Antioch Baptist Church
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Sermon Notes

 Sermon Notes from 5-7-17
"The Trinity"
Preached by Rev. George Cine
Matthew 3:13-17, 4:1-10
 1st in series on the Holy Spirit
Being a Christian is about knowing God.
It is about being in relationship with God.
Faith is about living in obedience to a God you know & love & worship
     & interact with. --That is what Christianity is about.
We talk about God the Father quite a bit as we should.
We talk about God the Son (Jesus Christ) quite a bit as we should.
But there is a 3rd member of the Trinity which we don't talk as much about, God the Holy Spirit.
That is what I want to spend the next several weeks preaching on.
---Who is the Holy Spirit?
---What does the Holy Spirit do?
---What is the Holy Spirit's role in creation, in salvation, in the world, in the church, and in our lives?
Christianity really is about knowing God.
Therefore we need to know the Holy Spirit, who is God.
And not just know about Him like stats on a famous football player.,.
     but know Him like a friend.
Know Him like a very close member of the family who is with you always,
     in recognizable ways.
The place to start in understanding God the Holy Spirit is with the nature of God,      
     specifically with the concept of the Trinity.
1st---We begin with God the Father.
This one is easy -- it is the picture we have of God from the beginning of the Bible
     & consistent all through the OT.
In the NT, we recognize God the Father specifically in relationship to Jesus.
2nd---God the Son --- Jesus Christ.
Jesus claimed to be God and backed up His claim with miraculous signs.
Building up to His bodily resurrection from the dead.
He taught & demonstrated a distinct personhood from God the Father.
As Christians, we understand Jesus to be fully God & affirm His divinity.
Then our concept of God goes a little further.
We believe that God is One, but we also recognize God the Father & God the Son.

3rd---God the Holy Spirit.
If you remember that Jesus taught that He was leaving, but that He would send 
     someone else -- the Holy Spirit.
This is in John 14:15-18 & John 16:5-15, just before His death & resurrection.
The gospels & the writings of the apostles in the rest of the NT affirm that the 
     Holy Spirit is also God.
One example is II Corinthians 3:18, "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as
     in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same
     image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."
So we now have 3 Persons -- God the Father, God the Son, & God the Holy Spirit
But we believe in One God.
That is the teaching we have from Scripture.
It is most clearly expressed by Jesus Himself just before His ascension into heaven,
     when He commands us to baptize "in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit."
     Matthew 28:19
It is also very clear in Ephesians 1:3-14, where in one long unbroken sentence
     Paul praises the Father, then the Son, then the Holy Spirit.
So we now have 3 Persons & the Bible teaches each are in the Godhead.
How do we understand this -- what is the relationship between these 3 Persons
-- how does this come together?
From the 1st chapter of God's Word in Genesis we see this reality.
From Genesis 1:26 we know:  "The God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, 
     according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, 
     over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every 
     creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
From John !:1-2 & 14 we know:  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
     and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God... 14 And the Word became flesh
     and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
     full of grace and truth."
In this next passage of Scripture we see one of the clearest pictures of God the Father, God the
     Son & God the Holy Spirit in their individual roles.
In Matthew 3:16 we see where God the Son (Jesus) was being baptized, 
     and God the Holy Spirit "descended like a dove and alighting upon Him."
Then in verse 17 we see where God the Father said from heaven:  "This is my beloved
     Son, in whom I am well pleased."
In Matthew 4:1-10 we see another example of the Trinity being referred to.
In verse 1 we see where God the Holy Spirit led God the Son (Jesus) into 
     the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
In Matthew 4:4, 7, 10 we see where God the Son (Jesus) referred to God the Father.
I know this is a little confusing & somewhat complex.
But it's very important to understand our God -- because we are talking about the 
     very nature of God -- what God is like, who God is.
And since we are cultivating a relationship of love and obedience with God,
     & trying to introduce others to Him, it is worth the mental effort to try to 
     understand as best we are able.
Understand that each of the Persons is affirmed as God, & that their distinctiveness
     as Persons is also affirmed.
They are equal to one another, they are all eternal, each Person is God.
This is the Christian understanding of the Trinity.
As we start this study of the Holy Spirit, I wanted to point out the Trinity because I don't 
     think most Christians completely embrace the Holy Spirit as fully God.
So often when we talk about the Holy Spirit--He is always third.
In our practice, we talk about God the Father & God the Son.
In our prayers, we generally pray to the Father in the Name of the Son.
And we are supposed to pray through the Holy Spirit when in reality
     we more often pray through our minds.
In our lives, we try often to live in our own strength rather than in the power of the
     Holy Spirit.
I wanted us to understand the truth that the Holy Spirit is God -- just as the Father
     is God & the Son is God.
The doctrine of the Trinity is foundational to the Christian faith,
     if you deny that the Father, Son, or the Holy Spirit is God,
     then you have denied Christianity.
It's important that even though we may not fully understand the Trinity,
     we at least understand what the Bible teaches about it.
What God as the Trinity means -- is that there is One God, who eternally exists as
     Three distinct Person -- the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit.
God is One in essence & Three in person.
Each Person is fully God, & yet there is only One God.
So let's look at each member of the Trinity in review:
God the Father is revealed as representing the majesty,
     exercising the sovereignty. & maintaining the rights &
     privileges of the Godhead.
The Bible tells us 
--that He loved us
--that He blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ
--that He chose us before the foundations of the world.
--that He predestined us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ.
     according to the good pleasure of His will.
--that He has made us acceptable in the beloved.
--that He gave His only begotten Son.
--that He sent His Son to be our Savior.
--that He made Him to be sin for us.
--that He set Him forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood.
--that He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up to death for us.
--that He commended His love toward us.
--that He raised Him up from the dead.
--that He crowned Him with honor & glory & set Him over the works of His hands.
God the Son is revealed as submitting to the Father:
--He is sent
--He is given
--He come to do His Father's will
--He prayed for us
--He bore our sins in His own body
--He taught us about God
--He gave Himself as an offering and a sacrifice to God. 
--He discipled the disciples
--He demonstrated many things
--He did great miracles
--He was raised because of our justification
--He is seated at the right hand of God, and every knee should bow and every tongue
     confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.
God the Holy Spirit is revealed as proceeding from the Father, & sent by the Son.
--He testifies of Christ
--He glorifies Christ
--He bears witness of Christ
--He convinces the world of sin and judgment
--He shines into the hearts of men and gives them the light of the knowledge 
     of the glory of God
--He renews them in the spirit of their minds
--He gives life to them eternally
--He dwells in us
--He works in us
--He guides us into all truth.
--He helps in our infirmities
--He bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God.
--He seals us until the day of redemption
The Trinity is important because God is important.
And I think that when we are aware of the distinct role that each Person of the 
     Trinity has in our salvation, it gives us great comfort & appreciation for 
     God, in our lives, in our worship, in our service & in our prayers.
We believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, not because we fully understand it,
     because God's Holy Word teaches it.
And after dealing with this doctrine today I hope that I haven't confused the issue
     for you, but rather that I've been able to make it more clear to you.