Credo 1 God is: The Trinity!


The older I get the more I forget things! –Are you noticing that as well about your self

A)My wife will send me to the store – to get a few things – if I do not make a list I will inevitably – forget something


B)I sometimes forget where I parked my car – parking garage – which level – hitting the little button -  { other pp doing the same thing. – confusing


C)The worst is when I walk from my office in the building behind us up to the Church office

1)talking maybe 40 yards – I get up to the front office and forget why I needed to go up there.


D)Hi – just Checking in –


That is bad  this is the Ultimate worst – you are calling someone – they pick up the phone – and Hello – you forget – who did I just call -  Who is this

A)Or they answer the phone – and you cannot remember why you called them – Hey – how are you- I really needed to call you but I can’t remember why.


B)Just talked for a minute while I think!

1)Yes the older we get the easier it becomes for us to forget things

Sad I can remember things I would rather forget – and I forget things I really want to remember

A)I remember the theme song to the Brady Bunch – haven’t seen it in – 30yrs –


B)I remember the song – weird thing sometimes it will randomly pop into my head


C)That is something I would rather not remember – but then there are Bible verses that I have committed to memory – that I forget


We need reminders – Phone Reminders – where need to be what is coming up – who meeting with.

A)Notes – Day planners


B)Even in the Church – Memorials we will practice one tonight – reminder of Jesus and His sacrifice – This do in Rememberance of ME


C)The Bible is full of reminders – it is a book of repetition Why ? We forget things


2 Peter 3:1 “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder).”


Another Translation: It is good that I cause you to think!


And there is no more important area in life for us to think about and have our minds stirred up about than our Faith.

A)Because what we think about God and what He says about Himself is one of the most important things we could think about.


B)What you think about God: has everything to do with how you will live your life!

1)What you will determine your priorities are going to be


C)And how you will react to the circumstances that Life throws your way.


Most modern Americans develop their religion by cut and paste.

A)iPhone – ipods – iGod – God is personalized –


B)iGod says what I want him to say and does what I think he should do.


C)People form their ideas about God from movies, celebrity sound bytes, blogs, conversations with friends.  Shows on the History Channel


B) They often base their faith on what they feel – or what they perceive to be right about God

1)God is formed from their own personal preferences


C)Others are influenced by Popular people like an Oprah

1)Recently Oprah Winfrey who influences 15 million Americans every single day - Thru her TV program and web site –

2)Oprah held a webinar to promote the teachings of Eckhard Tolle – a  heretical New Age pied piper.


Let me quote Oprah… “God isn’t something to believe, God is.  God is a feeling experience, not a believing experience. If God for you is still about a belief, then it’s not truly God.”


Hey, the Bible states, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”  Hebrews 11:6  And faith is proper belief.


Listen we don’t mold God into our image – He wants to mold us into His image.


“If God was small enough for my mind to fully comprehend – He would not be big enough to handle my needs.”

“If God was small enough for me to understand – He would not be great enough to worship!”


Greg L.  Experience is never to be the basis for Theology but sound Theology is the basis for all experience.


So on the First Wed night of the month here in 2010 we are going to put our thinking caps on to study God!   Theology is the study of God

Credo – I believe

A)We want to see Christianity is a reasonable faith – Logical faith – Intelligent faith – Theology 101


C.S. Lewis said this: “If you do not listen to Theology that will not mean that you have no ideas about God, It just means that you will have a lot of wrong ideas.”


Wealthy man – Atheist – Wife – daughter – Ill – Wife was a believer

A)The man wanted nothing to do with God – and didn’t want his daughter to go to Church or learn anything about God!


B)So adamant and angry – about being sick – Sign on Card board – God is No Where

1)So sick daughter removed from home. – Live with a nice Christian family


C)Church – Read the Bible –


Visit – Church - Learning to read -  - Really read that sign – God is Now Here!

A)He is Daddy and we have been praying for you daddy – God is with you.


B)Who is this God who is now here?


Let’s begin in Isaiah 45:5. The prophet declares the words of God… “I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me.

I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.


Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God;


ONE GOD  Monotheism  {Monotheistic}

A)The Bible emphatically states that there is but ONE TRUE and LIVING God. 

Deuteronomy 4:35  there is no other God besides him.

Deuteronomy 32:39


Psalm 86:10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.


1 Timothy 1:17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever Amen.


1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.


Yet in Acts 17, Paul paid a visit to the city of Athens – and “his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.”

A)The Athenians were worshippers who bowed to many different gods.


B)And what was true in Athens - was true in Canaan and Babel in the Old Testament – and is true today in cities and villages all over the world… Many gods

The belief that there are many gods is known as polytheism

A)Taoism, Shintoism, Paganism, and Mormonism are polytheistic – they believe in multiple gods.


B)Hindus can have as many as 330 million gods.


So what about these other gods? Are millions  of people wrong?

A)Notice our text, God seems to anticipate this question. He says in verse 6, “That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me.”


B)God wants us to know He’s not just the true God in Israel, but wherever the sun rises, east to west, He is the only God.


C)The Word LORD used in Isaiah 45 is Yahweh = to be OR  the all sufficient one.


When God to Moses from a burning in the desert- Who are you – who is sending me?

A)He said to Moses, “I am Who I am… has sent you.”


B)God is the great “I am.” This is an awesome name.

1)In taking this name God is claiming to be the ultimate reality – the only truly self-sufficient One.




So polytheism is the belief that there are many gods

Other religions are pantheistic.

A)Zen Buddhism and New Age thought teach that God is an impersonal life force.


B)All is God and God is in all. In contrast, the Bible’s God is a person that’s separate from nature.


C)Remember the Disney movie the Lion King – great flick right Cymba – The Circle of life Elton John Song – really promoting a philosophy know today as One-ism.



One-ism is a Pantheistic philosophy that teaches all is in God and God is in all.

A)Everything is one. One-ism is a single circle, and everything gets place inside that circle.


B)Even God is within the circle!

1)No need to blow the bugle, there is NO cavalry!


C)There is no Savior in Pantheism -  The only Savior is your self.

1)Humans look for the spark of divinity within.


D)In Pantheism meditation replaces prayer – therapy replaces truth.

1)As in the earlier quote from Oprah, “Feeling replaces believing.”



But Notice again our text – tells us in v. 7 that God is separate from Creation.

A)“I form… and create...” God speaks of Himself as the Creator, and separates Himself from His creation.


B)God stands outside the circle of life as sovereign over creation. God is Judge. He has ultimate authority.

1) The God of the Bible is all-powerful & all-knowing.


C)He does as He pleases – whenever He pleases. As He declares in Isaiah 45:7, “I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.”


D)Inside the circle God loses His authority, but from outside God rules the roost.


What the Bible is teaching us here flies in the face of another popular belief about God called – Deism

A)Deism was the religion of Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.


B)Deism says God wound up the world; then walked away. He’s an absentee landlord.

1)We are left to our own devices and intellect to try and figure everything out. 


C)But this flies in the face of what the Bible teaches us about God.

1)He’s Sustainer as well as Creator. Who remains deeply involved in His world.


So here is what Isaiah 45:5-7 tells us about God – One of many verses

A)The Bible emphatically states that there is but ONE TRUE and LIVING God.


B)Eternal - self-existent - separate from creation -sovereign over creation,

All-powerful, and All knowing…


B)But although God is one God in essence and substance – this one, true God exists in three distinct persons – Father, Son, Holy Spirit.


C)We call this doctrine the “Trinity” or the “tri-unity of God.”


“ First it should be stressed that the doctrine of the Trinity is not a mystery. A mystery is something you do not know. It is an untold secret. Until you are told the secret, it is a secret to you. Once you are told the secret, it is no longer a secret to you. Once a mystery is revealed, it is no longer a mystery to those who have received the revelation.”  George Bryson


The Trinity is not a mystery but it is incomprehensible

A)It’s not illogical. It supersedes logic.


B)The Christian belief in the Trinity is derived not from reason, but from revelation.

1)We believe in the Trinity because the Bible tells us so.

 I like Augustine’s famous quote, “Try to explain the Trinity, and you’ll lose your mind. Yet try to

explain it away - and you’ll lose your soul.”


... Blaise Pascal once said, “I love God because I know Him. I adore Him because I cannot comprehend Him.”


Or in the immortal words of my Good buddy and Southern Friend – Sandy Adams           

                God baffles me to humble me!”


Though the word Trinity is not used in the Bible the idea that there is one God who has revealed Himself in three distinct persons is seen throughout it’s pages

A)“Person” does not mean that God the Father or God the Spirit became human beings.


B)Rather, it means that each member of the Trinity thinks, acts, feels, speaks, and relates because they are persons as opposed to impersonal forces.


Consider the Revelation of theTrinity

1.)The Father is God.


That the Father IS God is so generally accepted is seen that even the heretics of the Church.


1 Chronicles 29:10 David blessed the LORD as Father

"Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.”


John’s Gospel – “God the Father” (John 6:27).

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians  8:6 “. . . there is one God, the Father”

SO – The Father IS God


So we have got this one The Father is God

A)Even the cults see this. The next is more debated


The Bible is also clear that the Son is God.

A)John 1:1,14 “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” V.14 The Word became flesh …..


B)In John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and My Father are one.”


 C) In John 8:58 Jesus declared, “Before Abraham was, I am.”


Remember How God revealed Himself to Moses as the I Am – Jesus was saying I am the Great I AM

A)He was declaring that He was from Eternity Past


B)You read John 8 and you will see the Pharisees completely understood – what He was doing


C)They sought to Kill Him right then and there because He was claiming to be God.

1)He claimed to be the great “I am.”



(John 20:28). “Thomas answered him [Jesus], ‘My Lord and my God!’”

(Rom. 9:5). “. . . Christ who is God over all”

(Titus 2:13). “. . .our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”

(1 John 5:20). “. . . Jesus Christ. He is the true God”


The Father is God – the Son is God -


3.) The Spirit is God.

A)The first thing we want to set straight is that the Holy Spirit is a “he” and not an “it.”


B)To call the Holy Spirit an IT means that you see the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force.


C)But the Scriptures ascribe to Him the attributes of personality


The Holy Spirit can be grieved (Eph. 4:30)

A)An impersonal force can not be grieved –


B)Gravity for example can not be grieved.{ Bummed out Gravity


C)We are also told that He can be resisted (Acts 7:51)

1)As the Holy Spirit seeks to INSTRUCT us and LEAD us and GUIDE us we can RESIST Him.


D)We are also told in (Hebrews. 10:29) that He can be INSULTED.

1)You can’t insult gravity or electricity.

The Holy Spirit is insulted by lies and the promotion of false doctrine

A)So the Holy Spirit is a HE (not an it)


B)He is called God in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 in speaking about how God gives gifts to the Church.


C)Acts 5:3-4 Here is what Peter says to them

“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for

yourself part of the proceeds of the land? . . . You have not lied to men but to God’” (Acts 5:3-4).


So we see where the Father Son and Holy Spirit are all depicted as God in Scripture.


What about some instances where they are seen or referred to together?

When is the Triune Godhead scene in Scripture?



Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God…” The Hebrew word for God is “Elohim” – a plural of “El.”

From verse 1 God is seen as a plurality..


This gets repeated when God creates man.  Genesis 1:26

“Then God said “Let us make man in our image and… our likeness.” “Us” and “our” are plural pronouns


WHO is the US and the OUR? God the Father – God the Son – God the Holy Spirit.

That makes NO SENSE apart from the doctrine of the trinity.

A)After sin entered the world “Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil.”  (Genesis 3:22).


B)Those are examples of the Trinity from the Genesis  the Book of Beginnings.


Deuteronomy 6:4 is Judaism’s famous declaration of monotheism. It’s called “the Great Shema.” “The LORD our God, the LORD is one!”


The Hebrew word translated “one” is the word“eKhad” – which refers to a compound, divisible unity.


My fist is echad – one first, but five fingers.


In contrast the Hebrew word “yachyid” Yakheed speaks of an absolute, indivisible unity.


God could’ve used Yakheed  - but He didn’t. “The LORD is echad.”


TWO OTHER PLACES in the Old Testament

There are tons but let’s look at these two

Hundred of years before the birth of Christ {Messianic passage  “And now the Lord GOD [Father] has sent me [Jesus], and his Spirit” (Isaiah. 48:16).


The Father would send the Son with the Spirit.

This is exactly what Jesus said  In Johns Gospel alone —- more than 20 times Jesus said

                     “The Father   has sent Me.”


And Then Jesus says in John’s Gospel – When I leave I will send you the Holy Spirit.

A)ALL a fulfillment of Isaiah 48:16


“The Spirit of the Lord GOD [Father] is upon me [Jesus], because the LORD has anointed me to bring

good news to the poor” (Isaiah  61:1).


This is hundreds of years before Luke 4 — Jesus reads in the synagogue of Nazareth — and reads from  Isaiah 61 and says –

             TODAY THIS IS FULFILLED in Me.”


Jesus KNEW that He – as the second person of the Trinity – was fulfilling Isaiah 61:1



The baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16-17)

“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were

opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17and

behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”




God the Father speaking from heaven.

God the Son coming up out of the water.

God the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus, anointing with power for His public ministry.


God graciously giving to us this wonderful family portrait of the Trinity.


By the way the Baptism of Jesus is a great proof text to us against the most common assault of today on the Trinity which is called Modalism.


The most common assault on the Trinity is called “modalism” - it attacks God’s diversity.

A)Modalism teaches that God plays three roles or modes.  Depicted in the book the Shack


B) Also the view of the Untied Pentecostal Church. They deny the Trinity


C))This heresy essentially says that there is one God who puts on three masks.

1) At times He’s the Father, or Son, or Spirit – but never all three at once.

2) In the OT he acts like the Father

In Gospels He acts like Jesus

From the Book of Acts forward He acts like the Holy Spirit.


C)But He is only playing one role at a time.

1)UPC – Jesus only – playing the father & the HS

Modalism is also the idea promoted in the popular book the Shack

A)The popularity of the book tells us that there is a HUNGER to know about the true and living God.


B)A HUNGER to understand the Trinity.


C)But the book – rather than explaining and answering that hunger gives a heretical view of the Godhead.


A guy named Mack goes into the Shack to meet God.

A)God the Father is portrayed as a  African American woman named Papa.


B)Jesus is a guy of Middle Eastern Descent.

1) God the Holy Spirit is portrayed as an Asian American woman


C)I am not saying that you have become an apostate by reading the book.

1) But don’t read it as doctrinal truth.


Here is the problem – Christians are saying – This is amazing! Now we understand the Trinity. WRONG!


Here’s why God is not a big black woman – Our mother who art in heaven .


The Book Promotes Modalism

Papa says – “I am truly human in Jesus”

THAT is not true.

A)Modalism says that the Father became the Son and became the Spirit.


B)The Father was not born of a virgin. Did not grow up as a Galilean peasant. Did not die on a cross and did

not walk away from the tomb.

                             THAT was THE SON!


The Doctrine of the Trinity declares that they are three distinct persons.


C)The Baptism of Jesus we see the Diversity of the Triune Godhead.

 (The Father speaks –

The son comes out of the water –

The Holy Spirit descends)


You can’t play three parts at the same time.


Trinity three Distinct persons

A)The Father SENT the Son. The SON died for sin. The Spirit was sent to regenerate and indwell us.


B)They are working together. But they are distinct.


Another problem with the Shack - 

In describing the Trinity the book declares speaking of the Trinity – “We are in a circle of relationship not a chain of command. Hierarchy among us would make no sense.”


Essentially the idea says that there is no deference within the trinity. Not True.

A) There IS deference within the Trinity.


B)Jesus said – The FATHER SENT Me. I only say what the Father tells me to say – I only do what the father  tells me to do.


C)There is EQUALITY but DEFERANCE within the Triune God.

1)That is where we get our understanding of the relationships between parents and children – husbands and wives — believers and pastors.


Children are not LESSER in nature than their parents. But they are to defer to them.


Wives are not LESSER in nature than their husbands – but they are to defer to them.


Christians aren’t LESSER in their new nature than their pastors – but they are to listen to them.


The Shack essentially says that Hierarchy only makes sense where there is sin.

There is NO sin in the Trinity — But there is deference.


One more example of where the Trinity is seen in the NT The Great Commission   Matthew 28:19-20



Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name…  [one name it is singular]

the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”


We baptize people in the name of the father the son and the Holy Spirit.


So one God existing as 3 distinct Persons – this is something that all Christians agree on. It is Essential

Here’ tonight’s challenge.


God doesn’t just want us to believe in the Trinity, as Christians

A)We’re called by God to live a Trinitarian lifestyle.


B)God created us in His image. We’re to reflect Trinitarian qualities.


Here are five to emulate - praise, love, submission, transparency, community.


First, to be Trinitarian is to be committed to praise.

A)In the Bible the Spirit is always bringing glory to the Son –


B)the Son always praises the Father, and the Father always speaks words of affirmation to the Son.

1)Uplifting communication is always taking place among the Godhead.

The first way for us to be Trinitarian is to communicate encouragement.

A)Praise God  

lift up each other - affirm our spouse - shower our kids with approval.


B)When we offer encouragement we are living a Trinitarian life.


A second quality of a Trinitarian lifestyle is love. 1 John 4:8 states, “God is love.”

A)Yet for love to be meaningful it has to have an object. Love is relational, not academic.


B)Without an object there is no love.

And from eternity the Father, Son, and Spirit have loved each other.


C)Humans weren’t created so God would have someone to love.

1)God has always dwelt in perfect love.

Only a Trinitarian God can fuel us with love.


Listen – Unless you know WHO love is – WHAT love is – WHERE love comes from – HOW are you going to go out and love.

A)There are guys here sleeping with their girlfriend and they are calling it love.


B)That is not Trinitarian love —- it is demonic love!

C)Trinitarian love is for the cherishing and serving of the other – not using.

1)The Trinity loves perfectly and fully.


D)The ESSENCE of the TRINITY is LOVE. Jesus says – The Father loves Me, and I love the Father.


E)THIS is so crucial in regards to you and me.

Because we were made to LOVE and BE LOVED.



Third, a Trinitarian life is marked by submission.

A)Since before time began the members of the Trinity have lived and worked in holy harmony.


B)Father, Son, and Spirit are equal, yet they each have specific roles to play.

The Father leads - the Son obeys the Father – the Spirit

testifies of the Son.


C)And at no time does the Son begrudge the Father’s authority, nor does the Spirit demand a cut of the glory reserved for the Son.


D)Each member of the Trinity lives in humility and submission.

When husbands submit to God, and wives submit to their husbands…

When children obey their parents and employees cooperate at work…

When pastors follow God and church members support their pastors…

When kids respect teachers and citizens obey the authorities,we’re living a Trinitarian lifestyle.


We are honoring God and reflecting His image.


Fourth, Trinitarian life is a transparent life. There’re no secrets among the Trinity.

A)There’s full disclosure. There’s an openness and honesty.


B)And when we admit our weaknesses to each

other, and confess our sins, and request each other’s help - we’re also living a Trinitarian life.


C)Trinitarian life has no duplicity. It is not one thing with one group and another thing with the next group.

It is one person all the time.


Finally, a Trinitarian lifestyle values and participates in community.

A)From eternity past to eternity future God has existed in community.


B))When you think of the Trinity imagine a concert where the musicians are in a groove... Orchestra – no one stands out.


C)There’s power, beauty, creativity in community. The Trinity is the prime example.

Early Greek believers had a name for this kind of life.

A)They called it “perichoresis.” In the middle you’ll spot an English word, “choreograph.”


B)The idea is “to dance or flow around.” The early Christians talked about “the dance of God.”


C)The life of the one God is like a dance of joy and life and gladness.


God loves us and have invited us to join the Dance


Tonight as we come to the table of communion we celebrate that community – we enter into the Dance of God –


Believing: One true God - eternal and self-existent – separate from creation and sovereign over creation - all-powerful and all-knowing.


Who exists in three distinct persons:

Father, Son, and Spirit.


Working together to set us free – give us life

Make us – New –


Join the Dance