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Belief Principles: Trinity

Updated: Dec 22, 2023





By Matt Singleton


Kingdom Ministry

 

One of the goals of the Kentucky Family Association is to serve as a kingdom ministry. 

However, kingdom service is not the same office as a local church ministry. The Church in the Scriptures is the pillar and ground of truth. They need to make deeper doctrinal decisions and discussions.


The kingdom, on the other hand, is not separated from the world but pervades the world as the salt of the Earth and brings light into a darkened world. The kingdom ministry is more action-oriented, interacting with the community. So, these instances where we take a theological stance are meant to be rare.


However, one of our goals must be to defend the Christian Faith and conservative Christian culture. Thus, we declare the principle necessary to defend our faith and culture. The first topic to accomplish this is the Trinity.

 

Methods

There are generally 3 different methods used to defend the doctrine of the Trinity.  The Fideist approach, the Creedalist approach and the Biblicist approach.


The Fideist approach refuses to organize the Trinity in any coherent way.  Instead, it is simply taken by faith and seen as a part of the Christian experience. The problem is that the Trinity is an explanation; therefore, it has to be reasonable. Meanwhile, that technique demeans the rationality of the doctrine.


The creedal approach takes a consensus of the views of the clergy, formalizes them into a statement of axioms and then calculates a harmonization of all previous creeds. This is the typical process of the roman catholic church and several other catholic tradition churches. Typically, there are 7 ecumenical councils that are looked upon as an authority on the Trinity. These are well written and rational explanations.  However, these formulas would add propositions not explained in the Scripture as well as have contradictions with differing creeds.


The Biblicist approach has a simple definition of the Trinity used to explain what has been revealed in scripture. No more, no less.

 

A Simple Understanding of the Trinity

 

A Simple definition of the Trinity is that

1. God has one essence/substance called divinity or Godhead.

2. Within the Godhead exist 3 separate persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). There are other side issues, but the doctrine stands or falls on those 2 points.

 

Biblical Proof

In the Old Testament, the plurality of God is seen in Genesis 1:26 (“ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…”) and Exodus 3:6. Furthermore, in Psalm 110:1 ( “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”), we see a conversation between Jehovah and Adonai, implying Christ to be Adonai (“Lord”).


The clearest passage affirming the Trinity is in 1st John 5:7-10. (v7 -  “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”) Coincidentally, it is the most criticized and attacked text of Scripture. I, Matt Singleton, maintain its authenticity. Greek studies show that the verse is grammatically correct in the Greek. But excluding it contradicts the masculine feminine pronouns. In other words, if you take out the verse, it is bad grammar, and if you keep it, then it is good grammar.


There are other passages implying the Trinity. Matthew 28:19 (“ Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”) gives us the Trinitarian formula as the title of our Baptism. Acts 19:1-6 invokes the Holy Ghost and the Son as an essential amendment to John’s baptism. Paul also refers to the Trinity in 2nd Corinthians 13:14 (“ The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.”). The most important passage to show how the 3 persons are different is at the baptism of Jesus.

 

9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, “Thou art My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased."
– Mark 1:9-11

 

All three persons are in different places doing a different action; thus, we do not see Modalism or Unitarianism (one person) but three persons (Trinitarianism).


 Another good point is that we must not leave the Trinity doctrine in isolation, but rather, remember the accompanying doctrines (deity of Christ, incarnation, deity of the Holy Spirit, etc.). They are verified in Scripture. They are ready to harmonize. We will discuss this in the next article.


Endnote: * The Kentucky Family Association believes that there is one God eternally existent in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).


 Genesis 1:1, Deuteronomy 6:4,  Isaiah 43:10-11, Luke 3:22, and John 1:1-5 https://www.afaky.org/ourstatementoffaith





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