Most Christians are familiar with the passage in Acts 4:11-12 in which we are told that Jesus is the only way we can be saved:
This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:11-12).
It is interesting that the Old Testament records a passage written about 700 years prior to Jesus in which we are taught that the LORD (literally Yahweh) is our only Savior:
You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior (Isaiah 43:10-11).
Sine we know that Jesus is also fully God, these passages are easy to harmonize. It is also a great reminder that God’s ultimate plan of redemption for his people has never changed. The depth of the revelation culminated in the coming of Christ Jesus, but the plan was clear from the beginning.
Filed under God, Salvation
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads (Revelation 22:3-4).
This is one of those texts that probably only makes sense if we understand that there is one God in three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). In this text, the Lamb is figurative language of Jesus, the Son. There is a throne of God and of the Lamb, yet the personal pronouns, ‘his‘ and ‘him‘, are all singular. If the Lamb and God were completely distinct, then these verses would have used the personal pronouns ‘theirs’ and ‘them.’
While the Trinity may be a somewhat difficult concept to grasp, the language of the Bible leaves us no other conclusion than there is only one God. Yet, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all identified as God. Thus, we arrive at the understanding of the Trinity. It should really come as no surprise to us as finite, created beings that we cannot fully grasp the concept of an infinite, uncreated being.
If you are like me, when you think about the spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testament, you typically associate them with the Holy Spirit. In one of the longest sections in Scripture discussing spiritual gifts, Paul associates them with all three persons of our trinitarian God:
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God
who empowers them all in everyone. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
The varieties of gifts, service, and activities are all referring to the one concept of spiritual gifts. When Paul uses the term Lord by itself (as in verse 5 here), he typically is referring to Jesus. And, when he uses the term God by itself (as in verse 6), he is typically referring to the Father. So, in these three verses we see that the triune nature of God just naturally flows from Paul’s thinking. Skeptics like to argue that the trinitarian nature of God was developed over a long period of time within the church. However, we see in this very early letter from Paul to the church at Corinth, the concept of the trinity was simply taken as a matter of fact. Paul does not have to go to great lengths to explain it to the Corinthians, but rather just uses this well-known fact in his writing.
As an aside, this is yet another example of the countless ways I am constantly amazed at the depth of the Bible. No amount of study by our limited human minds can ever plumb its depths. There will always be new insights to discover (with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course).