Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Plurality of the Godhead

The plurality of the Godhead

The plurality of the Godhead is well established in the Bible. This perhaps is no surprise to most of my readers (either one of them). What may be a surprise is that this teaching can and is substantiated in the Old Testament. Since the OT is foundational to the New Testament we will begin by uncovering this doctrine there. My suggestion is that if you wish further discussion on any topic pertinent these posts one obtain e-Sword, and/or have Bible Gateway up on your screen and be prepared to cut and paste verses for only in rare occasions will I be providing a link. Please understand it is just way too time consuming for me to do that, and besides that you’ll want to read the contexts anyway.

Next post if God permits we will begin with the Plurality of the Godhead in the Old Testament.

Stay bright,
brother John

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Errors Concerning Trinitarianism

Having given in a nutshell a definition of the Trinity, we will now move ahead to stating in no uncertain terms what the Trinity is not. The task of a teacher is not only to expound the truth; it is also to expose error and expel the scoundrels. There are mainly five errors concerning the Tri-Unity of the Godhead that I will expose before we move onto the plurality of the Godhead.

Five Errors Concerning the Trinity

Arianism, this teaches that the three persons are different in essence. Only God the Father is eternal. The Son was created by the Father. (Jehovah Witnesses hold to this one sort of).

Sabellianism (Modalism, Modalistic Monarchisms) Says that there is only one personality, with three modes of manifestations; The manifestation of the Father, creator and law giver; the Son, as a redeemer; the Holy Spirit, as a regenerator and sanctifier. There is only one person who reveals Himself either as the Father or the Son or as the Holy Spirit. (This is taught in Apostolic Holiness churches)

Socinianism (Dynamic Monarchianism) is a devaluation of the Tri-unity. The Father alone is God, the Son is a man only, and the Holy Spirit is not a person but simply a divine influence. (This better fits the Watch Toer Tract and Bible Society or Jehovah Witnesses idea).

Unitarianism denies the Tri-personality of the Godhead, and instead insists on a limited understanding of the monotheistic God.

Tri-theism denies the unity of the Godhead and sees the trinity as three separate and distinct gods. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the Mormons hold to this view, but reserves the right to create even more gods in almost a Hindu fashion).

These are five ideas that are not taught in the Bible. None of the aforementioned errors are what this Bible student holds to. There is a unity in the plurality of the Godhead, but before we probe further into the study of the unity of the Godhead I feel it is critical at this juncture to lay the biblical foundation for the plurality of the Godhead. That we will do next time if God permits.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Trinitarianism: Definition


For an accurate definition let me start by quoting one of my favorite living theologians, author, and Bible teacher Arnold Fruchtenbaum. It is primarily Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s teaching that has both influenced and inspired this segment of Systematic Theology, his teaching ministry is also the reason I love, Love, LOVE Systematic Theology.

“There is only One God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three eternal and coequal persons. They are the same in substance or essence, but distinct in subsistence or existence.

God is three persons in one essence. The Divine essence subsists wholly and indivisibly, simultaneously and eternally, in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Try to explain it, you loose your mind. Try to deny it, you loose your soul.”

Before we prove, the accuracy of this statement from the Bible I want to make sure we understand what Trinitarianism is not. I will do this on the next post if God permits. In the mean time chew on this for a while.

Brother John

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Trinitarianism: Introduction

Let’s Be Clear

The teaching of the Tri-Unity of the Godhead is a solid biblical doctrine that we, mere lay people and some of you, professional lay people can get a grip on. Some one may argue “It is too mysterious; we must take it by faith.” It is true that the Trinity is no easy doctrine to grasp that is why God preserved the Bible and gave the church competent teachers that open and unfold the Scriptures to others. BTW it is the joy of the expositor to do this, may it be your joy and to your credit to do your best to search the Word on your own to see if what the expositor teaches rings true.

Here is the seven point outline which I hope to follow:


Errors Concerning Trinitarianism

The Plurality of the Godhead

The Unity of the Godhead

The Trinity or Tri-Unity of the Godhead

The Relationship within the Trinity

Doctrinal Statement of the Trinity

I know this seems like a lot of ground to cover. There may not be the immediate application as other segments of Systematic Theology. However, we will get a firm understanding of this doctrine, especially if we read and mark our Bibles appropriately. As I have done in the past I will keep an open forum for discussion and/or debate. The only “rules”, as always are; to be courteous, and respectful of others views and opinions that goes double for mine.

In Him who is committed to us,
Brother John

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Attributes of God

Good job! If you have been following along this journey we have just completed a study on the attributes of God. In Theology Proper (the study of God, primarily the Father) we have covered The Existence of God, and now the Attributes of God, next we will aim at understanding the Trinity of God, and after that we will complete this study with the fatherhood of God. That means in our scheme of Systematic Theology we have covered Prolegomena, Bibliology and we are about half way through Theology Proper. Here’s a look at the whole picture.

Systematic Theology Delineated

Prolegomenon, introduction to Systematic Theology

Bibliology, the Doctrine of the Scriptures

Theology Proper, the Doctrine of God (mainly God the Father)

Christology, the Doctrine of the Son

Pneumatology, the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

Angelology, the Doctrine of the Angels Elect

a) Satanology, the Doctrine of Satan

b) Demonology, the Doctrine of the Fallen Angels

Anthropology, the Doctrine of Man

Hamartiology, the Doctrine of Sin

Soteriology, the Doctrine of Salvation

Ecclesiology, the Doctrine of the Church

Israelology, the Doctrine of Israel (the lost or forgotten doctrine)

Eschatology, the Doctrine of the Last Things

A Survey of the Biblical Distinctives of Baptist

I hope you are finding this material helpful and practical.

Walk in His truth,
Brother John


The Attributes That Are True of God and of Man (in a limited way):


Truth or veracity is God’s being and God’s knowledge eternally conformed to each other. Veracity is an agreement to, and consistent with all that is represented by God Himself. Veracity is God’s knowledge, declarations, or representations conforming to reality. Veracity means God is consistent within Himself, which results in “God is truth”.

Four Implications of Truth

Truth opposes that which is fictitious or imaginary.

Truth purposes that which come up to its ideal completely.

Truth corresponds exactly to reality.
God is what He declares Himself to be.
His declarations correspond to reality.

Truth means God can be depended on because He is immutable and that includes the truths of God.

Three Areas of Gods Truth

God’s ways are true (Ps. 25:10; Rev. 15:3).

God’s works are true (Ps. 33:4; 111:7-8; Dan. 4:37).

God’s words are true (2Sam 7:28; 1Kings 17:24; Ps. 19:9; 33:4; 138:2; Jo. 17:17; 2Cor. 6:7; Eph. 1:13).

Other Scriptures concerning the truth of God

Num. 23:19- God does not lie.

Ps.31:5- The Lord God of truth.

Ps. 89:15- God is truth.

Jer. 10:10- YHVH (Jehovah) the true God.

Jo. 3:33- God is truth.

Jo. 17:3- He is the only true God.

Rom. 3:4- Let God be true.

1Thess. 1:9- He is the true God.

Titus 1:2- God cannot lie.

Heb. 6:18- It is impossible for God to lie.

Rev. 6:10- How long Sovereign Lord, holy and true.


All truths are God’s truth, whatever may be discovered as truth, that discovery is God’s truth.

God’s truth is the ground for man’s truth, it is the basis for the truth that we discover, and that truth that we discover is really God’s truth.

We can trust God’s promises. They are true!

We must be truthful and not lie. We should be characterized by truthfulness in what we say, in what we do, what we write, and what we claim even things like our income tax (Prov. 6:16-17; Matt. 5:37).

We can judge what truth is, and what truth is not (1Jo. 4:6).

Keep shining,
brother John

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


The Attributes That Are True of God and (in a limited way):


Goodness means the perfection of God which prompts Him to deal bountifully and kindly with all of His creatures (Ps. 145:9; Matt. 19:17; Rom. 11:22).

There are at least five divisions of the attribute of goodness they are benevolence, mercy, longsuffering, and love, and grace. These attributes of the thrice holy God, all seem to be glossed over, under taught, misapplied, and/or ignored completly. On the other hand when any atribute of God is over emphasized it can lead to a deformed view of God and extreemism/s. I have tried to maintain a biblical balance in and throughout this presentation of God's atributes and God's goodness is no exception. Here are the five aspects of goodness.

1. Benevolence
Benevolence is God's disposition to promote happiness. It is goodness in its generic sense embracing all of His creatures. The affection that God feels and manifests toward His creatures.

Job 38:41; Ps. 36:6; 104:21; 145:15-16; Matt. 5:45.

We need to do good to all men in general but especially to those who are members of the household of faith (Gal. 6: 9-10).

2. Mercy
Mercy is God's goodness exercised on behalf of the needs of others. It refers to kindness which is exercised. It includes compassion. It is goodness manifested to those in misery and distress.

There are four brief points to be understood about the exercise of divine mercy:

It is optional, God does not have to, but He chooses to (Ro. 9:14-18)

God is merciful to those who put their trust in Him (2Cor. 1:3-4; Heb. 4:16).

When an individual sinner is called and saved it is the exercise of His mercy (1Tim. 1:13). All should be thankful for this!

His mercy will be manifested in a special way at Israel's national restoration (Is. 54:7).

Deut. 5:10; 1Chro. 16:34; Ps. 57:10; 86:5; 36:1-26; Is. 55:7; Luke 1:54, 72, 78; Ro. 11:30-31; 15:9; Eph. 2:4; James 5:11; 1Pet. 1:3.


We too need to be merciful toward others.

3. Longsuffering
Longsuffering means God bears with evil and delays judgment (Ex. 34:6-7; Ps. 86:15).

Ro. 2:4; 9:22; 1Pet. 3:26; 2Pet. 3:15.

We are to bear with others the same way by the exercise of patient endurance, and longsuffering.

4. Love
Love means God is moved to self communication. God always seeks the highest good that of displaying His own glory. Love is that which seeks good for the object loved. Good equals the will of God. That which seeks the will of God in the object loved is the true evidence of love. Love also includes His voluntary affection not mere emotional impulse. Love is the very nature of God, the very structure of His being (1Jo. 4:8,16).

Objects of God's love.

God the Father loves God the Son (Mat. 3:17; Jo. 17:24).

God loves the world (Jo. 3:16; Ro. 5:8; 1Jo. 3:16).

God loves Israel (Deut. 7:7-8; Jer. 31:3; Ezekiel 16:8; Hos. 11:1). These verses should be taken as literal, national Israel not some misapplied figurative Israel some presume to be the church. The church is not in view in these verses.

God loves believers (Jo. 16:27; 17:23; 1Jo. 4:19)

Other Scriptures concerning the love of God include: Ps. 11:7, He loves righteousness. Is. 61:8, He loves justice. 2Cor. 13:11, He is the God of love.

From this facet of God's goodness we should include the fact that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Ro. 8:35-39) for this reason we should also love the brethren (Gal. 5:26).

5. Grace
Grace is love that is exercised to the unworthy, this includes you and me, we are all unworthy of God's love. Grace is God's goodness manifested toward the undeserved, this also includes you and me we none of us deserve God's goodness. Grace is God's free actions on behalf of the unmerited, this once again includes you and me none of us can preform well enough to merit God's benifits to us. (cf. Titus 3:4-7)

Here are seven biblical areas of God's grace:

1. Salvation is a product of God's grace (Acts 18: 27; Eph. 2: 7-9; Titus 2: 11).

2. Election is the result of God's grace (Eph. 1: 4-6).

3. Redemption is the riches of God's grace (Eph. 1: 7-8).

4. Sanctification is the fruit of God's grace (Rom. 5: 21).

5. Preservation is God's grace perfecting His strength in our weakness (2Cor. 12: 9).

6. Service is the overflow of god's grace (Heb. 12: 28).

7. Grace is the result in that final presentation in (1Pet.1: 13).

Ephesians 2:8-10

Just as God has demonstrated His grace to us we should be gracious to one another; in our homes, in our churches, and in the world those we like and those we don't like, the lovable and the unlovable.

This concludes God's attribute of goodness. We have one more attribute to cover before I bring this segment to an end it is God's attribute of truth. See you next time.

Stay bright,
Brother John