The Trinity and Salvation - Sbs Class March 29 2009
Welcome to “Learning and Living the God-centered life” Carmel Baptist Church www.learningandlivingtheword.com March 29, 2009
<ul><li>Why should we as Christians study the Trinity? </li></ul><ul><li>Because God has chosen to reveal Himself to us through His word as God the Father, Son and Spirit and therefore this is very important! </li></ul><ul><li>Definition of the Trinity </li></ul><ul><li>God’s whole and undivided essence belongs equally, eternally, simultaneously and fully to each of the three Persons of the Godhead, so that the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit each is fully God while each in His own personal expression in role and activity, of one eternal and undivided essence. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The Trinity </li></ul><ul><li>There is one and only one God, eternally existing and fully expressed in three persons: </li></ul><ul><li>The Father - The Son - The Holy Spirit </li></ul><ul><li>Each member of the Trinity is: </li></ul><ul><li>Equally God </li></ul><ul><li>Eternally God </li></ul><ul><li>Simultaneously God </li></ul><ul><li>Fully God </li></ul><ul><li>NOT three gods but three Persons of the one Godhead </li></ul><ul><li>Each person is equal in essence, as each possesses fully the identically same eternal nature, yet each is also an eternal and distinct personal expression of the one undivided nature </li></ul>
<ul><li>We will begin with “Foundations of the Trinity” </li></ul><ul><li>The Trinity and salvation (Romans 3:21-26) </li></ul><ul><li>The Trinity and prayer (Luke 11:1-4) </li></ul><ul><li>The Trinity and worship (Ephesians 1:3-14) </li></ul><ul><li>The Trinity and it’s distinctiveness and church history </li></ul><ul><li>READ ROMANS 3:21-26 </li></ul>
THE TRINITY AND SALVATION The doctrine of the Trinity is both central and necessary for the Christian faith, if you remove the Trinity then the Christian faith disintegrates. Just consider for a minute the relation of the Trinity to the doctrine of salvation. Apart from the Trinity the efficacy of the atoning work of Christ is impossible. When we think about the gospel, do we think about it in terms of the Trinity? If you want an atonement for sins then you must have the Trinity. Why?
GOD THE SON Well, because you have to have One that is paying the penalty for our sins who is both God and man, the hypo-static union or the two natures of Christ which is God and man. Man as the one who substitutes for us, so it has to be one of us taking our place by His death on the cross but if just one of us that will not accomplish the atonement. Example: A friend of mine, whose daughter once asked “why did God have to send His Son to pay for sins?” if it needed to be a perfect sacrifice and one of us then after Adam committed sin why didn’t God just make another man who would be perfect and not sin? And wouldn’t that have done it for us?
And the answer to that question is NO that would not do it. Why? Because if you pay for your own sin then how long will you have to pay for it? Answer-eternally! This is why hell never ends, because the payment never ends. So if another human being took your sin and paid it on your behalf, then how long would he have to pay? Answer -eternally! So when would you ever be delivered to the point that God could finally look on you and say JUSTIFIED, RIGHTEOUS IN MY SIGHT. So you would be in a holding zone so to speak and waiting forever for your sin to be paid for. Therefore it must be Jesus the God-man .
Have you ever wondered the difference between Christ paying for our sin and us paying for sin. We pay forever and yet Christ pays and it is done and He rises from the dead. The reason is because the payment that Christ makes is of infinite value. He pays the penalty in full by virtue of Him being the God-man that pays for our sin. So you must have God united with man in the sacrifice that is offered. So that is one member of the Trinity right?
<ul><li>ATONEMENT </li></ul><ul><li>Atonement is the price that is paid for wrong doing </li></ul><ul><li>Illustration: </li></ul><ul><li>If you park in a restricted zone down town to go into a store and you get a ticket, that would be considered a wrong doing before the law and you now must pay $35. </li></ul><ul><li>This is now considered to be the price for your atonement. </li></ul><ul><li>And when you pay the $35 your status moves from guilt to innocent through the atonement made via the payment. </li></ul>
<ul><li>ATONEMENT </li></ul><ul><li>But now let’s bring into the picture a phrase called “vicarious atonement” or “substitutionary atonement.” </li></ul><ul><li>Go back to the parking ticket illustration: </li></ul><ul><li>You are the guilty party and you owe the $35, but someone else steps in and pays the $35 for you. </li></ul><ul><li>As long as they are innocent and don’t owe for any outstanding parking tickets, then the clerk will take their $35 and apply it to your account. </li></ul><ul><li>And though you were guilty you are not innocent but this time through a vicarious atonement, which means one in the stead of another. </li></ul>
<ul><li>ATONEMENT </li></ul><ul><li>As we look at the cross, this is exactly what the Lord Jesus has done as the innocent one. </li></ul><ul><li>He is the one who was tempted as we were and yet was without sin, and He is the one who actually makes the payment for sin. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember the wages of sin is death and so He in fact atones for our sin via His death on the cross, so that we who are guilty before a righteous and holy God, may be declared innocent. </li></ul>
<ul><li>ATONEMENT </li></ul><ul><li>This isn’t some kind of object lesson to show us the value of sacrifice as an example. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus sacrifices His life through the shedding of His blood and death in our stead and thereby making an atonement for our sins. </li></ul><ul><li>Because our sin has alienated us from God, we have become guilty and stand under His wrath and judgment. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus through His atonement on the cross becomes One who reconciles us to God and He pays the price so that we can have a restored relationship with God. </li></ul>
<ul><li>ATONEMENT </li></ul><ul><li>The two key accomplishments of the cross </li></ul><ul><li>Accomplishment #1 of the cross </li></ul><ul><li>The view of the cross that focuses upon the significance of what Jesus accomplished in relationship to how we would stand before God. </li></ul><ul><li>Accomplishment #2 of the cross </li></ul><ul><li>This focuses upon the significance of what Christ accomplished in relationship to the bondage that the powers of sin, death and the devil have over us. The fact is we are enslaved to sin and here the cross present to us the important work of Christ’s death. It is His death on the cross which has redeemed and delivered us from these evil powers. </li></ul>
<ul><li>ATONEMENT </li></ul><ul><li>So what is Jesus doing at the cross? </li></ul><ul><li>He is carrying out a saving work that restores a relationship between sinful human beings and their Creator. </li></ul><ul><li>At the same time He is accomplishing things through His death on the cross, in which there is a victory, and a deliverance for us, over the forces and powers of evil that enslave us. </li></ul>
GOD THE SPIRIT We also need to have the man Jesus in a sinless position as He goes to the cross. Now the question that needs to be asked is how does the Lord Jesus live His life in a sinless manner? If you answer that question because He is God then you have just made a mockery of at least two things in the Bible.
GOD THE SPIRIT Thing #1 - Turn to Hebrews 4:15 Jesus was tempted in every way as we are and yet He was without sin. Now Turn to James 1:13 in which we read: God can not be tempted. Therefore the dealing with sin can’t be within the divine nature of Jesus, so it must be in relationship with the human nature of Jesus. So how does the human Jesus resist temptation every moment of every day of His life? And how does Christ by His behavior 24/7 be the perfect fulfillment of the law in order to present Himself sinless at the cross?
GOD THE SPIRIT Turn to Luke 4:16-18 The context is when Jesus comes into Nazareth and they hand Him the scrolls And we learn from this what? Jesus obeys the Father and lives His life as the sinless sacrifice in the power of the Spirit. You must have the God-man on the cross in order to make an atoning sacrifice that will pay for sin. This is God the Son And you must have the Spirit empowering the human Jesus to live His life resisting temptation and being totally obedient. This is God the Spirit
GOD THE FATHER And then at the cross itself you must have wrath being poured out on the Son by His Father and being propitiated via the death of the Son that is offered. This is God the Father And we could back up even further because God the Father has to send the Son in order that we can be saved. The Son comes as God-man to live a perfect life and God the Spirit empowers Him in every way.
<ul><li>PROPITIATION </li></ul><ul><li>Propitiation is maybe the most complex and revealing term that we have in the NT in order to grasp the significance of what Jesus did for us. </li></ul><ul><li>Romans 3:25 </li></ul><ul><li>Hebrews 2:17 </li></ul><ul><li>1 John 2:2 </li></ul><ul><li>1 John 4:10 </li></ul><ul><li>That is His saving work that He accomplished that restores for us a relationship with our God. </li></ul><ul><li>It is rich in its connectedness with an event in the OT known as the day of Atonement, which in Hebrew is Yom Kippur. </li></ul>
<ul><li>PROPITIATION </li></ul><ul><li>This is not a word to define as much as it is a word to describe because it has several elements in it. </li></ul><ul><li>Blood </li></ul><ul><li>Wrath </li></ul><ul><li>Justice </li></ul><ul><li>Propitiation is a vicarious sacrifice wherein it involves the notion of the shedding of innocent blood. </li></ul><ul><li>This is where God vents His wrath against one who is innocent. </li></ul><ul><li>TURN TO LEVITICUS 16 </li></ul><ul><li>In the OT the term scape goat refers to the one who bears the sin of others who is innocent. </li></ul>
PROPITIATION This is a plan for atonement that sinful human beings do not come up with but it is a plan that God sets up that He Himself executes out of His great love and mercy for the guilty. God therein provides the innocent sacrifice so that we as guilty sinners might have our sins atoned for by His death on the cross.
PROPITIATION When we come to the word propitiation some of our English translations of the Bible sometimes leave out this word entirely or put another word in the place of propitiation. NASB Translation Romans 3:25 - whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; NIV Translation Romans 3:25 - God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
ESV Translation Romans 3:25 - whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. Revised Standard Version Romans 3:25 - whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; Expiation denotes that the guilty ones have set forth the plan of atonement. They are the ones who come up with the idea of an innocent sacrifice. This is done in order to get out from under the wrath of a god or gods, depending upon the religion, who otherwise would be angry with them and perhaps punish them.
Whereas propitiation denotes a sacrifice not that sinful human beings come up with but rather one that God comes up with out of His own love and mercy. This is an extremely important difference. The Greek word for propitiation is hilasterios and the proper translation should be as it was first found in the KJV which was propitiation. Paul is providing this understanding for us in Romans 3:25 and the apostle John is providing the same understanding for us in 1 John 2:2.
Elements of Propitiation: The blood sacrifice which Moses wrote about for the nation of Israel on the day of atonement they are in Leviticus 16. But the writer of Hebrews wants us to tell us that all of those provisions on the day of atonement where the high priest would take the blood of a lamb without blemish into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle that upon the top covering of the Ark of the Covenant, known as the mercy seat. And then the high priest would take the remainder of the blood and pour it on the backside of a goat and thrust the goat out of the community and the goat was called the scape goat which was not understood as sin laden. The writer to the Hebrews tell us that cultic event that was carried out once a year by the children of Israel was something like a preview and a skit.
It was a preview of the one singular day of atonement that God Himself would make on Calvary’s cross with the propitiatory sacrifice of our Lord Jesus and yet it was acted out like a skit through the use of animals. In this skit that was acted out once a year called the Passover in which God passed over their sins and then finally an atonement is made for those sins as Paul explains in Romans 3:21-26.
The other element is WRATH There is a section of the church that says that God is not pouring out His wrath on His Son because this is love. Since they say that God is love then wrath no longer has to factored into the equation. The God of Scripture always reveals Himself not only as a God of love but also a righteous God. This means that He can not be compromised or have any reconciliation with evil. The result is that all sin must be paid for, God does not let all by-gones just be by-gones because of His holy and righteous nature.
When God forgives sin He is not saying that is OK I will let it go, He is saying don’t worry about it there’s no problem, and He is not saying that He will just forget it for no reason. So why does God forgive our sin? Because our sin has been paid for by the death of Christ on the cross.
We must understand that when we talk about the forgiveness that we have in Christ, we also talk about the mercy of God. This is mercy and forgiveness that we receive NOT INSTEAD of justice BUT through justice. This is to say that Jesus is the One who receives the wrath of God as just punishment for our sins, and therefore we receive the mercy and forgiveness. It isn’t mercy instead of justice but mercy through justice and the cross is the execution of that justice where Jesus becomes our substitute. He becomes the Lamb of God, He becomes the vicarious sacrifice, whom God sets for as the innocent One who pays for the sins of the guilty and that is us.
So when we speak of God’s love and when we speak of His mercy these are in no way to deny or compromising of the fact that God is holy and just and therefore guilt must be punished and sin atoned for and this is what happens on the cross. What do we need to believe about God’s wrath after propitiation? Jesus makes the propitiation and therefore God’s wrath is vented onto Christ.
So Jesus pays the price, He is the One who receives the wrath of God and that is to say that God the Father breaks relationship with the Son and breaks becomes alienated from the Son, and therefore we hear on the cross “My God, my God why has Thou forsaken Me?” Jesus here is reacting and revealing to us the effects of the wrath of God which has brought about that alienation. But when Jesus on the cross says “It is finished” this means that atonement is finished and it means that the wrath of God has been stilled against all of our sin.
We have talked about blood and we have talked about wrath , so now what about justice . People looks at the cross and says could there be a more inappropriate display of justice where the innocent suffer for the mass of those who are in fact guilty. An atheists will say what kind of God would punish the innocent for the guilty and why doesn’t He act in a just manner? It is important for us to understand that it is the Son who offers Himself up. It isn’t the Father picking on the Son. Think again of the imagery of the OT in which the high priest offered up the unblemished lamb.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that when we look to the cross when we look to that day of atonement then Jesus is in a dual role. Jesus is the high priest who enters into the full presence of God to make atonement and He offers Himself up as the perfect lamb of God. But even in our court system if an innocent party wants to pay a parking ticket for the guilty the clerk will receive it. And that is different from the clerk running to the innocent person saying you must do this. When we think of Jesus as the vicarious sacrifice we think of that being offered up by our Lord Himself, out of His great love that He has for us.