Part 13 Understanding difficult passages

I established a criterion to show the Trinity is Biblical.  In part 7 and part 8 I provided Biblical evidence for each of the following criteria.

  1. There is only one God
  2. The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit are distinct persons, they communicate, love & have rationality.
  3. Each person is fully God.

In part 2 I presented two problem passages John 1:1 & Matt. 26:39 that I struggled with before I understood the doctrine of the Trinity.  Equipped with the information from this series we should be able resolve these issues.

  1. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In this verse we know the Word is Jesus (John 1:14).  How can Jesus be with God and be God at the same time?  It sounds like a contradiction.  The solution is the first instance of the word “God” is speaking of God the Father, the first person of the Trinity.  How do we know this?  As we have seen previously the Bible teaches Jesus is God.  Since there cannot be contradictions, then whenever the word God and Jesus are used in the same sentence the first instance is speaking of God the Father; as is assumed in this passage.  Additional support can be found in 1 John 1:1-2, What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us.”  Jesus was with the Father from the beginning. They are two persons of the one God.  Plus the writers of the New Testament gave different labels to the Father and Son to help keep them distinct.  When we see the word “God” most of the time it refers to the Father.  They used Lord to refer to the deity of Jesus (see part 12).  At times the Bible simply calls Jesus God, such as John 1:1, John 20:28, and Titus 2:13.  Here in John 1:1 we have the persons of the Father and Son together from the beginning (eternity past).  The apparent contradiction is solved.
  1. The scripture my junior high student pointed to, Matthew 26:39 “Going a little farther, he [Jesus] fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’”  If Jesus is God who is he praying to?  Is he praying to himself?  If we understand the doctrine of the Trinity teaches one God subsists in three persons, Jesus the person is praying to the Father person.  This is normal activity between two persons of the Trinity.  From all eternity past, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been in communication and have eternally loved each other.  Remember Jesus as a man did things a human would do.  As a man he grew in knowledge, got hungry, tired, and prayed to the Father.  On the other hand His divine nature has all knowledge, is all powerful, and is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father.  The Father and the Son take on different roles within the one Godhead.  Remember different roles do not equal inferior natures.

Through study of the doctrine of the Trinity I have become much more effective at sharing with Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses.  I can answer Biblical passages that used to give me trouble.  My challenge to you is to memorize much of the information in this series and then begin to share with those who disagree.  Supported with your understanding of the Trinity you will discover it is so much easier to defend truth than error.  These experiences will sharpen your knowledge and enrich your walk with Jesus.  Plus you may move someone towards faith in the Biblical Jesus Christ.  Your confidence in the truth of the Scriptures will be enhanced and your spiritual life will be blessed.

Go to part 14 here

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