C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR JULY 23, 2023 : LESSON TWO: TOPIC – THE TRINITY OF THE PERSONS IN THE GODHEAD
CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH Nigeria & Overseas
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON PREVIEW CLASS
23RD JULY 2023
UNIT ONE: THE TRIUNE GOD COMES TO REDEEM US
TOPIC: THE TRINITY OF THE PERSONS IN THE GODHEAD
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory (1 Timothy 3:16).
The account of Jesus’ baptism clearly shows the 3 Persons in the Holy Trinity–the Father spoke from Heaven; the Son right in the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Son in form of a dove!
A mystery is a secret which remains secret, if not revealed. Apostle Paul told Timothy of the revelation about the mystery of godliness. This mystery had been hidden since the foundation of the world and now revealed to mankind through Jesus Christ (Rev. 5:1-10; 6:9). There is no controversy as touching the reality and unity of the Trinity. Yes, it is a mystery, but God has given us all we need to understand and accept the truth. God manifested in the flesh. The Word who is God Himself (Jn. 1:1) chose to become man (incarnated) (Jn. 1:14; Gal. 4:4) for man’s redemption. He was seen by angels as God in the heavens, and as God-man on earth. His deity and equality with God have been, and are still being preached among the Gentiles, i.e. all over the world, and signs have been accompanying this to prove the authenticity. A lot of people have believed, and many are still believing this in the world. On completion of His divine assignment by paying the sacrifice for our atonement, He was received up in glory. He ascended into the heavens, at the right hand of the Father. He has always been there as the Omnipresent God. He remains in the Godhead eternally with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:1-26; John 1:1-5
At the end of this lesson, it is expected that you the learners should be able to:
I. prove the oneness the Trinity represents and the fact that the three persons in the Godhead are equally one; and
ii. show the distinct revelations and works of the 3 Persons in the Godhead.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: MATTHEW 3:16, 17; 28:19; JOHN 1:1; 2 CORINTHIANS 13:14; HEBREWS 13:8
This lesson continues as we discuss the second component- THE TRINITY OF THE PERSONS IN THE GODHEAD. The doctrine of Trinity is indispensably foundational to the Christian faith. It determines how one relates with the Lord. Heb. 11:6 confirms this
I. TRINITY IN THE BIBLE
II. THE PERSONS THEREIN ARE DISTINCT
Please try to read it very well. You will love to read it more.
I Jolayemi Daniel O. remain your host through the help of this same Trinity (Godhead); The Father Son and Holy Spirit.
God bless you.
I. TRINITY IN THE BIBLE (Matt. 3:16, 17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14) The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen (2 Cor. 13:14).
II. THE PERSONS THEREIN ARE DISTINCT (Matt. 28:19; Jn. 1:1; Heb. 13:8) …baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19b).
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN
God is one, but he exists as a Trinity. Any attempt to define the Trinity is difficult and dangerous, as it is an attempt to do what the Bible does not do. However, by a study of the biblical teaching about God, we understand that although God is one, the form in which his godhead exists is that of three persons Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each of the – three persons is fully God, yet there is only one God, not three.
One God, three persons
The Old Testament gives little clear teaching about the Trinity, for the emphasis there is on the oneness of God. Israel lived among nations that had many gods. The important truth impressed upon Israel was that there is only one God, and he is a unity (Deut 6:4).
Our understanding of the Trinity comes largely from the New Testament. This does not mean that the God of Old Testament times differed from the God of New Testament times, or that a God who was previously ‘one’ branched out into three. God has always existed in a Trinity. What is new in the New Testament is the revelation of the Trinity, not the Trinity itself.
The reason why the revelation of the Trinity is new in the New Testament is that it was related to the great acts of God in bringing his plan of salvation to completion in Christ. God did not reveal his truth to mankind in the form of abstract truths unrelated to the situation in which the people of the time lived. Rather he revealed his truth step by step as he brought man closer to the full salvation he had planned for him.
Nevertheless, with the fuller knowledge that Christians gain from the New Testament, they may see suggestions of the Trinity in the Old Testament. Such suggestions are there, even though believers of Old Testament times may not have seen them (cf. 1 Peter 1:10-12).
For example, in the Old Testament references to the creation there was an inseparable connection between God, the creative power of God’s Word, and the life-giving power of God’s Spirit (Gen 1:1-3; Job 33:4; Ps 33:6). But with the coming of Jesus, man gained a clearer understanding of the work of the Trinity in all the activity of God, including the creation (John 1:1-4). This understanding increased
further as Jesus taught his followers and left with them the gift of the Holy Spirit, who would interpret his teaching and continue to enlighten them (John 16:13-15).
The revelation through Jesus Christ
When God became man in the person of Jesus Christ, much that was previously secret and hidden became open. Jesus revealed God to man (John 1:1,14,18).
God was now physically present in the world in the person of Jesus. Yet there was a sense in which he was not physically present in the world. Jesus made it plain that when people saw him they saw God (John 8:58-59), but he also made it plain that God existed elsewhere; for he himself came from God, and during his earthly life he spoke to God (John 6:38; 11:41-42).
Jesus explained this apparent contradiction by pointing out that he was God the Son, and that the one from whom he came and to whom he spoke was God the Father. Although these two persons were distinct, they were uniquely united (John 5:18,37; 8:42; 10:30; 11:41; 14:9; 16:26-28)
Having become man, God the Son now gave the additional revelation that there was a third person in the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. All three persons were involved in the miraculous coming of the Son into the world (Luke 1:35), and the life and ministry of Jesus that followed should have shown people that God existed as a Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt 3:16-17; 12:28; Luke 4:18; John 3:34-35). Just before he completed his ministry, Jesus explained about the Holy Spirit more fully. He promised that after he returned to his Father, he and the Father would send the Holy Spirit to be with his disciples, as he himself had been previously (John 14:16-17,26; 15:26).
The Holy Spirit, though a separate person from the Father and the Son, is inseparably united with both (Acts 2:32-33). He comes from the Father as the bearer of the Father’s power and presence (John 15:26; 16:7-11), and he comes from the Son as the bearer of the Son’s power and presence (John 14:18; 16:7; Rom 8:9; see HOLY SPIRIT). Although there is a distinction between the three persons of the Godhead, there is no division. Each has his own personality and will, but he never acts independently of the others (John 14:26; Acts 16:6-7; Gal 4:6).
Jesus gave to his disciples to baptize their converts “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matt 28:19). In Jewish thought the name represented the person. Jesus here spoke of the name (singular), indicating one God, but at the same time he showed that this God existed in three persons. And these three persons were distinct from each other, yet uniquely and inseparably united.
As a God-fearing Jew, Jesus gave his complete allegiance to the one and only true God, and he taught others to do likewise (Deut 6:4; Matt 22:37). Jesus’ statement therefore indicated that this God whom Israelites of former times worshipped under the name of Yahweh (Jehovah) was the same God as Christians worshipped under the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The God who is ‘one’ is at the same time a Trinity.
Faith of the New Testament writers The early disciples reached a fuller understanding of the Trinity through the life, teaching, death and triumph of Jesus Christ. They then passed on their insights through the writings of the New Testament. They never tried to define the Trinity, nor did they try to ‘prove’ it in a theoretical sense. Since they knew God as the one who gave his Son to die for them and gave his Spirit to indwell them, they thought of God in no other way than as a Trinity. The New Testament writings therefore assume the fact of the Trinity at all times (Eph 4:4-6; 5:18-20; 1 Thess 1:3-5; 1 Peter 1:2). Yet they also assume the oneness of God (Rom 3:30; 1 Cor 8:4).
In keeping with the teachings of Jesus, the teachings of the New Testament writers show that the three persons of the Trinity are God. No one person is inferior to, or superior to, fully and equally any other. Concerning their operations, however, there is a difference. The Son is willingly subject to the Father (John 5:30; 7:16; 12:49; Phil 2:5-8; Heb 10:5-7), and the Spirit is willingly subject to both the Father and the Son (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-15; Because of the unity between the persons of the Trinity, all three are active in all the work of God. This work is not, as it were, divided among three persons. In a sense, what one does they all do. But the Bible story shows that there is also a sense in which their activities differ.
The name ‘Father’ speaks of one who has to do with the origin of things, and this is seen in the great works of creation, history and redemption (Mal 2:10; Eph 1:3-10; Heb 12:9; James 1:17). The Son is the one who reveals the Father, the one through whom the Father does these great works (John 10:25,38; 14:10; 2 Cor 5:19; Eph 1:3-10; Col 1:15-16). The Spirit is the one by whom God’s power operates in the world, the one who applies the truth of God’s great works to people’s lives (John 14:17; 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; Rom 8:2-4; Gal 5:16-18; 1 Peter 1:2). God’s salvation comes from the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit (Titus 3:4-6), and man’s approach to God is by the Spirit, through the Son, to the Father (Eph 2:18).
Relationship with the triune God
In making statements about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the New Testament writers were not attempting a theoretical analysis of God. Their concern was not to set out in systematic form the character and activities of the persons of the Trinity, but to express the relationship that Christians have with God. Christians cannot fully understand the mysteries of the Godhead, but they should try to learn all they can about God; for the life they have in Christ depends on God being the sort of God he is – a Trinity.
Jesus Christ, for example, could not be man’s Saviour if he were not the unique person that he is. The fact of the Trinity was essential to his birth (Luke 1:35), his life (John 3:34; 5:36-37; Heb 2:3-4; 1 John 5:6-9), his death (Rom 8:32; Gal 2:20; Heb 9:14), his resurrection (Acts 2:42; John 10:18; Rom 8:11) and his exaltation (Acts 5:30-32).
The fact of the Trinity is essential also for the life of believers: their indwelling by God (Eph 4:6, Col 1:27; 1 Cor 6:19); their sanctification (John 17:17; Heb 2:11; 1 Cor 6:11), their enjoyment of salvation (2 Cor 13:14), their exercise of prayer (Rom 8:26-27,34; Eph 2:18), their eternal security (John 10:28-29; Eph 4:30) and their ultimate victory over death (John 5:21; Rom 8:11).
Likewise the Trinity is involved in the life of the church (1 Cor 12:4-6) and in Christian service (2 Cor 3:5-6; 1 Tim 1:12; Acts 20:28). The Scriptures that Christians possess are a provision from the triune God (2 Tim 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:10-11; 2 Peter 1:21). They are one of the means by which the same God wants to work in and through his people, as they build themselves up in their faith and prepare themselves for fellowship with him in the age to come (Jude 20-21).
The great message of the unity between The Father, Son and Holy Spirit is that all churches should be UNITY WITHOUT LIMITATION. But it’s a pity that the more we have churches the more we experience division.
We care to know more about the Trinity but we failed to make used of the message. We want to know more but we are not ready to surrender ourselves to be united with God’s people.
The numbered of Churches we have in Nigeria today cannot be numbered by men.
Even in most of Christian families, vision, pursuit and place of worship are different.
Yes, we serve one God, but do we consider messages, ungodly dressings and heresies from the church leaders. Most of the churches today never see corruption, yahoo yahoo, money rituals, fraud, marrying more than one wife, fornication and adulterous life as a sin. They see it as way of life. This is where most of people want to go. Most of the parents go to church without their spouse or children. The same church that God answer your prayer concerning your child(ren) admission, provide for you and protect your children throughout their studies suddenly became old school and no go area for your children! They prefer to go to a New Generational Churches! God is not divided; Trinity pursue one vision, mission and does not argue. How is your family today.
I have seen a pastor (District Superintendent) whose children worship in another denomination, and they are still living under the same roof at the mission house, feeding and spending what their father received from the church! The is not the message of the Trinity. Something is wrong.
One of our problem in this Mission is uncivilized CAC, Middle Class CAC, Modern CAC and Church Planters under the same Umbrella every prophet want to have his Mountain apart from the general one.
We need to go back to our Old PATH of our Funding Fathers. We need to read the History of this Great Mission. Trinity does not mean division. God is not divided, the church should not be divided.
1. Yes, Trinity isn’t mentioned in the Bible. Nevertheless, the Bible is clear enough on it for those who are ready to know.
2. The Bible clearly shows that there are 3 distinct Persons in the Godhead though this never means Christians serve 3 Gods; we are Trinitarian monotheists.
1. Though, the word ‘Trinity isn’t mentioned in the Bible, it is nonetheless sufficiently taught in the Bible. Explain.
2. The Persons in the Trinity are distinct. Discuss.
Thank you for joining us here today. May God bless you all.
This is where I will stop today. My prayer is that, May God open our spiritual eyes and given us the right understand on this subject more than the teaching in Jesus name.
Thank you for joining us here today. May God bless you all.
Please make your contributions and ask questions if you have any. God bless you.