Tonight at Bible Class, we decided it would be nice to start some threads via blog entries for discussion of certain theological concepts. So this is our first effort.
Tonight, we got going on “the Trinity.”
What is “The Trinity?”
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For the record, Christadelphians are not “Trinitarians.” We acknowledge that Jesus was a special human, designated by God (the Creator, known by name to His followers as Yahweh, or in Hebrew, the “Tetragrammation” YHVH, or equivalent) to be the Savior of all mankind. It’s a beautiful plan, and the Bible bears it out quite clearly and wonderfully.
So the first step in discussing whether or not you are or are not a Trinitarian, based on select Bible verses, is to enter the discussion believing 2 things:
1. the Bible is true, and everything it says is true, and
2. you have to cast off all pre-conceived ideas, and try to see it from the other person’s perspective. A corollary to this idea is: people will generally believe whatever they want to. Don’t expect to make some huge doctrinal breakthrough in a discussion or two…
Believe me, I’ve tried to be Trinitarian.
I just can’t be one. It just doesn’t make sense. At least in the classic sense. So what you find is that people who say they’re hard-core Trinitarians actually believe some different version of Trinitarianism! WHEW!!! That’s a lot of syllables!
So let’s simplify this thing: basically, which do you believe:
1. Jesus was human, flesh and blood, mortal, the Son of God; or
2. Jesus was God, who decided to be human, flesh and blood, mortal, etc.?
Or do you claim to believe both? Think hard about that one…
Here’s another question: how did the doctrine of the Trinity come up in the first place?
I think it was from verses like “I and the Father are one,” (John 10:30) and “by him (Jesus) were all things created,” (Colossians 1:16) and “in him (Jesus) dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” (Colossians 2:9) and the like. They’re NOT easy verses. They stretch our imaginations.
So let’s jump right in with Colossians 1. What is Paul saying here? Start in verse 13, and look through to verse 20.
—IMPORTANT!!!! If you’re not ready for some DEEP theological discussion, go back to Genesis and begin there by learning the stories. Immerse yourself in the stories of the Old Testament, where Yahweh seems to prepare you for the deeper things He reveals later in His Bible. —
The sum of these verses is this:
Jesus Christ is supreme.
Supreme among whom? Gods? People? What does this mean?
There are a few clues: verse 18 states He was the First-born from the dead. How was this? Well, He was the first human to be raised to immortality, for one thing. How did He do that? By leading a sinless, selfless life! “The grave could not hold Him.” (Acts 2:23-24)
How else was he supreme?
He, Jesus Christ, is the man upon whom the WHOLE CREATION depends for life!!! Without Jesus’s death on the cross, we are ALL without hope, which = DEAD!!! So essentially, without Jesus Christ, there IS NO CREATION. So in that sense, all things were created by Him, when He died.
Does that make him the Creator? In a sense – he is the Creator of the New Creation – the one that should transform normal people into the type of person who is willing to live the way he showed us.
Who was there in Genesis 1:1? Certainly Yahweh had Jesus in mind from the beginning – a way to reconcile people to Himself, as Paul puts it in Colossians…but the physical Creation was ALL YAHWEH.
And Yahweh gave His Son, Jesus, that we might not perish, but have everlasting life! (John 3:16) Jesus is the virtual linch-pin of all creation – the Supreme Human, the Son of God. He wants us to give all glory to His Father, God – the ONLY ONE WHO IS GOOD, by Jesus’s own admission/direction to the young ruler – “Why are you calling ME good? There is none good but One – the FATHER!” (Matthew 19:17, Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19)
Jesus did amazing things for us. We are right to be eternally grateful. God, our Creator, is the One True God, Who has no equal. There is a difference. We thank God that He sent His Son Jesus, so we might see how a human ought to imitate Him. Jesus was truly “God with us” (“Emmanuel” Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23). He related to us on a human level, which is why God’s plan culminating in Him is so beautiful. It gives us insight into how we can follow Yahweh in our mere mortal state.
And anyway, we have to confess that Jesus came “in the flesh.” It’s what sets us apart….II John 1:7
Think about that…