From Jim McGuiggan... The Trinity and the Holy Spirit

The Trinity and the Holy Spirit

Larry notes that John 1:1 and 14 indicate that Jesus, the Son, is God but asks, “Where do we find biblical witness to the Spirit’s being God?” This is not a new question for church history reminds us that there was a time when believers felt it necessary to formally announce the Godhood of the Spirit. Like most questions that relate to “the Trinity” we need to be careful how we state our views (especially if you believe it as I do and think it’s critically important truth in the development of the Christian message).
I mean, the Bible isn’t an exercise in systematic or even dogmatic theology. The writers certainly want us to know and believe the truth but they don’t sit down to write a formal creed for us. This means we shouldn’t expect to be able to go to the Bible and find a specific text to answer every specific question. We’re supposed to do careful exegetical work (with the help of all the tools and disciplines and trusted scholars required) and draw our conclusions in light of that. And then from there live our lives in light of the big rich truths.
This lack of system in the Bible explains why we don’t have, for example, a developed doctrine of the resurrection, or Satan or the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. And it’s why we don’t have all the answers to interesting and important questions laid out for us in an exhaustive blueprint. (I have several pieces in this vein in my little book called Where the Spirit of the Lord Is.) It also helps to explain why the Bible doesn’t always make something so clear that it can’t be disputed. Much of the Bible is proclamation and the report of proclamation (like the book of Acts, for example). So much of the time the writer simply speaks the truth without exhaustively spelling it out so that no one can argue against it.
But having said all that I’m one of millions who, in light of the New Testament and historical theology, think that the Holy Spirit is a “person” distinct from the Father and the Son. There is one God who in the fullness of times revealed himself as Father, Son and Spirit. In Acts 13:2 the Holy Spirit said to the gathered prophets and teachers, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” This is personal speech and it’s hard not to see that the Holy Spirit is a distinct center of self-consciousness (a “person”) and when you lie to him you lie to God (Acts 5:3-4). But he is not the Father and he is distinct from the Son (see John 14:16-26). And since it is in the person of the eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9:14) that the Father and the Son make themselves present in the believers (John 14:17-18,23-26; Ephesians 2:18-22) he can hardly be less than God himself.
Though there are many other lines we could take that’s the direction I would go in setting out my reasons for believing that the Spirit is part of the Godhead.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabiding word.com.

What Does it Mean to Say Jesus is the "Son of God"? by Brad Bromling, D.Min.


What Does it Mean to Say Jesus is the "Son of God"?

by Brad Bromling, D.Min.

What does it mean to say that Jesus is the “Son of God”?


The New Testament employs a variety of terms in its effort to define the personal identity of Jesus. Strictly speaking, His name simply is Jesus (meaning “Yahweh is salvation”). Recognition of His messiah-ship quickly led His followers to call Him Christ (christos is the Greek equivalent to the Hebrew word Messiah), Christ Jesus, and the more common Jesus Christ. In addition, He also is called:
  • Lord—an Old Testament designation for God, as well as a term of respect like “Sir”;
  • Son of Man—the designation Jesus most often applied to Himself that can indicate “a human,” or point to a mysterious heavenly figure (Daniel 7:13);
  • Son of David—an indicator of messianic lineage; and
  • I AM”—an apparent echo of the unutterable divine name (Exodus 3:14).
All of these titles make exalted claims for the Man from Galilee. For many Christians, though, Son of God is the most familiar term used to identify Jesus. This is understandable in light of passages like 1 John 4:15: “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God,” and John 20:30-31: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” There is power in the confession that Jesus is the “Son of God,” but what does it mean?
The earliest Christians were Jews who were familiar with at least two distinct applications of the term “son of God.” In the first place, the term had a general application to all Israelites. When their ancestors were held in Egyptian bondage, Moses was sent to Pharaoh with these words: “Thus says the Lord: Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me” (Exodus 4:22-23; see also Hosea 11:1). Through the years, Yahweh loved, protected, comforted, and chastened Israel, just as a loving parent would nurture and discipline children (Malachi 2:10; Isaiah 66:13; et al.).
The second usage was more specific. Historically, the term had a royal connotation for many nations of the Ancient Near East. It was commonplace for Egyptian, Babylonian, Canaanite, and Roman rulers to be called “son of God” (Fossum, 1992, pp. 128-137). These kings even were deified and surrounded by legends about their miraculous births—often including stories of gods copulating with humans (Sanders, 1993, pp. 243-245). This royal connotation also was known in Israel, although they did not deify their kings (O’Collins, 1995, p. 117).
When the New Testament writers referred to Jesus as “Son of God,” they sometimes employed the term in ways that echoed these two common uses. After those who threatened the life of the child Jesus died, Joseph was given instructions in a dream to return from Egypt to his homeland. When Matthew reported this event, he said it fulfilled Hosea 11:1: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (see Matthew 2:15). In other words, Jesus was God’s Son as an Israelite, and in a real sense, the True Israelite.
In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus’ ministry began with a pronouncement from heaven: “This is my beloved Son...” (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11). The same is heard at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:5). In the Gospel of John, the baptizer testified that Jesus “ranks ahead of ” him, and by virtue of the Spirit’s descending upon Jesus, he testified that Jesus is the “Son of God” (John 1:30, NRSV). These references are reminiscent of the decree of royal sonship (Psalm 2:6-7; see also Luke 1:32-33). When the Jewish leaders put Jesus on trial, they asked: “Are you the Son of God, then?” Satisfied with His answer, they told Pilate Jesus was claiming to be “a king” (Luke 22:70; 23:2). As Jesus died on the cross, the only accusation assigned to Him was, “This is the king of the Jews” (Luke 23:38). According to Paul and the writer of Hebrews, this regal distinction was especially manifest after Jesus was raised from the dead (Acts 13:33; Romans 1:4; Hebrews 1:5).
While Jesus’ identity certainly included these then-prevailing ideas of sonship, it is obvious they do not exhaust the significance of the term for Him. Over and again, Jesus referred to God as His Father (Matthew 7:21; 10:32; 11:27, et al.). Since the Jews also saw themselves as sons and daughters of God, this should not have bothered them. But it did bother them, precisely because they perceived Jesus to be making a unique—and seemingly blasphemous—claim of sonship.
This uniqueness reached its zenith when Jesus addressed God as “Abba, Father” in prayer (Mark 14:36). “Abba” was the word a Jewish child used to refer to his or her “original person of reference” (i.e., mother or father). This bespoke an “unheard-of closeness” between Jesus and God (Moltmann, 1993, p. 142). Jesus demonstrated this closeness throughout His life. And it was in this intimacy that Jesus’ sonship is best defined. Gerald O’Collins has observed:
[Jesus] not only spoke like “the Son” but he also acted like “the Son” in knowing and revealing truth about God, in changing the divine law, in forgiving sins, in being the one through whom others could become children of God, and in acting with total obedience as the agent of God’s final kingdom (1995, p. 126).
To see through the eyes of faith that Jesus is the Son of God is to see that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself ” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
Finally, in the Gospel of John, Jesus referred to Himself as the “Son” Who was “sent” from the Father (John 3:16-17; 5:23; 6:40; 10:36). Clearly, this is a special claim. On one of those occasions, Jesus based His authority to heal on the Sabbath on the fact that His Father was working. This infuriated some of the Jews. John explained: “Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:18).
In summary, to identify Jesus as the Son of God is to acknowledge His genealogical connection to Israel, His right to the throne of David, and His unparalleled nearness to God. To confess that Jesus is the Son of God is to declare as true Jesus’ claim: “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).


Fossum, Jarl (1992), “Son of God,” The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday).
Moltmann, Jürgen (1993), The Way of Jesus Christ (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress).
O’Collins, Gerald (1995), Christology (New York: Oxford University Press).
Sanders, E.P. (1993), The Historical Figure of Jesus (New York: Penguin).

From Mark Copeland... "BAPTISM" Conclusion To This Section


                      Conclusion To This Section

When all men's arguments fall, the Bible's teaching on this subject
is still the same.  Ac 2:38 still teaches baptism is for the
remission of sins:

                 38  Then Peter said unto them,
                 Repent, and be baptized every one of
                 you in the name of Jesus Christ for
                 the remission of sins, and ye shall
                 receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Ac 22:16 still teaches baptism washes away sins:

                 16  And now why tarriest thou?
                 arise, and be baptized, and wash away
                 thy sins, calling on the name of the

Mk 16:16 still teaches:

                 16  He that believeth and is
                 baptized shall be saved; but he that
                 believeth not shall be damned.

1Co 12:13 still teaches that baptism puts us into the body of Christ:

                 13  For by one Spirit are we all
                 baptized into one body, whether [we
                 be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be]
                 bond or free; and have been all made
                 to drink into one Spirit.

Ga 3:27 still teaches baptism puts us into Christ:

                 27  For as many of you as have been
                 baptized into Christ have put on

Ro 6:3-4 still teaches baptism puts us into the death of Christ:

                 3  Know ye not, that so many of us
                 as were baptized into Jesus Christ
                 were baptized into his death?
                 4  Therefore we are buried with him
                 by baptism into death: that like as
                 Christ was raised up from the dead by
                 the glory of the Father, even so we
                 also should walk in newness of life.

Col 2:12-13 still teaches that through baptism we obtain the newness of life:

                 12  Buried with him in baptism,
                 wherein also ye are risen with [him]
                 through the faith of the operation of
                 God, who hath raised him from the
                 13  And you, being dead in your
                 sins and the uncircumcision of your
                 flesh, hath he quickened together
                 with him, having forgiven you all

1Pe 3:21 still teaches that baptism saves us:

                 21  The like figure whereunto
                 [even] baptism doth also now save us
                 (not the putting away of the filth of
                 the flesh, but the answer of a good
                 conscience toward God,) by the
                 resurrection of Jesus Christ:

The first time the gospel was preached, "They then that received his
word were baptized," (Ac 2:41).  People today who receive the gospel
do the same thing.  Friend, if you believe in Jesus Christ, and have
repented, i.e., determined that you will live according to His teaching,
won't you confess His name before men and be baptized for the reasons HE
said while you have opportunity?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading February 16

Bible Reading  

February 16

The World English Bible

Feb. 16
Genesis 47

Gen 47:1 Then Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, and said, "My father and my brothers, with their flocks, their herds, and all that they own, have come out of the land of Canaan; and behold, they are in the land of Goshen."
Gen 47:2 From among his brothers he took five men, and presented them to Pharaoh.
Gen 47:3 Pharaoh said to his brothers, "What is your occupation?" They said to Pharaoh, "Your servants are shepherds, both we, and our fathers."
Gen 47:4 They said to Pharaoh, "We have come to live as foreigners in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants' flocks. For the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now therefore, please let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen."
Gen 47:5 Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, saying, "Your father and your brothers have come to you.
Gen 47:6 The land of Egypt is before you. Make your father and your brothers dwell in the best of the land. Let them dwell in the land of Goshen. If you know any able men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock."
Gen 47:7 Joseph brought in Jacob, his father, and set him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
Gen 47:8 Pharaoh said to Jacob, "How many are the days of the years of your life?"
Gen 47:9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred thirty years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage."
Gen 47:10 Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh.
Gen 47:11 Joseph placed his father and his brothers, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.
Gen 47:12 Joseph nourished his father, his brothers, and all of his father's household, with bread, according to their families.
Gen 47:13 There was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine.
Gen 47:14 Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the grain which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house.
Gen 47:15 When the money was all spent in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, and said, "Give us bread, for why should we die in your presence? For our money fails."
Gen 47:16 Joseph said, "Give me your livestock; and I will give you food for your livestock, if your money is gone."
Gen 47:17 They brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for the horses, and for the flocks, and for the herds, and for the donkeys: and he fed them with bread in exchange for all their livestock for that year.
Gen 47:18 When that year was ended, they came to him the second year, and said to him, "We will not hide from my lord how our money is all spent, and the herds of livestock are my lord's. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands.
Gen 47:19 Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants to Pharaoh. Give us seed, that we may live, and not die, and that the land won't be desolate."
Gen 47:20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine was severe on them, and the land became Pharaoh's.
Gen 47:21 As for the people, he moved them to the cities from one end of the border of Egypt even to the other end of it.
Gen 47:22 Only he didn't buy the land of the priests, for the priests had a portion from Pharaoh, and ate their portion which Pharaoh gave them. That is why they didn't sell their land.
Gen 47:23 Then Joseph said to the people, "Behold, I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh. Behold, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land.
Gen 47:24 It will happen at the harvests, that you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four parts will be your own, for seed of the field, for your food, for them of your households, and for food for your little ones."
Gen 47:25 They said, "You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants."
Gen 47:26 Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth. Only the land of the priests alone didn't become Pharaoh's.
Gen 47:27 Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen; and they got themselves possessions therein, and were fruitful, and multiplied exceedingly.
Gen 47:28 Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. So the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were one hundred forty-seven years.
Gen 47:29 The time drew near that Israel must die, and he called his son Joseph, and said to him, "If now I have found favor in your sight, please put your hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me. Please don't bury me in Egypt,
Gen 47:30 but when I sleep with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying place." He said, "I will do as you have said."
Gen 47:31 He said, "Swear to me," and he swore to him. Israel bowed himself on the bed's head.

Feb. 16, 17
Matthew 24

Mat 24:1 Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way. His disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple.
Mat 24:2 But he answered them, "You see all of these things, don't you? Most certainly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down."
Mat 24:3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?"
Mat 24:4 Jesus answered them, "Be careful that no one leads you astray.
Mat 24:5 For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will lead many astray.
Mat 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you aren't troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet.
Mat 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places.
Mat 24:8 But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.
Mat 24:9 Then they will deliver you up to oppression, and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name's sake.
Mat 24:10 Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another.
Mat 24:11 Many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray.
Mat 24:12 Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold.
Mat 24:13 But he who endures to the end, the same will be saved.
Mat 24:14 This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Mat 24:15 "When, therefore, you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
Mat 24:16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Mat 24:17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take out things that are in his house.
Mat 24:18 Let him who is in the field not return back to get his clothes.
Mat 24:19 But woe to those who are with child and to nursing mothers in those days!
Mat 24:20 Pray that your flight will not be in the winter, nor on a Sabbath,
Mat 24:21 for then there will be great oppression, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be.
Mat 24:22 Unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved. But for the sake of the chosen ones, those days will be shortened.
Mat 24:23 "Then if any man tells you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or, 'There,' don't believe it.
Mat 24:24 For there will arise false christs, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones.
Mat 24:25 "Behold, I have told you beforehand.
Mat 24:26 If therefore they tell you, 'Behold, he is in the wilderness,' don't go out; 'Behold, he is in the inner chambers,' don't believe it.
Mat 24:27 For as the lightning flashes from the east, and is seen even to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:28 For wherever the carcass is, there is where the vultures gather together.
Mat 24:29 But immediately after the oppression of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;
Mat 24:30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 He will send out his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
Mat 24:32 "Now from the fig tree learn this parable. When its branch has now become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near.
Mat 24:33 Even so you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all these things are accomplished.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Mat 24:36 But no one knows of that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mat 24:37 "As the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:38 For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ship,
Mat 24:39 and they didn't know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left;
Mat 24:41 two women grinding at the mill, one will be taken and one will be left.
Mat 24:42 Watch therefore, for you don't know in what hour your Lord comes.
Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
Mat 24:44 Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man will come.
Mat 24:45 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has set over his household, to give them their food in due season?
Mat 24:46 Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes.
Mat 24:47 Most certainly I tell you that he will set him over all that he has.
Mat 24:48 But if that evil servant should say in his heart, 'My lord is delaying his coming,'
Mat 24:49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with the drunkards,
Mat 24:50 the lord of that servant will come in a day when he doesn't expect it, and in an hour when he doesn't know it,
Mat 24:51 and will cut him in pieces, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be.

From Gary... Just a "yes", thank you!!!

This picture has me a bit confused. It is labeled as a reflection of a rainbow, but frankly, the colors look too intense (saturated) to be a reflection.  It looks like a rainbow and that is probably what counts. Perhaps there is someone out there that can definitively tell me, if so, please do. I don't like vacillating on things. Aren't you glad that God doesn't keeping changing HIS mind toward you...

2 Corinthians, Chapter 1 (WEB)
  18 But as God is faithful, our word toward you was not “Yes and no.”  19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, by me, Silvanus, and Timothy, was not “Yes and no,” but in him is “Yes.”  20 For however many are the promises of God, in him is the “Yes.” Therefore also through him is the “Amen”, to the glory of God through us. 

A rainbow is a sign of a promise and God keeps his promises; AMEN!!!