Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. Charles Stanley » Charles Stanley - The Truth About the Trinity

Charles Stanley - The Truth About the Trinity

Charles Stanley - The Truth About the Trinity
Charles Stanley - The Truth About the Trinity
TOPICS: Trinity

Some of the most profound scriptures and some of the most profound principles in the Bible are often times rather easily understood. And then there are those principles or those texts that are not quite so easily understood, in fact, sometimes very difficult. It's not because God intends to confuse us or make them difficult, it's because they're just difficult to understand because they're so comprehensive and so complicated at times. And yet more than that it's probably because we are confined to these earthy minds of ours and we'll never be able to comprehend fully all that we will when we get to heaven. But God is so good to show us so much of the truth in His Word.

Once in a while we'll come to one of those doctrinal statements that we believe and we'll think, Well, exactly what does that mean? Probably, the one that most people have the most difficulty with is whole idea of the Trinity. Now agreed that it's difficult to understand at times and also there is something of a mystery about it. I don't mean that it's a mystery because God wants it to be a mystery, it's just that it's difficult for us to understand fully all that God is. But it's really extremely important. Because until I get at least some idea of what the Bible teaches about the Trinity, I will never be able to understand what God is like and who He really is. And so, the title of this message is "The Truth About the Trinity".

Now let me say in the very beginning, it is not my purpose because I am totally incapable of explaining fully and completely the Trinity. But I do want you to get a biblical basis of what it's all about, what the Bible says, so that you can talk intelligently about it. But most of all, so that you can see what an awesome blessing you and I have when we say that God is our heavenly Father, Jesus is our Savior, Lord, and Master, and the Holy Spirit, our great enabler. So rather than turn you to a verse of scripture here and there, there are lots and lots of verses that I want us to turn to so I hope you will be ready. Most people think that the Trinity is only referred to or spoken to or spoken about in the New Testament, but that's not true.

Now the word, Trinity, is nowhere to be found in the Bible, but the truth of it is there. So what I would like to do is to give you three statements. And under each one of these statements I want to give an explanation of what God says in His Word about what you and I believe and that is the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. So the first of those statements and you might want to jot this down. They're all very, very short, very brief, and that's simply this. That God consists of three persons. That God consists of three persons. That is three distinct persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Now when I say "distinct persons" I simply mean this. That the Father is not the Son, and the Father is not the Spirit and the Son is not the Spirit. That is they're all three distinct persons, and they all three, though distinct persons, all have the same attributes. Now divine attributes could be summed up in the total of five, and that is first of all, that which is eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and immutable or unchanging. So that God would have those five attributes. And that is eternal in His being; omnipotent, all-powerful; omniscient, all-knowing; omnipresent, that all of everything is in the presence of God; and immutable, that He's unchanging. And so, when you think in terms of three distinct persons of the Trinity, we're talking about God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

Now, each one has the same attributes. That is, God the Father has no more of those attributes than God the Son or God the Holy Spirit, so that they all have the very same attributes. And that's why we've said that God consists of three persons. Now, the difference is that each one has a distinct function. And this is where I want to take a moment to explain because often times people say, Well do we have three gods? No. We just have one God. But that one God is three persons; God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. And each of them has a distinct function in the scriptures. So that what you find in the scriptures you find God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit working out, expressing out in creation their relationships with each other. Each one a distinct separate person but each one having the same attributes as the other which makes up the Godhead.

And the reason I say "Godhead" is because for some people, they can understand it better that way, that there are three persons of the Trinity. And these three persons make up the single God that you and I know that He is. So, when we think in terms of each one having the same attributes but each one having distinct functions, differing functions, let's think about it this way. For example, let's say, let's take creation for example. How does the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit relate to creation? Now when we say, now, distinct functions, let me just say this. When we say that they have the same attributes, and we say that they are one, that does not mean that one is over the other, but they do have distinct functions.

Now watch this. Let's take creation. When you look at God the Father in creation, you see Him speaking the creative words that brought about the creation of the world. And if you want to go back to Genesis chapter one, you know these verses by heart, I'm sure, but you'll notice the Bible says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". And then what you'll notice beginning in verse three is that these verses begin by saying, And God said, and God said, and God said, and God said. What is He doing? He's speaking into being each aspect of the creation. And notice also not only is the Father involved in creation, but also the Son is involved in creation.

So I want you to look if you will to two passages of scripture. First of all, in John chapter one. John chapter one listen to how he begins this gospel. He starts out by saying, and he is identifying, or calling, Jesus the logos which means the Word. And so, John chapter one, verse one. He says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". He's referring to Jesus. "He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being". So, what we see is this. We see God the Father planning the creation, speaking the creative words. Then we see Jesus, we see Jesus as the one who is initiating or bringing about what the Father has planned and spoken into being.

If you will turn to Colossians chapter one for a moment. And Paul here in Colossians chapter one makes it very, very clear Jesus's place in the whole creation story. He says in the first chapter and the fifteenth and sixteenth verses. Look at that if you will. He says, "And He", that is Jesus, "is the image of the invisible God". And that word "image" means the exact likeness. "Of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him," that is by Jesus, "all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created by Him and for Him".

So, in the creation we see God the Father, who has planned it. Then we see the Lord Jesus Christ who is carrying out the plan that the Father has spoken into, into being, creation. And we see Him actively involved in the creation. Then if you go back for a moment to Genesis chapter one, if you need to. You remember in that... what's, it happens in the second verse. "And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters". So what do we have? We have God the Father, who's spoken the creation to being. We have the Son, who is carrying out the creative plan of Almighty God the Father. And then we have the Holy Spirit exercising some bit of administration or whatever over the creation story. So, we're talking about the fact that God consists of three persons; God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

Now, it's interesting if you want to go back to Genesis chapter one for a moment and let's look at look at two or three verses here because it's, because the Bible speaks of the Godhead as being plural, not to just singular. Notice if you will, I want to give you three verses of scripture. First of all, in Genesis chapter one, this is the creation story again now. But listen if you will to verse twenty-six. "Then God said, 'Let'", personal pronoun, "then God said let," who, "Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea," and so forth.

So, here God is speaking in terms of plural. Let us make man in our image in our likeness. Go to the third chapter and if you'll notice in the third chapter, and the twenty-second verse: "Then the LORD God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us". And so again, look if you will in the eleventh chapter of Genesis, and here you find concerning the tower of Babel and you'll recall that God told them to replenish the earth and to scatter. They decided, "No, we're not going to do that. We're going to build us a tower to heaven. We're going to all stick together". So, verse six says, "And the LORD said, 'Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. Come let Us go down and there confuse their languages, that they may not understand one another's speech'".

So here in the very first book of the Bible, you certainly have indications of the Trinity because there's no other explanation. When He says "Let Us make man in our image", angels nowhere are ever implied or indicated as being creators. The only one who can create is God. Let us make man in our image. They are going to be like us. Let us go down and confuse their languages. So, we have God the Father involved in creation. God the Son involved in creation. God the Holy Spirit involved in creation. Now we said they each have all the same attributes. One God, three persons. And so we think in terms of the Trinity, we think in terms of all three persons, all three persons of what we call the Godhead. All of them equal in their attributes, differing, listen, differing in relationship to the creation because they all have a particular function.

Now, I think this is extremely important because if you grasp that, then you understand. We don't have three gods. We have one God; God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, all in absolute perfect agreement. You don't have them God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. All, listen, all oneness, listen, all with the same attributes. And those attributes you remember are eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and immutable, unchanging. And that they have different functions. That doesn't mean that the Father said to Jesus, "Now here's what You've gotta do." And the Holy Spirit, "Here's what You must do". But in absolute perfect agreement because they are God.

They, the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus Christ subordinating themselves to the Father to carry out the functions. That does not mean that they are less than in any way because they are all equal in every single attribute. Now have you got that? Say amen. Wonderful. Now, so I gave you one statement, the first statement is that God consists of three persons. So that is the first part that I want you to notice. The second thing I want you to notice is this, and that is that each person of the Godhead is fully God. Each person is fully God, which means that no one has any more attributes. No one has any more righteousness. No one has any more of anything than the other one.

And so, I remember one time the first time I ever preached a sermon that I could recall in the first church I had, hadn't been there very long and I preached on the Holy Spirit one Sunday. Well, this lady got all upset and she came out and she said, "Now I just don't understand, you're talking about the Holy Spirit. You ought to be talking about Jesus. Now you shouldn't be talking about the Holy Spirit. Who in the world is He anyway"? And so, I can understand somebody, for example, who just got saved, though she'd been a Christian long time, who never heard any teaching on the Holy Spirit. And you put Him up there will Jesus, and they think, why you, in other words, what she was saying is, you have done Jesus a great disservice by putting the Holy Spirit equal with Him.

Well no, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit are all equal, three distinct persons, three separate persons, all be, all one making up the Godhead. And so each person of the Godhead is fully God. Each one is unchangeable in their nature. Each one is unchangeable in their attributes. And because all of them are eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and also immutable or unchanging. Functioning in different ways to carry out the plan of the Godhead for all mankind, which is ultimately to save man and to conform us to the image of His Son. To bring glory and honor to all the Godhead. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

So, we have seen first of all the Bible says that certainly God consists of three persons; God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. All distinct persons but make up the Godhead. Secondly, that God, that each person is fully God, no one less than the other. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Somebody says, Well, now wait a minute. When I think about that, that may confuse me because to whom do I pray then? Who do I pray to? Well you'll recall in the Matthew chapter six, if you want to turn there for a moment. Matthew chapter six, you recall that when Jesus was teaching His disciples, and they were asking Him about prayer. And He said, "This is the way you pray".

Matthew chapter six and verse nine. This is the Sermon on the Mount. "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who art in heaven,'" or who is in heaven. So, he says, Jesus said you're to pray to the Father who is in Heaven. But if you'll turn to John chapter fifteen for a moment, I want you to notice something there. John chapter fifteen, Jesus says in the sixteenth verse. He said now I'm going to read this, you just find it there. He says, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you, appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give it to you".

So Jesus is also involved in our prayer. Look to the next to the last book of the Bible, in Jude. In Jude look if you will and look in the twentieth verse of Jude. And you'll notice he says, "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit". Praying in the Holy Spirit. That is praying in the Spirit of the Living God. And if you'll recall also in that in that eighth chapter of Romans when the Bible talks, Paul was talking about sometimes you and I don't know how to pray as we ought, He says, "And the spirit will help us in our praying". The Spirit of God will help us to know how to pray and what to pray for. And often times when we don't, He makes groanings, He makes utterances, He speaks to the Father in our behalf. He translates our emotions, our feelings often times when we don't even know what to ask for.

So, you see, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, each one a distinct person making up the Godhead. Now, we've said first of all that we have three persons. That is, God consists of three persons. And secondly, that each person is fully and totally God. And then the last statement I want to make is simply this. There is only one God. You say, Well, that sounds confusing. No, it's not confusing. There's only one God. Now if you want to call Him or if you want to say that there's one Godhead, consisting of God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, three personalities, three persons, however you want to see it, but only one God.

And the Bible is very, very clear. And God makes extreme, listen, He goes to extremes almost to make it very clear to us that there is only one God. But remember in the very beginning of the Bible, "Let Us make man in Our image. Let Us go down and see what, see what they're up to and confuse their languages". There's no explanation for Genesis except there's a Godhead. And God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit involved in creation, in revolve, involved in redemption, and involved in our daily life. Each one, a distinct being, each one fully God. Not three gods. Three, listen, three personalities who make up the Godhead. God is only one.

Now, let's go back because I want to reiterate this again, remembering that all three persons of the Trinity have the same attributes. And those five attributes are, see if you can tell me what they are. Number one, that they are what? Eternal. Number two; omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and immutable which means they are unchanging. And when you look at the way they function, they are not God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Three persons that make up the Trinity, each one having a different function which was expressed as we saw in the creation. Also, in God's whole redemptive plan and also in His work in your life and mine continually. These three persons make up the Godhead, each one of them being fully God and certainly there is only one God.

Now somebody says, Well, how does this apply to my life? I mean, you know, I've heard all this. Now what does this have to do with me? Well, it has a great deal to do with you. Number one, you'll never be able to understand God until you at least understand what the scripture says about the deity. I'm not saying that you will fully understand the Trinity. I'm saying that certainly if we're to understand who God is, we must understand that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Because the truth is each of us depend upon God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit every day of our life once we trust the Savior as our savior. And so, well, what difference does it make? It makes a lot of difference.

For example, you can get up tomorrow morning thinking things are really tough and you may be facing some real difficulty and hardship in your life. And in your thinking you say, You know, I gotta talk to God about this. And you see, for most people, God is somewhere out yonder in the blue, somewhere in a place called heaven. And one of the biggest problems is how do I get Him down here involved in my problem, my heartache, my burden, my sorrow, my loss. How do I get Him down here? And so often times people pray and they'll get on their knees and pray or driving down the expressway praying, or whatever. And you say, Well, did, do you think God heard you? Well, I hope He did. I certainly hope He did.

And so most people live with uncertainty, doubts, fears, and anxieties in their life. I'm not talking about lost people, I'm talking about Christians who come to church. Who often times don't go to church but sit at home. And they're fretting about life, they feel insecure, inadequate, and everything else. Well, I read the Bible once in a while, I pray once in a while. Nothing seems to be happening in my life. You want to know why? One of the reasons is because your concept of God is far too small. So you can get up tomorrow morning feeling that-a-way. Your problems and your heartaches and your burdens and your trials and your losses or whatever's going on in your life, just absolutely overwhelming you.

So I want you to turn if you will to Romans chapter eight. Romans eight, thirty-one. "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us"? In the light of the fact that He is the sovereign God of this universe; God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Loving Father, loving Son, loving Spirit. Pouring out, listen, pouring out grace in all of its abundance upon us. Pouring out His goodness and kindness and mercy toward us. He says, "If God be for us, who can be against us"? And the answer is no one successfully. Listen, who can fight against the eternal God, the omnipotent God, the omniscient God, the omnipresent God. Listen the unchanging God, the forgiving God, the keeping God, the protecting God, the supplying God. Who in the world can fight against that kind of God? No one can.

Now let me ask you a question. Why would you want to try to live your life in your own strength? In your own feeble strength? Why would you want to try to live your life and make something of it when you have all of the Godhead who is willing to be on your side, and help you to become the persons that God wants you to be. And to pour out His, listen, super abundant, inexhaustible, fathomless, immeasurable, incomparable love upon you. Why, why do you want to try to live without all of that? Because I can tell you, you won't have any peace. You won't have any joy. You won't have any contentment.

Listen, you can search the world over. You can have all the money and the wealth in the world. You can have all the position and power and prominence and prestige and popularity in the world and you know what? If you don't have our Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, if you don't have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you and the heavenly Father taking care of you, my friend, you don't have anything. All you have is what human flesh can create. All you have is what humanity can do. Can't you look around you and see what an awful mess this world is in? That when man is in charge, when man is trying to be in control, when man is running the affairs of life. Look at all the bloodshed and the horror and all the difficulty and the hardship and the suffering and the pain.

Listen, not only in wars, but what we do to one another. And the misunderstandings and the misfortune, all the things that happen. Why try to live your life? Why try to walk through this awful maze of life, when you can have someone who loves you so profoundly, and who desires the best for you. And who has expressed that in the most awesome way by crucifying His own Son Jesus at Calvary to say to you, "Look, look, look, look, look! This is how much I love you. This isn't just somebody, this is My beloved Son who is being crucified because of My love for you". How can you turn that down? How can you say no to such a loving Father? How can you say no to such a wonderful experience? And I say to you my friend, you will never find what you're looking for in life until you first of all come to Christ, recognize that He's your only hope.

Here's what He said. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me". That's the way They arranged it. That's the way it is. That's not the way I think it is. That's not the way I feel it is. That is the way God said it is. And the one who said that is the one before whom every single one of us will one day stand and be judged. I believe if you'll think, if you'll be open and honest and transparent with yourself you don't have it together. Life isn't satisfying. You have no assurance of what's going to happen to you, life after this life.

You say, "Well, I'm an atheist". Well, you may be now, but one thing for certain. When it comes to those last moments of your life, you're going to wish you weren't. You're going to wish that you could die with a hope of a blessed resurrection. That you could die with the assurance that your sins are forgiven. That you could die with the assurance that you're going to meet a heavenly Father who has loved you and who has forgiven you of your sins. You're going to wish in those moments that you had listened carefully to this message and had applied it to your heart.

You say, Well how can I do that? Well, I want to simply pray a prayer in a few moments and if you'll pray this prayer, God will revolutionize your life. In the last service at the end, a fellow came up to me, grabbed me. He said, "I want to tell you I would not be standing here, I would be dead". He said, "I would be dead if it were not for you having prayed that prayer at the end of one of those sermons. I didn't know how to pray. I heard what you said. I didn't know what to do. You prayed that prayer. I prayed that prayer. God saved me. I have been saved ever since, naturally, and I just wanted to come thank you for praying that prayer".

So it impressed upon my heart how very important this prayer is. Here's the prayer. You don't have to bow your head. You don't have to close your eyes. All you have to do, and you can if you choose to. All you have to do is to tell the Father, you're not telling it to me, you're talking to Him. So, would you pray this prayer? And you're going to pray it in faith believing because here's what He said, "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved". That's what we're about to do.

Heavenly Father, I do believe that Jesus Christ is Your eternal Son. I do believe that He went to, to the cross and died for my sin. That He paid my sin-debt in full. I am confessing my sins to You. I'm asking You to forgive me, because He died in my behalf. I here and now by faith accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior and my Lord. I receive Your forgiveness. I accept Your gift of salvation. In Jesus's name, amen.

Now listen, in less than a minute, if you prayed that prayer, God changed your whole eternal destiny. Your name is now in the Book of Life. You are now sealed for all eternity by the Holy Spirit. And now you have on your side God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. You can't get it any better than that.
Are you Human?:*