Bible Studies for Life lesson for July 26- Key Questions about the Triune God
July 14 2009 by Catherine Painter, author, speaker, Trinity Baptist Church, Raleigh

Focal Passages: Matt. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 2:12-13; Eph. 1:3-14

 “I wish I understood the Trinity,” I moaned. My husband Jack groaned in return, “I wish I did too.” Then he compared the Trinity with the three-in-one egg: shell, white, and yolk; and with water: (liquid), gas (steam), and solid (ice). His illustrations helped, but questions remained.

1. Why is the concept of the Trinity important? (Eph.1: 3-14). Answer: Without the Father, creation wouldn’t exist. Without the Son, we’d have no Savior to redeem us, and without the Holy Spirit, there’d be no Counselor to guide us.

2. How can we know that God is Three? Answer: While the word Trinity is not in the Bible, the doctrine is assumed. Paul’s benedictions to churches praise Three Persons. (See 2 Corinthians 13:14.)  

The Trinity took part in Mary’s Annunciation (Luke 1:30-35), and at Jesus’ baptism, the Father spoke from heaven, the Son was baptized, and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove (Matthew 3:16-17). The dove, the only bird sacrificed in the Jewish Temple, symbolized Jesus’ earthly mission—to die for our sins.

3. How might we understand God’s mysterious nature? (See 1 Cor. 2:12-13.)

Answer: While we needn’t explain the Trinity to believe it, it’s impossible for the Spirit to render His greatest benefits when His presence goes unrecognized.

I came to know the Spirit, rather than know about Him, while filling an extensive vacancy for a choral teacher. Until then, I referred to the Spirit as “it.” Daily planning periods provided me opportunities to write. As pages accumulated, I needed three paper clips to separate chapters.

When I reached for clips in Joe’s desk, the Spirit convicted me that the clips were not mine to take.

I justified, “If Joe were here, he would give me the clips.”

The Spirit responded, “The clips are not Joe’s; he’s only a steward over them. They belong to the school system.” Convicted, I withdrew my hand, deciding to buy clips on my way home.

But Satan persisted. There was no harm in taking three clips; that many could disappear on any given day. I opened the drawer and fingered them. Then I recalled that Jesus quoted Scripture when He was tempted. I said, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). I closed the drawer and drove to the store on my way home.

7/14/2009 2:44:00 AM by Catherine Painter, author, speaker, Trinity Baptist Church, Raleigh | with 0 comments

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