“Who? or What?: Person and Being”

“Who? or What?: Person and Being”


“Who? or What?: Person and Being”

Pastor Ryan J. McKeen




Well, this evening we will continue as we have been in our Trinity series. We’ve been focusing the last two weeks, morning and evening, on the Trinity.

Last Sunday morning, we kind of did an intro to the doctrine of the Trinity, and we talked about really the word Trinity comes from tri-unity, in the sense that there are three persons, yet one God. And that’s really the essentials of the doctrine, that we have one who is God, and yet we have three who are called God. And yet, as we saw There is no verse that speaks explicitly that way. There’s no verse in the Bible that mentions Trinity.

There’s no verse in the Bible that says there are three persons who are God. And yet, that is what we believe. Because Scripture, by good and necessary conclusion, teaches us that. Because it calls God the Father, God. It calls the Son, God. And it calls the Spirit, God. And yet we can’t point to one single verse that tells us there are three persons who are God. But that doesn’t make it untrue, just because it’s not that specific. we have to come to a conclusion about what Scripture does say. And that’s what we’ve been doing over the last couple weeks now. And these are important doctrines that we do understand because really it tells us who God is. It tells us what God is and who He is in the persons of the Trinity.

As one theologian, Herman Bavinck, said, every theological error results from or upon deeper reflection is traceable to a departure in the doctrine of the Trinity. And I think that’s true. You can trace just about every theological error there is to a misunderstanding of who God is. in one way or another. There’s a lot of different errors that people make, but usually at its root, there’s some misunderstanding of God. And so it’s important that we understand these heavy doctrines, these doctrines that are difficult to sometimes wrap our minds around.

And this evening what I’ll be doing is I’ll continue in the questions from our survey that really kind of was to gauge where we are in our understanding. These are some of the things I was not able to get to last Sunday morning, but really we’re going to consider a couple doctrines that were revealed in those questions. The first doctrine is really The difference between being in person, what it means when we talk about that there is one being who’s God, and yet there are three persons. What do being in person mean?

So we’ll talk about that, but then also we’re gonna talk about the personal relations of the three persons of the Godhead, how they relate to one another. We had a couple questions that were revolving around those issues. We saw the basics last week, and then we spoke of the heresies last Sunday evening, the way people have gotten these things wrong. And then this morning we talked about Christ and his two natures that come together in the person of Jesus Christ. And so tonight we’re going to really flesh out some more of these things. And again, we need to remember that even though some of these things may not make sense to us immediately, even though sometimes our minds are limited in our ability to grasp these things, if scripture explains it this way, we need to believe it, even if it doesn’t necessarily make sense to us, because that’s how a lot of the heresies have come about. People think, well, that doesn’t make sense. So I’m going to explain it in a way that does make sense. And that’s where you come up with a doctrine that’s not biblical because that’s just not the way the Bible says it. So we want to remain biblical in the way that we explain these different things.

So as we come to this, this doctrine of the being and persons of God, there is one being who is God and three persons. And yet, How can that be? How can there be one in three? And what do we mean by those words? When we read the confessions like we’ve been doing, the ancient creeds, and we see that these men of long ago that lived really only a few hundred years after the Bible was written, and they’re using words like person and being, or person and nature, it’s important that if we’re gonna confess those things, that we understand what those words mean. If we’re going to agree with them that there are three persons who are God, well, what’s a person? What does it mean to be a person? And then if we’re going to say that there’s one being who is God, like they did, well, what do they mean by being? We can’t just agree with them and then come up with new definitions and redefine what they said. And so that’s what my aim is for the first part of our time this evening, is to really flesh out what it means when they talk about, and when we understand from scripture, the difference between a being and a person.

So one of our questions on the survey was, true or false, God exists in three beings. It’s true, false, or unsure. And here is where many people on our survey were tripped up, I think, by the words. Because there was other questions that revealed that we do have a good understanding of the Trinity, and yet this question, only 50% answered false, which is the correct answer. So 50% were right in the question, and yet 10% were unsure, and 40% said yes. And I think it’s just a difference in the wording. And I’ll explain what I mean by that. The question was, God exists in three beings, and that is false. There are not three beings who are God, there are three persons. So we need to understand what the difference there is. And really, I’m glad that you were tripped up over those words, because it gives us opportunity to speak on these things. And it’s important that we understand that we need to be precise when we speak of God. We need to use the right words. We need to communicate the right things. And in order to do that, we need to use the right words. when we do that. And I wasn’t just playing word games. I intentionally want to bring out the precision we need when we speak of God.

So, we need to make a distinction between person and being. And here is a good definition of what a being is. We think of, for example, a human being. Well, God is a divine being. And when we think of being, there is only one divine being. And a good definition of being is a being refers to the existence of something or someone. So we talk about, we are human beings. Our existence is that of a human. God is a divine being. His existence is divine. His existence is to be God. So for our purposes, we will use, really, when we talk of God, there is one being, but there’s also one essence of God and one nature of God. Those are words that are used a lot. And they all have a little bit different nuance to them, but we’ll use them synonymously sometimes. We’ll just use the oneness of God is what we’re talking about.

So the being of God, it is what God is. So the persons are who and the being of God is what God is. A person is the agent or actor or the subject, the who that we’re talking about. So when we say that Jesus, the son, took on human flesh, that’s the who. The spirit didn’t take on flesh, the father didn’t take on flesh, the son did. So that’s the person of the son. So again, you have the what, the being, and the who. What refers to God’s being, and the who refers to the person. Are you following me so far? The what is the being of God. It is what God is. The person is the who. The who we’re speaking of when we talk of the three persons of the Trinity, the Father, the Son, or the Spirit. And again, these are the words, the terms that really the church has subscribed to since they formulated these doctrines. From the times that the early church took what scripture says and, well, we need to make a statement that helps us define what it is we believe about God. And the terms they settled on were being in person. So these are the distinctions they made, and I could show you different quotes where these men from the past speak of the difference between being and person, but really that boils it down. I want to try to simplify it as much as possible. It’s the who and the what, the person and being distinction.

What I want to make sure we do understand, though, is personhood, to be a person, we’re not talking about personality. There’s a difference there. Again, it’s the subject, the who. A personality is what someone’s like, right? Our personality is what we are like. And this confusion in language came about during the Enlightenment, where the Enlightenment was It’s a complex subject, but the enlightenment was really a rejection of of a Christian worldview that there’s a God and. Before the Enlightenment, most everybody believed that there’s a God of some kind. Whether or not that was the God of the Bible, or whether there was just one God, most people in the world had a worldview that there is a higher power of some kind, and we are to live in light of that. Now, it doesn’t mean that they were Christian or that they had the right God, but most people had an idea that there was a God. That would be the pre-modern worldview. that there was a God of some kind and we need to live in that, in light of that. Well, along comes the Enlightenment who needs, they believe they needed to reject that sort of thing and they subscribe to what is called rationality. Because, well, if it doesn’t make sense to my mind, then we can reject it.

So, the human rationality or reason became ultimate there. It wasn’t God or God’s word, it was human reason that became primary. And so, therefore, that changed a lot of the language and how language is used. And the understanding of person became more identified with personality. So when you talk of a person now, when we talk of a person, we think about what that person is like, whereas really what someone is like in previous times would speak to more of their nature, the nature of a person. And so that’s just to kind of distinguish there. We’re not talking about personality when we make distinctions between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They’re not different personalities. They’re different persons. What God is like does not change between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, right? The attributes of God, the way we speak of what God is like, that He is love, and He is wisdom, and He is truth, and He is all-powerful. All these things we speak of God, They are not how we distinguish the persons, right? We don’t say, well, God the Father is wisdom, and then God the Son is love, and so on and so forth. We don’t divide it that way. Because all three persons share what God is, right? All three persons equally share all of the divine attributes, all the things that make God, God, are true of all three persons.

So we’re not talking about different personalities when we talk about the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. We’re just talking about the three different persons that are different agents or subjects who carry out the divine will, who carry out the nature and essence of God. So I know this is really just a lot of kind of heady language and stuff, but it’s things, and I’m not expecting you to remember or retain everything that I’m talking about. I just kind of want to push your understanding a little bit. I want to push your thinking of God into some correct, make sure we’re in some correct categories when we think of these things.

So, again, the things that we confess as Christians. that God is one being and he’s three persons. Well, that’s meaningless if we don’t have a good understanding of what those words mean, right? So we just want to be careful with the words that we use. And if we’re to understand those terms, we need to, again, be careful with the meaning of them. So back to what is the correct answer here for this question on the survey? God exists in three beings, true or false. Well, If being is the what of God, if being is what God is, if we’re talking about divine being, well, we know there’s only one divine being. There’s only one God, right? We’re talking about the what. God is God. Well, there’s only one God. So there’s one being. God exists in one being. So the answer to that question is false.

This is what God is. As R.C. Sproul, he teaches a series on, or taught a series on this, and he calls this the isness of God. And again, that’s not really an English word, but it’s what God is. It’s his what. It’s the being of God. So no, God does not exist in three beings. It’s one being. And so that’s just one distinction we need to make sure we are careful to make in our thinking about God. One God, one being of God. And so now, As we continue in the survey, I know that you guys understand this because a couple questions later, there was a question, question six that said, there are three persons in the one being of God, and 90% of you answered correctly and said true. So I know you get it, but that just points out how we need to be careful when we think of the words that we use.

So there is one being, one essence of one what God is, but there are three persons, three who’s in the being of God. One God exists eternally as three distinct persons. And each person of the Trinity possesses all that it is to be God, the undivided essence of God. And that will be our focus next Sunday as we talk about the unity of God, the undivided being of God. And we’ll get more into that next Sunday morning. So again, the three persons are. Co-equal is the term that is usually used they equally share in the the essence and nature of God They are all three equally God. There’s no Distinction that the father is more God than the rest of them or anything like that. They are all equally God so You might be asking if there are three persons who are equally God and there’s one being well How do we tell the persons apart?

What is it that distinguishes them? What is it? When we think about the way scripture speaks, well, how do we know the difference between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit? We already really kind of determined that it’s not the attributes. It’s not that the Son is the loving one and the Father is the just one or anything like that. We don’t distinguish by the attributes of God. What we distinguish, the persons of God by is their relationship to each other. That’s really how scripture speaks of it, right? Scripture speaks of the father, the son, and the spirit, and that’s how we know the difference. There’s one who’s the father, and one who’s the son, and one who’s the spirit. That’s really the only way that we can distinguish the persons there.

For example, when we come to the questions on the survey, question five said, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit have always related to one another as Father, Son, and Spirit. True or false? Well, 86% got that one right, and that’s true. The Father has always been the Father, the Son has always been the Son, and the Spirit has always been the Spirit. There was no moment in time where the Son became the Son. The Son has always been the Son. So what we’re gonna talk about here for a few minutes now is called the eternal relations of the Spirit and the Son. Well, first we’ll talk about the Son, and this is called, the theologians call this the eternal generation of the Son. And what they’re using there is biblical words. We look at verses, and we will here in a minute, like John 3.16, the only begotten Son, Well, that’s the word for generation there. And as we think of these words, these terms for these doctrines, we want to focus on the eternal part. Because when these doctrines were formulated, that’s what they were emphasizing. Because they were responding to those who were saying, well, one day the sun was born. The sun became the sun. And the same with the Spirit. And they’re saying, no, no. He’s eternally begotten. He’s eternally generated.

So when you hear a word like generation or begotten, don’t think of it as the time when he was born. Because that’s typically the way we think of those words. But that’s not the way Scripture intends them. We have the eternal generation of the Son and the eternal procession of the Spirit, and we’ll come to those as we do.

So, eternal generation first. The most common way, as I said, the most common way the persons are spoken of in Scripture are Father, Son, and Spirit. So what do these mean? It basically means that the Son has always been the Son, and it’s talking about the direction, not the time. It’s talking about where the Son derives his essence from. It’s fromness, really. It’s talking about where is the Son from? He’s from the Father. Jesus speaks this way. I’ve been sent from the Father. And they speak the same way of the Spirit. So to read a few theologians that speak of this, Augustine says it this way. He says, not because one is greater and the other less, but because one is father and the other is son. One is the begetter and the other is begotten. The first is the one from whom the sent one is, and the other is the one who is from the sender. So again, it’s just talking direction.

This can be a little confusing, but don’t get distracted with the word begotten. It’s not talking about some sort of beginning to the son. It’s talking about the sender and the sent. It’s the direction there. Because we never read in scripture that the father is sent from the son, right? It’s always that the son is sent from the father. And the spirit is sent from the father and the son, not the other way around. So all it is is defining what it is scripture says about how the persons relate to each other. So just, and sometimes it helps to define what we’re not saying. And so one theologian, Donald McLeod, really does that well. He kind of lays down what we’re not saying when we talk about these things. He says, the father’s generation of the son transcends any human or biological generation.

So it’s not like human begetting or human generation. The father and son in the Godhead are not like a father and son in humans in the sense that one is the one who is born from the father like we would think of a son being born, a human son. The second way he defines this is the generation does not mean the father is prior to the son in time. Every other father and son we know, the father existed first, right? You think about a father and son in human terms, the father had to exist first. Well, that is not what we’re talking about when we speak of the father and son in the Trinity. The father did not exist before the son. Then, generation is not the same as the spirit’s procession or sending. God has only one son.

So don’t think of it as though there’s the father and then there’s Jesus, even though he’s called the firstborn, The spirit is not the second born, right? God has one son. There’s a father and the son, and the spirit is not another son, right? So it’s not as though God has two sons named Jesus and the spirit. There’s one son. There’s the father and the son, and then you have the spirit as well. And then lastly, Christ’s generation is not creation. The son is not a creature. He is God. And so let’s look at some scripture where we see these things. So that’s kind of just the definition of the doctrine. Let’s look at scripture. Well, first we see Psalm 2 7. And let’s turn to Psalm 2 quickly. Psalm 2 is a Psalm speaking of Christ. And it’s speaking of the rule of Christ and really the bestowing from the Father to the Son But we see there the language of begetting. Psalm 2.7 says, I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord. He said to me, you are my son. Today I have begotten you. Again, this is speaking of Christ. And even though it says today I have begotten you, it’s not speaking of a moment in time. It’s speaking of the relationship between the father and the son. It’s not saying that there was a day before when there was no son. It’s saying the father has sent the son. The father has begotten the son.

Again, I mentioned this last week, but we need to remember we’re using human language to explain a God who is beyond human understanding. So there’s going to be a limit to the words we can use. We have to use words that speak of human generation to Explain a a generation that is not human. So it’s gonna break down at some point But we got to use something to explain what we’re talking about here Now, let’s go to John. We’re gonna spend some time in John tonight. I think John is one of the most Trinitarian in his doctrine not that the others aren’t Trinitarian, but he reveals the most about the Trinity in the the gospel of John so we see in John chapter 5 and that we see this language speaking of the father and the son and how the father and the son, they share the same essence and yet there’s a sending there.

So John 5:26, for just as the father has life in himself, even so he gave to the son to have life in himself. So what Jesus is doing here is he’s identifying himself with the Father. He’s saying that the Father has life-giving as part of his nature, and he’s saying so does the Son. He is identifying himself with God. He’s not He’s not trying to separate the two and saying there’s actually two gods that give life. No, his purpose here is to say he’s God. He has the same characteristics that God does, therefore he is God. And yet, you have to use the language that the father gave to the son to have life in himself as well. So there’s just a direction there, that the Father gave to the Son the essence of God, which is to give life, life-giving.

John 6, if you flip over another chapter, John 6:46, speaks similarly, and it says, no one has seen the Father except the one who is from God. See there, Jesus is saying, the Son, himself is the one who is from God. Again, we’re talking about fromness, if you can use that as a word. It’s the direction. It’s that God, the Father and the Son share the same essence. He is the one who is from God. So again, we can see this language in the Bible. And the important thing to understand here is when we see language that talks of begetting or that he’s from God, we have to know what that means. We can’t just breeze over that language, because you can come to some faulty doctrine that some people have in the past that, well, maybe the son is a creation. Maybe the son is born one day, and there was a time that there was no son. Well, no, we need to understand this correctly. that the focus here is on the eternal generation of the Son, that God has always been Father and Son.

Go to John 17, the high priestly prayer when Jesus is praying. When he’s praying and speaking to God, we see a lot. A lot is revealed about God’s character and nature, especially the beginning of John 17. John 17, one. Jesus spoke these things, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, even as you gave him authority over all flesh, that to all whom you have given him. So again, there’s that giving language. The Father has given them to the Son. that he may give eternal life. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” See again there, Jesus is not dividing himself from God, he’s actually identifying himself with God. He’s not saying that there’s, well, there’s God and then there’s me. No, he’s saying, you see the similarities here, there’s a reason for that. There’s a reason why the Father gives life and the Son gives life, it’s because As he says in John 10:30, I and the Father are one.

So that’s what he’s doing here, and he continues, I glorified you on the earth, having finished the work which you have given me to do, in verse five, now Father, glorify me together with yourself with the glory which I had with you before the world was. So there’s that eternality, that the Father and the Son were with each other, existing as God before the world was. So Jesus there, just in his speaking with the Father, in the introduction to his prayer, reveals a doctrine that’s hard to wrap our mind around, that the Father and the Son have always existed. There never was a beginning to the Father and the Son. That’s the eternality of God.

So, and then later on in his prayer, verse 24, there’s another important verse to our understanding. He says, Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am so that they may see my glory which you have given me for you loved me before the foundation of the world. So there it is again. The father loved the son before the foundation of the world.

There’s a, I briefly talked about this last week, speaking of the three persons, but Michael Reeves’ book, Delighting in the Trinity, is really an excellent book, and he really makes it so accessible, the doctrine of the Trinity. And one of the things, one of the points he makes is that in order for God to be love, as we see here, that you have, that Jesus says, you have loved me before the foundation of the world, God has to be a trinity. in order to be love? Because who do you love if there’s not more than one? If there’s not more than one person, what does love even mean? There is no such thing as love if there’s not someone to love. And so therefore, if God is love, that requires another person for him to love.

So there’s the Father and the Son and the Spirit eternally existing in love. And he kind of makes the contrast with Islam. They have the god Allah, which they would say, well, it’s the same god. We just worship him correctly. And they’re wrong. That is not the same god, because they deny the trinity. And they say, no, there’s one person. And even in the Quran, it explicitly says God is not a trinity. There is one person. And yet, at the same time, they claim that God is love. But again, that’s meaningless if there’s no one to love. How can God be love? There’s no such thing as love that’s not expressed. So God being love itself is a revelation of the Trinity. And another passage that we can go to to see this language of the beginning of the sun is a very familiar passage.

Go to John 3:16. I mentioned it earlier, but turn to John 3.16 just for a moment. John 3:16, I’m sure a lot of you could probably quote it to me, but John 3:16, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. So there you have the begotten, that the son is begotten, but it also speaks of the eternal nature of this. Because if you keep reading, for God did not send the son into the world to judge the world so right there the father sent the son into the world they existed before the world and therefore God sent the son into the world that the world might be saved through him In verse 18, he who believes in him is not judged, but he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. So there you have the begotten language, but also the implication that this has always been.

So again, these designations of son and father, they identify the persons for us. Otherwise, if the Bible only ever referred to the persons as just God, we would have no idea that God is a trinity, right? If we didn’t have the Father and the Son and the Spirit mentioned in scripture, we would not know the difference, even though there are three. But scripture uses these different names, father, son, and spirit, to tell us that there are three persons.

By calling the first person of the Trinity father, it reveals God’s fatherhood to us, the fact that God takes care of his children. By calling the son the son, it reveals Christ’s sonship, that he has a father. that he is the son of the father and the same with the spirit that the spirit is sent or the spirit proceeds so that’s the doctrine of the the eternal generation of the son that again it’s focused on the eternality that this has always been father and son there’s no beginning to this and then.

Let’s look at, lastly, the eternal procession of the Spirit. It’s really the same thing, but only with the Spirit. The Father and the Son eternally communicate the essence of the Spirit in a doctrine called procession. And Joel Beeke, he explains it well. He says, just as the mission of the Son reveals his relationship to the Father, so the mission of the Spirit reveals his relationship to the Father and the Son. For the Spirit, too, is sent into the world to perform God’s life-giving work. So that’s really, it’s just talking that the Spirit is sent. The Spirit is sent and He is eternally sent. So some verses that reveal this, John 14, 16, I will ask of the Father and He will give you another advocate, that He will be with you forever. And then later in John 14 verse 26, but the advocate, the Holy Spirit.

So there’s Jesus identifying this advocate whom the father will send in my name. So he’s saying the father will send him. Then if you go to John 15, the next chapter, when the advocate comes, John 15, 26, whom I will send to you from the father, the spirit of truth who proceeds from the father, he will bear witness about me. The next chapter, again, this is all Jesus’s discussion with the disciples about the Holy Spirit, just letting them know the Spirit’s coming. When I ascend to the Father, I will send the Spirit to you. And that’s John 16, seven says, but I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go, the advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you.

So again, this sending of the Spirit, the procession of the Spirit, is a biblical doctrine. That’s the way the Bible speaks. The spirit is sent. And it’s, again, it’s emphasizing eternal. The spirit didn’t come about after Jesus went back to heaven. It wasn’t as though there was no spirit beforehand, and then, well, now that Jesus is gone, they created the spirit and sent him then. No, it’s eternally this way. There has always been three. Always been the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. And these distinctions again help us differentiate the persons from each other.

Here’s a good kind of boiling this doctrine down a little bit. John Calvin, he says, indeed, the words father, son, and spirit imply a real distinction. Let no one think that these title, no one think these titles whereby God is designated from his works are empty. So he’s basically saying these words are not just empty words. They mean something. For the father to be father, the fact that God uses that term to describe himself, that means something. Same with the son and the spirit. We need to understand them. They mean something. And he says, they explain a distinction, but not a division. It’s a distinction in the persons, not a division of the being of God.

And again, we read the Athanasian Creed last week that spoke of this distinction. The father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. So he’s the one person. who is not sent. He is made of none, not created, not begotten. Then you get to the Son. The Son is of the Father alone. He’s not made nor created, but begotten. Again, that’s important. He’s of the Father alone. We have no verse in scripture that says the Son is begotten of the Spirit. He’s begotten of the Father, right? He is from the Father. So there’s the Father and the Son. Then you get to the Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son. We just saw that. Jesus says, the Father will send him. And then a few moments later, he says, I will send him. One in the same. He’s of the Father and the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers, one Son, not three Sons, one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. Again, all this language is doing is helping us make distinctions between the persons without dividing them.

So let me just in kind of closing of this doctrine, let me just try to simplify it even more. To be a father. You have to be a father of someone, right? You can’t be a father and never have any children. The fact that God is called father implies that he has at least one child, and he does, or child in the sense of son. Not born in human terms, but it implies he has a son. Otherwise, he could not be called father. Same thing with a son. To be called the son means you came from somewhere. If you are a son, or even if you are a daughter in human terms, You have a father, even if you never knew your father, even if you never met your father. The reality is, because you’re here, you have a father. You came from a father. Every human being who has ever lived had a father, except for Adam. He was created from the dirt. He’s the only one. But everyone else has a father. Even Jesus, his father is God. But every other person Because you are existing as a son or a daughter, you are one or the other, that means you have a father. Well, the same applies to calling the son, the son. It just is saying he comes from the father. He has to have a father, otherwise he couldn’t be called the son. So that’s why that word is used, that’s why that term is used. And then the spirit, and this is a little more, we don’t really speak in terms of calling somebody a spirit, but if you have a spirit, Your spirit has to belong to someone, right? It proceeds from someone. And that’s to call the Holy Spirit. A spirit means he has proceeded from God. And proceeded from technically the father and the son.

So that’s just explaining what those words mean according to scripture. And again, it doesn’t say that there’s more than one being. Isaiah 44:6 says, there is no God beside me. So we’re not making a division in God. We’re just distinguishing the persons. And I know you’re probably having a hard time wrapping your mind around this. We all do. I mean, I’ve been studying this stuff for a long time, and I still I have a hard time wrapping my mind around this. And this tonight has been a little bit more of a lesson in the sense that I’m trying to teach some doctrine that’s derived from scripture. We’re not necessarily taking one passage like we did this morning and exegeting it. We’re trying to make some sense of the way the Bible uses these terms.

But don’t get frustrated if you don’t understand it all. And I said this before, frustration is what leads to making up our own doctrines. and making up doctrines that are incorrect. We need to understand that the Bible uses the terms Father, Son, and Spirit, and that has to mean something. And so instead of being discouraged or confused or frustrated, if your mind can’t wrap around all this, that should encourage you. Because that means God is bigger than you are. And God is more incomprehensible than you are. And that we worship a God that we can’t wrap our minds around, and that should be a comfort, because if God was small enough for me to fully understand, then God would not only be smaller than me, but he’d be smaller than my problems. But I worship a God who’s bigger than me. I worship a God who I can’t understand, and I don’t understand why he does what he does all the time. And that’s okay, because God’s bigger than me, God’s smarter than me, God can see a lot more than I can, and I’m fine with that. And we need to be fine with a God who’s bigger than us.

So don’t be too discouraged by these things. Just remember some of the basics of these doctrines that we confess as Christians, that the Father is distinct from the Son and the Spirit, and yet He is fully God. And the son is distinct from the father and the spirit, and he is fully God. And the spirit is distinct from the father and the son, yet he’s fully God. And those are questions eight, nine, and 10 on our survey.

So next week, as we come to the unity of God, we’ll talk about, and I’ll, that’ll be next Sunday morning sermon. We’ll have some passages to exegete, and that’ll be a lot more of a sermon than a lesson. So that’ll be good, but will cover the last of the questions of the survey that I haven’t touched on yet. So all of those questions that you all read and we’re probably like. What does this mean? I want to make sure we cover them all so that we at least have a basic understanding or a basic. introduction to some of these doctrines. And those three questions I just read, around 95% of you got them all right. So good job. You got those right on the nails.

So just to kind of wrap up here, Trinitarianism is the heart of our faith, the faith delivered once for all to the saints. It is how God is presented in scripture. The three persons, but there’s one God. And without the Trinity, we don’t have Christianity, because without the Trinity, we don’t have the real God. We need to know who God is. And God is a Trinity. And just as much as a building relies on every part of its foundation, even though, or even so, our theology relies on its foundation, and that is who God is. If we don’t understand who God is, there’s gonna be other problems in our theology. God is the foundation. Who God is is what the Bible is about.

So we want to know more of God, and you can study and exercise yourself over these things for your entire life, and there’s gonna be a lot more to go. And we will spend eternity getting to know God even better, and we will never come to the end of God. God is infinite. We are not. It’s important that we do get our understanding of God correct so that we worship the right God, that we worship God in spirit and truth. I don’t expect that you’re going to remember everything. I don’t expect that you’re going to grasp everything that we’ve talked about, but I do want you to be growing. I do want you to be growing in your understanding. I want you to be growing in your theology, in your doctrine. I want to be growing in my theology and doctrine. I want to be more and more accurate, more and more precise in the way that I understand these things. And so that’s why we do things like this. So I know this is a little bit of a different style of service than we usually do. It’s a little more of a teaching than a preaching. That’s the intent here is that we know God better. Because the more we know God, the more accurately we know God, the more accurately we can worship God. So let’s close tonight by standing for a word of prayer.

God, we do thank you for your revelation. That even though we don’t always understand or grasp everything that you say about yourself, We thank you that you’ve said it, and that we can continue to investigate and dig deeper into who you are, into how you’ve revealed yourself. And I pray that you would give us that desire to keep digging and keep wanting to know more of you. We thank you for the Bible and for the clarity that it brings, and that as it speaks of the three persons that you are, and yet it also tells us that you are one God. Even though that doesn’t fully make sense to our minds, we thank you that you’ve told us that, that you’ve revealed yourself in such a way that we can know those things. Thank you again for your word. We pray that we would be more and more conformed into your image as we learn more about you and then go and tell others these things. We thank you for who you are. We pray all of this in Christ’s name. Amen.

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