27 December 2017

Christian Doctrine: The Trinity

Doctrine: Trinity

B2 Theology proper

C1 Trinity

D1 One God = essence
E1 Essence is the stuff God is made of. God is a spirit, not flesh.
E2 Essence is explained by the example of water in a pitcher poured in separate glasses or the 3 petal leaf of a clover.
D2 Persons
E1 God the Father
E2 God the Son (See Jesus Christ below)
E3 God the Holy Spirit (See Holy Spirit below)
D3 Relationships
E1 God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have one essence. It is the nature of what a being is. God’s nature is not human nature, or dog nature, or sparrow nature. God has one nature. God is life, aseity, self-existence. God is not created by another being or created by Himself.
E2 The same have the fullness of God. Each is fully God. One person is not lacking or inferior to another. They have both equality and unity.
E3 Each person of the one God has roles. These rolls are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The role of the Father is He is not begotten or proceeds from anyone. The role of the Son is He is eternally begotten of the Father. This does not mean that the Son had a beginning, for it refers to a role the Son fulfills. The Holy Spirit eternally proceeds (is sent) from the Father and the Son. This does not mean that He is less God. He is fully God. It describes His role in the Trinity.
E4 Each person is equally authoritative and equally supreme. The Son is not in eternal subordination to the Father. The Son has equal authority and supremacy. The word begotten refers to His taking humanity in the womb of the Virgin from the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet, the Son has always been God. It refers to His role, not His origin. He is unique, the one and only (Genesis 22:2, 12, 16, John 3:16). The term firstborn refers to His position of authority, not referring that He came into being (Exodus 4:22, Jeremiah 31:9, Colossians 1:18 (pre-eminence), Hebrews 1:6, Psalm 89:27).
D4 Decrees
E1 This refers to His sovereign commands, decisions, and judgments.
E2 There is a difference how Calvinists and Arminians define and apply this term. You can search for decrees in the Westminster Confession and Monergism website. You can also search the Arminian view on the Society of Evangelical Arminians.
D5 Errors
E1 Tri-theism
F1 This is the idea that there are 3 gods who work with each other.
F2 The truth is there are 3 persons in one god.
F3 John 14:7-9 NKJV  "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him."  (8)  Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us."  (9)  Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
F4 John 10:30 NKJV  I and My Father are one."
F5 Isaiah 45:18 NKJV  For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the LORD, and there is no other.
F6 Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV  "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
F7 If there were more than one god, there would no unity.
F8 There would be 3 totally sovereign gods with all the same attributes.
F9 If they disagreed, there would be no unity, for who would win?
F10 One God is in His essence. The 3 persons are roles that one essence has chosen.
E2 Sabellianism (Modalism, Oneness theology)
F1 There is only one god. This one god takes the office of Father sometimes, Son sometimes, and Holy Spirit sometimes.
F2 Matthew 3:16-17 NKJV  When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.  (17)  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." How could this be, if Modalism were true? Whose voice was this?
F3 Matthew 28:19 NKJV  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
F4 John 8:18 NKJV  I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me." Jesus refers to two witnesses—himself and the Father. He also states that the Father sent Him. It would make no sense for Jesus to refer to being sent by the Father, when it is really him.
F5 1 John 4:14 NKJV  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. The same comments in F4 apply here.
F6 John 11:41-42 NKJV  Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.  (42)  And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me." Who is Jesus praying to?
F7 (Matthew 26:42 (NKJV) Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Compare: (Hebrews 5:7 (NKJV) Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear. Who is Jesus praying to?
F8 John 14:16-17 NKJV  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—  (17)  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. Who is this other comforter given while Jesus is gone?
E3 Arianism
F1 Jesus is the first created and is god. Some believe that Jesus was begotten but not of the same substance. The Father was unbegotten, the Son begotten. They claim 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 as proof.
F2 He is not equal or of the same substance (essence) as the Father. He does not have the same nature as the Father.
F3 He is god by designation. He is god by title.
F4 He is subordinate to the Father.
F5 John 20:28 NKJV  And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus is called God, and Jesus made no correction.
F6 (John 5:23 (NKJV) “That all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Same honor, not similar or less honor.
F7 John 1:1 NKJV  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
G1 The Jehovah Witnesses translate this as a god. This makes them have more than one god—polytheists.
G2 Greek rule of translation: Metzger writes, “A definite predicate nominative has the article when it follows the verb; it does not have the article when it precedes the verb.” (Bruce M. Metzger, “The Jehovah’s Witnesses and Jesus Christ: A Biblical and Theological Appraisal,” Theology Today (April, 1953): 71). Link
F8 Colossians 1:15-17. God cannot be created. The verse clearly refers to Jesus being Lord of creation—the first, the greatest, the only.
F9 John 14:28 NKJV  You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I. The word greater refers to role, not nature.
G1 Jehovah Witnesses teach that Jesus does not have the same nature or authority as God.
G2 There is only one God, not two. See Isaiah 48:15, John 5:18, and Hebrews 1.

Glory Awaits

Theme: The Promise of Resurrection

Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:20-58

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: Christ was raised from the dead, and we too will be raised up when He returns.
Think: Let the assurance of my coming resurrection motivate me to live for Christ.
Do: Always live for the Lord, doing His will, knowing we will be raised to be with Him in Heaven.

Notes and questions:
B1 Basic
C1 Defined: Resurrection is not resuscitation. One is cold dead; the other is temporarily dead.
C2 The Lord Jesus really died.
D1 John 19:32-35
D2 Mark 15:44
C3 The Lord Jesus really rose from the dead—witnesses.
D1 Angels and the women: Mark 16:6-8
D2 The Roman guard: Matthew 28:11-15
D3 The eleven Apostles: Matthew 28:16-18
D4 The men on the Emmaus Road: Luke 24:13-35.
D5 His disciples: Luke 24:36-49.
D6 Mary Magdalene: John 20:11-18.
D7 To the disciples with Thomas: John 20:19-29.
D8 500 brothers and sisters; it is also a list of others including Paul: 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
C4 The Lord Jesus really rose from the dead—other proofs.
D1 Empty tomb
E1 His body into the tomb:
E2 His body not there: Matthew 27:64
E3 The Romans and Jews knew where the tomb was located. If Jesus body was still there (meaning Jesus was still dead), they could have refuted the Apostles preaching Jesus’s resurrection.
D2 The linen body wrapping especially the folding of the face wrapping: John 20:6-8
D3 The change in the Apostles and disciples attitude and actions: Acts 2. Compare John 20:19.
D4 The early church meeting on Sunday for worship in honor of the Lord Jesus who had risen from the dead.
E1 John 20:1
E2 John 20:19
E3 Acts 20:7
E4 1 Corinthians 16:2
E5 Revelation 1:10
C5 The importance of the resurrection.
D1 To fulfill Scripture: Luke 24:45-47
D2 Without the resurrection, there is no forgiveness of sins: 1 Corinthians 15:17
D3 For justification: Romans 4:25
D4 So Jesus could pray for us: Romans 8:34
D5 For hope of salvation and eternity in heaven: 1 Corinthians 15:19
D6 Gives evidence of Jesus’s divinity
E1 Acts 13:32-37
E2 Romans 1:4
D7 Proves that Jesus’s death was accepted by God. Jesus’s death provides for the forgiveness of sins.
C6 Old Testament prophecies about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
D1 Acts 17:2-3
D2 Where are these Old Testament Scriptures?
E1 There are prophecies of the suffering and dying Messiah (Isaiah 53 and Daniel 9:25-26). There are also prophecies of the King Messiah who reigns forever (Revelation 11:15). If Messiah died, then reigns forever, it must mean He was resurrected.
E2 Jonah and the whale theory; Some hold that this refers to it, but Jesus uses this an illustration but does not say that the passage itself predicts His resurrection.
E3 Hosea 6:2 NKJV  After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. This is mentioned by some, since the words third day and raised are in the passage. It appears that the passage is more of a summons from the prophet to meet and have a revival.
E4 Compare Psalm 16, Isaiah 53:10-12, and Isaiah 42:1-4.
B2 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 WEL For the first thing I passed on to you was what I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, 4 And that he was buried, then rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
C1 What did Paul teach?
C2 Did the Corinthian believers accept it?
C3 What 3 things did the Lord Jesus do that is mentioned in this passage?
C4 What significance does according to the Scriptures have?
C5 Why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ so important? (1 Corinthians 15:12 WEL Now if Christ is preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection from the dead?).
C6 How does these verses apply to the previous question? 1 Corinthians 15:13-20 WEL Now if there is no resurrection from the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching [is] futile and your faith [is] also futile. 15 Yes and we are found [to be] false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that he raised Christ whom he didn't raise, if it is so that the dead don't rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ isn't risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If [it is] only in this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people the most pitiful. 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead and become the first fruits of those who slept.
D1 Preaching the Gospel is useless.
D2 Faith is Jesus Christ for salvation is useless.
D3 Apostles and other early Christian evangelists will go to hell for lying.
D4 Sins are not forgiven, so they will go to hell without forgiveness.
D5 Believers who have died have no hope of eternal life.
D6 We are the saddest, most miserable people in existence.
D7 BUT all the above points are false, because Jesus Christ did truly, bodily rise from the dead as proven by the empty tomb, the over 500 witnesses, and even those who were His enemies.
B3 A thought: The first creation fails and will be destroyed. Adam willfully sinned which brought God’s curse of death. The rest of the first creation is the Sabbath. The second creation starts on the eighth day (the first day), the day of Jesus’s resurrection and will be complete when the new heavens and earth will be created. The curse is destroyed when death is destroyed in the Lake of Fire. We recognize this in part by worshipping on Sunday. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the promise of our resurrection and the new creation. 1 Corinthians 15:26 NKJV The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
B4 1 Corinthians 15:29 NKJV Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?
C1 Many interpretations
C2 Perhaps
D1 Some people became Christians.
D2 They wanted to be baptized.
D3 They died before they could be baptized.
D4 The Corinthians, even though baptized themselves, were baptized vicariously, in place of, on behalf of, those who had died.
C3 The point is, “If there is no resurrection, why be baptized?”
B5 1 Corinthians 15:30-32. Why be baptized, if we are going to die in persecution tomorrow. If there is no resurrection, what’s the point?
B6 1 Corinthians 15:35-49,
C1 What are some differences between our present body and the resurrection body?
C2 What are some differences between the first Adam and the second Adam?
B7 1 Corinthians 15:50-58,
C1 Can our present body inherit heaven?
C2 How fast will the resurrection be? How can it happen that fast?
C3 What trumpet is this? It is God’s trumpet to the church to come to Him. Trumpets are often used for notifying and gathering people as in Exodus 19:13, Judges 6:34, and Jeremiah 4:5.
C4 This trumpet is probably the one mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NKJV  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  17  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  18  Therefore comfort one another with these words.
C5 What has happened to death?
C6 What is the victory of 1 Corinthians 15:57?
C7 How did we become victorious?
B8 Is the resurrection an important doctrine? Why?
B9 How will knowing about the resurrection change our way of thinking and living?
B10 Next week:
C1 Bad Decisions and Consequences
C2 Theme: The Importance of Obedience
C3 Scriptures: 1 Samuel 13:1-23

19 December 2017

Good News of Great Joy

The Greatest Gift

Scriptures: Luke 2:1-21

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: Jesus was a gift of God who was born to a virgin. He was destined to save His people.
Think: Joy at what the Savior has done for me motivates me to live for Him and to share the good news.
Do: Take joy in celebrating the Savior’s birth and share the good news with others.

Notes and questions:
B1 Luke 2:1-7 NKJV  And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.  2  This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.  3  So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.  4  Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,  5  to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.  6  So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.  7  And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
C1 What do you think Joseph’s thoughts were as Mary and he traveled to Bethlehem?
C2 What was Mary thinking at this time?
C3 Name 3 things that strike you as wonderful in this passage.
C4 Labor of Love
C5 Why did Jesus have to be born?
B2 Luke 2:8-21 NKJV  Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  9  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  10  Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  11  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  12  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."  13  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  14  "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"  15  So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."  16  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  17  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  18  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  19  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  20  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.  21  And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
C1 As an aside, I would like to mention that shepherds are in the fields in December.
D1 Genesis 31:38-40 WEB  “These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not cast their young, and I haven’t eaten the rams of your flocks.  39  That which was torn of animals, I didn’t bring to you. I bore its loss. Of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night.  40  This was my situation: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from my eyes.
D2 The word for frost means something bald and cold, so ice, hail, frost, etc. It is used 7 times in the Old Testament. Six of those times it refers to ice, hail, frost, etc. Genesis 31:40, Job 6:16, Job 37:10, Job 38:29, Psalm 147:17, and Jeremiah 36:30.
D3 Most Bible translations have cold.
D4 Weather in Haran, where Laban lived and Jacob took care of Laban’s sheep.
D5 So the likelihood of Bethlehem shepherds being in the fields are high.
C2 I don’t care what the date was. I rejoice and worship the Virgin’s baby, Jesus, God’s son.
C3 How could you argue that it is most reasonable that real angels gave this message?
C4 What was the effect of this on the shepherds, Mary, and Joseph?
B3 Luke 2:2 WEB  This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
C1 Critics attack this as proving that Luke did not write the Gospel or that he was in error. Either way, they state, this proves that the Bible is fallible, not infallible.
E1 Quirinius was governor 2 different times.
E2 There were 2 different census enrollments. (Compare Acts 5:37).
E3 The Greek word πρῶτος prōtos should be translated before as in John 1:15 and John 1:30.
B4 The journey
C1 Map
C2 The Journey:
D1 Nazareth to Jordan Valley (~1200 feet above sea level)
D2 Down Jordan Valley to Jericho (~853 feet below sea level)
D3 Up to Jerusalem (~2474 feet above sea level)
D4 The total distance would be about 80 miles.
D5 Joseph most likely had a donkey to help transport wood, etc. Mary probably rode the donkey.
D6 The journey would have taken 4-7 days.
D7 Mary was 9 months pregnant.
D8 How many miles would they have traveled each day?
B5 The birth
C1 Do you think there were any birth attendants at the side of the manager when Mary birthed the Lord Jesus?
C2 Where Mary and Joseph married?
D1 Since they were travelling together to be registered for the census, they would have been married.
D2 Luke 2:5 NKJV  ...to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
B6 Was Mary sinless?
C1 The Orthodox Church position as answered in a question:
D1 Mary could indeed have sinned, but chose not to.
D2 Humans do not accept that humans share the guilt of the first sin but, rather, only the consequences.
C2 Yes, Mary is sinless. The Roman Catholic view from the Catechism quoted here:
D1 Mary was redeemed from the moment of her conception.
D2 Mary was from conception preserved immune from all stain of original sin.
D3 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”
D4 The Father chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love.”
C3 Consider:
D1 The Bible never states that Mary was sinless (without sin). An important doctrine would surely be written clearly.
D2 Luke 2:22-24 WPNT And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they took Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens a womb shall be called holy to the LORD”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what was specified in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
E1 One sacrifice was for purification so to be clean to enter the Temple.
E2 The other was for a sin offering. Because of impurity, Mary could not go into the Temple. This sin had to be atoned for. This was the least of the blood type sacrifices.
E3 Leviticus 12:8 NRSV  If she cannot afford a sheep, she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement on her behalf, and she shall be clean.
D3 If Mary is the woman of Revelation 12:2 NRSV  She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth, as Romans Catholics teach, then she would not have had birth pains. Birth pains were a punishment for sin: Genesis 3:16 NRSV  To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."
D4 Mary died; she is not living today. Humans die because they sin.
E1 Romans 6:23 NRSV  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
E2 James 1:14-15 NRSV  But one is tempted by one's own desire, being lured and enticed by it;  15  then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.
D5 In the New Testament, Mary is never exalted.
D6 There is no passage in the Bible showing Mary exalted in heaven either.
D7 Even seven Popes are quoted on the same side, and among them three of the greatest, viz., Leo 1. (who says that Christ alone was free from original sin, and that Mary obtained her purification through her conception of Christ), Gregory I., and Innocent III. (§29. The Argument for the Immaculate Conception. THE CREEDS OF CHRISTENDOM, WITH A HISTORY AND CRITICAL NOTES. BY PHILIP SCHAFF, D.D., LL.D., PROFESSOR OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE IN THE UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, N. Y.)
B7 Did Mary have other children?
C1 There is no reason not to interpret the Bible in its plain, normal sense.
C2 The plain, normal sense states in
D1 Mark 3:32 HCSB A crowd was sitting around Him and told Him, “Look, Your mother, Your brothers, and Your sisters are outside asking for You.
D2 Mark 6:3 HCSB Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren’t His sisters here with us? ” So they were offended by Him.
B8 Who was the father of Jesus, according to the Scriptures?
C1 John 8:54 NKJV  Jesus answered, If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.
C2 John 17:5 NKJV  And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
C3 Psalms 2:7 NKJV  I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. WITH Hebrews 1:5 NKJV  For to which of the angels did He ever say: "YOu are my son, today i have begotten you"? And again: "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son"?
B9 In our Scripture passage, who are the one’s testifying about Jesus to others? (See Luke 2:10-13 and Luke 2:17).
B10 Let us know and follow the Scriptures to be good apologists.
B11 Let us tell others about the Savior, Jesus Christ.
B12 Next week:
C1 Glory Awaits
C2 Theme: The Promise of Resurrection
C3 Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:20-58