24 May 2005

The One and Only God -- The Holy Trinity

The common conception is that all people of faith worship the one and same God. We hear it from religious leaders, from the President of the United States, we hear it from the media. But what is the evidence.
I happen to be an orthodox Christian. That means that I believe in the doctrines of the Christian faith as it has been believed and practiced over the last 2000 years. I believe that the only God is the One God and He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One God in Three Persons, the blessed Trinity. We believe this doctrine, as difficult as that doctrine happens to be, because of the Bible.

Matthew 28:18-20 GW When Jesus came near, he spoke to them. He said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. (20) Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. "And remember that I am always with you until the end of time."
There are other passages, even in the Old Testament, which point to One God in Three Persons. So why is it that we confess that the One God is not the God worshipped by our Muslim and Jewish friends. Honestly, it's because the theologies of Islam and Judaism explicitly deny the Trinity and they say they don't believe in the Trinity.
Take Islam for instance. In the Qur'an (5:73) as it says in the Muslim website Islam 101 ( www.islam101.com) , "They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity, for there is no god except One God." This is not a mere intellectual difference, but they say that we blaspheme against God by the doctrine of the Trinity. They say that we don't agree on who God is and how we are to know Him. To be guilty of blasphemy is to be guilty of breaking the Second Commandment, that of taking God's name in vain. One goes to Hell for a sin such as this.
Why then do Christians so easily pass off the doctrine of the Trinity? There are a couple of reasons. First, the "niceness " factor. We don't want to say that we are right. We don't like to say that we are right and they are wrong. It just seems so wrong that we say that the gods of the other religions are false. We ignore passages such as 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 GW People may say that there are gods in heaven and on earth-many gods and many lords, as they would call them. (6) But for us, "There is only one God, the Father. Everything came from him, and we live for him. There is only one Lord, Jesus Christ. Everything came into being through him, and we live because of him." Second, it is the failure of the Pastors in the local congregations. We don't teach the hard doctrines of the faith. Our preaching is so thin, based on keeping people happy, that doctrinal preaching is no longer done. We Pastors have let our people down by not preaching on doctrines. It is vital that we preach on the Trinity and let people know what the truths are.
From the hymn, St. Patrick's Breastplate,
I bind unto myself the name,The strong name of the Trinity By invocation of the same, The Three in One and One in Three, Of whom all nature has creation, Eternal Father, Spirit, Word. Praise to the Lord of my salvation;Salvation is of Christ the Lord!
Praise the Holy Trinity, the one and only God who is and He is the one and only God we worship! Doc Steve


At 8:28 AM, Blogger Ron Kapanke said...

Doc, I liked your comments on the Trinity. I think we are sometimes afraid of hurting the feeling of those faiths (Jews & Muslims) who don't believe in the Trinity. We need to start speaking the truth in and outside of our churches. The place to start is with us.

At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting in your posts Steve that you comment on some things that are happening here....just as you are writing them...there. God is omnipresent.

The powerful truth of the Trininty doesn't just stop with Judism and Islam, but a growing number of oneness cults. Recently, our pastor spoke on this very issue.

The problem with speaking the Truth...is that we Christians have failed to know our own faith deeply. We can only speak Truth when we KNOW the truth and rest in the truth.

Thanks for your insights.



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