Days Two, Three, and Four of the bible study discuss the Trinity. I mentioned Wednesday that we would discuss God’s attributes today, but I came across some other items that I want to discuss first.
There is a person in my life who doesn’t consider Jesus God. Because he calls himself a Christian, I didn’t realize this until he mentioned after church one day that he didn’t like a song we sang in which we called Jesus, God. I was flabbergasted to hear that he believes Jesus is the Son of God and the Father is completely distinct. Literally speechless … my mouth might have even been gaping open. What a teaching moment! Actually, I did teach, or at least tried to, but it didn’t work out so well. Sometime later, when I was listening to Moody Radio, I heard a pastor say that people who didn’t understand this core concept of Christianity should read the book of John because in it Jesus calls himself God several times. I was kicking myself. I’d told him to reread the bible but if I’d thought about it (and given the Holy Spirit a chance to speak) I could have given him better direction. Especially since he also mentioned that he only believes what Jesus says in the bible (but that’s a topic for another day!).
In reading several of the scriptures pulled out by the study, John 10:30 must be especially jarring for those who don’t see the connection: “I and the Father are one.” Really can’t misread that sentence.
Isn’t funny how Jesus called himself God over and over and no one either (1) believed him or (2) even heard him? It really wasn’t until He asked his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15) where Peter answers, “You’re the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” (v.16) the first time that this revelation is voiced publicly. Jesus tells the disciples then that the only reason Peter knew the truth was because the Father allowed it to be revealed to him. Why doesn’t God allow this truth to be revealed to everyone? The same can be said for the Holy Spirit, but we’ll get to Him next. I stop in the middle of the study and thank God that He has revealed this truth to me and pray that He will reveal it to my friend as well.
So if it’s hard to believe that Jesus is God, how does that fare for the Holy Spirit? Just who is this guy anyway?
Well the most amazing thing I learned during the third day of the bible study is … wait a second … do you ever come across a verse and swear you’ve never seen it before? I know for a fact I’ve read John and I’m willing to bet I’ve even read it several times; yet here in the study is a verse I swear I’ve never read. It was so foreign to me that I even looked it up in several different versions trying to fathom how I’d missed it. Yet in each version there it sat plain as day. The verse is in John 14 where Jesus is talking to the disciples about having to leave soon. You know they’re reeling. It seems they’ve just hit their stride and their rabbi is now talking about his death – the end of it all. In verse 16 Jesus talks about how he will ask the Father to send another Helper to be with the disciples forever. I can appreciate that they’re not really hearing this. But then, just as he’s discussing the Holy Spirit coming, we hit the bit that sent me running for different translations, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” (John 14:18)
I will come to you … meaning I am the Holy Spirit.
Of course, I know that we worship a triune God, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all one – but I can’t believe I’ve missed that verse my entire life. Jesus stating in no uncertain terms that He is the Spirit.
As I let this verse roll off my tongue over and over again, I grasp that I’ve been guilty of treating the Holy Spirit and Jesus as different entities. Even though my head knows they’re one in the same with the Father, my heart and my mouth have probably prayed differently to them. I make a pact with myself and God to not let that happen again.
We’ll talk more about God’s attributes on Monday and what I learned in the study which may spark a hot debate.
Have a wonderful weekend!