Sermon #1036 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: TRINITARIAN GRACE
Text: Ephesians 1:3-14
Subject: Grace in The Holy Trinity
Date: Tuesday Evening – March 28, 1993
What do you understand about the biblical doctrine of the Trinity? You have all heard it. You know that we are supposed to be Trinitarians. But do you have a comfortable, crisp understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity as it is setforth in the Word of God?
The title of my message tonight is Trinitarian Grace.
Proposition: We worship One God in the Trinity, or Tri-Unity, of his sacred Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and adore each as the God of all grace by whom we are saved.
1. The Bible Clearly Teaches The Doctrine of the Trinity.
2. All Three Persons in the Godhead are Equally Gracious.
3. No Doctrine in the Bible More Inspires Unity Among Believers Than the Doctrine of the Trinity.
I. The Bible Clearly Teaches the Doctrine of the Trinity.
I heard Bro. Mahan say one time, “That man is a fool who denies the doctrine of the trinity; and that man is a fool who tries to explain it.” So, lest I be numbered among foolish men I will make no effort to explain the Trinity. Let me simply give you some definitions of the Doctrine and show you that the Word of God clearly teaches it.
A. Definitions of The Trinity.
When we say, we believe in the Trinity of the Divine Persons, what do we mean by that statement?
· We do not mean that there are three, equal but separate Gods.
· We do not mean that there is one God manifest in three personalities.
· We mean that we worship one God in three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
1. Noah Webster-
I have not read a better definition of the term Trinity than the one given in Webster’s Dictionary – It is “the union of three Persons (The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) in one Godhead, so that all three are one God as to substance, but three persons as to individuality.
2. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary -
Though it has long forsaken its principles, the principles of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Ky states the doctrine of the Trinity in these words – “God is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with distinct Personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.”
3. A. H. Strong -
In his systematic theology, A.H. Strong says, “In the nature of the One God there are three external distinctions which are represented to us under the figure of persons, and these three are equal.”
We worship one God who subsists in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, equal in all things. The Father is God. The Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. This is the doctrine we teach. But…
B. Is this the Doctrine of the Bible?
Does the Word of God itself teach the doctrine of the Trinity? It matters not what the opinions of men are what does God himself say? That must be the basis of our faith.
1. There is one plain, crystal clear statement of the Doctrine of the trinity in the New Testament – (I John 5:7).
2. In addition to this definitive statement there are numerous examples in which the Trinity is set before us.
a. The Baptism of Christ (Matt. 3:16-17).
b. The Baptismal Formula (Matt. 28:18 – “Name” Singular – Persons Plural).
c. The Apostolic Benediction (II Cor. 13-14).
d. Our Lord’s Declaration (John 14-16). “Another” Exactly Like Me!
The New Testament declares that…
· God the Father is God (Rom. 1:7).
· God the Son is God (Heb. 1:8).
· God the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4).
Yet there is but one God (Deut 6:4).
Someone accurately stated it this way – “The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead invisible (John 1:18; The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested (John 1:14-18); The Spirit is all the fullness of the Godhead acting immediately upon the creature (I Cor. 2:8-10).
I confess my inability to produce a single argument drawn from nature or logic to prove the doctrine of the Trinity. It is a mystery filled with such grandeur that it defies the comprehension of every finite mind. But my faith does not stand upon nature and logic. It stands upon the Word of God alone. I believe this doctrine because it is revealed in the Scriptures; and I see it clearly because I believe it.
Without question, the Bible clearly teaches the doctrine of the Trinity. Now, secondly, I want you to see that…
II. All Three Persons in the Godhead are Equally Gracious.
This is what Paul shows us in Ephesians 1:3-14. As the three Persons of the Godhead are equal in divinity, but distinct in personality, so all three Persons in the Godhead are equal in grace, but distinct in the operations of grace.
A. God the Father is Set Before Us as The Fountain of All Grace. (Eph. 1:3-6).
It was God the Father who, in the covenant of grace, proposed redemption, devised the plan, and chose the people whom he would save by his almighty grace. He found a way whereby his banished ones should not be expelled from him. Then, in the fullness of time he sent his Son into the World to be the Medium, or Mediator of grace – (Gal. 4:4-6).
B. God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is The Channel of All Grace – (Eph. 1:7-12).
All grace comes to sinners through Christ the Mediator. In this chapter Paul tells us fourteen times that everything God does for sinners and gives to sinners is “in Christ.” Apart from Christ there is no grace.
1. Am I chosen of God? I am chosen in Christ!
2. Am I blessed of God? I am blessed in Christ!
3. Am I predestinated by God? I am predestinated to be like Christ.
4. Am I adopted of God? I am adopted in Christ!
5. Am I accepted of God? I am accepted in Christ!
6. Am I redeemed by God? I am redeemed in Christ!
7. Am I forgiven by God? I am forgiven in Christ!
8. Do I know God? I know him in Christ!
9. Do I have an inheritance with God? I have it in Christ!
10. Am I called of God?
Do you see what I am saying? All grace comes to us through Christ! There is no other way the grace of God can reach a sinner. Let no rejecter of God’s Son imagine that he shall be the beneficiary of God’s grace! It is the work of Christ upon the cross that has brought grace and justice together in the salvation of sinners. Through his blood, “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Ps. 85:10).
Blissfully lost in the contemplation of God’s matchless grace in Christ, John Bunyan penned these rapturous words – “O Thou Son of the Blessed! Grace stripped Thee of Thy glory; grace brought the down from heaven; grace made thee bear such burdens of sin, such burdens of curse as are unspeakable; grace was in Thy heart; grace come bubbling up from Thy bleeding side; grace was in Thy tears; grace was in Thy prayers; grace streamed from Thy thorn-crowned brow! Grace came forth with the nails that pierced Thee, with the thorns that pricked Thee! Oh, here are unsearchable riches of grace! Grace to make sinners happy! Grace to make angels wonder! Grace to make devils astonished!”
The Fountain of all grace is God the Father. The channel of all grace is God the Son. And…
C. God the Holy Spirit is the Administration of all Grace (Eph. 1:13-14).
It is God the Holy Spirit who effectually applies the blood of Christ to God’s elect.
1. He regenerates the dead by omnipotent power.
2. He calls the redeemed with irresistible grace.
3. He gives faith by almighty operations of grace.
4. He seals God’s elect unto everlasting glory.
Without the gracious operations of the Holy Spirit in conversion no sinner would ever become the beneficiary of grace. He takes the things of Christ and shows them to his people. He quickens those the Father chose, reclaims those whom the Son redeemed, and leads to the Good Shepherd all the sheep for whom he laid down his life (John 10:11). “He conquers the stoutest hearts, and cleanses the foulest spiritual leper. He opens the sin-blinded eyes and unstopped the sin-closed ears. The blessed Holy Spirit reveals the grace of the Father and applies the grace of the Son.” – C.D. Cole.
All three Persons in the Godhead are equally gracious; and all three must be praise!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
III. No Doctrine in the Bible More Forcibly Inspires Unity Among Believers Than The Doctrine of The Trinity.
I am not talking to you about some abstract point of theological speculation, or some profitless point of mere doctrinal refinement. I am talking about a subject so far above our comprehension that it should inspire the deepest reverence and humility as well as the most circumspect consecration and unity.
A. In our Baptism, you and I have avowed our Consecration to God.
Being baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we publicly declared our consecration and commitment to…
1. Obey the Will of God the Father.
2. Live for the Glory of God the Son.
3. Submit to the Leadership of God the Spirit.
“Defer not to pay it!” “Pay that which thou hast vowed!”
B. Let every thought about the Holy Trinity Stimulate in Us a Desire that We May Be One even as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are One (John 17:20-22).
Who can think of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as one – one in nature, one in love, one in purpose – and not hope for the day when the intercessory prayer of Christ will be answered in the union of all his followers?” – J.M. Pendleton.
Let us earnestly devote ourselves, as the sons and daughters of the Triune God, to unity. O that we might be…
1. One in Purpose The Glory of God!
2. One in Labor – The Cause of Christ!
3. One in Love – (Phil. 2:2-5).
· Patience with One Another.
· Esteem for One Another.
· Forgiveness of One Another.
· Forbearance with One Another.
· Deference to One Another.
4. We shall be on in glory (John 17:22).
This is the New Testament Doctrine of the Trinity.
1. The Bible clearly teaches the doctrine of the Trinity.
2. All Three Persons in the Godhead are Equally Gracious.
3. No doctrine in the Bible more forcibly inspires unity among believers than the doctrine of the Trinity – (Eph. 4:1-6).