2023- Mar 8 | Is the Trinity Biblical
SMALL GROUP MATERIAL
Small Group Questions:
- What have you greater understood about the Trinity today?
- If God requires us to worship him in “spirit and truth” (John 4:24), then why do you think this teaching series matters?
- Have you ever prioritized one person of the Trinity over another? Why do you think that was?
- What questions do you have about the doctrine of the Trinity? (Leaders write these down and send them to Youth Pastors)
THE MAIN POINT
When the whole text of Scripture is taken seriously, the doctrine of the Trinity emerges.
The Bible is the basis by which Human beings understand the story of God and his people. It is the source of Christian belief. Therefore if the doctrine of the Trinity is taught in the Bible, either explicitly or implicitly, we must accept it, or at least take it very seriously.
In the Baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3 we clearly see three distinct persons who uniquely relate to one another. The Father loves the Son through and by the Spirit. The way the Father, Son, and Spirit related at Jesus’ baptism was not a one-time-only event. The whole scene is full of echoes of Genesis 1. There at creation, the Spirit also hovered, dovelike, over the waters. And just as the Spirit, after Jesus’ baptism, would send him out into the lifeless wilderness, so in Genesis 1, the Spirit appears as the power by which God’s word goes out into the lifeless void. In both the work of creation and in the work of new creation (the Gospel stories), God’s word goes out by his Spirit. It’s all revealing what God is truly like. The Spirit is the One through whom the Father loves, blesses, and empowers his Son. The Son goes out from the Father by the Spirit.
“This ‘God’ simply doesn’t fit the mold of any other. The Trinity is not some inessential add-on to God, some optional software that can be plugged into him. At bottom, in essence, this God is not first of all Creator or Ruler or even “Deity” in some abstract sense. He is Father, loving his Son in the fellowship of the Spirit. A God who is in himself a community of love, who before all things could never be anything but love. And if you trust and come to know such a being, it changes absolutely everything.” – Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity, pp. 36-38.
As you prepare the core of the message using personal stories and questions keep in mind these points:
1.0The Bible teaches clearly that God is one and is the only true God. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
2. The Bible teaches, either directly or indirectly, that there are three persons who are fully God, the Father (Philippians 1:2, Matthew 6:26-30), the Son (Titus 2:13, Philippians 2:5-11), and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4, 1 Corinthians 2:10-11)
- Sometimes the Personhood of the Father and Son is appreciated, but the Personhood of the Holy Spirit is neglected. Sometimes the Spirit is treated more like a “force” than a Person. But the Holy Spirit is not an “it”, but a He (see John 14:26; 16:7-15; Acts 8:16). The fact that the Holy Spirit is a Person, not an impersonal force (like gravity), is also shown by the fact that He speaks (Hebrews 3:7), reasons (Acts 15:28), thinks and understands (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), wills (1 Corinthians 12:11), feels (Ephesians 4:30), and gives personal fellowship (2 Corinthians 13:14).|
3. The Bible teaches, indirectly and by implication, that these three are one.
(Matthew 3, Genesis 1 & John 1)
- The most obvious ‘oneness’ scripture is from Jesus himself in Matthew 28:19, “The baptism formula.” Jesus links the three persons in such an intimate way as to imply equality and oneness. It is especially notable that Jesus uses the word “name” in the singular but lists the three persons.
As you prepare the application, challenge and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points:
- The Trinity is first of all important because God is important. To understand more fully what God is like is a way of honouring God. We should allow the fact that God is triune to deepen our worship. We exist to worship God. And God seeks people to worship Him in “spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Therefore we must always endeavor to deepen our worship of God — in truth as well as in our hearts.
- The Trinity has a very significant application to prayer. The general pattern of prayer in the Bible is to pray to the Father through the Son and in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18). Our relationship with God should grow by consciously knowing that we are relating to a tri-personal God!