“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” (1 Peter 3:15 NASB)
The need for apologetics in the Church today is great. The question is asked, “What is apologetics?” The word apologetics is the Greek word “apologia” which means: “To give an account of what you believe, a defense, an explanation, an answer of why you believe.” Today the Church is bombarded with non-Christian Cults, various Religions, and many denominations claiming to be Christian. Which way are we to go? Who has the correct interpretations of what the Bible teaches? These are questions that need to be answered, and the way that they are answered is by examining what the Bible teaches in context.
When was the last time your Pastor taught on the doctrine of the Trinity?
Does this question puzzle you? Does this question make sense to you? One of the main doctrines of what Christians believe is the doctrine of the Trinity. Did you know that it is estimated 60-70% of converts to the Jehovah’s Witnesses Organization and Latter-Day Saints Church come from Christian denominations and backgrounds? That is a pathetic percentage and there needs to be something done. Many Christians today do not understand the doctrine of the Trinity, and this is the doctrine that non-Christian Cults go against the most. Many Christians have been told this is what we believe but not given clear sermons or teachings on it. Many people get confused when a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness comes along and shares with them a different message. We need to teach the doctrine of the Trinity more in our Churches, in Bible studies, and in home groups so we will grow together in the faith and learn what the Scriptures teach in context. When was the last time your Pastor taught on the doctrine of the Trinity? Was it within the last year, the last 5 years, can you ever remember? Most people respond that this has not been taught from the pulpit or that it is not spoken of that much.
What is the doctrine of the Trinity?
- There is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 44:6-8)
- God is more than one in personage (Genesis 1:26, Genesis 11:7, Genesis 19:24, Amos 4:10-12, Isaiah 48:12-16)
- God has revealed Himself as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Jude 1, John 1:1-18, John 16:7-15, Hebrews 10:15-18)
- The Father is by nature God (Hebrews 2:10, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, Jude 1)
- The Son is by nature God (John 1:1-3, John 8:12, John 8:24, John 8:58, John 10:30, John 14:6, John 20:28, Matthew 12:6-8, Mark 2:1-7, Acts 3:14-15, Romans 10:9-13, 1 Corinthians 1:2, Philippians 2:5-11, Colossians 1:15-17, Colossians 1:19, Colossians 2:9, 1 Timothy 1:14-17, 1 Timothy 3:16, 1 Timothy 6:14-16, Hebrews 1:1-12, 1 Peter 3:15, Jude 4, 1 John 1:1-4, 1 John 5:20, Revelation 1:7-8, Revelation 1:17, Revelation 22:12-20)
- The Holy Spirit is by nature God (Psalms 104:30, Job 33:4, Acts 5:3-4, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 1 Corinthians 12:18, Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 10:15-18)
- God raised Jesus from the dead, (Acts 2:32) the Father raised Jesus from the dead, (Romans 6:3-4) Jesus raised Himself from the dead, (John 2:19-21, John 10:11-18) the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:9-11)
- The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three distinct personages (John 1:1-18, John 3:14-18, John 5:18-24, John 14:16-18, John 15:26, John 16:5-15, John 17:1-5, Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11)
There are many more Scriptures in reference to the doctrine of the Trinity, but those above give the basics of the Christian faith on the doctrine of the Trinity. If you are going to a Christian Church and you have not heard about the Trinity that much, ask your Pastor to teach more on this doctrine! For more information on the Trinity check out our “Trinity” section.
Did you know that there are people who claim to be Christian but teach another Gospel?
Imagine a person saying to you, “I believe in Jesus as my Savior, that He is the Son of God, that He came to die for the whole world, and that it is through Him that we go to the Father.” This sounds very good and Biblical, but there is a catch. Then they say to you, “But Jesus’ shed blood on the cross does not atone for all sins, but there are sins which I must atone for myself.” Now that puts a new spin on what they said and causes one to wonder, hmm? This is what Mormons believe concerning the shed blood of Jesus. Mormons believe that there are certain sins that the blood of Jesus Christ that does atone for or forgive us of. Imagine if a person said to you, “I believe Jesus is Savior and the Son of God, but salvation was not accomplished by Jesus’ physical death on the cross, but through His physical and spiritual death.” This means that Jesus had to both die physically upon the cross and die spiritually by becoming the nature of sin, and through that going to hell to suffer for our punishment. The Word of Faith teaches this doctrine, also known as the Faith Movement. Would you label these as the Gospel?
What is the Gospel message?
- Jesus came go give His life for mankind (John 3:16-18)
- Jesus died and rose again according to the Scriptures (Luke 24:44-47, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
- Jesus offers salvation to all people (John 5:24, Romans 1:16, 1 John 5:10-13)
- Jesus said we will die in our sins if we don’t believe He is the “I Am He” (John 8:24)
- Jesus is the only way to the Father, there is no other way (John 14:6)
- Jesus shed His blood and died physically as our atoning sacrifice to reconcile us to God (Colossians 1:19-22)
- Jesus shed blood atones and forgives us of all sins (1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 John 1:7-9)
- Jesus is the Messiah to come from the Old Testament (Isaiah 53:1-12, Isaiah 42:1-6, Luke 4:18-30, Luke 24:44-47, Acts 3:11-16)
- Jesus was God come in the flesh (John 1:1-18, Romans 10:9-13, Colossians 2:9, Philippians 2:5-11, 1 Timothy 3:16)
- Jesus was sent from the Father to reveal to mankind grace and truth, and the heart of the Father (John 1:1-18)
If you are not sure about the Gospel message ask your Pastor to help you with it. Ask your Pastor to teach more about the wonderful message of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the blessed hope that is in Christ. For further information on receiving Jesus check out “The Good News of Jesus Christ: Is Jesus the only Way?” & “You can know all your sins are forgiven today!”
I gave a survey question asking this: “Have you ever had a person come to your Church and teach about Apologetics? Things about what Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Muslims or other groups believe?” Out of 400 responses, 300 said never! Now I say praise God for the 100, but that percentage is terrible. Please let us know if you have any questions on the doctrine of the Trinity or the Gospel message.