Skip HeitzigSkip Heitzig

Skip's Teachings > 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly > One Plus One Plus One Equals One?

Message:

SHORT URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4571 Copy to Clipboard
BUY: Buy CD

One Plus One Plus One Equals One? - John 14:1-18

Taught on

One of the most fundamental yet challenging truths in Scripture is the doctrine of the Trinity. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Try to explain it and you might lose your mind, but try to explain it away and you might lose your soul. The Bible openly teaches the plurality within the Godhead—three persons who are distinct from one another yet perfectly One in essence. How are we to think about this? And how should it affect us personally?

Date Title   WatchListenNotes Share SaveBuy
8/16/2020
completed
resume  
One Plus One Plus One Equals One?
John 14:1-18
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
One of the most fundamental yet challenging truths in Scripture is the doctrine of the Trinity. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Try to explain it and you might lose your mind, but try to explain it away and you might lose your soul. The Bible openly teaches the plurality within the Godhead—three persons who are distinct from one another yet perfectly One in essence. How are we to think about this? And how should it affect us personally?
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study Guide
Transcript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD

Series Description

Show expand

20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly

20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly

Over 175 million people in the United States need some sort of vision correction. From glasses to contacts and corneal reshaping to corrective surgery, there's no question that seeing clearly improves people's quality of life. But what about our spiritual vision? With so many religious, philosophical, and ideological lenses to look through, how do we find the right lens? In this series, Skip Heitzig brings the core doctrines of Christian faith into clear focus. These are the truths that define who God is, who we are, and the choices that every person has to make.

Outline

    Open as Word Doc Open as Word Doc    Copy Copy to Clipboard    Print icon    Hide contract


  1. The Three Are a Reality (vv. 1-8)

  2. The Three Share in Divinity (vv. 9, 16)

  3. The Three Pose a Difficulty (vv. 8, 22)

  4. The Three Provide Security (vv. 15-18)

  5. The Three Promote Unity (vv. 16, 26)

Study Guide

    Open as Word Doc Open as Word Doc    Copy Copy to Clipboard    Print icon    Show expand

Connect Recap Notes: August 16, 2020
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "One Plus One Plus One Equals One?"
Text: John 14:1-18

Path

One of the most fundamental yet challenging truths in Scripture is the doctrine of the Trinity. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Try to explain it and you might lose your mind, but try to explain it away and you might lose your soul. The Bible openly teaches the plurality within the Godhead—three persons who are distinct from one another yet perfectly One in essence. How are we to think about this? And how should it affect us personally?
  1. The Three Are a Reality (vv. 1-8)
  2. The Three Share in Divinity (vv. 9, 16)
  3. The Three Pose a Difficulty (vv. 8, 22)
  4. The Three Provide Security (vv. 15-18)
  5. The Three Promote Unity (vv. 16, 26)
Points

The Three Are a Reality (vv. 1-8)
  • One plus one plus one equals one may be bad math, but it's good theology. The triune nature of God is foundational to Christian theology, but also controversial, particularly with Muslims, Jews, and several Christian cults. Many questions arise: Who should we pray to? Are they the same or different? How do we explain the Trinity to kids?
  • Throughout His ministry, Jesus spoke of both the Father and Holy Spirit. The Bible mentioned the three persons using personal pronouns. Although the word trinity is not used in the Bible, the concept is evident (see Matthew 3:16, 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
  • The Trinity is three separate persons, but one. The Trinity was taught throughout church history and supported by early church leaders (Clement, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, etc.). Tertullian was the first to use the word in writing, Trinitas. Early creeds supported a trinitarian theology: Apostles (around AD 120) and Nicene (AD 324).
The Three Share in Divinity (vv. 9, 16)
  • All three Persons are referred to as God and have divine qualities.
  • Jesus claimed divinity (see John 14:9, 16); accepted worship (see John 20:28); forgave sins (see Matthew 9:1-8); claimed eternality (see John 8:58); performed miracles (various); claimed omnipotence (see Matthew 28:18-20); claimed omnipresence (see Matthew 18:20); showed omniscience (see John 4:18).
  • The Holy Spirit is called God (see Acts 5:3-5); is omniscient (see John 16:13); is omnipresent (see Psalm 139:7-10); is omnipotent (see Genesis 1:1-2).
  • The Trinity is hinted at in Genesis 1:1 with the use of the word Elohim which is a plural noun, but is singular in meaning. Notice the pronouns in verses 26-27: plural (Us, Our, Ours), and singular (His).
The Three Pose a Difficulty (vv. 8, 22)
  • The Trinity is three co-equal, co-eternal persons. The question is: How can three be one? Though math may be the best way to describe the Trinity (1÷1÷1=1), it still is a mystery.  We may not apprehend its full effect but can comprehend the basic logic.
  • Difficulty in understanding the Trinity has been common throughout history, spawning cults (Monarchianism in the second century, Socinianism during the Reformation, and Jehovah's Witnesses in the 1800s). Muslims deny the Trinity; Jews, fierce monotheists, deny the Trinity, citing Deuteronomy 6:4.
  • The phrases Adonai Elohim and Adonai Ehad are never used as one in isolation, but one in unity. There is multiplicity within God's unity.
The Three Provide Security (vv. 15-18)
  • All three persons play a role in salvation (vv. 13, 23). God the Father chose you, Jesus redeemed and rescued you, and the Holy Spirit convicts and purifies you (see 1 Peter 1:2). God the Father is God for us, Jesus is God with us, and the Holy Spirit is God in us.
The Three Promote Unity (vv. 16, 26)
  • The triune nature of God is a template for getting along and loving one another, a cooperation of will. Jesus prayed the church would have unity like the Godhead, "that they may be one as We are one" (John 17:22).
  • God's purpose in creating people is to expand upon what the triunity of His nature enjoyed: a mutual exchange of love among the Godhead, a community of conjoined will.
Practice

Connect Up: As Pastor Skip states, the Trinity is a mystery, but not illogical. God is one in essence and three in Persons. There is no contradiction in God's Trinity. Why is there no contradiction? Read the following and discuss:
In order for something to be contradictory, it must violate the law of noncontradiction. This law states that A cannot be both A (what it is) and non-A (what it is not) at the same time and in the same relationship. Carrying this concept over to the Trinity, it is not a contradiction for God to be both three and one because He is not three and one in the same way. He is three in a different way than He is one. Thus, we are not saying that God is one and then denying that He is one by saying that He is three. This is very important: God is one and three at the same time, but not in the same way.

Connect In: Using Pastor Skip's statement that the Trinity acts as a guide of unity for the church and believers, discuss how the Trinity can guide believers in family affairs, church affairs, and individual-personal affairs. Love is the common characteristic within the unity. How can love unify a community?

Connect Out: How would you logically describe the Trinity to a doubter or non-believer? Please note math can be the best means to do so. Go here for more help: https://jashow.org/articles/the-trinity/.

Transcript

Open as Word Doc Open as Word Doc    Copy Copy to Clipboard    Print icon    Show expand

One Plus One Plus One Equals One? - John 14:1-18 - Skip Heitzig

God isn't really something to worship.

He's just waiting to destroy all of us.

I guess there's a God out there somewhere.

I hope there is a God.

God isn't really something to worship.

God is everywhere.

Yes, he does love you, and I love you as well. Would you turn in your Bibles please, this morning, to the Gospel of John chapter 14? Let me just say how glad I am that we are participating in a relief effort for Beirut.

I've had the opportunity to go there. I have spoken at several times in Beirut at churches in the area. One of which sustained enormous damage during this explosion, and it's an honor to be able to reach out in the name of Christ and with his love to people who are hurting.

We're in John chapter 14. If you don't mind, I'm going to ask you to do something we did a few weeks ago. Could you stand for the reading of God's word? I'm going to read it out loud.

You can read along, and then we can sit down and get started. We're in John chapter 14. Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.

In my father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come, again, and receive you to myself that where I am, there you may be also.

And where I go, you know, and the way you know. Thomas said to him, Lord, we do not know where you are going, and how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.

If you had known me, you would have known my father also. And from now on, you know him and have seen him. Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.

Jesus said to him, have I been with you so long, and yet, you have not known me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father, so how can you say, show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?

The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does the works believe. Me that I am in the Father and the Father in me, or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also. And greater works than these, he will do, because I go to my father.

And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father. And He will give you another helper, that he may abide with you forever the spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive. Because it neither sees him nor knows him, but you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you. And then down in verse 25, things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance the things that I said to you. Have a seat, please, and thank you for that.

Let's pray together. Father, thank you for this portion of your scripture, your word, spoken to us by the Lord Jesus himself. I pray, Lord, that even as you promised a helper, we ask for the Holy Spirit to help us to grasp, to understand, to be inspired by the example we have here.

Thank you, Lord, for the ability to meet together, to give friendly eyes or a smile, to give encouragement to one another, to meet, to enjoy that fellowship and the strength that comes from it. We humbly ask these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

I suppose, if I were to try to use my sermon title in a math class, I would fail the class. One plus one plus one equals one. I understand that's bad math, but it's good theology. And I suppose, if I wanted to be mathematically precise, I would state it differently.

I would say one times one times one equals one. That would be more precise, especially with the Trinity since we are dealing with a compound unity. The subject today, the Trinity, the triune nature of God is foundational to our faith. It is essential to our faith, but I also know it is controversial.

Winston Churchill once described Russian foreign policy, and he called it a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. That's a great description. I feel the same about the Trinity. It's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

This is difficult territory for anybody. There was a family visiting from India, visiting friends in California. The friends in California on a Sunday went to church and took the family from India with them. They didn't have the background in India in American evangelical churches, obviously, didn't quite understand it.

But after church, the host family asked their foreign visitors, what did you think? And the 11-year-old girl, who is a part of that Indian family said, I don't understand why the west coast is not included. And they looked at her, like, what? What do you mean?

And she said, well, you know, when the minister stood up and said, in the name of the Father, and the son, and the whole east coast. Of course, she didn't understand that it was the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. That was just a foreign expression to her.

The Trinity poses a problem to us if we try to share our faith with a Jewish person, a Muslim, a Mormon, a Jehovah's Witness. None of those groups believe in the Trinity at all, and apart from that, it's a problem for some of us. We wonder, should I pray to the Father? Is it OK to pray to Jesus?

Should I pray to the Holy Spirit? If I don't give attention to two of them, but I give attention to one of them, will the other two be offended? And aren't we just dealing with one person using different names?

There's confusion even among believers. And then even beyond that, how do I explain this mystery to my kids who ask questions to figure this out? Do I use an egg? That's how some people try to describe it to their kids.

You know, you have one egg, but you have a shell. And you have a white, and you have a yolk. Or do I use water? Water can be one substance, but appear as a solid, or a liquid, or a vapor.

Or do I use three matches, and, say, you have three separate entities? But you put them together, and it forms one flame. There's all sorts of creative explanations and analogies. I don't know if any of them is perfect.

I think it's always something we should be careful. We should be careful not to trivialize God and reduce him to a formula. What we are dealing with is the inability to take something infinite and comprehend it with a finite mind.

At the end of the day, it's not going to be possible, but that is not my aim. My goal here is not to explain to you the Trinity. I don't want necessarily you to understand the Trinity as much as enjoy the Trinity. That is my aim.

I don't want you to just know what the Trinity is or how the Trinity works. What I hope we get out of this out of church today is how all three members of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, help us, how they sustain us, and how they inspire us by their example. We've read the text. I'm going to dip back into it for just a couple of things, but I want to show you five discoveries of the triune God out of this chapter.

The first and most obvious is all three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are a reality. You notice this when you read through chapter 14, chapter 15, and chapter 16. This whole section, Jesus will speak of the Father or my father. He will speak of the Holy Spirit.

He will speak of himself. He will call himself the son, and he does this freely throughout the entire section. And he gives personal pronouns to each of the three using terms, like he, his, him. So it's pretty evident and obvious as we read through the section that he is speaking about three distinct persons all working in concert together, a Trinity, a triune God.

It's pretty obvious. Now not everybody agrees. Some will object, and here is the objection. Well, the word Trinity isn't in the Bible. So what?

The words second coming are not found in the Bible, but you read it. Jesus said, if I go I will, come again. Guess what that is? A second coming.

The word Bible isn't in the Bible. You don't have to have the word present for it to be a truth. Yes, I understand the word Trinity is not a biblical term. It's a theological term meant to express biblical truth.

So if you go through the scriptures, you get the obvious reality that not just the Lord Jesus, but the apostles. And you have in the Old and the New Testament the evidence that there are three persons that we are dealing with. We find it at the baptism of Jesus in Matthew chapter 13, where it says, Jesus came up from the water. The heavens were opened.

The spirit of God descending on him like a dove and a lighting upon him. And suddenly, a voice came from heaven. This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. You have all three, son being baptized, the Father speaking, the Holy Spirit coming in presence.

At the end of Jesus' ministry in what is called the Great Commission, Matthew chapter 28, our Lord Jesus said, go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Again, there is that formula, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It's something Paul the Apostle did in a benediction at the end of second Corinthians in the 13th chapter.

May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ-- excuse me. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Now, again, we're dealing with three separate persons. After all, since the Father sent the son into the world, John 316 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.

Since the Father sent the son into the world, they can't be the same person. They're separate and distinct. And as we read in our text this morning, since the son and the Father both send the Holy Spirit, there is a distinction from one another.

This has always been the understanding throughout church history. Church leaders in their generations carefully articulated the belief that the Bible sets forth of the triune nature of God. Here's a sampling.

In 96 AD, almost a century after Christ, Clement of Rome, a leader in Rome, was the first one to refer to all three members of the godhead in an oath that he wrote. And he said, and I quote, "as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus lives, and as the Holy Spirit lives." Father, Son, Holy Spirit. In the second century AD, leaders, like Ignatius and Justin Martyr, did the same thing.

In the third century, Irenaeus and Tertullian did the same thing. In fact, it was Tertullian who came up and coined the term Trinity as we know it, using the Latin trinitas, the three in one. Fast forward a little bit to 325 AD when church leaders needed to come together to settle an issue.

There was already a division over, is Jesus God? Are there three different separate persons in one God head? So they had a meeting in Nicaea, an ancient Asia minor, modern day Turkey, and they formulated a creed called the Nicene Creed or the Apostles' Creed. Some of you grew up in your churches saying it.

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ's only son, our Lord. That's the language of a creed to distill the major beliefs of Christianity. I love what Spurgeon said. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said to have a gospel without the Trinity is like having a rope of sand that cannot hold together.

Then Satan can overrun it, but give me a gospel with the Trinity. And the might of hell cannot prevail against it. No man can anymore overthrow it than a bubble could split a rock or a feather in half a mountain.

Come on. So well put. Spurgeon just had a knack. So these three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are a reality. That's the first discovery.

The second is that all three share in divinity. It's. Not just three separate persons. It's one God, one God. This is where it gets tough for us to understand.

All three are referred to in scripture, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as being God and having the attributes or qualities of God. We see a sampling here, verse nine. Jesus said, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.

It's a bold statement to say, the Father and the Son share the same nature. In verse 16, speaking of the Holy Spirit, the helper-- listen to what he says. --will abide with you forever. Now, he is assigning an eternal nature to this third person, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will abide with you forever.

Now, I've had conversations with folks who have said, well, Jesus never claimed to be God, and the New Testament never says overtly that Jesus is God. Whenever somebody says that to me, I say, could you tell me what version of the Bible you happen to be reading? Because I have never found what you say you have found, and I've read a lot of different versions.

First of all, Jesus said, before Abraham was, I am. And you know what the Jews did in response to that? Took up stones to kill him. And Jesus said, why do you want to kill me? Think of all the good works I've done.

They said, oh, we're not going to kill you for the good works you've done. We want to kill you, because you being a man are constantly making yourself out to be God. So Jesus said it. His enemies understood what he said.

Then he accepted worship from Thomas after the Resurrection when Thomas saw him alive. Thomas said, my Lord, and my God. Don't you think, if Jewish Jesus was just a man, he would have said to Thomas, oh, no, no, no, don't say that. That's blasphemy, unless he was God. And he was.

He accepted Thomas' worship. Then he claimed to forgive sins. When he healed the paralytic, he said, son, your sins are forgiven. And a Jewish leader said, hey, wait a minute. Only God can forgive sins. Yeah, that's why I said what I said.

Then Jesus performed miracles that only God can perform. He demonstrated power over disease, power over demons, power over death. He claimed omnipotence, all power. He said in Matthew 28, all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.

That's omnipotence. He claimed omnipresence in Matthew 18. Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I will be in their midst. He showed omniscience that he knew everything on many occasions.

He was speaking to a woman at a well in Samara, and she was getting all coy, and hurt, and back and forth with Jesus. And she said a few things. And finally, he just said, go call your husband. And she goes, I don't have a husband.

Jesus said, you're right. You've had five husbands in the past, and right now, you're living with a guy who's not your husband. She didn't tell him that. How did he know that?

Well, she said, sir, I perceive that you're a prophet. Then on other occasions, it says, and Jesus knowing their thoughts said to them. So he can read minds. He knows people's past backgrounds. He showed omniscience.

And not only that, but Paul the Apostle, the rabbi from Tarsus, said Jesus was God very clearly and overtly in a few places. Here's just a couple. Romans nine, verse five. He said, Christ, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. You can't get any clearer than that.

Titus chapter two, verse 13, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Again, very clear. And then the Holy Spirit is also called God in scripture. Fifth chapter of The Book of Acts. You remember the story of Ananias and Sapphira. They took some land, sold it, pretended to give it all to the work of the Lord, kept back part for themselves. Not that that was a problem. The problem was they lied.

And so Peter said, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? And then he says immediately after, for you haven't lied to men. You lied to God. You see how he put that? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and when you did, you lied to God. Then the Holy Spirit is seen as omniscient, for Jesus and John 16, Verse 13 said, when the Holy Spirit comes, he will guide you into all truth. Well, don't you have to know all truth to guide somebody else into all truth?

He will guide you into all truth and he will tell you things to come. Well, you have to know things to come. You have to know the future to be able to guide people and tell them things to come. So he's omniscient. He's also seen as omnipresent. Psalm 139, David said, where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? He's also seen as omnipotent, all powerful. He was there at the creation. The Bible says the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And you might say, well, that's sort of a nebulous reference, that he was involved in creation. Well, then you should read Job 33, where Job the Patriarch said, the spirit of God has made me. That's pretty clear, right? He's assigning his existence in creation as a work of the Spirit of God.

Something else. You should know that the Trinity is at least hinted at in the very first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. The word for God as Elohim in Hebrew. Elohim. Whenever you see an -im or hear an -im, I-M, that's a masculine plural in the Hebrew, masculine plural.

So if you want to say God, it's El, or Allah-- it's a very generic term for God-- you want to make that plural, it's Elohim, like gods. But though it is a plural noun, it is singular in meaning. So all you have to do is take Genesis 1 and keep reading, keep reading, keep reading down to Verse 26 of Genesis 1, where it says, then Elohim said, God said, let us make man in our image. You start thinking, who is he talking to?

Let us make man in our image according to our likeness. Next verse. So God created man in his image. Singular, plural singular. It is a plural noun, singular in meaning. When God said, let us make man, he's not talking to angels. They had nothing to do with creation. Its intertrinitarian communication. It's the Father and the Son and the spirit talking together. Let us make man in our image. So God created man in his image. Plural noun, singular in meaning.

So the text shows these three are a reality and they share in divinity. Number three, the third observation or discovery, is these three pose a difficulty. They pose a difficulty, meaning it's hard-- but we can talk about it all day long-- still hard to understand it. I'll admit that. I'm really glad that the text shows the difficulty the disciples have in understanding the words of Jesus. Did you notice this? Did you notice in Verse 5, Thomas said to him-- now Jesus just said, now where I'm going, you know, and the way you know.

And then Thomas has something to say. Now you call him Doubting Thomas. I call him Honest Thomas. He doesn't understand what he's talking about. So he says, Lord, we don't know where you're going. So how can we know the way? How do we know to get there? So maybe all the other disciples are kind of like leaning in and nodding their heads when Jesus was talking like, yeah, man, this is heavy. This is so good. Yeah, right on. And Thomas is going, I don't get it, and I'm going to voice that I don't get it. So he does.

And then also down in Verse, 8 Philip said to him-- because Jesus talk about the fathers and the son, and the son is in the Father-- Philip said, Lord, just show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us. And Jesus said, have I been with you long enough, Philip? You don't know who I am? You've seen me, you've seen the Father.

But what comforts me is that even Jesus' closest followers are going, yeah, no, I don't really understand what you're saying. Even down in Verse 22-- we didn't read that far, but it says, Judas, not Iscariot, said to him, Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us and not to the world?

So you have in this passage three disciples not quite understanding the words of Christ. They're having a difficult time with what he is saying. So if these disciples didn't even know where Jesus was going, how could they understand we're dealing with one being shared by three coequal, co-eternal persons? That's way above their pay grade at that time. They would come to believe that, but they're just kind of going, I don't get it.

I've always loved the story of a man who was in solitary confinement years ago in a prison, when prison cells were completely dark, and it was pitch black. Not a bit of light in this place of confinement. The only thing this prisoner had was a marble to throw up against the wall to keep him from going nuts.

So his routine was to take the marble and throw it up against the wall, and it would bounce, ricochet on another wall, hit the floor, roll around. He'd listen to it, and he would search for it with his hand, he'd pick it up. And he did it again and again and again, day after day, month after month.

One day he decided to change things up. He said I'm going to throw it up in the air in the darkness and try to catch it. So he threw the marble up, cupped his hands. He heard nothing. Not only did he not catch it in his hands, he didn't hear it hit the floor. He heard nothing at all. He threw it up and it was silent. So he started thinking about this and trying to figure it out and struggled with it and lost sleep over it. It drove him nuts. And he died in prison.

When the guards came in to take his body out to bury him, they brought their lanterns in, and one of the guards looked up because he noticed a bright little reflection out of the corner of his eye, and he noticed a marble in a spider web at the top of the cell. And he said, look at that. Of all the crazy things, how on Earth did that spider manage to get that marble all the way up there? Now he's trying to figure it out, and he's thinking, I'm going to go crazy trying to figure this out.

Have you noticed that all of us have marbles when it comes to the things of scripture? All of us, why would God allow this? Well, why did this happen? Listen, the Trinity is the greatest theological marble there is. RT Kendall said the Trinity is the most difficult subject in Christian theology, and by the end of the day, we may feel like we are still out at sea.

Augustine-- St. Augustine, he is often called-- a church leader in Egypt years ago, was walking on the beach trying to figure out the Trinity, trying to figure out a way to articulate it so he could tell other people the meaning of the triune nature of God. He was having a difficult time.

And when he was on the beach walking, contemplating this, he noticed a little boy digging a hole on the beach, a sizable hole, and taking a little vessel, a little container to the ocean, putting water in it, going over and dumping it in the hole, going back to the ocean, more water, dumping it in the hole. So finally, Augustine walked over to him and said, young man, what are you doing?

And the little boy boldly said, I'm going to take the ocean and put it in this hole. Augustine walked away relieved and smiling, saying, that's what I've been trying to do with this. I am trying to take the infinite, vast ocean of God's nature and stick it into the little hole in my brain. And that's impossible. And this is why, though many Americans will identify themselves as being Christian, far less will say they believe in the Trinity because they don't understand it.

Can I tell you something that I think will comfort you? God understands it. It's not beyond his understanding. We can't figure it out. It's a mystery to us, but not to God. I just want to tell you, don't lose sleep if the marble doesn't come down. Don't lose sleep if you can't unravel the mystery of the Trinity. Throughout history people have struggled with it. Throughout history people have argued over it. Throughout history people have divided over it. And sadly, throughout history, people have denied it, even though it is plainly taught in scripture.

Back in the second century there was monarchianism. Then there was Arius of Alexandria in the Patristic period. During the period of the Reformation there was something known as Socinianism, all denying the Trinity. And to this day, every major cult will deny one God with three persons, deny the Trinity.

Not just cults. Muslims, as I mentioned, also deny the Trinity. They say the Trinity is not only illogical, it is the major sin, the major sin. It is what really makes somebody, in their words, an infidel. According to the Quran, God is merciful to adulterers and liars, but not Trinitarians.

Now I'm quoting from their book, the Quran, Surah Chapter 5, concerning Trinitarians- those who believe in three in one because they knew Christians did-- God will forbid him the garden that is paradise, and his abode shall be hell fire. So you believe like we do, you are an infidel.

But still hard for us. I mean, how can three be one? How does that work? How is that even possible? I mean, isn't the Bible all about one God? And weren't the Jews fiercely monotheistic? Weren't they placed in an environment of polytheist belief with the pagan nations all around them? And isn't there great statement of faith found in scripture Deuteronomy Chapter 6 called the Shema. In Deuteronomy 6:4, here, oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Pious Jews say it every day. [SPEAKING HEBREW] One, [HEBREW], one. But that word, one, [HEBREW], never means one in isolation or stark singularity. It means one in unity. According to the Bible, you can have a multiplicity that is a unity. For example, Israel in scripture is called one people, [HEBREW]. You have a multiple, multiplied group of people with many different individuals. But it's one nation.

Then the Tabernacle, though it had different implements, in Chapter 26 of Exodus, God said you will make 50 clasps of gold and couple the curtains together with the clasps so that it may be one tabernacle, [HEBREW]. I did a wedding recently where I was reminded of this because we brought up the scripture. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined unto his wife, and the two shall become one, one flesh, one flesh, [HEBREW]. The two shall become one flesh.

Now that doesn't mean that they morph into a single human, although I have noticed as couples get older, sometimes they start looking like each other. I don't know what's up with that. It means unity and plurality. It's one couple, one family, one unit.

So these three are a reality. They do share in divinity. They're all God. They're all called God-- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-- but they do pose a difficulty. But let's get beyond that because I mentioned at the beginning, my aim is to have us enjoy the Trinity. So let me give you the fourth discovery about the triune God. And that is that these three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit provide security.

All three play a strategic role in the life of the believer. There's many texts, but I'll just show you a little sampling of it here, Verse 16, Jesus speaking. I will pray the Father, and He will give you another what? What is it called? Helper.

Listen, don't you agree we need all the help we can get to live the Christian life? Good news. He's going to send a helper, another helper. Jesus helped them. He was going away, but I'm going to send you another helper that He may abide with you or live with you, stay with you forever, the spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.

Then in Verse 13 Jesus said, whatever you ask in my name, that I will do that the Father may be glorified in the son. That should bring you comfort. Jesus promises your prayers will be answered. It may not be the answer you like, but he will answer all of them.

Down in verse 23, speaking of the Father now and the son, himself and the Father, says, we will come to him and make our abode with him. So here's what I'm driving at. All three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit take an active role in the believer's salvation and sanctification as a helper. The Holy Spirit comes with us.

So that's why we can say, yeah, I asked Jesus into my heart. That's sort of how we put we came to Christ, I came to salvation, I asked Jesus in my heart. But guess what? Jesus will come in your heart, but he's going to bring people with him, persons with him. The Father's coming along and the Holy Spirit. It's a package deal. You get all three. That gives us security. The Father chose you, the Son redeemed you, and the Holy Spirit convicts you and purifies you.

That's seen in one verse, by the way, of scripture. 1 Peter Chapter 1, Verse 2. Peter writes, God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and you have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, all three working together in your life.

I suppose if you want to put it in fishing terms, for those guys who like to go fishing, the Father sent the son to go fishing. Jesus baited the hook and caught you. And then once he caught you, he handed you off to the Holy Spirit to clean you up. That provides security.

Finally, I want to close with this, another discovery of the triune God. And that is these three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit promote unity. They promote unity. To me, I think this is one of the strongest points to be made. You notice in Verse 16, I will pray the Father, and he will give you another helper. Now he's referring to the Holy Spirit. He's going to give you the Holy Spirit.

In Verse 26, but the helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all the things that I sent you.

I never get the feeling, as I read through this, I get the idea that Father, Son, or Holy Spirit are all actively performing their roles without any hint of rebuff toward the other two in the triune nature of God. So for example, father sends the Holy Spirit. You never hear of the Holy Spirit going, nah, I don't want to do that right now. I'm not into helping that dude. Forget it. You know, I'm a person, too, and I've got my own will.

None of that. There's always this perfect cooperation together, all the way from Genesis 1:26, let us make man in our image-- so God did make man in his image-- to each member cooperating together. So here's my point. The triune nature of God becomes for us a template of how to get along with each other, how to cooperate together. In fact, did not Jesus even pray that our unity would be like the unity between the Father and the Son? Lord, I pray, Father, I pray that they may be one as we are one. Just like we share a unity and love and respect and cooperation together, my prayer is that my followers will do the same.

So that it might be said God's purpose in creating people was to expand upon what the Trinity already enjoyed, to take this love and unity and cooperation out and expand it into what he calls his church.

I love what Tim Keller said. And when I quote Tim Keller here, I'm not quoting our Mayor Tim Keller. I don't think he would have said this. But Tim Keller, the East Coast New York City pastor said, if this world was made by a triune God, then relationships of love are what life is really all about.

What a powerful statement. If this world was made by a triune God, then relationships of love or what life is really all about. Think of it this way. The ultimate reason for families to stay together, the ultimate reason for a couple to stay together, is because of the Trinity, not because we signed a legal document. It's not even because of the kids.

The reason we're going to stay together is we both follow a triune-natured God, and they exhibit unity and love for each other. And the reason, also, that church splits are sinful and wrong is far more than just because it hurts families in the church. It hurts the nature of God. It hurts the heart of God. The reason we should forgive each other and mend relationships is because we have modeled for us a relational God.

So we rightly sing the "Doxology". It's maybe not a great name for a song, "Doxology". But it's a terrific song. You know it. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise him all creatures here below, praise him above you heavenly hosts, praise Father, Son, and not the whole East Coast, but Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. It's a great song. We're going to close with that.

Could I have you stand as we pray together, and we'll get ready to sing. Father, we give praise to you, one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We haven't got it figured out. We're glad that we haven't got it figured out. There's always a mystery to the godhead, always a mystery in our relationship with you, which just simply shows how far above us and transcendent above us you are.

And so our posture is always humble before you. We give you praise, we give you thanks. And we're so grateful that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are actively working in our lives, giving us help, sustaining us, giving us an example to follow, empowering us and loving us, staying with us, abiding with us forever.

Lord, may you comfort your people this day in Jesus' name. Amen.

We hope you enjoyed this special service from Calvary Church. We'd love to know how this message impacted you. Email us at mystory@calvarynm.church. And just a reminder, you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynm.church/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.

Additional Messages in this Series

Hide contract

 
Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
6/14/2020
completed
resume  
Seeing Truth Clearly
2 Timothy 4:1-8
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
Hiram Johnson said, "The first casualty in war is truth." God’s people have been in a cosmic battle since the fall. Satan’s first allegation against truth was in Genesis 3:1: "Has God indeed said...?" Deception regarding truth is Satan's primary occupation. We now live in what might be dubbed a post-truth culture wherein the very idea of absolute truth is considered archaic and even offensive. In this series, we will look to the "Scripture of Truth" (Daniel 10:21) to reinforce our foundation and engender biblical literacy. Here at the end of Paul's life, he could foresee the abandonment of truth, and he gave Timothy this antidote: "Preach the Word!"
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Detailed Notes
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
6/21/2020
completed
resume  
Seeing God as Father
Luke 11:2
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
God is presented in Scripture by a variety of images. He is called our Rock, our Refuge, our Warrior, our Shepherd, our Shield, our Hiding Place, our Redeemer, our Fountain, our Husband, and our Vinedresser. But no motif is as powerful and personal as seeing God as our Father. With this title, the invisible God becomes the intimate God. Today, on Father’s Day, we consider the singular phrase "Our Father in heaven" as an introduction to the doctrine of God. Let’s turn over each word and mine the depths of the riches contained in this great verse.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
6/28/2020
completed
resume  
How Can I Relate to God?
Exodus 32-34
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
The subject of God is the loftiest of all themes and the pinnacle of all pursuits. For some people, the idea of God is absurd because He is not readily perceived by the senses, like a flower or another person. But as we learn who God is and how perceptible He is to us, I think we’ll be both lifted up and humbled all at the same time. Today we trace the journey that every person must take who wants to relate to the God of the universe. Let’s examine five stages of this relationship.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
7/5/2020
completed
resume  
Biblical History: Fact or Fancy?
Dr. Steven Collins
Info
Message Summary
Dr. Steven Collins serves as the dean of the College of Archaeology at Veritas International University and a consulting research professor at Trinity Southwest University. He is also the director of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project in Jordan, which is believed to be the location of Sodom.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Study Guide Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
7/12/2020
completed
resume  
Hello, I’m God!
Exodus 34:5-9
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
People have written and spoken about God for millennia. It’s what I have done for nearly four decades. But today we get to hear from God Himself as He gives to Moses His own autobiography. Here He introduces Himself by stating His name and His occupation as God. He states His primary character traits, thus framing what our relationship with Him is going to be like. This is a primary passage of Scripture, meaning other biblical authors make reference to it later on in their writings. Let’s find out what God says about Himself.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
7/19/2020
completed
resume  
Knowing the God Who Knows You
Psalm 139:1-6, 23-24
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
A person with knowledge can be intimidating. They spew facts and figures and can dizzy us with information and understanding. But rightly seen, a study of God’s comprehensive knowledge can be a source of great comfort to us. In this series, 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly, we come to grips with the fact that God sees everything most clearly. His knowledge is vast, infinite, comprehensive, specific, and personal. But let’s observe how God’s omniscience can become inspiring rather than intimidating.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
7/26/2020
completed
resume  
Here, There, and Everywhere
Psalm 139:7-12
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
One of the Beatles’ most melodic hits expressed a couple’s romantic desire to be together at all times and in all places and was simply titled, “Here, There and Everywhere.” This title also expresses a unique attribute of God (what theologians call an incommunicable attribute). He is everywhere present in the totality of His being! This may be one of the hardest-to-understand characteristics of God, but one that brings great comfort to us.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
8/2/2020
completed
resume  
The Unrivaled Power of God
Psalm 139:13-18
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
God is called Almighty fifty-seven times in Scripture. It means that the resources of His power are boundless. He is unlimited in His ability and unconstrained in His capacity. God’s attribute of omnipotence is helpful for us to remember when we are feeling overwhelmed with threatening circumstances. Just as we feel confident when our mobile devices have plenty of battery power to spare, we can live confidently knowing that our great God has power for any of our problems.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
8/9/2020
completed
resume  
Holy, Holy, Holy!
Isaiah 6:1-8
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
Holiness sounds scary. Thoughts of dusty, cloistered halls of a monastery fill our minds when we hear the word. We might think of chants and long prayers rather than anthems and short prayers. It hardly seems like an appropriate word for the twenty-first century! But according to one theologian, God’s holiness is the one attribute that binds all His other attributes together. This is the characteristic that most uniquely describes God. Let’s consider it today.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
8/23/2020
completed
resume  
Pain: God’s Biggest Problem
John 9:1-7
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
Perhaps the biggest impediment to believing in God (as stated by those who don’t) is the presence of pain and suffering in the world. How can there be a God who is benevolent and omnipotent with the sheer volume of grief, misery, travail, and torment at any given moment? Today we explore the theme of a loving God in a universe pockmarked by pain. As Jesus was in Jerusalem with His disciples, they came across a blind man. I’d like to show you four features of this most common and universal of human experiences.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
8/30/2020
completed
resume  
Christ Jesus Our Lord
Philippians 2:5-11
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
At the very center of history’s stage stands Jesus Christ. He has no peers. The Father in heaven sent Him on the mission of redemption and He humbly surrendered. When it was accomplished, He conquered death itself by resurrection and returned to glory. In what is considered by many to be the greatest single statement about Jesus Christ in the New Testament, Paul succinctly framed His humiliation, His exaltation, and His example to us.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
9/6/2020
completed
resume  
The Atonement: His Death, Our Life
John 12:20-33
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
Wasn’t there any other way for God to save human beings than by sending His Son to die? The very idea of a bloody crucifixion sounds brutal and barbarous to some, yet it is the centerpiece of our faith. What is the big deal about the atonement? Why the cross? Why had it been the plan of God through the ages? Today we examine the death of Christ for us and, in His own words, His own estimation of its necessity and consequence.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
9/13/2020
completed
resume  
He’s Alive! Proofs of the Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:3-8
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
Just as your own heart is the pump that brings life-giving blood to your entire body, so is the resurrection of Jesus that gives life to the gospel message. Without it, our faith would be totally useless; our message would be utterly powerless. The resurrection is also what separates Jesus Christ from every other spiritual leader and would-be messiah. It validates His teaching. It authenticates His claims. It substantiates His promises. And it corroborates our confidence in Him as our Savior and Lord.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
9/20/2020
completed
resume  
The Holy Spirit in the World
John 16:5-11
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
We are not alone in the universe! That’s the premise of most sci-fi documentaries, but I’m not referring to alien life from another galaxy, rather to the living God Himself. In particular, I am referring to the Holy Spirit. He has a particular role when it comes to working in this world, and that is to awaken people to their great need for Christ. In our series 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly, we will turn in the next few weeks to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. What is His role in the life of the unbeliever and the life of the believer?
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
10/11/2020
completed
resume  
Who Is the Holy Spirit?
John 16
Nate Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
There can be a lot of mystery and misinformation surrounding the Holy Spirit. When we look to Scripture, however, the third person of the Godhead comes into clear focus. In this teaching, Nate Heitzig describes the person of the Holy Spirit, His work both at scale in the world and individually in the hearts of believers, and how He helps you gain a deeper understanding of God's Word.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Study GuideTranscript Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
10/18/2020
completed
resume  
Help Has Arrived!
John 14:15-18
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
Someone said to me this past week, “Life is hard, but God is good!” We all know it’s true. To live for God in an ungodly world is challenging, sometimes daunting. But God never intended for us to try it alone! He has provided for us a Helper, the Holy Spirit, who is not only at work in the world around us but is very busy working inside of us. Let’s drill down into the promise Jesus gave to His disciples in the upper room about the coming Spirit.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
10/25/2020
completed
resume  
God’s Purpose for People
Genesis 1-3
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
After spending several weeks considering God’s nature and character, we now turn to mankind. What is the purpose of the people inhabiting this planet? How can we fulfill the God-given destiny that He originally had in mind when He placed us here? Someone once said that the two most significant days in one’s life are first, the day we were born, and second, the day we discovered what we were born for. Let’s go back to the beginning.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
11/1/2020
completed
resume  
The Dark Side
Romans 3:10-26
Nate Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
God created humans in His own image. But even with God's imprint in humanity, people have a dark side—a sin nature—because of Adam and Eve's rebellion. One consequence of our rebellion against God is guilt, but in today's society, many people try to minimize both sin and guilt by casting them in a deceptively benign light. In this teaching, Nate Heitzig looks at what the book of Romans has to say about our true condition and its only remedy.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Listen in Spanish
Study GuideTranscript Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Spanish (MP3)
Buy CD
11/15/2020
completed
resume  
Once Dead, Now Alive!
Ephesians 2:1-7
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
Of all the doctrines that adorn the New Testament, salvation is the most personal and the most transformative. Below are the various stages that every saved person goes through in coming to Christ. Today, try to remember what it was like for you when Jesus became real to you and you realized your need for Him to save you, then answer this fundamental question: How has your conversion changed your contentment?
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Outline
Study GuideTranscript
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Buy CD
11/22/2020
completed
resume  
I’m a Christian—Now What?
Romans 8:12-17
Skip Heitzig
Info
Message Summary
Once you decide to repent from your past, say yes to Jesus Christ, and invite Him into your heart, you begin a lifelong relationship with Him. Nothing stays the same. Paul wrote, “Those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT). Conversion is the gateway to transformation. Let’s consider four clear experiences that happen in the life of everyone who believes.
Message Trailer
Watch
Watch and take notes
Listen - Mini Player
Listen and Take Notes
Outline
Study Guide
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Video (MP4)
Audio (MP3)
Buy CD
There are 20 additional messages in this series.
© Copyright 2020 Connection Communications | 1-800-922-1888