Monday, February 28, 2005

Biblical arguments for the Trinity, part 4

5. The Father is not the Son.
6. The Son is not the Holy Spirit.
7. The Holy Spirit is not the Father.

I'm going to take all three of these at the same time. This step is important, because it prevents us from being modalists.

When I prepared this study, I really wasn't thinking too much about modalism. I was thinking more about Arians. Modalists think the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the same person, but Arians think they are different persons. Since I was thinking mainly about Arians, I didn't spend too much effort showing that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct. Arians already agree. A few scriptures might be mentioned, though.

5. The Father is not the Son.

The Son was sent by the Father (John 16:5).
The Son acts as a mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).
Jesus prays to the Father, making a distinction between his will and the Father's will (Matthew 26:39).

6. The Son is not the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit doesn't come until Jesus leaves, and when Jesus leaves, he sends the Holy Spirit (John 16:7).

7. The Holy Spirit is not the Father.

The Holy Spirit intercedes between God and man (Romans 8:26-27).
The Father sends the Holy Spirit (John 14:26).

Finally, there's the scene at the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16-17). Here, you see all three being made distinct. The son is standing in the water, and he sees the Spirit of God descending upon him, and then a voice from heaven says, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased."

That's about it for the Biblical arguments for the Trinity. Let me summarize a little now. Remember, the Trinity is derived from seven points, which can be summarized in three.

1. There is one and only one God.
2. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.
3. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father.

If (1) there is only one God, and (2) the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each God, it follows that they are the same God. Since they are distinct persons, it follows that the one God is tri-personal.

If these premises are true, then logic forces us to embrace the Trinity. It's the only way to make these premises logically consistent. Since the Trinity follows deductively from these premises, then the Trinity is Biblical.

Next, I'm going to begin to address some of the objections to the Trinity. I don't know how many blogs I'll take to do that.

Against the Trinity, part 1


At 3/01/2005 1:07 AM , Blogger Safiyyah said...

Wow. Your blog is just getting way too deep. I can't keep up anymore. Post something light for a change:)

At 3/01/2005 1:32 AM , Blogger ephphatha said...

I will, Safiyyah. I just have to finish this Trinity thing first. Hang in there! :-)

At 3/01/2005 9:49 AM , Blogger The Drake said...


I am thoroughly enjoying your dissection of the Trinity. Most Christians don't know how to defend this belief as Biblical, which is key to having a healthy, productive witness to those who have been seduced by Mormonism and the Jehovah's Witnesses.

I know that I have latched onto a few nuggets that I hadn't thought of before.

Keep up the good work!

At 3/01/2005 2:39 PM , Blogger Kelly said...

Gotta second both of the previous commentors. Sometimes I get a little glassy-eyed reading your posts, Sam, but this Trinity series has kept me riveted. Thanks for taking the time to post all that.

However, some occasional light posts would be nice, too.

At 3/01/2005 7:03 PM , Blogger ephphatha said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Drake and Kelly. Now I kind of wish I had refreshed my memory a little more before posting this outline. It's been two years since I've taught on the Trinity.

At 10/30/2006 2:24 PM , Blogger drRic said...

Did the Apostles ever specifically teach the doctrine of the trinity? Let's be honest with ourselves. Let's look at I Corinthians 8:6 again and I Timothy 2:5. Show scriptures where the trinity was specifically taught. I know for a fact that the apostles never taught this unscriptural doctrine, and that's why it is such a big problem to many other denominations. Even the ones who claim to believe in this doctrine can't even explain it. Doesn't that tell us something?


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