THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 5-31-09
LESSON: “Who Is God?: The Godhead”
Welcome to the Living Word program on this wondrous Lord’s Day. What a privilege it is to have you with us today, as we together give this time to God. I know that we will all be encouraged and uplifted by our time together this morning. So, let’s give our best to God so that He may be pleased with our offering. Furthermore, let’s do all things according to His will - so that our worship will be received by Him in a good and perfect way. Now, let’s approach His throne in prayer!
Our first song of the morning encourages us in knowing that we are never alone with God. Jesus once told His disciples, “and lo I am with you always, even until the end of the age.” So this morning, let’s sing a song that teaches us this very important Biblical lesson. The name of the song, “Be With Me Lord!”
(SONG # 1)
In the book of Revelation we read the words of Jesus, “Behold, I am coming quickly,” 22:7. What a challenging and encouraging thought this is. An idea, which is no doubt used to help us realize the need that we have to always be ready and prepared to meet our God.
In fact, if we were to look through the book of Revelation, we would find that Jesus makes this same statement at least 6 times. But not just in that book, we also find this idea through the New Testament. For instance, in Mark 13:35-37, Jesus said, “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming; in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning; lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” The reality is, no one really knows when Christ will come again so we need to be ready at any time - and if you think about it, doesn’t that make perfect sense? What if you knew when Christ was coming again? What if you knew the exact month, the day, the hour? How would you then live now, knowing that you had plenty of time to change down the road? The truth is, if we did know the specifics of when Christ would come again - none of us would do anything until the last minute.
This is further evidenced in the actions of those who claim they do know when He is coming. What do they do, sell all they have, get ready, turn away from the world - but would they have been ready if they had not thought He was coming.
Brethren and friends, we need to be ready at any moment for our Lord to come again, so that when He does He will receive us as faithful children in His service and He will thus reward us accordingly. So my question to you this morning is, “are you truly ready to meet your God?” If not, you better start making preparations today - so that we will all be ready when He comes with His angels in the clouds. When He comes to take us home and to receive our mansion prepared for the faith. As we sing in the blessed on, “what a day, glorious day that will be!” Are you living in such a way to secure your place in Heaven?
After our next song together, we are happy to have brother Jerry Sullins with us to lead us in our main thoughts of the day. As many of your already know, brother Sullins is the Director of the Bible Institute of Missouri here in Springfield. We are glad he is with us today.
As far as our lesson of the day, we will be continuing our series entitled, “Who Is God?” Our specific discussion of the day will deal with, “The Godhead.” So, please stay with us for this important study from God’s Word. Now it’s time to join in our second song of the morning. Won’t you join in with the congregation as we sing the hymn, “Anywhere Is Home?”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
I would like to welcome you all to “The Living Word” broadcast this morning. It’s so good to have you in our listening audience and we’re so happy to have all of you who are listening to this program on a weekly basis. This past week, I was in Marshfield, Missouri at the Marshfield Church of Christ in a one session gospel meeting there, or at least I was one of the speakers there in that series of meetings. One lady mentioned to me that not only was she watching the program, but she was actually recording the program and taking it to two or three others every week. So we certainly appreciate you using this program not only for evangelism but also to take to shut-ins so that they can at least hear a sermon from time to time and be a part of a service and we thank you so much for tuning in and helping to assist us in the work of the Lord here with this program.
We’re in a series that has reference to God and I’ve been given the subject of “The Godhead” which is a very difficult subject in some ways in the religious world because there has been a lot of misconcepts as there has been about almost every religious subject in religious world concerning the Godhead. Now the question some people might be asking themselves is “What are you talking about when you’re talking about the Godhead?” Well in some circles it is referred to as “the Trinity.” It is a combination of what we refer to in the scripture of the personalities of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Now this problem of understanding the Godhead in its fullness has been something that has been around for centuries and we know that in past centuries some major denominational forces have even excommunicated and/or actually killed people who held a view that was contrary to church doctrine. Of course, we should not be involved in anything like that. God does not want that. He would rather for us to have an understanding and fortunately today we have His Word which will give us somewhat a clear understanding of what the Godhead actually is. There are some people who are confused about the subject as I said and they believe these people are commonly referred to as “The Oneness People.” It’s a Pentecostal group and they believe that Jesus is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In other words, there is not God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, but they say that Jesus is all three. When the Father is mentioned in the scripture, (they say) it is referring to Jesus. When Jesus is mentioned in the scripture, (they say) it is referring to Jesus, and when the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the scripture, (they say) it is really Jesus Himself. So there is a lot of confusion. Well in casual reading of the scripture, as we’re going to do this morning, and by the way, if you have a Bible, I hope you will get it out because we’re going to be doing a lot of reading of the scripture so that you can understand just what God’s Word says about the Godhead itself. The Bible reveals the truth on this matter and we want to go directly to the Bible.
You might note first of all in Colossians chapter 2 verse 9 where it says that, “For in Him (that is Jesus) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” So that word is actually mentioned there, “Godhead.”
And then a verse that I like is found in 1 John and not just because I need to like it, but the reason I call it to your attention, I like it because it makes it very clear what God is trying to reveal to us in 1 John 5, verse 7 where it says simply, “For there are three that bear witness in Heaven, the Father, the Word (that is Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.” Then it makes this statement which is very clear. “These three are one.” So the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one and here is where we get the concept of Godhead or the Trinity. “For the one are three and the three are one.” Now this comes from a concept that is Biblical, of course, because we see the word that is used in Hebrew in the Old Testament and it is called “Elohim.” Now I probably did not say that word properly because I really have never taken Hebrew before. It is a Hebrew word and it is probably not pronounced properly, but it is Elohim and its meaning is “one being who is to be worshipped.” But when we look into the scripture itself in Genesis 1, verse 1, this word Elohim is actually used. Now over 2,500 times throughout the Bible this term Elohim is used in the plural sense and very few times is it mentioned in the singular sense, but in Genesis 1, verse 1? When you read in the scripture, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” That word there is plural in nature. Now we can see that evidently it was more than God the Father involved because it is talking about a plural nature here. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” and then look at verse 2, “and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Now we are told in three or four different places in the New Testament that Jesus Christ Himself was involved in the creation.
Before we move from Genesis, let’s go to Genesis 1, verse 26. Do you notice what it said there? God said, “Let us make man in our own image.” Who was He speaking of? “Let us make man in our own image.” Well of course, He had to be referring to the Godhead.
And we see as we move over to the New Testament in John chapter 1, verse 3 it shows that Jesus is the Creator because it says, “All things were made through Him and by Him and nothing was made that was made.” And so God evidently, in fact He did, had given all authority to Jesus in Heaven and on earth, as it stated in Matthew 28, verse 18, the Father gave Jesus the authority and commissioned Him evidently to create all things. Now this statement is made in the book of Hebrews and the book of Colossians and in many other places in the New Testament we can find this eternal truth being made known. So the Godhead is a threefold being. Now how can I believe that? Evidently it is a polytheistic scheme. There is God the Father. There’s one God. God the Son. There’s two Gods. And there’s God the Holy Spirit. There are three Gods. So all three were involved. Well, it is difficult to explain. In fact, it might be impossible to explain, but by faith as we accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and by faith we can accept what John said in 1John 5, verse 7 that all three are one. So what do we do? We accept it by faith that three is one and one is three. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit are that Trinity and that Trinity expresses itself in three different personalities.
Now there is a statement that is made in Deuteronomy 29 verse 29 which might be good here because it says, “The secret things belong to God.” I am assured of one thing that when we get to the Heavenly throne some day, we who are striving to live faithful and have done the Will of God, that we will know exactly what is being said here.
Now we don’t have a lot of time this morning, but I want to mention some scriptures hurriedly so that you can see that the Trinity is throughout all of the New Testament that three making one and that one making three because the divine nature is exactly the same in all three personalities. Now first of all in
Ephesians 4, verse 4 where the scripture says, “There is one body and one spirit (there’s the Holy Spirit), even as you are called by one hope of your calling, one Lord (there is Jesus Christ), one faith, baptism, one God and Father of all (so there is three: The Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus, and one God and Father) of all who is above all, through all and in you all.” Now the reason the apostle Paul was making this statement is because he was striving to have Christians to have the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace and in order for Christians to have that great unity they must believe in the one Father, the one Son, and the one Holy Spirit, and four other items that are mentioned in those scriptures.
When Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray… Let’s turn to John 17, verse 1. John 17, verse 1, “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to Heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son.’” Who was He referring to? To one of the other personalities in the Godhead.
Then look at verse 5 in John chapter 17. “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself which I had with You before the world was.” So the Word, that is Jesus, was with the Father before the world was.
Now look at verse 1. “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world and I come to you, Holy Father, keep through your name those whom you have given Me, that they may be one as we are.”
In those blessed verses, verses 20 and 21 of John 17, “I do not pray for these alone but for them also who shall believe on Me through their word that they may be one as thou Father art in Me and I in Thee that they may be one in us that they world may believe that you have sent Me.” So there is that oneness that we are talking about, how in this verse two could be one, the Father and the Son, but yet the scripture tells us that not only are two one, but three are one and what is referred to as the Trinity or the Godhead. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus said in Matthew 6:9 when He was training His disciples to pray, what did He first tell them to say? “Our Father who art in Heaven.” He used a pronoun there “Our.” In other words, who was Jesus’ Father? That is in a way that we can understand in the personality of the Godhead. It was God the Father. He was the Father of Jesus Christ who is referred to as the Son.
It was stated also when Jesus was speaking about the end of time or the judgment to come in Mark 13, verse 32. It says that, “No man knows the hour that the Lord is going to come again, only the Father who is in Heaven.” So again we see here a distinction being made between Jesus, the Son of God, and God the Father, as Jesus is making reference to Him.
I call your attention quickly to John chapter 16 and we can’t spend a lot of time here, but what is says here is this in verse 1. “These things that I have spoken to you that you shall not be made to stumble, that they will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service, and these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father or Me.” Again, a clear indication of the difference between Jesus being the Son and God the Father being the Father of Jesus the Son.
During some special events in the New Testament, we see this great truth expressed, and I call your attention to the time that Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. As Jesus was standing there, being the Son of God, already recognized to be the Son of God, the Spirit of God descended from Heaven upon Jesus. It is stated, “And also a voice from Heaven said, ‘This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’” So all three were present at that great event.
Have you noticed what was stated in The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 where Jesus told His disciples, “Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and lo I am with you always even to the end of the world.”
You might note that when Jesus said in John 14 and read the whole chapter of John 14, He said, “I go to the Father.” He told His disciples two times in that chapter alone that He was going to the Father. So we can see clearly it only takes a casual reading of the scripture to understand that there is what is referred to as the Trinity, the Godhead, recognized as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
I plead with you today to accept this truth by faith as we accept all other truths. We want you to believe that Jesus died upon the cross but yet He was given that authority by the Father. We want you to believe that because that is what the Bible says, The Great Commission given by Jesus. We plead with you today to obey what Jesus died upon the cross for, for you to buried with Christ in baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These wonderful truths have been brought to us and are available for us throughout our lives if we read only God’s eternal Word. I ask you today to consider what the Bible says. You know, it is the Truth that will guide us to salvation, and in the Bible we can find that Truth that God wants us to believe and that Truth that God wants us to obey. So we ask you today to show proper honor and respect to the Father above and to always be ready to accept the Truth of God’s Word for indeed the Trinity, the Godhead is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit according to God’s eternal Word.
(SONG # 3 - “Blessed Assurance!”)
Thanks for putting God first and choosing to be with us this morning. I hope you have benefited from our time together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God.
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Thanks be to God for revealing Himself to us in the Bible! That we might know His “eternal Power and Godhead.” Our God is alone the true God, three persons in one!