Friday, April 14, 2017

The Biblical Basis For The Trinity

  • The Trinity:
         1.) God is three persons (The Father, The Son, And the Holy Spirit).
         2.) Each person is divine.
         3.) There is only one God (Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 43:10-11; 44:6-8).
  • Further Explanation Of The Trinity:
          -Each of these Persons are completely divine in nature, but one figure does not equal the entire Godhead.
          -Each person is distinct at the same time.
          -The three persons are related to each other but are distinct at the same time.
          -The Doctrine of the Trinity is known as one of the "mysteries" of the Christian religion.
  • Biblical Texts Demonstrate The Unity Among The Three Divine Persons Of The Trinity (1 John 5:7; John 10:30; Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 48:16; Ephesians 4:4-6; Jude 20-21).
  • Jesus Christ Is Eternal; Co-Eternal With The Father (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17; Micah 5:2; Isaiah 9:6; John 8:56-59; 17:5; Hebrews 1:1-3).
           -The "word" mentioned in John 1:1-3 can only be a reference to Jesus Christ because the pronoun "He" is describing the noun "Word". Another verse in the same context states, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..." (John 1:14).
  • Jesus Is God In The Flesh (Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:16).
  • Jesus Is Called Emmanuel, Which Is Translated To Mean "God Is With Us" (Matthew 1:23).
  • Jesus Christ Has Two Wills---Human And Divine; He Is Both Fully God And Fully Human (Philippians 2:5-7).
  • "Let Us Make Man In Our Image, After Our Likeness..." (Genesis 1:26):
            -The plural pronoun "us" can only be a reference to the Trinity because we are made only in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27); not angels or anything else.
  • Jesus Has Deity Because He Is The Son Of God (John 5:18; 19:7).
  • Jesus was Called The Lord Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
  • Only God Can Forgive Sins, But Jesus Christ Also Has The Power To Forgive Our Sins (Mark 2:5-7). So He must also be God. 
  • The Only Way That You Can Honor The Father Is If You Honor The Son, As Well (John 5:23).
  • Thomas Called Jesus Christ "God" (John 20:28):
            -The original Greek translation of John 20:28 literally reads, "The Lord of me and the God of me."
            -If Thomas was speaking blasphemy, then why did Jesus Christ never rebuke him for making such a statement? Instead, Thomas' profession of Jesus' identity as God was accepted (John 20:29). 
  • To God And Jesus Every Knee Shall Bow And Tongue Confess (Isaiah 45:23; Philippians 2:9-11).
  • The Holy Spirit Is A Person; Is God (John 4:23-24; Acts 5:3-5; 2 Corinthians 3:17).
  • Jesus Christ And The Holy Spirit Pray For Us/ Can Answer Our Prayers (Romans 8:26-28; Hebrews 7:25).
  • Titles Shared By The Father And The Son Jesus Christ:
            -King of Kings (Deuteronomy 10:17; Revelation 17:14), Lord of Lords (Deuteronomy 10:17; Revelation 17:14), the Only Savior (Isaiah 43:10-11; Acts 4:12), The First and The Last (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 22:13), I Am (Exodus 3:14; John 8:58), The Alpha and The Omega (Revelation 1:8; 22:13-16), Rock (Isaiah 8:14; 1 Peter 2:7-8), Shepherd (Psalm 23; Hebrews 13:20-21), and Lord (Psalm 110:1; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 4).
  • Identical Functions Of God And Jesus:
            -Both are worshiped by angels (Nehemiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:6); both are unchanging (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8); both created everything (Nehemiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:10); both can answer prayers (Matthew 6:6-14; John 14:13-14; Acts 7:59); both give eternal life (John 10:28; 1 John 5:11); both judge the world (Psalm 96:13; John 5:22).   

What Is The Purpose Of Hope In Our Lives?

The purpose of this reflection paper is to provide a concrete answer to the question of why human beings possess hope. In other words, this article is being written to demonstrate how hope is a quint-essential facet to our daily lives. Without it, human life would completely collapse because we would have no inner source of strength to persevere through every dim corner of our physical or spiritual struggles. We would also have no ultimate sense of fulfillment. So it is vital to raise and ponder the following questions. Why does society need hope in order to continue functioning? What would life be like, if the concept of hope did not exist? Is such an emotion of major significance? What is hope, anyway?  How can we obtain an ultimate sense of fulfillment in our lives?
In short, to hope means to have a strong desire for a specific cause, effect, or condition in life. This emotion is the yearning or aspiration for the best results or an ultimate purpose in life. It is not simply a form of wishful thinking, but rather, a component of our faith. Hope is a part of faith. Both realities are interrelated, which means that hope is faith that looks beyond the view of the present. Hope shoots directly into the future. In Christian theology, to hope means to have trust in God because of His divine promises. For example, we trust in God for salvation because that is what He has promised to give to those who seek Him and serve Him according to His will. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:25).
Without hope, all things, whether they are perceptible or imperceptible, would seem incredibly pointless and dull. In other words, the picture of life would have no color. Everything would appear to be black and white to our minds. If the idea of hope was only a practical illusion created by the mentally deranged, then there would be no sense in accepting cultural diversity or striving to accomplish goals in life because we would have no internal sense of ongoing inspiration. Neither would we be able to describe any degrees of perfection. It would be impossible to formulate distinctions among the categories of worse, better, or best. It would be highly illogical to make comparisons or create analogies to elucidate sophisticated notions because the explicit boundaries of concrete and abstract would be completely blurred. 
If no standard of perfection exists to govern every lifetime aspect, which can range from the recognition of objective truth to the formation of fallible, subjective opinions of the human mind, then how could we possible describe things as being imperfect or incomplete? How would spiritual discernment even be possible? If the concept of hope is not an independent reality of our lives, then life itself would not make any sense. In fact, everything would be self-defeating.  In order for rational creatures to continue thriving in a peaceful order, they need an ultimate source of fulfillment, which can only be found in God.
Our purpose in this life is to know, love, and serve God in this world so that we may be with Him eternally in the afterlife. Because of our longing to be in complete unity with God the Father in the heavenly sanctuary, we are able to strive through every sort of temptation that the world throws at us. By the power of God's sufficient grace, we are able to overthrow the sinful distractions of the devil. We may even defeat the snares of spiritual desolation by learning how to identify the causes of temptation, reflecting on past experiences for the sake of learning, and by steadily acting contrary to sources of temptation. 
But hope is the spiritual soil in which the fruits of Christian self-sacrificing love grow. If we trust in God to care for us daily, then we will not be focused so much on ourselves. Instead of us focusing on our own needs daily, we need to give all of our troubles to God. In that case, we will be able to be selfless because we know that everything is in the hands of God. Only through our hope in God's will can we discover our ultimate purpose in life. Only then can we begin to make any sense out of life.    
 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:1-6)