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Old Testament Week One Trinity and Character of God


Course Syllabus - Old Testament Studies Credit: 12 credits

Course Description The Old Testament Studies course works to lead you to understand the Old Testament in historical context. We constantly focus on two questions: “Why did God tell me that?” and “How and in what areas am I to apply the truth presented?” We strive to understand the principles of the kingdom of God and how it operates and how to apply it in our lives personally and in transforming nations. The course constantly emphasizes learning principles for application to life and ministry. You will also gain an overview of the creation-evolution controversy, and of the documentary hypothesis (a humanist theory of the origin of the Pentateuch, as contrasted to Mosaic authorship).

Course Objectives Affective (attitudes): The students should experience: 1. Increased appreciation for the unity of God's revelation. 2. A marked improvement in his appreciation of the Old Testament. 3. Increased appreciation for the consistency of God's ways in dealing with mankind, both as individuals and as groups. 4. An increased desire to rightly divide God's Word through proper attention to introductory and contextual matters, using the Grammatical, Historical approach of interpretation. 5. An increased desire to teach others, not only Bible content, principles and application, but also the methodology for personal study and investigation to discover and verify the truths revealed by God through the Bible. 6. A greater desire to participate in God's plan of redemption for the world.

Cognitive (Knowledge): The student will: 1. Identify the Biblical revelation of the definition and principles and characteristics of the Kingdom of God. 2. Articulate the presuppositional basis and nature of the creation-evolution conflict.

3. Examine the Biblical and scientific evidence supporting creationism. 4. Reproduce the chronological story of the creation of man, the nation of Israel, and the preparation for the establishment of the church. 5. Fit the non-chronological sections of the Old Testament into their chronological context. 6. Identify the contents of each book and know how each fits into the overall historical picture. 7. Consider the evidence for the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch and the literal account of creation in Genesis 1 and 2. 8. Recognize the ways in which the Old Testament lays the foundation for understanding the New Testament.

Conative (Skills): The student will know how to: 1. Make use of study reference materials. 2. Defend the Biblical account of creation. 3. Study and preach from the Old Testament consistently with its historical, chronological, grammatical, and presuppositional context. 4. Accurately interpret the Word of God through daily practice in properly applying principles of interpretation according to the scriptures in their historical, grammatical, and presuppositional context. 5. Search for the meaning, significance, and practical application of a scriptural passage. 6. Expand in his ability to teach the Kingdom of God and its application  Luke 8:1 (NASU) Jesus began going from one city to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him…  Luke 9:2 (NASU) Jesus sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God…  Acts 28:31 (NASU) Paul was preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ…

Course Requirements 1. 2. 3. 4.

Read and interact with all texts and assigned readings. Complete all daily or weekly assignments. Keep a notebook for all lectures and handouts. Make a notebook for Old Testament Introduction including these 5 divisions for each book: a. Author-Who was the human author? b. Date-When was the book written? c. Place-Where was the book written? d. Occasion-What was the situation in which the book was written? e. Purpose-Why was the book written? 5. Complete the inductive study as outlined for the book of Proverbs. 6. Complete all tests/quiz/exams.

Course Evaluation Week 1 — 6 and 8 — 10 1. 2. 3. 4.

Classroom interaction - 10% Interaction with the study notes - 10% Completion of Reading Assignments - 50% Completion of Written Assignments - 30%

Week 7 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Classroom interaction - 10% Interaction with the study notes - 10% Completion of Reading Assignments - 10% Completion of Written Assignments - 10% Proverbs Inductive Study - 60%

Course Bibliography Archer, G., A Survey of O.T. Introduction, Moody Press, 1974. Beitzel, B.J.,The Moody Atlas of Bible Lands, Moody Press, 1985. Bergman, Jerry, Mankind-The Pinnacle of God's Creation, No. 133, Impact Series, Inst. of Creation Research, San Diego, CA. Bliss, R.B., Origins, Two Models, Creation Life Pub., San Diego, CA, 1982. Bohlin, Ray, Creation Seminar (6 videotapes), Probe Ministries, Dallas, TX 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Basis of Belief in Creation Origin of the Universe, Origin of Life Origin of Diversity Evolution of Man Canopy Theory (with accompanying handout ) Noah's Ark

Bullock, C.H., An Introduction to the O.T. Poetic Books, Moody Press, 1979. Chapman, Lonnie Urness, Archaeology and the Biblical Record, Unpublished research paper presented to Twin Oaks SOTB, 1986. Chittick, D.E., The Controversy, Roots of the Creation- Evolution Conflict, Multnomah Press, Portland, OR, 1984. Coleman, W.L., Today's Handout of Bible Times and Customs, Bethany, 1984. Cummings, V., Has Anybody Really Seen Noah's Ark?, Creation-Life Publishers, 1982. Custance, Arthur C., The Doorway Papers, Zondervan, 1975. Dillow, J.C., The Waters Above, Moody Press, 1981. Free, Joseph P., Archaeology and Bible History, Scripture Press, 1950. Freeman, H., An Introduction to the O.T. Prophets, Moody Press, 1971. Gaebelein, Frank E., (General Editor), Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 1-7, Zondervan, 1986. Geisler and Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible, Moody, 1986. Gish, D., Evolution, The Fossils Say No. Creation Life Pub.,San Diego, CA, 1984.

Gish, D., and Bliss, Richard, Summary of Scientific Evidence for Creation, No. 95, Impact Articles, Inst.of Creation Research, San Diego, CA. Goodrich, Edward, Do it Yourself Hebrew and Greek, Multnomah Press, Portland, OR 97266, 1976. Harrison, R.K., Introduction to the O.T., Eerdmans, 1973. Harrison, R.K., O.T. Times, Eerdmans, 1982. Horton, S.M., A Defense on Historical Grounds of the Isaianic Authorship of the Passages in Isaiah Referring to Babylon, Unpublished Dissertation Presented to the Central Baptist Theological Seminary, 1959. Impact Articles, Institute For Creation Research, P. O. Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021 Impact Articles (Numbers 48, 49, 81, 94, 95, 99, 103, 107, 111, 128 Videotape Series, Institute for Creation Research, P. O. Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Gish-Doolittle Debate Gish-Aubrey Debate Origins-2 Models What is True Science? Genesis Record

Jauncey, J.H., Science Returns to God, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1971. Kaiser, W., Towards an Exegetical Theology, Baker, 1981. Kaiser, W., The Use of the O.T. in the N.T., Baker, 1982. Keil and Delitzsch, Old Testament Commentaries, Associated Publishers and Authors, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI 49506. McDonald, M.W., O.T. Chronology, SOTB, 1985. McDowell, Josh, More Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Here's Life Publishers, 1975 Morris, H.M., Scientific Creationism, Creation Life Publishers, 1974. Morris, H.M., The Genesis Record, Creation Life Publishers 1976. Morris, H.M., Scientific Creationism, Creation Life Pub., San Diego, CA, 1981. Morris, H.M., History of Modern Creationism, Master Books, San Diego, CA,1984. Morris, H.M., Circular Reasoning In Evolutionary Geology, No. 48, Impact Series, Inst. of Creation Research, San Diego, CA. Morris, H.M., An Answer for Asimov, No. 99, Impact Series, Inst. of Creation Research, San Diego, CA.

Morris, H.M., Bible Believing Scientists of the Past, No. 103, Impact Series, Inst. of Creation Research, San Diego, CA. Morris, H.M., Evolution is Religion, Not Science, No. 107, Impact Series, Inst. of Creation Research, San Diego, CA. Morris, H.M., The Splendid Faith of the Evolutionist, No. 111, Impact Series, Inst. of Creation Research, San Diego, CA. Morris, H.M., The Paluxy River Mystery, No. 151, Impact Series, Inst. of Creation Research, San Diego, CA. Morris, H.M., and Parker, G., What is Creation Science? Creation Life Pub., San Diego, CA, 1982. Niessen, Richard, Theistic Evolution and the Day-Age Theory, No. 81, Impact Series, Inst. of Creation Research, San Diego, CA. Olson, Gordon C., The Truth Shall Make You Free, Bible Research Fellowship, Inc., 1980. Packer, Tenney, White, The World of the Old Testament, Nelson, 1982. Paluxy River, VHS Videotape, Creation Evidences Museum Parker, Gary, From Evolution to Creation, A Personal Testimony, No. 49, Impact Series, Inst. of Creation Research, San Diego, CA. Pfeiffer, C.F., Vos, H.F., Rea, J., The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia, Vol. 1-2, Moody Press, 1975. Ridenour, F., Who Says God Created..., Regal, Glendale, CA. 1967. Soltan, Henry W., The Tabernacle, Kregel, 1972. Thiele, Edwin R., The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings, Zondervan, 1983. Vardiman, Larry, The Sky Has Fallen, No. 128, Impact Series, Inst. of Creation Research, San Diego, CA. Verbrugge, Magnus, Materialism, Animism, and Evolutionism, No. 94, Impact Series, Inst. of Creation Research, San Diego, CA. Virkler, H., Hermeneutics, Principles and Practices of Biblical Interpretation, Baker, 1982. Vos, H., Archaeology in Bible Lands, Moody Press, 1977. Whitcomb, J.C. and Morris, H., The Genesis Flood, Baker, Grand Rapids, MI, 1974. Whitcomb, J.C., The Early Earth, Baker, Grand Rapids, MI, 1972. Wilder, Smith, A.E., He Who Thinks Has to Believe, Bethany House, Minn., MN, 1981.

Wysong, R.L., The Creation-Evolution Controversy, Inquiry Press, Midland, MI, 1972

Week One Objectives Study of the Trinity and the Character of God Week One Objectives Affective (attitudes): The student will experience: 1. A greater assurance of a personal God who is actively involved in the affairs of this world and of all men. 2. A greater appreciation of the love of God that He invests in those He has created in His image. 3. A deeper affection for God, with the resulting desire to please God.

Cognitive (knowledge): The student will be able to: 1. Discuss the personality (intellect, will, and emotions) of God. 2. Identify the various attributes of God’s character. 3. Research the Bible regarding the scriptures on the Trinity of the Godhead, and compare his findings with the historical development of the doctrine.

Conative (skills): The student will be able to: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Defend the righteousness of God in relation to His dealings with the world. Present a clear picture of God to those to whom he ministers. Study and interpret the Bible with greater accuracy and apply it more effectively in life and ministry. Inspire greater love for God in the hearts of others. Effect a transformation in the lives of others. Counsel more effectively.

Course Requirements 1. 2. 3. 4.

Complete all assigned readings. Complete all daily and weekly written assignments. Keep a notebook of all lectures and handouts. Complete the final examination.

Course Evaluation 1. Interaction with reading materials - 20%

2. Homework assignments - 30% 3. Class Participation - 20% 4. Exams - 30%

God’s Character Attributes and The Nature of the Trinity   

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 Jn.1:5) Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Ep.5:1-2) …God is love. (1 Jn. 4:8)

One class of God’s attributes, designated as Character Attributes, are said to characterize the Members of the Trinity. These attributes involve the element of choice, or have a voluntary causation to them. They are not attributes of existence, but are moral in the sense that they are the result of a disposition of will. They exist because each Member of the Trinity perpetually and absolutely chooses to constantly, perfectly, perpetually love. This is moral character. Moral character must be an active something. It cannot be a static fixity of some sort back of the will, causing its actions. Moral character is dynamic; it is the whole personality in action; it is what we are doing with our endowments or abilities of personality and the moral understanding which we possess. For people, godly character is also the product of love. Each person is to grow into a life of value. Therefore, it is God's desire for us, and His heart is filled with joy as our characters develop into godliness. Every character deficiency is a handicap to relationships. People are turned off by them and often hurt as well. The essential elements of any relationship are, in this order:     

Respect Trust Vulnerability Commitment Giving

We find it impossible to earn the respect of others when we have character deficiencies. Without this respect, deep meaningful relationships cannot develop. Therefore, godly character is essential to relationship. Before summing up what the Bible has to say about God's moral character, we must remind ourselves as to what are the essentials of moral action and what kind of action determines moral character. Since man has been created in the moral image of God (Ge. 1:26-27), what principles are true of God will also be true of man. If there is to be moral action and moral character, there must first be the endowments of personality. We have abundantly seen that the Divine Being is not an impersonal force but Triune

Personalities. The Trinity possess personal intelligence, or the faculty of reason and perception, with its ability of self-evaluation or conscience. The Trinity also possess that endowment of being that can have a response, or emotional experiences which develop the sense of the valuable. Finally, the Trinity possess the ability of free will or the power to originate action. Free will is the ability of self-direction or self-decision, that something that can put intelligence to work in arriving at a decision for action, that propulsion of will or energy to get things done, that faculty of self-determination or self-causation that has only one's self to blame for one's own actions. Secondly, for such a personal being to have moral action, the intelligence must be in possession of intellectual comprehension of truth and understanding to give direction to what choices ought to be made. There must be moral light as to what is right conduct and what is wrong conduct, all things considered. We read in 1 John 1:5 that "God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all." The Lord Jesus said, "I am the light of the world."(Jn.8:12). The Trinity are, then, the very essence of moral light and able to guide Their own actions to absolute perfection. The Psalmist said, in addressing God: "O Lord, God of truth."(Ps.31:5). The Lord Jesus said: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life."(Jn.14:6). The Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of truth."(Jn.14:17). The perfect perspective of the Trinity, therefore, is the absolute standard of what moral actions are right and proper, viewing all people in absolute perspective of their relationships and character, and Themselves in total supremacy. Thirdly, we need to understand the true nature of moral action and moral character. Not all actions of a person are of the same importance. Some actions result from other actions or dispositions. A moral action must be an act of will, not something back of the will causing it to act as it does. A moral action is to act in accordance with the moral light of truth residing in the intelligence, or to act contrary to it. Such moral actions of will must be positive and definite and cannot be partial, in the sense that a person may partly will to take a certain action and partly refuse at the same time. A decision of will may change from moment to moment, but when acting in a certain direction it is always definite and positive, and cannot be partial. As we break down the many actions of a person, we discover that there are ultimate or supreme choices (for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Mat.6:21)) that determine the overall destination of life. A person then makes subordinate choices (goals and plans) that he sets in place as he seeks to acquire that treasure. This is the underlying motivating force of life; it is the supreme reason why he does what he does. It is the foundation of his moral character. Having considered these essentials of personality and moral character, we are now prepared to enumerate and classify the character attributes of the Trinity. An attribute is a quality or characteristic, and a moral attribute is such a trait of character that is true in the realm of voluntary activity. We shall observe that some of the character attributes of the Trinity are dependent upon others. In fact, all the character attributes of the Trinity appear to be reducible to two: 1) A supreme choice by each Member of the Trinity to be motivated by love or perfect benevolence in all that is done, and‌

2) The absolute faithfulness or unchangeable persistency in perpetually maintaining this disposition of love.

Love: The Foundational Quality of God’s Character

1. The essential or basic moral attribute of the Trinity is embodied in the words, "God Is Love!' (1Jn.4:8). "Love" as so used is not an emotional state. Emotions are the reaction to love, and not the love itself. Love is an attitude of will; it is the choice to bestow kindnesses upon others according to perfect intelligence of what is right and proper. Remember: Love is intelligent and reasonable. It is softhearted, but not soft-headed. Love is the supreme and constant motive for which God lives. He pursues it in perfect intelligence. God has eternally committed Himself to uphold what would be for the highest good; toward all people or not to do so, to be impartial or partial. An admixture is impossible. The one is a state of virtuous love, the other a state of selfishness. God possesses a perfect comprehension of what is right and proper in every circumstance. Each Member of the Trinity perpetually chooses to be motivated by love or perfect benevolence in all that is done, fulfilling all obligations with absolute impartiality by treating every person with perfect intelligence. Love is the commitment to bring forth the highest good (what is supremely valuable) for God, and His kingdom, and the world, our fellowman, and ourselves. This is the result that flows as we obey God. God always does what is so valuable and perfect in every situation.

a. The words "good" and "goodness" are frequently used to describe the essential goodness of God: 1) Good: Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way (Ps.25:8 Other references in footnote 1) 2) Goodness: Ex.33:19; 34:6-7; Ps.27:13; 31:19; 33:5; Jer.31:12, 14; Ro.2:4.

b. The Bible ascribes Love to each Member of the Trinity: to the Father, and to Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit (see footnote 2). c. This loving disposition of the Trinity brought forth redemption: 1) "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. (Jn.3:16) 2) Jesus “loves us and released us from our sins by His blood” (Rev. 1:5) 3) "[You know of] Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and [how] He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed…”(Ac.10:38 - see footnote 3)

d. God commands us to follow His example in continually choosing to love. This lets us know that love is a choice: “Therefore be imitators of God . . . and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us”(Ep.5:1-2) (Jn.5:42; 15:9-10; 1Co.13; 14:1; 16:13-14; 1Tim.1:5; 1Jn.2:5; 4:8, 16; 5:3; Jude 21)

In summary: LOVE is a heart intention to act according to intelligent perspective; to choose impartially to bring blessing to others within the boundaries of what is right and proper. (Ps.25:8-10, 34:8, 86:5, 100:5, 145:9). Love is a unit, a whole, and all of its parts fit together perfectly. Every characteristic of love is consistent with every other characteristic of love. They all work together, balance each other, reinforce each other. The result is beautiful. Let us look at the qualities or characteristics of love. What can be said about love? 1. Love is a choice. The person knows that the opposite choice (selfishness) is always possible. 2. Love is an intelligent choice. The heart knows what it is choosing, why it is choosing it, and that it is choosing what is reasonable and pleasing to God. 3. It knows that what it is choosing is really valuable. It knows that it is the right choice, a holy choice. 4. Love is unselfish. It reaches out beyond the things that self has an interest in, or that self will ultimately benefit from. 5. Love is universal. It excludes no one from its concern. Wherever good can be done, there love reaches out. It does not stop at the boundaries of our personal family, our community, or nation. It does all that it can wisely do to bring forth the highest good for all people. Love is lived out:   

It is Virtue, not Impurity: It is giving, expecting nothing in return (2 Pet.1:5). It is Generosity, not Stinginess: This is realizing that all I have belongs to God and using it as He directs (an attitude of nonpossessiveness) (2 Cor.6:9, 8:14). It is Hospitality, not Loneliness: Therefore, I cheerfully share food, shelter, and spiritual refreshment (Heb.13:2). The act of receiving strangers or guests without reward, with kind and generous liberality.

The Relationship of Love and God’s Character

2. Wisdom is a character quality of the Trinity. Wisdom is intelligence and knowledge put to work by love to produce what is good and useful: Ps.104:24; 136:1-9; Prov.3:19; Jer.51:15; Ro.11:33; 1Co.2:7 (110); Ep.3:8-10; Col.2:2-3. Wisdom is higher than knowledge, since it is the benevolent use of knowledge. Wisdom is knowledge tempered and harnessed by goodness. Wisdom is more than the endowments of personality. It is the product of personality, lived in a right and useful way. Thus wisdom is one of the most crowning character attributes of the Trinity. While the design and creation of the vast universe with all its furnishings is a product of God's wisdom, it appears that the greatest achievement of God's wisdom relates to the accomplishment of redemption and the spiritual blessings granted to those who respond. The blessed plan of salvation through the sufferings of a substituted Savior was a crowning manifestation, and also its accomplishment in spite of man's rejection and violence against his own Redeemer (1Co.2:1-10). Profound wisdom is also manifested in the plan of the mystical Church of Christ that is formed into a living organism by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in this glorious age of grace (Ep.3:1-12). Throughout the endless ages of eternity, the redeemed shall marvel at the unending manifestations of the wisdom of the Trinity. Wisdom is love intelligently applied: 

Wisdom is not Natural inclinations, but it is seeing and responding to life situations from God's frame of reference (Pr. 9:10).

     

It is Discernment, not Reactionism: it is seeing through a surface problem to the deeper, more basic need (1Sam.16:7). It is Discretion, not Simple-mindedness: it avoids words, actions, and attitudes which could result in undesirable consequences (Pr. 22:3, 26:17). It is Decisiveness, not Double-mindedness: it has the commitment to finalize difficult decisions based on the will and ways of God (Jas. 1:5-7). It is Persuasiveness, not Contentiousness: it is able to present truth without producing argument (guiding truth around another's biases) (2Tim.2:24). It is Thoughtfulness, not Rashness: it responds out of intelligent reasons not out of emotional reactions (Pr.19:2; Jas.1:19). It is Resourcefulness, not Wastefulness: it makes wise use of that which others would normally overlook or discard (Lk. 16:10).

3. Righteousness is another character quality of the Trinity, and an activity of love: Jb.36:2-3; Ps.11:7; 19:9; Is.45:21-23; Jer.9:23-24; Dan.9:7, 14; Hosea 14:9; Jn.17:25; Ro.14:17; He.1:8-9; Rv.15:3.

Righteousness is to deal rightly with every person. God’s righteousness deals rightly with every person and every situation. God had no problem when Abraham asked God, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?" (Ge.18:25). While holiness describes the voluntary disposition of love back of all actions, so righteousness is the flow of the many individual actions that flow from love. It is the activity of God as He carries out His responsibilities as the King who has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all (Ps.103:19). It is not that God is a God of justice as well as a God of love. That would be a faulty idea. The truth is – God is a God of justice because He is a God of love. Justice is the activity of love to restrain those actions that are hurt and destroy the highest good of all mankind. God upholds justice because He loves mankind and His love takes steps to preserve, protect, and defend them from the destructive results of sin and selfishness. If God did not uphold what is truly right, He would not be a God of love. Justice is a vital part of His love, a part of His total commitment to the highest good. In His righteousness, God must be impartial in the standards He holds all people to. He created all people as beings of equal value. Therefore, God has the same standards by which He judges all people. God is never arbitrary (He always has sufficient, intelligent reasons for everything that He does.) He evaluates with each person and situation rightly, and He deals with each person rightly. He is an impartial God:

God is not one to show partiality (Acts 10:34 - footnote 4).

In God’s impartiality, God made the provision that all people have opportunity to be saved through the death of Jesus on the cross: 

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1Tim.2:3-4 - footnote 5).

God’s righteousness is like the mountains of God (Ps.36:5). God has the heart that longs to wisely show leniency toward every single person. He is not partial. God is never arbitrary, but instead, He always a sufficient, intelligent reason for everything that He does. Therefore, without fear, God says, “Come now, and let us reason together . . . Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land.” (Is.1:18-19). Thus God’s righteousness toward all people is flows from perfect, virtuous love. We see God’s righteousness: a. In Divine reactions against all disobedience; and He rejoices in every act of obedience. And He keeps a perfect record of every guilty action and virtuous action: Ps.138:6; He.6:10; Jas.4:6; 1Pt. 5:5. b. In establishing a court of final judgment to evaluate the guilt of each person in all fairness before all: Ro.14:10-12; 2Co.5:10; He.9:27; Rv.20:12. c. In the eternal separation and judgment of those who have insisted on pressing on in their own rebellion of heart, instead of receiving the welcome and favor of those who forsake their rebellion, and submit themselves to the love and will of God and hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Mt.25:23): Dan.12:2; Mt.25:46; 2 Th.1:6-10; Re. 20:15. d. In the forgiveness of repentant sinners through faith in the substituted sufferings of the Lord Jesus: Ro.3:24-26; 1Jn.1:9.

Righteousness seeks: 

   

Fairness, not Partiality: It looks at a decision from the viewpoint of each person involved (Lk. 6:31). Love knows neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free, white nor black.... The fact that a man is a man, and not that he is of our party, of our complexion, or of our town, state, or nation. Instead it wraps its arms around all people because they are in the image of God. Sincerity, not Hypocrisy: It has the eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives (I Pet. 1:22, Mt.6:1). Justice, not Guile: It lives life according to the absolute standards expressed in the principles of the Bible (Micah 6:8). Thrift, not Wastefulness: It determines to make right use of property and possessions (Lk. 16:11). Punctuality, not Tardiness: It makes right use of time (Eph. 5:16 “Redeem the time for the days are evil”).

4. Loving-kindness and Mercy is another character quality of the Trinity, and always the preferred path that love seeks the opportunity to pursue: Ps.86:5; Is.54:8; Lam.3:22; Ro.2:4; Ep.2:4; Jas.5:11; 2Pt.3:9.

Loving-kindness and mercy is a tendency to be lenient and kind toward the unworthy. It has the goal to extend favor. This is the grace of God. Mercy is the tenderness, desire, and commitment to turn from judgment and instead extend grace and forgiveness in every case where God can wisely do so. The choice to live according to a voluntary good-willing does something to all our relations. "Love is patient, love is kind" (1 Co.13:4). This is opposite to following the righteous feelings that say, “I want to see that person suffer because of the suffering he brought to God and others. God’s love is not dominated by emotions. Instead, God is good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in loving-kindness to all who call upon Him (Ps.86:5). "The Bible represents God as clothed with condescension.... Not a sparrow falls to the ground without him. No creature is too low, too filthy, or too degraded for him to condescend to – this places his character in a most ravishing light. He is infinitely above all creatures. For him to hold communion with them is infinite condescension. Thus, God prefers to extend grace, favor, and forgiveness out of mercy if a person meets certain necessary conditions that will allow happy reconciliation possible. Loving-kindness and mercy is a tendency to be lenient and kind toward the unworthy, which is the meaning of the word "grace." This is the quality of humiliation and self-abasement, a willingness to jeopardize proper standing and recognition because love prefers instead to extend compassion to the undeserving. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." It is the sacrificial impartation of life rather than a conservation of life. God sacrificed His own welfare and what God justly deserved because He wanted to restore the offender and pour out the blessings of relationship upon him. Paul walked that path as well, and admonished us: "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus" (Ph.2:5). Yet even though God wants to forgive, pardon and forgiveness cannot be brought to pass unless God's righteous obligations as Righteous Ruler can be satisfied and unless man is willing to repent and embrace the conditions of mercy. It is here that the wonderful atonement of Christ enters into history. The atonement provides the basis so God can wisely forgive; it is for the demonstration, [I say], of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Ro.3:26). 1) The atonement upholds God's righteous rule by showing forth the awful nature of sin and it’s just due of eternal punishment.

2) The atonement reveals God's inner hatred of sin and how terrifying have been the effects of sin upon the Members of the Trinity. 3) The atonement furnishes the crushing force to subdue the tremendous structure of human pride and humbles a multitude of responsive hearts to the place where God can pour out His storehouse of blessings in tender kindness. 4) The atonement provides the means for man's complete transformation and affectionate motivation to live in newness of life. God, by His grace provided all that was necessary for people to be saved. This is genuine compassion. Not only did God feel grief over sin and ache to see people set free from sin, God chose to do something. God acted wisely and sacrificially. Real mercy is a choice to do everything possible to bring about the conditions that will make the pardon of the guilty safe and reasonable, and therefore morally possible. That is because justice is a character quality of love. It protects others by upholding the penalties of the law. It support public order. It does not forget what is necessary to uphold what is for the well-being of mankind... That is why mercy cannot forgive us unless we repent. While the objective of justice is to uphold the honor, glory, esteem of God, the objective of justice is also to preserve, protect, and defend our fellowman who will be damaged or destroyed by my sin. Therefore, God knows that if He is to extend a pardon to me, I must repent. I must turn from my evil pursuit to gratify myself at my neighbor’s expense and contrary to the highest good for God. Therefore, for God to have opportunity to wisely save me, I must repent of all sin and stupidity and seek the face of God in proper humbleness, give my whole being to Jesus as an act of faith. I trust in the provision of God through the sufferings of Christ for my sins. This is my only hope of receiving God’s forgiveness and spiritual restoration that delivers me from a state of ruin. When that happens, God, then, can become joyful in loving forgiveness, consistent with His righteous obligations, "because He delights in unchanging love" (or loving-kindness) (Mic.7:18-19). Oh how marvelous is God! We find our being drawn to Him in worship and exclaim: All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And they shall glorify Your name. For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God. Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and will glorify Your name forever. For Your loving-kindness toward me is great, and You have delivered my soul from the deplorable depths (Ps.86:9-13). Thus, mercy pursues the heart desire to pardon accompanied by deep grief when pardon cannot wisely be granted. Ps.85:6, 7; Lam.3:22-23; Ro.2:4; Eph.2:4.

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It is Forgiveness, not Rejection: it is a heart response toward others as though they had in no way wronged you (Eph. 4:32). It is Compassion, not Indifference: it invests all that it can wisely do to heal the hurts of others (1 Jn.3:17). It is Sensitivity, not Callousness: it is being aware of those around me and being alert to their needs (Ro.12:15). It is Gentleness, not Harshness: it expresses personal care appropriate to another's emotional need (1 Th.2:7). It is Tolerance, not Prejudice: it accepts others as unique expressions of specific character qualities in varying degrees of maturity (Ph.2:2). It is Attentiveness, not Unconcern: it is not ignoring nor belittling anyone because all are made in the image of God (Ge.1:26). It is Flexibility, not Resistance: it is a cooperative spirit resulting from humility (Ph. 2:3). It is Deference, not Rudeness: it is limiting my personal freedom in order to more effectively encourage another to do God's will. The Christian relationship is the only relationship where you desire to promote the other individual to get ahead of you (Ro.14:21).

5. Truthfulness is another character quality of the Trinity, and always is the basis upon which love behaves and upholds all things. Ex.34:6; Ps.25:10; Is.65:16; Jn.14:6, 17; 17:3, 17; 1Th.1:9; 2 Tim. 2:15.

God’s perfect love perfectly presents Himself in His true character and has nothing to cover up or to conceal. The Trinity live entirely without deception The Trinity live in perfect harmony with their Absolute and Perfect oneness, and the universe He has created. As long as the Trinity are love, They must be truthful, since there would be nothing to prompt untruthfulness. By untruthfulness a selfish heart attempts to gain something that is not due to it, and to cover up its true character. But God's perfect benevolence simply desires to manifest itself in its true character and has nothing to cover up or conceal. God the Father is said to be "the God of truth" (Is.65:16); the Lord Jesus could affirm, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (Jn.14:6); the Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of truth." (Jn.14:17). Truthfulness in absolute perfection is a must, therefore, as long as impartial love prevails. The Scriptures are called "the word of truth" (2 Tim.2:15) because "men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (2 Pt.1:21). Truth is the correct description of reality. God lives and acts in perfect harmony and agreement with the reality of Himself, and precisely according to the reality of creation and its condition. God’s perfect love perfectly presents Himself in His true character and has nothing to cover up or to conceal. In contrast, an untruthful person out of a selfish heart tries to gain something that he does not deserve, and to cover up his true character. Thus, the untruthful person’s end is destruction for when a person chooses an

action he also chooses the consequences inseparably connected with that action. Whatsoever you sow, that you shall also reap (Ga.6:7). Becoming a Christian accepting the truth. It implies a willingness to face the truth, acknowledge the truth, obey the truth. Love is honest. Love seeks the highest good as its end, and knows that truth is the necessary means to secure that end. A Christian cannot lie for the glory of God. Jesus Christ is the Truth, and every falsehood is a denial of Him. All who truly love our Lord Jesus Christ love the truth, and will not knowingly misrepresent the facts. 

Truth is Openness, not Deception: it is earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts (Eph. 4:25).

6. Faithfulness or Unchangeableness is another character quality of the Trinity, who are always unchanging and unswerving in their perfect life of love and infinite intelligence: Dt.7:9; Ps.102:25-27; Lam.3:23; Mal.3:6; 1Co.1:9; 10:13; 2Tim.2:13; He.13:8; Jas.1:17; 1Pt.4:19; Rv.1:5-6; 5:9-10. The Trinity are faithful or unchangeable. They have always maintained and will always maintain a voluntary disposition of impartial good-will toward all people. Faithfulness tells us that God, in His essential moral character, always has been Love, is Love, and always will be love. God declared, I will never ever leave you; I will never ever forsake you (Heb.13:5). This is absolute stability. It allows us to have perfect confidence that the Trinity will always deal righteously, will always have the heart to be merciful and forgiving if we will but respond to Him. God will always be wise in all actions. He will always think, choose, speak, teach and live according to absolute truth. In moral character, therefore, the Awesome Trinity are absolutely committed to a state of perfect love. It never has been and never will not even the slightest interruption. Moses in great worship proclaimed: "The Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God" (Dt.7:9). Jeremiah uttered: "Great is Thy faithfulness" (Lam.3:23). We read in Malachi: "I, the Lord, do not change" (Mal.3:6). St. Paul confidently affirmed: "God is faithful," and "He remains faithful" (1 Co.10:13; 2Tim.2:13). The writer of Hebrews penned: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever" (Hb.13:8). Peter asserted: Those suffering can "entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right" (1 Pt.4:19). This is perfectly virtuous and uninterrupted constancy of Trinity love that John gazed upon: Jesus is “Faithful and true, and in righteousness He judges” (Rv.19:11). "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood [men] from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rv.5:9). The Psalmist could only worship and proclaim: Your faithfulness reaches to the skies (Ps.36:9).

Faithfulness is the absolute commitment to always maintain a voluntary attitude of impartial good will toward all men (Lam. 3:23; Ex.3:14; Heb. 12:2; Rev. 22:13).  

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It is Responsibility, not Unreliability: it is knowing and doing the highest good toward God and others (Ro. 14:12). It is Loyalty, not Unfaithfulness: is keeping my commitments, to those whom God has called me to serve. This commitment is not determined by how imperfect the other person is, but rather by God's command to serve (Jn.15:13; Ps.15:3-4). It is Initiative, not Unresponsiveness: it is recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it; and not doing what I know will not be agreed to (Ro. 12:21). It is Obedience, not Self-will: it is instant, joyful, total, personal application of truth (Heb.13:17; Is. 66:2). It is Determination, not Faint-heartedness: it is purposing to accomplish God's goal in God's time, regardless of the opposition (2 Tim.4:7, 8). It is Diligence, not Slothfulness: it is doing all my work faithfully without wasting time (because of the desire to make God happy) (Col 3:23; Pr.6:6-15). It is Dependability, not Inconsistency: it is fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice (Ps. 15:4). It is Thoroughness, not Incompleteness: it is maximizing the effectiveness of my work by not overlooking details (Pr.18:15). It is Orderliness, not Disorganization: it is preparing myself and my surroundings so that I will achieve the greatest efficiency (1 Cor. 14:40).

7. Holiness is a character attribute of the Trinity, or more properly is an attribute of love: Le.11:44-45; Is.6:3; 1Pt.1:15-16; Rv.4:8. "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come" (Rv.4:8). God with absolute perfection, applies love out of His infinite intelligence and His perfect perspective of reality. He is entirely virtuous and faultless in His life as He lives out intelligent love in all His actions. His absolutely faithful love chooses perfectly, behaves perfectly, relates perfectly, and acts perfectly. Holiness is the name of this voluntary and exquisitely beautiful state of God’s character in the fullness of His heart, attitudes, will, and actions. To come to know Him and recognize His beautiful disposition melts our hearts. We know not what else to do, except to proclaim: "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come" (Rv.4:8). Holiness is the all-encompassing word to express the fullness of love, intelligence, attitudes, actions, and serenity of perfect relationship. The word describes God’s character that flows from right moral action and from voluntarily, lovingly, and wisely fulfilling ALL His moral obligations in perfect faithfulness.

Holiness is an evaluation of the absolute perfection of God’s life of perfect love and infinite intelligence; it is also the evaluation that is the characteristic of virtuous people. It is a tribute of praise and veneration to the One who has chosen to be virtuous when such a one might have chosen otherwise. Holiness is the name of the picture that results from all the activities of God’s love and intelligence and the austere experience we are overwhelmed by when we encounter His presence. This is the atmosphere of indescribable purity. There is such an atmosphere of sanctity to the whole character of love and actions of the Trinity. We cannot thank Him enough for wanting to be, and actually being so wonderful because They have chosen to be guided by intelligence and benevolence in all Their actionswithout the least taint of arbitrariness, partiality, or self-assertiveness. Holiness is the chosen dedication of our entire being to live out love in all of its dimensions and applications. Equally it stands in absolute opposition to very source of sin – living for self above the will of God. Remember, anything that is a virtue is an act of the will. Choice is where moral action is. Real opposition to sin, therefore, must be from the heart or will. Many sinners are opposed to sin in their mind and in their feelings, while they continue to practice sin. Practically everybody disapproves of wrong, and sometimes even sinners will feel so deeply opposed to some particular form of evil that they will crusade passionately against it. Yet at the same time they know that they are committing sins of their own. Thinking that virtue consists in having good feelings, or in obeying "good" feelings, they conclude that they are partly good and partly bad at the same time. But real love is opposed to all sin. This opposition is a choice. It includes the rejection of all sin, the renunciation of all sin. The heart cannot be truly opposed to sin and continue to hold on to sin at the same time. The two choices are mutually exclusive. Sinners hold onto their sins because they love the pleasure that their unreasonable indulgences give them. They do not sin because they love "sin" itself. They do not choose their sinful indulgences because the indulgences are sinful, but in spite of the fact. For example, the thief does not say, "I crave sin tonight. I just must have some sin." Of course not. He craves the pleasure that the object he steals will bring him, and perhaps the pleasure the act of stealing will bring. But he does not steal because it is sinful, but in spite of the fact that it is sinful. Many sinners "hate" what they are doing, but they keep on doing it anyway. It gives them the most pleasure, and pleasure is what they are after. They are not truly opposed to sin. If they were, they would quit sinning. They would immediately surrender themselves to the Holy Spirit and seek Him until they come to have victory over sin through relationship with the Holy Spirit. For this is what God wants. Scripture says, “If you by the Spirit are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, you will live” (Ro.8:13). He then becomes holy.

Holiness is not something one has, but something one is. "You shall be holy, for I am holy" (Lv.11:44; 1Pt.1:16). This plainly describes God's manner of living and God’s command for us to follow in the ways of our Creator. God’s holiness is the radiance of two beautiful realities: a. "God is love”, or – is living in a state of good-will or true benevolence (1 Jn. 4:8). b. "God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all" (1 Jn.1:5). "He Himself is in the light" (1 Jn.1:7). His actions stand up perfectly right, even under the scrutiny of absolute intelligence. He is, therefore, perfect in all conduct. The Lord Jesus said, "I am the light of the world" (Jn.8:12). His manner of living is the standard by which all people will be judged. He could say, "Who of you convicts Me of sin?" (Jn.8:46). His motive and life is "separated from sinners," "holy" (Hb.7:26). Jesus affirmed, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life" (Jn.8:12). c. Therefore, the Trinity are holy in the absolute sense and are worthy of the veneration and worship of all. "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come," is the continual ovation in heaven (Re. 4:8).

To be holy is to live in the qualities of character that match the moral beauty of God:           

It is Faith, not Presumption: it is finding and following God's will and not our own good ideas (Ro.4:18-20; Heb.11:1). It is Honor, not Reproach: it is committing my will to live in accordance with truth (Col.1:22). It is Humility, not Pride: it is realizing that I have not achieved anything without the help of God and others (Jas.4:6; Is.66:2). It is Meekness, not Anger: it is a will yielded to the will of God. NOT Meeky Mouse or moral weakness, but strength under the control and direction of the Holy Spirit (Ps.62:4). It is Boldness, not Fearfulness: it is having the fear of the Lord and a firm conviction through truth that I am in the will of God (Is. 54:17). It is Self-Control, not Self-indulgence: it is placing Godly regulations on every area of your life (Ga.5:24, 25). It is Hope, not Despair: it is the confident assurance that God will not fail us (Pr.23:18; Pr.24:14; Lam. 3:22-29). It is Restfulness, not Anxiety: it is relying upon God to accomplish the work in which He asked you to join with Him (Is.26:3 Ph.4:6). It is Security, not Fear: it is structuring my life around what is eternal and cannot be destroyed or taken away (Ps.32:3, 4; Jn. 6:27; Ps. 91). It is Gratefulness, not Unthankfulness: it is thanking God and others for what you have received from them (1 Cor. 4:7). It is Contentment, not Covetousness: it is realizing that relationship with God founded on truth is the source of my happiness (Col.2:10, Mt.6:30-33; 1Tim. 6:8).

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It is Joyfulness, not Self-pity: it is an inner attitude, the by-product of appreciating God's love (Pr.15:13; 17:22; Ph.4:8). It is Zeal, not Apathy: it is the inner propulsion to serve God: originating from your relationship with the Holy Spirit developed through acquiring truth and living it out through developed intimacy with being with Him. It is Patience, not Frustration: it is accepting a difficult situation from God without giving Him a deadline to remove it (Ro.5:3, 4). It is Availability, not Self-Centeredness: it is making my own schedule and priorities second to God's redirecting (Ph.2:20, 21).

Summary To sum up those character qualities of the Trinity which are in reality attributes of God's voluntary character of perfect love or impartial good-will toward all people, we may say: That perfect love must treat every person in absolute righteousness; will be tempered by loving-kindness and mercy toward all, when righteousness is not sacrificed thereby; will engage the faculties and endowments of personality to devise and produce manifestations of wisdom; and will be perfectly truthful in all revelations and expressions of factual knowledge. Holiness is the proper evaluation of this whole wonderful proceeding, but since all proceeds from love, holiness more specifically is a true evaluation of the voluntary disposition of love.

Footnotes 1 Good: Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. Ps.25:8 2Chr. 30:18-19; Ps.25:8; 34:8; 86:5; 100:5; 106:1; 119:68; 145:9; Jer. 33:11; Nahum 1:7; Mt.5:44-48; 19:16-17; 20:12-15.

2 b. The Bible ascribes Love to each Member of the Trinity: to the Father, and to Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit. 1) The Father’s love is the source of all true love in the world: Jn.3:16; Ro.5:5; 8:38-39; 2 Co.13:11, 14; Jn.2:15; 4:7-8, l6. 2) The love of Christ: Jn.15:9; Ro.8:35; 2 Co.5:14; Ep.3:19; 2Tim.1:13. 3) The Holy Spirit is known by His operations of love: Ro.5:5; 15:30; Ga.5:22

3 c. The Trinity, in love, brought forth redemption: 1) God the Father: Jn.3:16-17; Ro.5:8; Ep.2:4; 1Jn.4:912. 2) The Lord Jesus: Jn.15:13; Ga.2:20; Ep.5:2; Rv.1:5 3) The Holy Spirit: Lk.1:35; Mt.1:18, 20; Ac.10:38; Hb.9:14 Jn.16:13-15.

4 God is impartial.     

Mt.22:16 - Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. Ro.2:11 - For there is no partiality with God. Ga.2:6 - But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)--well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. Ep.6:9 - And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. Col.3:25 - For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

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1Tm.5:21 - I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of [His] chosen angels, to maintain these [principles] without bias, doing nothing in a [spirit of] partiality. Jas.2:9 - But if you show partiality, you are committing sin [and] are convicted by the law as transgressors.

5 God desires that every person in the world would get saved:  

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The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2Pet 3:9 (NIV)). We see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for every one (Heb.2:9). "All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him" (Is.53:6). Every living person has gone astray, but God laid the iniquity of every person who has ever lived on Jesus because God wants everybody saved, but each person must be willing to let God save Him and live in God’s purposes for his life. "Behold, the Lamb, who takes away the sin of the world!" (Jn.1:29). Jesus died on behalf of every person in the world. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him" (Jn.3:16, 17). "Truly, truly ...he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life" (Jn.5:24). "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh" (Jn.6:51). "God is not one to show partiality" (Acts 10:34). "For there is no partiality with God" (Ro.2:11). "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all..." (2 Co.5:14). "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all... (1 Tim.2:3-6). "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men..." (Titus 2:11). "And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world" (1 Jn.2:2). If John uses the word, world, to refer only to the elect here and not to all men who ever will live, then the verse is reduced to: "And He Himself is the propitiation (the provision for forgiveness) for the sins of the elect; and not for the sins of the elect only, but also for those of the whole


elect." The verse becomes meaningless. There no longer would be any reason for the verse to be in the Bible. Rev. 3:20 simply presents the words of Jesus, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if ANYONE hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me."

God is impartial. This truth contains a most alarming truth for guilty people. It is that God will not be influenced by partiality, but will treat them just as they deserve. He will not be won or awed by their rank or function; by their wealth or endowments; by their numbers, their power, or their robes of royalty and splendor. Every man should tremble at the prospect of falling into the hands of a just God, who will treat him just as he deserves, and should without delay seek a refuge in the Savior and Advocate provided for the guilty.

The Trinity Key verses: John 17:22 (NASU) - That they may be one (1520), just as We are one (1520); John 17:23 (NASU) - I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity (1520), so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Acts 4:32 (NASU) - And the congregation of those who believed were of one (1520) heart and soul; and not one (1520) [of them] claimed that anything belonging to him was his own. Romans 3:29-30 (NASU) - Or is God [the God] of Jews only? Is He not [the God] of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.

God is one (1520)  

God is singular in purpose God is not partial.

Romans 15:6 (NASU) + Literal Greek translation: “So that (with one accord – 3661) you may with one voice (en <1722> {PREP} eni <1520> {A-DSN} stomati <4750> {N-DSN} – literally “with one mouth”) glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

3661 omoyumadon homothumadon om - o-qu-ma-don 

hom-o-thoo- ma- don’ AV-with one accord, with one mind 1) With one mind, with one accord, with one passion -----------

This is a wonderful Greek word. It helps us understand the uniqueness of the Christian community. Homo-thu-ma-don is a compound of two words meaning to "rush along" and "in unison". The image is almost musical; a number of notes are sounded which, while different, harmonize in pitch and tone. As the instruments of a great concert under the direction of a concert master, so the Holy Spirit blends together the lives of members of Christ’s church. 1 Cor. 3:8 (NASU) - Now he who plants and he who waters are one (1520); 1 Cor. 11:5 (NASU) - But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one (1520) and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 1 Cor. 12:12 (NASU) - For even as the body is one (1520) and [yet] has many members… Gala. 3:28 (NASB ) - There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one (1520) in Christ Jesus. Eph. 2:14 (NASU) - For He Himself is our peace, who made both [groups into] one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 1 John 5:8 (YLT) - and three are who are testifying in the earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood, and the three are into the one.

Dt. 6:4 uses Hebrew word: #259 echad Two possible definitions: 1. One (like one spoon) or… 2. Oneness (relational oneness – like one team) some examples of this usage: 

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Gene. 2:24 (NASB) - For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one (echad- 259) flesh. Gene 3:22 (NASB) Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one (echad- 259) of Us, Gene 11:6 (NASB) - And the Lord said, "Behold, they are one (echad- 259) people, Gene 41:25 (NASB) - Now Joseph said to Pharaoh, "Pharaoh's dreams are one (echad- 259). God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do. Exod. 24:3 (NASB) - Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one (echad- 259) voice, and said, "All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!" Exod. 36:18 (NASB) - And he made fifty clasps of bronze to join the tent together, that it might be a unit (echad- 259).

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2 Sam. 2:25 (NASB) - And the sons of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became one (echad- 259) band, 1 Kings 22:13 (NASB) Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, "Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly (echad- 259) favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one (echad- 259) of them, and speak favorably." 1 Chr. 12:38 (NASB) - All these . . . came to Hebron . . . to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest also of Israel were of one (echad- 259) mind to make David king. Ezra 3:9 (NASB) - Then Jeshua [with] his sons and brothers stood united (echad- 259) [with] Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah [and] the sons of Henadad [with] their sons and brothers the Levites, to oversee the workmen in the temple of God. Jere. 32:39 (NASB) - And I will give them one (echad- 259) heart and one (echad- 259) way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good, and for [the good of] their children after them. Ezek. 11:19 (NASB) - "And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,

Two distinct beings meet with Abraham 

Gene. 19:24 (NASB) Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.

Plurality for God expressed in the Old Testament   

Ge.1:26 Ge.3:22 Mt.28:19

Distinct personalities in the New Testament: 

Matt. 3:16-17 (NASB) And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, [and] coming upon Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

Scripture commands us to worship no one except God. Jesus received worship: 

Matthew 14:33; 15:25; 28:9; Luke 24:52; Hebrews 1:6

Apostle Thomas, after Christ's resurrection, called Him, "My Lord and my God." John 20:28

Jesus claimed he was God:  

egw eimi Ex. 3:14 - And God said unto Moses, I AM () THAT I AM:

Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament)       

    

“But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying be of good cheer; I AM (egw eimi); be not afraid” (Mt 14:27 ASV). “I AM (egw eimi) the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Mt 22:32 ASV). And Jesus said, I am (egw eimi): and ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Matt. 14:62). And they all said, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, ye say that I am (egw eimi). {1) Or Ye say it, because I am} (Luke 22:70). But he saith unto them, I AM (egw eimi); be not afraid (John 6:20). I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for except ye believe that I am (egw eimi), ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24). Jesus therefore said, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am (egw eimi), and that I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me, I speak these things (John 8:28). Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am (egw eimi) (John 8:58). From henceforth I tell you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am (egw eimi) (John 13:19). They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am (egw eimi) (John 18:5). When therefore he said unto them, I am (egw eimi), they went backward, and fell to the ground (John 18:6) Jesus answered, I told you that I am (egw eimi); if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way (John 18:8).

Jehovah Witnesses say Jesus was simply the first created of all creation. Question:

If Christ is merely the first Being the Father formed, and did not always exist, He could not have told the Pharisees, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am (egw eimi)." Instead He would have had to say: emen — "I was", or… egenomen — "I came to be", or… egennethen — "I had been born", or… ekitshen — "I had been created", or… exesa — "I lived" Jesus made the worst possible choice unless He was proclaiming I am the ‘egw eimi’ of Ex. 3.

The Holy Spirit is also God. The Bible show that the Holy Spirit is:  

 

Fully God (1 Cor. 2:10-12; Eph. 3:3-5). A person Masculine Ekeinos Not feminine Ekeine or neuter Ekeino (Spirit is a neuter word) John 14:26 – “But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit. . . he (Ekeinos (that one)) shall teach you.” Literal Greek translation: “to {T-NSN} the (pneuma) {N-NSN} spirit to {T-NSN} the (agion) {ANSN} Holy . . . (ekeinov) {D-NSM} that one -He- (umav) {P-2AP} (didaxei) {V-FAI-3S} he will teach.”

The Holy Spirit acts as a person:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Speaks. (Revelation 2:7; Acts 13:2; etc.) Makes intercession. (Romans 8:26) Calls, oversees, commands. (Acts 13:2; 16:6, 7; 20:28) May be grieved. (Ephesians 4:30) May be insulted. (Hebrews 10:29) Can be lied to. (Acts 5:3) Can be blasphemed and sinned against. (Matthew 12:31, 32) Teaches. (John 14:26) Glorifies Christ. (John 16:14) Counsels. (John 14:16)

The Holy Spirit is a distinct person, not an energy field. Romans 8:27 talks about "the mind of the Spirit." Do forces or influences have minds? 2 Cor. 13:14 (NASU) – “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”


Jesus – eternally existent Jesus has always and eternally been God. John 1:1 (NASU) – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Ph.2:5-7 (Weymouth) “. . . let this mind be in you that [is] also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought [it] not robbery to be equal to God, yet He emptied himself, and taking on the form of a servant, he took on the likeness of men, and having been found as a man, he humbled himself, having become obedient unto death -- even death on a cross”.

Col.1:15 (NASU) – “And He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” Jesus is the first born: ; NOT “first created”:  First born refers to pre-eminence. Look at these examples: 

 

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Exod. 4:22 (NIV) Then say to Pharaoh, `This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son…’ Literal Greek translation from Septuagint: The Lord says, “Son, the first-born () {<4416> A–NSM} of me, Israel” Was Israel born first, or was Esau? If Christ is not Yahweh God and eternally existent, then "I am" () was definitely the wrong phrase. Christ is not the first being created but "Beginner" or "Originator" (the ) of creation (Rev. 3:14).  also appears in Revelation 21:6 [...I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end...], where the Alpha and Omega obviously cannot be the first created Being, but must be creation's origin. Col.1:15 - Jesus is the  – "first-born", not  – "first created". Firstborn - This term refers to a person who has special honor and preeminence. God, for example, calls David and Ephraim His firstborn (Psalm 89:27; Jeremiah 31:9) when they were not literally the oldest child. The eldest son's special position was widely recognized in the ancient

Near East (Ge. 21:9-13; Jud, 11:1-2). Privileges were highly valued: a larger inheritance, a special paternal blessing, family leadership, and an honored place at mealtimes (Ge. 25:5-6; 27:35-36; 37:21; 42:37; 43:33; Dt. 21:15-17). 

 (First-born)      

Col. 1:15 - He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. Col. 1:18 - And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Heb. 1:6 - But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him." Heb. 12:23 - To the general assembly and church of the firstborn [who] [are] registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect. Rev. 1:5 - And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. John 3:16 - ‘his only begotten Son’. Greek word:  Semantic range: 1. Only begotten 2. Only 3. Unique John 3:16 in Greek:   = . ‘One’ and ‘Kind’ His one of a kind Son (very God of very God) John 1:14; 3:16; 1 John 4:9.

John 5:18 (NIV) - For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. Jesus is ‘very God of very God’ the , ‘the one of a kind’ one. He is the only one who ever walked the earth who eternally was God, is God, always will be God. But for a brief 33 years, He voluntarily emptied Himself of all His supernatural access, and of all His rights, privileges, and position.

Divine Rights Ph.2:5-8 - "Have this mind among yourselves, that you have in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God ["who had always been God by nature," Phillips; "had the very nature of God," T.E.V.], did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped ["did not cling to his prerogatives as God's equal,"

Phillips], but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross." Having emptied Himself, He could not use any power or ability that people do not also have access to. He chose not to use divine abilities and lived in the sphere of human abilities. This is kenosis, from the Greek word meaning "an act of emptying"; in some ways He chose a temporary loss of memory. Luke 2:52 (NIV) And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Col. 1:15 - The first born (): Paul is here refuting the Gnostics who pictured Christ as one of the aeons. Paul declares that he has preeminence before "all creation". Not God (pure good, not corrupted by contact with the physical) Emanation…emanation…emanation ... Jesus (with an evil physical body) The physical earth. Christ in his human nature, is the visible discovery of the invisible God, and he that has seen Him has seen the Father. (Jn.1:18) All things being created by Him, were created for him; being made by his power, they were made according to his pleasure, and for his praise and glory. He not only created them all at first, but it is by the word of his power that they are upheld. Christ as Mediator is the Head of the body, the church; all grace and strength are from him; and the church is his body. All fullness dwells in him; a fullness of merit and righteousness, of strength and grace for us.

Trinity Summary Thoughts The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are: Absolute oneness (One God) 1. Absolute Oneness of Motive – Love 2. Absolute Oneness of Purpose a. Possible because of: 1) Infinite intelligence 2) Perfect love b. The perfect harmony that only can come from infinite intelligence and perfect love. 3. Precisely equal in Abilities of: a. Personality (intellect, will, emotions) b. Omnipotence c. Omnipresence d. Omniscience e. Eternal existence f. Character Qualities: 1) Absolute Love 2) Absolute Wisdom 3) Absolute Righteousness 4) Absolute Loving-kindness 5) Absolute Truthfulness 6) Absolute Faithfulness 7) Absolute Holiness 4. Absolute oneness of relationship, existing such perfect oneness that it does not matter whether you refer to them as one or as three. One in:  motive,  agreement,  equality,  character,  absolutely perfect Trinity oneness

Trinity Individual Distinctiveness The Trinity: three distinct persons 1. Distinct functions within the Trinity a. Jesus died (1 Jo 2:1) b. Holy Spirit: (Jn.16:8-10, Ro. 8:16, etc.) 1) Will convict the world concerning sin 2) and righteousness 3) and judgment 4) testifies with our spirit that we are children of God 5) guides you into all the truth c. The Father (Mt. 6:4, Mt. 6:6, Mt. 6:14, Mt. 6:26, Mt. 7:21, Mt. 12:50, Mt. 16:17, Mt. 25:34, Lu. 6:36, Lu. 11:13, Lu. 12:32, John 3:35, John 5:17, John 5:37, John 6:32, John 6:44, John 14:16, Ro. 8:15, Eph. 4:6, 1 Th. 3:11, 2 Ti. 1:2, Heb. 12:9, Jas. 1:17, 2 Pe. 1:17, 1 Jo. 1:3, 2 Jo. 1:4) 2. Uniqueness of expression But a perfection of oneness in abilities, purpose, understanding, agreement, and action – with such a perfection that They are more perfectly One than my right hand and my left hand. They live together so absolutely ‘one’ that it makes absolute no difference whether you refer to them as one or three. They are perfectly one.

Is God a Committee? A Treatise on the Doctrine of the Trinity By Gerald Wheeler

Is the doctrine of the Trinity pagan? Was Christ the first being the Father produced? Is the Holy Spirit only a force or influence? Can 1 + 1 + 1 = 1? Can one-third person plus one-third person plus onethird person equal one person? Confused? Do these equations sound like some of those modern math problems involving sets your children have been bringing home from school lately? They're not. Instead, they represent descriptions by opponents of one of the most misunderstood and violently attacked Christian doctrines â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the Godhead, or, more commonly, the Trinity. From the time of Christ, men have disputed the nature of the Trinity, but Arius, a church leader of Alexandria in A.D. 313, declared Jesus was only a man, nothing more. For several centuries the debate begun by Arius raged within Christianity. Arius also claimed that the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Godhead, is nothing more than an influence, a power that God uses to perform His will, and not a conscious personality. What can the Christian actually think about the Trinity? Is it really a pagan concept derived from some ancient three-headed Babylonian god, as some argue? What does the Bible teach about it (limited space permits us to touch only a few points)? And does it really matter what anyone believes about the Trinity? Critics are correct who say that the term "Trinity" is not in the Bible. Scripture does not use the word. Instead, the New Testament uses several related Greek words which the King James Version of the Bible has rendered "Godhead". The words include theion (Acts 17:29), "divinity" or "the Deity"; theiotes (Romans 1:20), "divine nature" or "divinity"; and theotes (Colossians 2:9), "deity" or, "the nature of God." Though the Bible does not mention the term, it clearly reveals the concept of a three-person Godhead. The word millennium never appears in the Bible, coming instead from the Latin mille, "a thousand", and annus, "a year." But the Bible does teach the concept in Revelation 19 and 20. Many antitrinitarians reject the doctrine of the Godhead because the Bible fails to use the term "Trinity" yet they believe in the "millennium", another term that does not appear in the Bible.

Is the Trinity a New Testament or postapostolic invention? On the contrary, The Old Testament proclaims, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord..."(Deuteronomy 6:4, R.S.V.*). Obviously, the Jews did and still do believe in only one God, not three equal ones. Yet a careful study of the Old Testament does not rule out the Godhead. In fact, it even hints at it. Echad, the Hebrew word translated "one" in Deuteronomy 6:4, also appears in Genesis 2:24, where God stated that a man should leave his parents and cleave to his wife, becoming "one flesh." Numbers 13:23 employs it in reference to the cluster of grapes the Hebrew spies brought back from Canaan. In both cases the word shows a composite unity: man and wife are two separate individuals comprising "one flesh", and a cluster is a multitude of grapes forming "one" or "a single" cluster. Genesis 18 and 19 also give insight into the Godhead. They describe how the Lord and some angels walk into the camp of the patriarch Abraham one day. The patriarch feeds them; then the angels go on ahead to Sodom to warn Abraham's nephew Lot of the city's impending destruction. Abraham pleads for God to spare the city. Unfortunately, there are not even ten righteous in it, and "the LORD rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven...." (Genesis 19:24, K.J.V.) The passage strongly implies at least two individuals, one on earth and one in heaven, are both called Lord. A common name the Hebrew Scriptures gave God is 'Elohim, which always appears in the plural form. Sometimes it has a singular verb, perhaps indicating that the Old Testament writers conceived of the Godhead as a discrete unit. The Genesis creation account contains 'Elohim, and at one point God says, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." (Genesis 1:26). After man's spiritual fall, God comments, "Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:22). Some argue that the use of the plural 'Elohim only indicates God's majesty, much as kings once used the imperial "we". But the New Testament, in John 1:2-3, reveals that at least one other Person was present at creation. In the New Testament (Matthew 22:44) Christ quotes Psalm 110:1 and applies the statement to Himself. In Matthew 22:44 the words translated "Lord" both come from Kurios, the Greek word used for the Yahweh, the most sacred Hebrew name for God and most commonly transliterated "Jehovah". The literal Greek of the passage reads, "The Lord said to the Lord." Christ used Kurios â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the same Greek word used in the Greek Biblical manuscripts for Yahweh â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to refer to Himself. For other examples, compare the Messianic prophecy of Psalm 102:25-28 with Hebrews 1:1012; and Habakkuk 2:2-3 with Hebrews 10:37. (We could, if space allowed, cite many more.) Being a compilation of writings by different authors, the Bible rarely deals systematically with any topic. The New Testament, like the Old, only alludes to the Trinity. As with most doctrines, the Bible student must put all the Scripture references together to see what the Bible teaches about the Godhead. Many have advocated 1 John 5:7, K.J.V., as a direct statement of the Trinity, but a study of Biblical manuscripts indicates that it is apparently not older than the fifteenth century A.D. Christ, however, briefly mentioned the threefold Godhead when He instructed His followers, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and

of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19. Notice that "name" is singular, indicating that Christ conceived of them as one unit. Other passages that allude to the Trinity are Matthew 3:16-17; John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18; and Jude 20-21. The best way to discover the true Biblical teaching about the Trinity is to see what Scripture has to say about each of the Godhead's members. Since most Christians accept the Father as fully Yahweh (Jehovah) God, we will concentrate on Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Several lines of evidence indicate that Christ is just as much Jehovah God as the Father. First, people worshiped Him during His lifetime in a manner that would have been idolatrous if He was not Almighty God. Christ (Matthew 4:9.10), as well as Old Testament writers, declared that man should worship no one except God. To worship any other being was blasphemy. Scripture contains several instances of men and even angels refusing homage to themselves. (Acts 10:25-26; 14:10-15; Revelation 19:10; 22:89). Yet Christ accepted from men and women worship that goes far beyond mere homage (honor) such as we may rightly and conscientiously give another human being or angel (See Matthew 14:33; 15:25; 28:9; Luke 24:52; Hebrews 1:6). If Christ were not fully God, He allowed men to commit blasphemy. The Apostle Thomas, after Christ's resurrection, called Him, "My Lord and my God." John 20:28. Christ did not correct Thomas for referring to Him as God and Lord. Instead, He commented on the apostle's faith. Remember that the word translated "Lord" is Kurios, the word that Greek speaking Jews used for Yahweh. By implication, Christ was claiming for Himself the most sacred name the Jews had for God. But the Bible even records several instances where Christ directly, clearly claimed to be Jehovah God. John 8 describes one of Christ's many encounters with the Jewish leaders. They accused Him of demon possession. He denied the charge and said that anyone who kept His teachings would never see death. The Jews pointed out that even their greatest ancestor, Abraham, had died, along with all the prophets. "Are you greater than our father Abraham?" they demanded. (Verse 53.) Christ made an answer that the Jews interpreted as a claim to have personally seen Abraham alive. Aghast, they retorted that He was less than fifty years old, meaning that He hadn't even reached the Jewish retirement age. (Verse 57). Then Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am [Greek ego eimi]." Verse 58. Could the ungrammatical "I am" be a mistake in copying? The earliest manuscripts all have ego eimi. If the Apostle John mistranslated Christ's Aramaic statement, the Bible can't be trusted, a position which abundant other evidence contradicts. Obviously, Christ deliberately meant to say "I am". Why? Notice what the Jews immediately did. "So they took up stones to stone Him." (Verse 59). Stoning was the Jewish punishment for blasphemy. How had Christ committed such an act in their eyes? "I am" was a definite reference to God Himself as recorded in the Old Testament. The Alexandrian Jewish colony, when it made its Greek translation of the Old Testament ( the Septuagint) before Christ's birth, used ego eimi for Yahweh's "I am" of Deuteronomy 39 and Isaiah 43:11 . Christ was claiming to be Jehovah God, and the Jews knew it. He was using an expression in a way that the Jewish mind and religious culture could interpret in no other way. Hebrew law allowed and made stoning legal in only five cases: 1) spiritism (Leviticus 20:27); 2) cursing (blasphemy) (Leviticus 24:10-16,23); 3) false prophets who lead others to idolatry ( Deuteronomy 13:5-

10); 4) a stubborn (unrepentantly rebellious) son ( Deuteronomy 21:18-21) ; and 5) adultery and rape (Deuteronomy 22:21-24 and Leviticus 20:10). The only legal grounds the Pharisees could have possibly used as an excuse for stoning Christ was blasphemy, misusing God's sacred name by claiming to be God Himself. Some critics maintain that they reacted so violently because He called them children of the devil (John 8:44). Yet it is unlikely that such legalistic and law-oriented people would behave in such a manner except under extreme provocation. Jewish law did not permit stoning for insults. Christ was popular with the masses, and the Hebrew leaders knew the trouble that would result if they stoned Christ without ample cause. And, in addition, they had not attempted to stone Him in other cases (Matthew 12:34; 23:33; etc.) when He called them a brood of vipers. Instead, in John 8 the Jewish religious authorities clearly recognized that Christ was claiming Godheadship for Himself. A similar incident appears in John 10:33, where they again tried to stone Christ and accused Him of making Himself God. If the Jews were under a mistaken impression, surely the Scripture would have made some indication of this vital point. Christ also used ego eimi in John 13:19, where He told the disciples about the signs of His second coming. He stated that He was telling them future events so that when they occurred, Christ's followers would know that He was the great "I am" of Exodus 3:14 and Isaiah 44:6. Only Jehovah God can really claim the ability to foretell future events with total accuracy. (Isaiah 46:9-10; 48:5-8). Christ, being a member of the Godhead, had access to such power. When Judas and the mob came to the Garden of Gethsemane to capture Christ, He asked them whom they sought. "Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. He said to them "I am." John gives Jesus' answer in the Greek as ego eimi. (John 18:5). Many translators of this passage supply the pronoun "he", [Thus rendering Jesus' answer to be, I am He] but this is not in the original manuscripts. Again Christ was using a phrase in such a manner that the Jewish mind could interpret in only one way. Some antitrinitarians have argued that Christ occupies a position less than that of the Father— that He may be "god" but not Almighty God. They say He is the first created Being. He is responsible, they say, for bringing into existence all other creation. But does such a concept fit in with what He Himself and Scripture have to say about Him? If Christ is merely the first Being the Father formed, and did not always exist, He could not have told the Pharisees, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." Instead He would have had to say: emen — "I was", or egenomen — "I came to be", or egennethen — "I had been born", or ekitshen — "I had been created", or exesa — "I lived"

Each such expression would have been grammatically correct and made more sense if Christ was not Yahweh God and eternally existent. But in such a case, "I am" (ego eimi) was definitely the wrong phrase to use. Some have claimed that ego eimi, in this particular case should be translated, "I have been." That, however, produces the question of why the Apostle John would have employed such a misleading expression when he could have used a clear, specific one. To accept such an unreasonable idea forces John into the position of making a stumbling block for the readers of his Gospel. Christ is not the first Being the Father produced, but the "Beginner" or "Origination" () of creation (Revelation 3:14). Arche also appears in Revelation 21:6 [...I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end...], where the Alpha and Omega obviously cannot be the first created Being, but must be creation's origin. In Colossians 1:15, Jesus is the prototokos or "firstborn", not protoktisis or "first created". Scripture uses the position of firstborn to indicate special honor and preeminence. God, for example, calls David and Ephraim His firstborn (Psalm 89:27; Jeremiah 31:9) when they were literally not. Also, firstborn may indicate that the Father and Son have like natures. Something created is quite different from the person who created it, but something born is generally the same as its progenitor. Christ has the same nature as the Father. The King James Version of the Bible has the Apostle John referring to Christ as the "only begotten" Son of God (for example, John 1:14; 3:16; 1 John 4:9) Monogenes means "the only member of a kin, or kind; hence, generally only, single." (Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, Vol.2, p.1144). Additional meanings include "unique", "precious", "beloved". There is only one Being in the whole universe like Jesus, the Son of God, who incarnated Himself as a man to save the human race. He is beloved and precious to the Father. And He is eternal, "the same yesterday and today and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8). Christ cannot be a created god because Jehovah, the great "I AM", clearly states, "Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be after me." (Isaiah 43:10). But, some may ask, what about such statements Christ made as "the Father is greater than I" (John 14:28), or what about the fact that He said that there were some things He did not know, but only the Father (Mark 13:32)? And Christ spoke of His Father as "my God" and "the only true God". (John 20:17; 17:3). The key to understanding such seeming contradictions or problems comes when we grasp Christ's role on earth and in the plan of salvation. In Philippians 2, Paul outlines how the Christian should live and behave, using Christ Himself as the example: "Have this mind among yourselves," the apostle writes, "which you have in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God ["who had always been God by nature," Phillips**; "had the very nature of God," T.E.V.***], did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped ["did not cling to his prerogatives as God's equal," Phillips], but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross." (verses 5-8). The mere fact that Christ the Son of God was incarnated as a human being did not automatically provide salvation for the human race. He had an active role to fulfill. Besides dying on the cross, He had to live a

perfect life, an example for His followers to pattern theirs after. But for human beings to follow that pattern, He could not use any power or ability that mankind did not also have access to. Christ had to "empty Himself", to thrust the external characteristics of His deity aside during His human life on earth. Called the kenosis from the Greek word meaning "an act of emptying", the concept declares that Christ denied Himself His divine attributes and powers and lived a human life. Even the miracles He performed He did through the power supplied Him by the Father. (John 5:36). He went so far as to block out His former consciousness so that He had to develop and learn like human children. (See Luke 2:40, 52). But He was always still Jehovah God. As one studies Christ's comments about Himself, especially those that appear to say He was less than God, one must always judge them in the light of the kenosis. This is one of the wonders of Jesus' incarnation and love for mankind in that He denied Himself so much. God the Father guided Christ's life and gave Him the power to perform miracles through the agency of the other member of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. The divine guidance began to shape Christ's future development when the Holy Spirit overshadowed His mother Mary long before His birth. (Luke 1:35). The influence on Mary would, of course, extend throughout His childhood. And the Holy Spirit filled Christ Himself, even more so after His baptism by His cousin John. Many through the centuries have regarded the Holy Spirit as only a divine "active force", the power the Father uses to work out His will, not a conscious, separate Personality. Yet if the Spirit is only mindless, divine energy, the Bible describes it in a most unusual manner. First, consider the gender the authors of the New Testament use to refer to the Spirit. Greek, like English, has masculine, feminine, and neuter forms of words (e.g., he, she, it). But John, for example, in such passages as John 14:26 and 16:13-15, employs the masculine for of the pronoun referring to the spirit Ekeinos instead of the feminine Ekeine or the neuter Ekeino. If the Holy Spirit was only a force or "influence", the apostle should have used the neuter gender. Again John is misleading his readers unless he clearly meant what his choice of gender implies. Second, Scripture constantly mentions characteristics which only fit a conscious Being. To cite a few examples, the Bible says that the Spirit... 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Speaks. (Revelation 2:7; Acts 13:2; etc.) Makes intercession. (Romans 8:26.) Calls, oversees, commands. (Acts 13:2; 16:6-7; 20:28.) May be grieved. (Ephesians 4:30.) May be insulted. (Hebrews 10:29.) Can be lied to. (Acts 5:3.) Can be blasphemed and sinned against. (Matthew 12:31-32.) Teaches. (John 14:26.) Glorifies Christ. (John 16:14.) Counsels. (John 14:16.)

Romans 8:27 talks about "the mind of the Spirit." Do forces or influences have minds? Some may suggest that the Bible writers were only using personification, but the pattern is too consistent and too strong against it. They would have hardly equated a personified force with two actual Beings as Matthew did in the baptismal formula (Matthew 28:19), or as Paul did in the apostolic benediction (2 Cor. 13:14). Paul in Acts 28:25 declared, "The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet...", and then quoted Isaiah 6:9-10, a passage which begins, "And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' â&#x20AC;&#x153; (Isaiah 6:8). The Spirit is also Jehovah God as much as is the Father or the Son, having such traits as omniscience (1 Cor. 2:10) and the ability to be omnipresent (Psalm 139:7). As His special responsibility, He guides the mind of the Christian and brings it into harmony with the divine will, or as the Bible would phrase it, "fills" him. (See such typical passages as Acts 2:4, 33). (Space has permitted us to look at only a small part of the Biblical evidence on the Godhead and its members. For a much more thorough study, see Edward Bickersteth's The Trinity and The Holy Spirit.) Critics of Christianity have occasionally charged that the Biblical story of salvation portrays a great injustice. They claim that it states that one Being (God) took the punishment of a guilty being (Adam) and placed it on a third, innocent Being (Christ). But the concept of the Godhead does away with this problem. The members of the Godhead did not put divine punishment on another, but agreed among themselves to accept it, Christ volunteering as their representative. God did not show infinite love if He asked someone less than Himself to die for man's sins. It would not be a total sacrifice if the Father could replace Christ with another created being, if He could replace the Son as we would a destroyed but favorite art object. Many have rejected the Godhead, the Trinity, because it involves concepts that we cannot completely explain. But man has continually failed to grasp the fact that what we can understand is not the whole of reality. We comprehend only a small fraction of the universe, but few would be so foolish as to deny that the rest of it exists because we cannot explain everything about it. Human reason is extremely limited. Men once scoffed at the idea that the earth races through space. Why? Because they could not understand how it could. It was not reasonable and they could give some seemingly powerful objections against it. If the earth moved, to cite some of their arguments, the wind which its movement created would blow everything off the planet's surface. Dropped objects would not fall straight down as they obviously do, but at a curving slant as a bomb does when dropped from a moving airplane. These and similar points made a moving earth seem against all reason. Yet we know that they were wrong. Reality was larger than what their minds conceived. Perhaps we can compare the Godhead to a divine committee of equals, with each having specific areas of responsibility. But it is also a synergy, a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, just as a man is much more than a collection of chemicals, cells, tissues, and organs.

We may argue that the Godhead does not exist because we cannot dissect and explain how it works like some specimen under a microscope. But to do so is to become like the ancient pagan who could conceive of his god as only like himself. * All Bible quotations in this article are from the Revised Standard Version unless otherwise stated. ** From The New Testament in Modern English. Copyright, J. B. Phillips, 1958. Used by permission of The Macmillan Company. *** The New Testament in Today's English Version.

A Study Regarding the Trinity by Gordon C. Olson     

"I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God" (Is. 45:5). "Thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, I dwell on a high and holy place"' (Is. 57:15). "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come" (Re. 4:8). "God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" (1Jn. 4:16, 8). "God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all" (1Jn. 1:5).

The foundation of all knowledge and experience of God is the acceptance of all the evidence that our minds have been confronted with in our natural observations of ourselves and our surroundings. The idea of cause and effect is deeply ingrained in every person. In every task performed we instinctively recognize that the result is the product of what we have done. We observe endless profound objects and arrangements which neither we nor other beings like ourselves could possibly originate and sustain. Since we know that intricacies of design do not come about by chance, we are driven to the conclusion that there is a Creator and Sustainer of all the profound and great things that we observe. The Bible greatly enlarges our comprehension of the great Being of God. God was under no obligation to reveal all that He has of the Divine secrets, but has done so to Inspire confidence that He is a God of intelligence and truth. By revealing His moral character and inner reactions because of sin, God Is seeking to persuade man to forsake his rebellion and experience His great loving compassion in redemption. The Trinity are revealed in the Bible as a Trinity of Personal Spiritual Beings, living in an endless duration of time, who have the ability of Intellectual activity, who experience emotional reactions, and who possess moral freedom, or the power of self-determination or free will.

1. A Trinity of Personalities of equal endowments and attributes, who are In absolute oneness of purpose and activity, designated Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Ep. 4:4-6. a. While the Old Testament emphasizes the unity of God, as distinguished from the belief of pagan nations in a great multitude of gods, there are clear references to a plurality of Persons in the Trinity and some that point to this plurality as a Trinity. 1) Plural nouns and pronouns are applied to God: Ge.1:1, 26; 3:22; 11:7; 48:15; Is.6:8.

2) Distinctions are made in the Trinity that would be uncalled for apart from a plurality of Divine Persons: Ge. 1:1-2; 6:3; 19:24; Nu. 6:24-26; Ps. 2:7 (Jn. 3:16, 18); 51:11; IS. 6:3; 63:9-11; Zech. 2:10-11. b. In the New Testament we find the threefold personality of the Trinity emphatically asserted. Specific instances are: 1) Our Lord's baptism: Lk. 3:21-22. 2) The bestowal of the Holy Spirit by the Father and the Son: Jn. 14:16-17; Acts 2:32-33. 3) The baptismal formula as commissioned by Christ: Mt. 28:19. dd. The ministry of the Holy Spirit: 1 Co. 12:4-6, 11. 4) The apostolic benediction: 2 Co. 13:14. 5) The Lord Jesus was sent to earth from His eternal preexistence by the Father: Jn. 17:5, 18; Ga. 4:4-6 (also the Holy Spirit); He. 1:1-2. 6) The Father and the Holy Spirit are distinguished from each other: Ro. 8:26-27. 7) Each of the Members of the Trinity are called God or claimed full Deity: i. The Father very frequently: Jn. 6:27; 1 Co. 8:6; Ga. 1:1, 3. ii. The Son, the Lord Jesus Christ: Lk. 4:12; Jn. 1:1, 18; 5:17-18; 10:30 33; 20:28; 1 Co. 8:6; Col. 2:9; Tit. 2:13; He. 1:8; II Pe. 1:1. iii. The Holy Spirit: Acts 5:3-4; 13:2; 15:28; 1Co. 2:10-11; Ep. 2:22; He. 9:14.

2. Yet a Divine Unity of Personalities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A compound oneness. a. The Old Testament emphasizes the unity of God: Ex. 20:3; De. 4:35, 39; 6:4; Is. 44:6. The word "one" (De. 6:4, quoted by the Lord Jesus, Mk. 12:29) In the Hebrew means "united," indicating a compound unity or a unity of parts rather than a simple unity. b. The plural Hebrew word for God, "Elohim," is often used with a singular verb (as Pe. 1:1, 27), indicating a profound unity of action. c. In His high-priestly prayer (Jn. 17:11, 21-23). the Lord Jesus likened the unity or oneness of His essential Being with that of the Father to the most intimate of all human relations, the spiritual oneness between Himself and the true Church, called "the body of Christ" (I Co. 12:27; Ep. 5:30), and between fellow-believers by virtue of the baptism or partaking of the Holy Spirit (I Co. 12:13). The word "one" is in the neuter gender, expressing a unity. While always remaining separate individuals, those "born of the Spirit" (Jn. 3:6) are "to preserve the unity of the Spirit" (Ep. 4:3), "with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel" (Phil. 1:27), "maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose" (2:2). By making these comparisons, our Lord conveyed the idea that the oneness that exists among the Members of the Trinity is a moral or voluntary oneness of character and relationship, a united continuous choice to live in the realm of perfect love or true benevolence in all moral relations and responsibilities. The concept of salvation is elevated thereby and the profound nature of the glorious Trinity somewhat exposed to our limited vision.

Evidently from the foregoing, it is proper to refer to the Trinity in both the plural and the singular. The plural is proper because there are three Personalities so distinct that They may perform specific functions and actions separately. And yet there is a profound unity among the Members of the Trinity. Evidently this is a compound unity, as in Ge. 1:1 and 1:27, where the plural "Elohim" for God acted together in creation in such a manner that a singular verb could be used. We must, it appears, lean away from an elementary concept of unity into the realm of compound unity. 3. The Trinity are Spiritual in Essence, not corporeal or having a physical existence. Divine spiritual essence is a reality, a distinct entity or substance which could be seen if we were able to endure such great revelation, as God explained to Moses (Ex. 33:20) . The Lord Jesus referred to the Trinity as having "shape" or "form" (Jn. 5:37) and said that "He has seen the Father" (Jn. 6:46). David expressed the hope of beholding the "face" and "form" of God (Ps. 17:15). a. God's essential spiritual nature is Immaterial: Jn. 4:24 ("God (is) Spirit"); Col. 1:15 ("the invisible God"); I Tim. 1:17; He. 11:27; Lk. 24:39. We cannot now understand how personal identity can exist in a purely spiritual realm and must depend upon our own spiritual consciousness, implanted by the creative hand of God, that we exist apart from our material bodies (Lk. 16:22-31; II Co. 5:1-8; Phil. 1:21-24). Similarly, God exists apart from material substance and is to be contacted through our spiritual consciousness (Mt. 6:6; Jn. 4:23-24; Acts 17:24-29; Ro. 8:16). We have this common basis of spiritual understanding, since we were created in the "Image" and "likeness" of God (Ge. 1:26). In our present sphere of life "we walk by faith, not by sight" (II Co. 5:7). "Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believedâ&#x20AC;? said the Lord Jesus (Jn. 20:29). b. The essential Being of the Trinity never has and cannot be seen by our earthly material consciousness: Jn. 1:18; I Tim. 6:15-16; 1Jn. 4:12. God's Intimate servants and spiritual leaders have been favored by unspeakable manifestations of the Divine essence: As Abraham (Ge. 12:7; 17:1-3; 18:1-3, 13); Jacob (Ge. 32:30); Moses (Ex. 24:9-11; 33:11, 18-23; Nu. 12:6-8, "form" or likeness"); Gideon (Jud. 6:11-12, 21-22); Samson's parents (Jud. 13:6, 21-22); Isaiah (6:1, 5; Jn. 12:41); Stephen (Acts 7:54-56); Paul (I Co. 9:1; 2Co. 12:1-4); John, the Apostle (Re. 1:12-18). The designations, "the angel of the Lord" and lithe angel of God," appear in some of the above passages and in a number of other places in the Old Testament (as Ge. 22:11-12, 15-18; Ex. 3:2-6; 14:19-20). The Hebrew word rendered "angel" means messenger. These designations are thought to refer to the Lord Jesus in His pre-incarnate eternal existence, as they have reference to the actions of Deity and yet there are distinctions in the Trinity (as Is. 63:9-10). "The Angel of the Lord is the visible Lord God of the Old Testament, as Jesus Christ was of the New Testament" (Amp. O.T.). c. Since God has no material essence, no external images are to be made to represent the Divine Being: Ex. 20:4.

d. In the resurrection the redeemed shall receive "a spiritual body, (I Co. 15:44-45) like "the body of His glory" (Phil. 3:21).â&#x20AC;?We shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is" (1 Jn. 3:2). We now have our "natural (or soulish) body' and see spiritual realities "In a mirror dimly" (I Co. 13:12) and thus must "walk by faith." Evidently, when we receive our "spiritual body" a whole new realm of spiritual perception will dawn. The heavenly life will be busy and happy in the direct exploration of spiritual reality-"then face to face." "His servants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face" (Re. 22:3-4). The resurrected and glorified Christ now has a tangible spiritual body (Lk. 24:39), "the first fruits of those who are asleep" (I Co. 15:20). Thus there has been a change in the manifestations of the Trinity since the Incarnation. "Because I live, you shall live also, said the Saviour in anticipation of His resurrection (Jn. 14:19).

Essentials Concerning God 1. THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD. The Trinity is an absolute unity of personal beings. Unity is the result of their infinite love and infinite, common understanding. The Godhead, perfect in love and perfect in understanding, live together in perfect harmony, experiencing perfect relationship. Jesus prayed to the Father, "that they [His disciples] may be one even as We [the Godhead] are one." 2. GOD IS INFINITE or IMMEASURABLE. God, in the very nature of His existence, is eternal — immeasurable with regard to time; omnipresent — immeasurable with regard to space; omnipotent — immeasurable in power; and omniscient— immeasurable in His capacity to know, understand, and evaluate things. 3. GOD IS PERSONAL. The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit each possess the abilities of intellect, will, and emotions — those capacities necessary to interacting in relationship with each other and with human beings. 4. GOD IS SOVEREIGN. He is the Supreme authority. Ultimately, all people and authorities are accountable to Him, and will be judged by Him. God maintains control of the direction and purpose of history. This does not mean that God's will is being done in every detail, but He does work in and through every detail, or when necessary, He may override them in order to maintain control of the direction of history. Concerning the evil Joseph's brothers brought upon him, Joseph told them, "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good." 5. GOD HAS THE RIGHT TO RULE MAN. Evangelism from "human need" is inadequate motivation. Christ commands salvation; He does not invite it. God has a right to our lives. He is the rightful owner of mankind, and His love and wisdom morally obligate us to give ourselves to Him. He alone has the competence to rule every person because of His wisdom and He alone has the disposition to lovingly do so. COMPETENCE + DISPOSITION = RIGHT TO RULE


The basis of Christian living is love and trust, not fear and hope. Revelation of the value of Jesus is necessary for us to intelligently choose to pay the high cost of discipleship. "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Christians must center on who Christ is, not just on what He has done. 7. HIS LAW IS FOUNDED IN HIS VALUE. The basis of all form, law, and order is God's changeless being and character, committed to preserve, protect, and defend the value of His existence and the value of His creation. He has not unreasonably demanded obedience to a set of arbitrary commandments. He has carefully outlined the absolute essentials, and demands that people obey them because they preserve, protect, and defend the value of His Being and of His creation (mainly us!) .If people live contrary to His law, they experience the destructive natural consequences resulting from violating their created design and resulting from their failure to fulfill their God-given purpose. Right and wrong are not God's creations, but rather are intrinsic in the nature of reality. He Himself lives in accordance with His own law. Therefore, He says, "You be holy for I am holy." 8. GOD'S RULE IS MORAL, NOT COERCIVE. God does not use physical force to rule the world and bring people to Himself, but moral persuasion ("Choose ye this day whom you will serve..." Joshua 24:15). Since moral rule is an appeal to right choice, men can and do resist salvation (salvation is: restoration to right relationship with God and others). 9. GOD ACTS IN A TRUE SUCCESSION OF EVENTS, NEVER CEASING IN HIS ACTIVITY, AND THUS, ENDLESS TIME IS AN ASPECT OF HIS ETERNAL EXISTENCE. God's being is eternal but His personality is sequential â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the nature of personality requires sequential activity. God has a past, a present, and a future. His past is without beginning, His future without end. Since choices and actions are part of the personality (sequential, not timeless), there are choices of both God and man which are not yet made, and, as such, are not presently realities, but only possibilities. 10. MAN'S SIN HAS TRULY HURT GOD. Since grief is proportional to intimacy, understanding, and tenderness, so it is that no one can be more hurt than God. He has the greatest understanding of the destructiveness of sin upon people and His purpose for them. Yet God's hurt has not resulted in bitterness, but He has always maintained a loving willingness to forgive. Man's sin is the ultimate wrong, which, if left unchecked, would murder the universe, and if it could, it would tear God off His throne. 11. GOD CHOOSES UNSELFISHLY TO BRING ABOUT THE HIGHEST GOOD. Love is not a feeling or way of thinking, but a chosen direction of virtue. Selfishness, not hatred, is the opposite of love. Because love is a choice it can be commanded by God and done by man. The law of love is the most important law in the universe. It is even more important than the life of the individual who violates it because it cannot be safely broken without beginning a chain of sin which

would ultimately end in the ruin of the whole universe. God has everlastingly chosen, in His absolute faithfulness the path of highest good. He is absolutely faithful. Never once in His eternal existence has He ever chosen anything unloving. 12. GOD IS IMMUTABLE or UNCHANGEABLE. God is changeless in His fundamental being â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Trinity Oneness, eternal existence, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, personality (abilities of intellect, will, and emotions), and in His absolute faithfulness to pursue unchangeably the highest good of His creation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the end to which He has committed Himself. In this context, God personally deals with each person according to his uniqueness and individuality. Knowing each one intimately by personal experience, God interacts with men according to their actions and their responses to Him, following the dictates of His wisdom for each situation. 13. GOD IS HOLY. His holiness is His eternal loving pursuit to act rightly (righteousness) toward every person according to infinite wisdom and unswerving faithfulness to the truth. God is love and God is light, in the absolute sense. The Godhead live according to the dictates of absolute intelligence in all their relationships and activities. Holiness is therefore, living in the light, out of a perfect intention of love. Certainly, God is worthy of total adoration and exaltation. 14. GOD'S CHARACTER IS THE EXPRESSION OF HIS LOVE. Love upholds what is right in upholding absolute justice (righteousness). It is tempered by lovingkindness, compassion, and the desire to be merciful toward all as long as righteousness is not sacrificed thereby. God uses His infinite intelligence and knowledge in order to lovingly produce the highest good for all. This is wisdom. In so doing, He never departs from truthfulness, never deceives; He always responds in honesty and integrity, expressing facts as they are. He is absolutely faithful, never chooses selfishly, not one time in His entire eternal existence. Love and Light rule. God is Love; God is Light; and in Him there is no darkness AT ALL. 15. GOD HOLDS EVERY PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THEY TRULY KNOW ABOUT HIM AND HIS LAW. Holiness is measured by God according to whether or not we live up to all the understanding we have. Holy habits are built upon fresh revelations of God's strength, character and love. Increase in light => increase in responsibility => (if we obey): growth in knowledge and grace OR (if we disobey): hardness of heart, and spiritual blindness (Ro 1:18-32). Christian perfection is commanded and possible. It is simply living up to our present understanding within the dynamics of relationship with the Holy Spirit. HOLY LIVING IS DAILY, LOVING OBEDIENCE TO INCREASING LIGHT.

These 15 basic points were originally written down by Winkie A. Pratney and obtained from him for use in this curriculum in 1976. Some have been slightly modified for additional clarity.

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