2022-03-20 The Trinity – Pastor Chuck
Chuck has been struck lately about how often the number “3” has been turning up!
Eg: – 3 songs that were sent to Chuck recently
– including this one that we played today: “O Come O Come Emmanuel”
– Another song is by a Canadian rap artist, Tom McDonald, who, in one of his lyrics he says “I’m not a Christian, but I walk with believers”
– Another song by secular artist, Struggle Jennings & Caitlynne Curtis, contains the lines:
God, we need you now, …
O God come back home, this crazy world is filled with liars & abusers,
We need you now before we’re too far gone,
I hope one day they will finally see the truth,
God, we need you know
That is the cry of our hearts!
Chuck felt a strong impression from the Lord, “What if we’re about to see what God can do?”!! He believes the Lord is doing something so remarkable!
What if its time right now to see what God can do? What if we are standing on this side of God’s mighty miracle? “What if we’re about to see what God can do?” We’ve seen what man can do…
We’re often in a place where man has been glorified for so long, but what if we’re about to see what God can do? That God might be glorified! What man can do, won’t be any comparison to what God can do!
Jesus’ miracle: Feeding of the 4000 – imagine what the disciples experienced. They had already experienced the feeding of the 5000! – but here they stood in front, on this side, of a miracle. We have the advantage of knowing the story – and in a way they knew too because they’d experienced the feeding of the 5000!
What if that’s where we are standing now? Like the disciples, we are on this side of a miracle. We’re standing in that place of where we’re about to see what God can do!
Told a story of when he was a young Christian teenager being at the NAC in Ottawa, and a group for USA came there to minster. That morning they had prayed & had a prophesy that where man had been glorified for so long, that night God would be glorified! And Chuck could feel the presence of God saturating that place!
What if we’re about to see what God can do?! What if it’s time?! Like the disciples, we are on this side of a miracle. We stand in anticipation, excitement & desperation for God and waiting & watching for God to do what only He can do!
Our beloved Doreen is 99 years old!! & She has lived and lives such a devotional life!! (Not so much recently, because of her condition) But she has a good long-term and a good short-term memory!
She is still so amazing – she remembers & greets people (and staff) by name! She knows & remembers birthdays! Because it was St Patrick’s Day Chuck wanted to pray the prayer of St Patrick over Doreen.
(Bit of Background on St Patrick… we don’t know a lot about him & much of what we know are legends! And he’s not all about green beer!)
Doreen first asked, “Is it really true?“ about the legend of St Patrick where he got rid of all the snakes in Ireland? Apparently the legend is that he was fasting & praying for 40 days on a mountain and these snake were really bothering him, so he drove them out to the sea! (It’s a popular legend!)
St Patrick’s prayer: I arise today Through God’s strength to pilot me… (See: the Prayer of St Patrick)
St Patrick also used the 3-leaf clover “Shamrock” to explain the Trinity of God!
The Trinity of God:
Read the Scriptures! In the scriptures you can see the Deity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
John 14:16 This statement in verse 16 is one beautiful example of the theme of the “Tri-unity of the Godhead”, that is woven throughout the New Testament. Jesus didn’t give a complicated lecture on the Trinity here; He simply spoke about how the Persons of the Trinity interact and work for the good of God’s people and the furtherance of His plan; God the Son promised to pray to God the Father and ask for the giving of God the Holy Spirit to the believer to accomplish this!
When Chuck travelled in South America, he stayed in a place called, Mendoza, Argentine – stayed in the home of a shoemaker who thought he could pray better if you’re big! – At the table, he spoke in (what he thought was) ”Spanish” but was then asked “What did he say?”
In Hebrew – “Sh’ma” – (From Deuteronomy) – means “To Hear”, So, Sh’ma Israel, means “Hear O Israel, (the Lord is One!)”
The Christian belief is not polytheistic (many god’s), but Monotheistic (One God) as well as Trinitarian.
This multi-unity can also be seen in the wedding vows – this is a mystery of a union of 2 becoming one!
What God has joined – let no man put asunder
When we get together as His church it is for the purpose of meeting together with Him, with Him coming among us!
When the Trinity comes there are notable things that happen.
A man’s spiritual gifts make room for him. As this is what happens as we come together in the presence of the Lord. We receive from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Trinity, and those spiritual gifts begin to operate in us. And God begins to make room for His gifts in our lives – we don’t hold them for ourselves – they are for each another, we give them away, and He gives us more!
John 17- prayer of Jesus – focus on the unity of His Body!
John 17 – is like a steep mountain, for us to climb – an adventure which is so rewarding.
Every event that happens to us is an adventure!
(eg. Chuck fell off his roof once & broke several ribs – quite an adventure!! In the hospital he asked the Dr if he could fly (he had a flight the next day!) – The Dr said “no!”. Then he asked the Dr if he could drive, the Dr thought he was nuts, but said – if you want to drive…. & gave him permission!
So John 17 is kind of like that, there is a mountain to climb, very steep, but an incredible adventure, and all the more great and more difficult since CVD – (It important that you do climb, because in it you see Jesus’ very prayer to His Father – for us!)
In the orient, certain Christians lives a certain way, and other Christians live another way… There they have what they call a 3-shelf church:
1 – An above-ground church – the gov’t basically controls what happens
2 – An Underground Church – where there is typically no gov’t intervention
3 – As things relaxed for awhile, there was a “joining” between 1 & 2 – but there needed to be a great measure of grace for coming together – for repentance & forgiveness, compassion and love
We will need an incredible amount of grace from the Lord for one another – now, if we are to see Jesus/ prayer answered.
There’s some unfinished business, yes, we need to be about the Father’s business.
John 17 – describes His business – His business is about His Family – all over the earth – that that family would so represent Him that the world would believe that the Father sent Jesus!
That we would be so visible, so loving, reflecting His character, and be so faithful and trusting in Him, and incredibly powerful & beautiful that the world will really believe that the Father send His Son
John 17:20 – Jesus very prayer for us too – all through the ages – that all of us may be one, even as Jesus is one with the Father!
John 17: 23-26 It doesn’t get any better that His being with us- His dwelling with us – Emmanuel – God with us – and when we are in complete unity with each other and with Him
– “To be where I AM…”, – “In order that Your love for Me will be in them – and I will be in them!!
This is JESUS’ heart’s desire for us!
A beautiful example of the Trinity with the Father and the Son – the Son, Jesus wants us to know His Father!
God the Father:
None of us are perfect dads. When we come to the Cross, there Jesus introduces us to His Father & we are blown away by the Love of His Father for His Son and the Love of the Father for us!! And the Father becomes OUR FATHER!!
Psalm 68:6 – God places the lonely in families , He sets the prisoners free, and gives them joy!!
There is such a cry, need & yearning for community for family, in the churches now!
Such a cry for Family – His Family!! With the Lord’s DNA! His Breath!
Here we see 3 things:
1 – God places the lonely in Families! (People have come to WOCC & cried because they feel accepted & loved!)
2 – God sets the prisoner free!! God will move mightily. We need to have His compassion & His power – We are talking about a powerful, and almighty God!! E.g.: with laying on of hands & ministry to the sick in Jesus’ Name!
3 – He gives them JOY – How many people appreciate real joy? A good dose of joy!
The number “3” is used 467 times in the Bible – it pictures completeness
Sometimes it used as an emphatic triplet to describe the intensity of something!
Here are some examples:
– Jesus returned to pray 3x’s in the garden of Gethsemane, when He faced the crucifixion
– God’s called Samuel 3x’s as a boy, to be His prophet
– Peter’s denial of Jesus – 3’x
– Jesus – asked Peter 3x’s if he loved Him, and Jesus replied “feed my sheep/Lambs” 3x’s
– Jesus was 3 days in the grave!! He was truly dead – He rose from the dead on the 3rd day!
– The Trinity of God – Father, Son & Holy Spirit
– Isaiah & John both had visions – and in their visions they saw and heard “Holy, Holy, Holy” – the only 3rd degree attribute of God! – Holy is repeated 3x’s!
– The Bible says that God is “Holy, Holy, Holy”!!
Check out the following scriptures on the Deity of God the Father, God the Son and, God the Holy Spirit:
God the Father:
Philippians 1:2 – God the Father
I John 3:1 – See what great love God the Father has lavished on us….
John 17:24 – we see the Father and the Son talking to one another
God the Son:
Matthew 1:23 – God the Son – shall give birth to a Son, and He shall be called Emmanuel, meaning “God with us”
Mark 2: – Pharisees were constantly watching Jesus. Jesus forgave the sins of the man, before He healed him!!, Jesus said “Son your sins are forgiven” – Wow!
The Pharisees were shocked, “Who can forgive sins but God alone” – Jesus then proved Who He was by healing the man!
While in South America, Chuck was invited to a home of a cult (from North America) They seemed to honour Abraham above all else – Abraham was the focus of their attention, instead of Jesus!!
The Lord showed Chuck, John 8:58: Jesus said to them “Truly, Truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM! “ (reference to Exodus 3: When Moses asked who should I say sent me? God said “Tell them, I AM WHO I AM, Tell them IAM has sent you”
C S LEWIS wrote “I’m trying to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Jesus. Like, “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ “That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher … You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool … or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.”
John 10:30 – I and the Father are One
Romans 9:5 – Christ… is God…
Colossians 2:9 – In Christ all the Fullness of the Deity lives…!
2 Peter 1:1 … God and Saviour, Jesus Christ…
Titus 2:13 – …Our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ…
God the Holy Spirit:
Acts 5:35 – a severe warning and judgement for lying to the Holy Spirit of God
The Holy Spirit a person, and He has attributes of personhood. The Holy Spirit is NOT an “it”.
The personhood of Holy Spirit
– can be lied to (or attempted to)
– makes decisions
– convicts our hearts of sin
– performs miracles
– can be grieved
– gives spiritual gifts
– helps us
– can be blasphemed against
– is our teacher
– is a fruit-giver (Galatians 5:22-23)
Galatians 5:22-23 The fruit of the Holy Spirit. Where the Holy Spirit shows up these fruit are manifest!
Many theologians and philosophers have struggled to understand the doctrine of the Trinity throughout history!
Much mystery of the Trinity, and the God Head remains
Early church fathers struggled to understand the mystery and eventually a consensus emerged, and finally came together into a Creed – The Apostles creed.
First version of the Apostles Creed (~150AD) written by the early church fathers and brought in all the writings of the Apostles, and was very soon after the lives and experiences of the apostles (though none of the Apostles were still alive at that time, to be directly involved in its composition)
The “Nicaean Creed” is the most famous & influential throughout history – 1st creed to be church-wide – settled how Christians could worship one God and also claim that this God was three persons. It improved on the Apostles creed and contains clearer language about the divinity of Christ and the Holy Sprit. It was the product of 2 ecumenical councils, over a period of about a century. Both councils were in Turkey, one being in Istanbul.
After a century of debates on the relationship on the Father, Son and Hoy Spirit they came forth with the Nicaean Creed (~381AD).
Each of the creeds were affirmed by the Church to rule out and address specific heresies in the early church, for example:
– Polytheism –belief that there is more than one god.
– Subordinationism – one can’t believe in this & and in the trinity at the same time – it means that not all of the persons are divine, and/or that the 3 persons are not equal
– Modalism – means that the 3 persons are not really distinct form one another but merely different manifestations of the same person…
– Gnosticism – denied the humanity of Christ
There are still certain aspects of God that we do not fully understand – they are incomprehensible to our human mind – He is infinite!
But! We have to be careful to honour that which has been revealed to us by the Trinity, God the Father Jesus the Son, God the Holy Spirit
Good news – deception is very, very difficult for a believer who remains CLOSE to JESUS!! When I begin to feel the presence of the Lord, my heart begins to soften, because of His presence & love. In that place, of remaining in Him there is great, great protection!!
TO DO: Read Romans 8: It is full of the Trinity!!
May the grace of the Our Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!!
Prayer: Lord, we’re asking for that which accompanies the preaching of Your word!!! We open our hearts to be so near to You – no where else, to be precent with You Father, Son and Holy Spirit!! Amen!!
Vania Levan’s Song: As You Walk with Him!