the human mind void of the Spirit cannot grasp the notion that the God who created the planet, and human beings, has the ability to decide to nestle Himself in the womb of a peasant girl, birth Himself into a dark world, live in a human body, and die a human death, and to enter hell, to pay their price, out of love for His children, that they might live with Him in eternity. This God even has the ability to disconnect Himself, from Himself so that His perfect Holy face would not look upon sin!. This is POWER of a Sovereign Lord who remains true to His Word!

When Jesus asked the Disciples........"""" 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. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.""" ....He laid out in the open Who He Was, IS, and Will be.

Here we see Jesus promise Himself , the Counselor (the Holy Spirit} to His Disciples .............

""""If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

This is the awesome Truth that there is indeed one faith, one baptizism, and ONE LORD!. So beloved, as we ponder to grasp the mystery of the Gospel let us always seek the Wisdom of the Spirit, translated through Gods Holy text so that we may be able to answer all questions with regards to our faith, rather than leaning on the doctrines of man which simply confuse an otherwise clear Gospel.

Shalom!
 

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I do not intend to get involved in another series of longwinded posts on this or any other thread. I just have a couple of questions:

Who sits at the right hand of the Father at His throne in Heaven, even now?
Who is the Comforter, here on earth?

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Hey Cueball

Cueball,

I have been so time crunched lately that I haven't had much time to visit this thread. I did want to provide some basic orthodoxy, that is rooted in scripture and which has helped me understand this issue. None of my thoughts are original, they simply express the scriptural understanding held by the Church for centuries.

The word "Trinity" is a combination of 2 words, tri and unity. There are 3 basic concepts to remember: (1) there is one eternal God; (2) God is the Father and the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit; (3) the Father; the Son, and the Holy Spirit are 3 distinct persons who exist at the same time.

We believe the Triune God is the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19 - 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,).

God is the Father - There is a person called the Father who is also called God - (2 peter 1:17 - 17For he... [Jesus] received honor and glory from God the Father)

And the Son - There is a person called the Son, or Jesus, who is also called God - The apostle Thomas, after seeing the resurrected Jesus, said to him, "My Lord and My God!" (John 20:28)

And the Holy Spirit - There is a person called the Holy Spirit, who is also equated with God - In Acts 5:3-4 the Apostle Peter rebukes a man named Ananias, saying that he has lied to the Holy Spirit. Peter then continues his rebuke: "You have not lied to men, but to God." So lying to the Holy Spirit is the same as lying to God.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are 3 distinct persons - personal beings who possess will, intelligence, and emotion - who exist at the same time. The Father is not the Son, the Father is not the Holy Spirit, and the Son is not the Holy Spirit. Each one has an identity, although the 3 are in complete and perfect unity as the one God.

There are many examples in the bible of the distinction of the persons. At Jesus baptism the Father and the Holy Spirit are present. The Spirit of God descends like a dove, and the Father says, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17).

This triune reality of God is hard to understand completely, because God is infinite and we are finite. Over the centuries, some attempts to explain and understand the triune nature of God have lead many away from Christian orthodoxy into heresy. A couple of heresies are worth knowing about, because, for one thing, they help identify problems with certain analogies. I'll discuss analogies briefly in a moment.

A COUPLE OF HERESIES:

Some said (and say) that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not God. For example they may say that Jesus is the Son of God, but not God himself; and the Holy Spirit is not God, but is rather a force that God uses to accomplish the divine will.

Others said (and say) that there is but one person in the Godhead, and that God acts in certain modes at certain times, so that He is sometimes acting as God, another time acting as the Son or the Holy Spirit. [This heresy is called Modalism].

These are heresies because they contradict scripture.

ANALOGIES:

I happen to like analogies. As long as I "see though a glass darkly" (1 Cor. 13:12) I think I will find analogies very helpful. However, they are limited, and sometimes contain the seeds of errors. Let me give some examples.

"Water exists as steam, liquid and ice." This is true about water, but one body of water cannot be all three at the same time. It must be one or the other. With God, the three persons of the trinity exist at the same time. The ice/liquid/steam analogy actually illustrates Modalism, a heresy.

Or someone may say; "I am three persons. I am a husband, a father and a (how about bowhunter)." This sounds like a good analogy, and it is better than the previous analogy, but again, it suggests modalism.

Another popular example is various analogies that suggest God is made up of parts: One pie, 3 slices - or St. Patrick's shamrock: one plant, three leaves - Or the egg: one egg = shell, white and yolk. These "parts" analogies suggest errors as well, because God is not made up of parts. For scripture on this we can look at Colossians 2:9, which states that in Christ "all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form." Is Christ a part of God? No!

IN CLOSING

Let me say that I do believe that since God is infinite and we are finite, there are a couple of things that are ultimately incomprehensible. That "God always is, and never was not," is one of those things. That "God is one God, three persons" simultaneously, is another.

Even though we cannot achieve full comprehension, I think God is well pleased when we try to maximize our understanding. I am a person who always wants to understand. It sometimes feels like giving up when I am forced to admit that something is beyond my understanding. And I do not like to "give up!" In truth, however, recognizing our human limitations is not the same as giving up.

I have always liked what G.K. Chesterton said about the mysteries of our faith in "Orthodoxy." He says that our life is full of paradoxes. What he found interesting, as someone who did not believe in God, was that wherever he found a paradox in life, he found an answering paradox in Christianity. So that the paradoxes of Christianity made sense of the paradoxes of life. Other religions, in attempting to answer everything, fell short of being able to do so. But Christianity, with it's sense of mystery and paradox, makes sense of the parts of life that other religions fail to make sense of!! Of course, he goes into numerous specific examples.

Let me reiterate, here at the end of this long post (sorry so long) that I have expressed no original thoughts here. This brief outline is one of basic Christian Orthodoxy. Others have done the real hard work. My acceptance of these basic tenets is based upon my own study of the bible and of church history. In this post I have leaned heavily upon the book "christian faith 101" by Steven Tsoukalis, which organizes the various scriptures in a very helpful manner.

In Him,
Mike
 
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