Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, Mar. 16, 2003, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
BIBLE-BELIEVING FUNDAMENTALISTS BELIEVE IN THE STRUCTURE OF THE GODHEAD
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: 1 John 5:1-13
Text: 1 John 5:7
1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
Introduction: A Bible-believing fundamentalist believes the Bible he holds in his hand is God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible word. As a Bible-believer, I believe every word of 1 John 5:7, as it stands in the King James Bible. Most of the modern “per-versions” of scripture remove the verse and take half of verse 8 to put in its place.
A Bible-believing fundamentalist holds certain grand truths of that Bible to be FUNDAMENTAL and makes those truths qualifications for fellowship. One of those fundamentals is the truth of
THE STRUCTURE OF THE GODHEAD
I am talking about, of course, the doctrine of the Trinity — three Persons, but one God.
This doctrine is non-negotiable. It is not a secondary doctrine; it is PRIMARY. It is not INCIDENTAL; it is FUNDAMENTAL. If a person is not a Trinitarian, he is not a fundamentalist.
The Father is God:
Ephesians 1:2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Son is God:
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
The Spirit is God:
Acts 5:3-4 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
People have tried to explain the Trinity by comparing the Godhead to three forms of water: liquid, ice, and steam.
You don’t have to understand the truth of the Trinity; just believe it!
I want to give you four testimonies tonight to the truth of the Trinity:
I. THE TRINITY IS SEEN IN THE BEGINNING OF CREATION
Genesis 1:1-3 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
In Genesis 1 the discerning believer can see:
A. The Sovereign Father beholding His design – “very good”
B. The Spirit of God blowing upon the deep – Genesis 1:2
C. The Son of God brightening the darkness – Genesis 1:3
- Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
- Notice that the Father created everything BY HIMSELF. Now,
- Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
- See also John 1:1-3
II. THE TRINITY IS SEEN AT THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST
Matthew 3:16-17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
In the account of the baptism of our Lord we see all three Persons of the Godhead:
A. The Sovereign Father is speaking from Heaven
B. The Son is submitting to baptism
C. The Spirit is soaring down like a dove
III. THE TRINITY IS SEEN IN THE BIRTH OF THE CHRISTIAN
John 3:6-7 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
A. The Sovereign Father prepared salvation – Romans 5:8
B. The Son supplied salvation and the new birth
- John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
C. The Spirit presents and performs it
IV. THE TRINITY IS SEEN IN THE BAPTISM OF A CONVERT
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:
Not “names” but “name,” singular, because, according to 1 John 5:7, THESE three are one!
A. The name signifies association
- Identified a child of the Father – 1 John 2:1
- Identified as a joint-heir with the Son
- Identified as born of the Spirit
B. The name signifies authority
- Acts 4:7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
- The believer has the Sovereign Father’s promises
- The believer has the Son’s presence
- The believer has the Spirit’s power
C. The name signifies ability
- The Sovereign has the ability to declare the believer justified!
- The Son has the ability to cleanse the believer from sin!
- The Holy Spirit has the ability give the believer life and liberty!