60 Answers on the Godhead Part 2
Last week, I presented the first part of answers to an anti-Trinitarian tract put out by the UPCI. Here are the remaining question/answers!
33. How could the church belong to Jesus (Matthew 16:18) and yet be the church of God (I Corinthians 10:32)?
UPCI: Because Jesus is God in the flesh.
Me: This is true. John 1:14 is the most famous affirmation that Jesus is God incarnate.
34. Will God give His glory to another?
UPCI: No. Isaiah 42:8.
35. Was there a God formed before Jehovah, or will there be one formed after?
UPCI: No. Isaiah 43:10.
Me: No, this is a Jehovah’s Witness thing, not a Trinitarian thing.
36. What is one thing that God does not know?
UPCI: Another God. Isaiah 44:8.
37. What is one thing that God Cannot do?
UPCI: Lie. Titus 1:2.
38. How many Gods should we know?
UPCI: Only one. Hosea 13:4.
Me: Same, monotheism FTW
39. How many names has the Lord?
UPCI: One. Zechariah 14:9.
Me: I’m not sure that’s a really good proof text. Also, I’m not totally sure what this question is asking.
40. Is it good to think upon the name of the Lord?
UPCI: Yes. Malachi 3:16.
41. Does the Bible say that God alone treads upon the waves of the sea?
UPCI: Yes. Job 9:8
Me: Yes, but be careful when pulling verses from Job. That same chapter also says the Earth stands upon pillars. Moreover, this would suggest God has legs.
42. Why, then, was Jesus able to walk upon the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:25)?
UPCI: Because He is God the Creator. Colossians 1:16.
Me: Same answer but Job 9 should probably not be a supporting verse for this. Jesus was truly God and as such had full command of the laws of physics.
43. Is God the only one who can forgive sin?
UPCI: Yes. Isiah 43:25; Mark 2:7.
44. Why, then, could Jesus forgive sin in Mark 2:5-11?
UPCI: Because He is God the Savior.
45. Is Jesus the true God?
UPCI: Yes. I John 5:20.
Me: Yes, this is consistent with Trinitarianism
46. If God and the Holy Spirit are two separate persons, which was the Father of Christ?
UPCI: Matthew 1:20 says that the Holy Ghost was the Father, while Romans 15:6, II Corinthians 11:31, and Ephesians 1:3 say that God was the Father. There is no contradiction when we realize that God the Father and the Holy Ghost are one and the same Spirit. Matthew 10:20; Ephesians 4:4; I Corinthians 3:16.
Me: This is going all over the place. For one, there is a conflation between the use of ‘father’. In one sense, God is the father of all humanity. Jesus, according to his humanity, shared in this relationship with the rest of humanity as can be seen in the Lord’s Prayer.
In another sense, there is a special relationship between the Son and the Father wherein the Son is begotten of the Father. Now, this begetting does not occur at Mary’s impregnation. Rather, this is an eternal begetting as can be seen in the discussion between the Father and the pre-incarnate Christ in Hebrews 1. This second relationship is what is being referenced in Romans 15, II Corinthians 11, Ephesians 1, and the remaining greetings in the Epistles.
Third, the Doctrine of the Trinity affirms that the Father and the Holy Spirit are of the same spiritual substance, so to say they are the same spirit is not contrary. However, none of the verses listed provide any support to the oneness Pentecostal position. The ‘Spirit of God’ is the same thing as the Holy Spirit and Matthew 10 does not equate the Spirit of God to the Father; neither does I Corinthians 3. Ephesians 4:4 does say there is one Spirit but keep reading!
4There is one body and one Spirit, just as when you were called you were called to one hope. 5 And there is one Lord, one trust, one baptism, 6 and one God the Father of all, who rules over all, works through all and is in all.
All three of the divine persons are listed in this passage!
47. When Paul asked the Lord who He was, what was the answer?
UPCI: “I am Jesus.” Acts 9:5.
Me: Same. ‘Kurios’ or ‘Lord’ was used for Jesus while ‘ha theos’ was used for the Father.
48. When Stephen was dying, did he call God Jesus?
UPCI: Yes. Acts 7:59.
Me: Yes. Honestly, guys, Trinitarians don’t deny that Jesus is God.
49. Did Thomas ever call Jesus God?
UPCI: Yes. John 20:28.
Me: Yes, see above.
50. How could Jesus be the Savior, when God the Father said in Isaiah 43:11, “Beside me there is no Savior?”
UPCI: Because “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” II Corinthians 5:19.
Me: I don’t think that God the Father was speaking in Isaiah 43. In any event, God was speaking, Jesus is God, no contradiction.
51. Does the Bible say that Jesus was God with us?
UPCI: Yes. Matthew 1:23.
52. Did Jesus ever say, “I and my Father are one?”
UPCI: Yes. John 10:30.
Me: Yes, but you’ve got to read the context here. Open your Bibles to verse 24
Then came Hanukkah in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking around inside the Temple area, in Solomon’s Colonnade. So the Judeans surrounded him and said to him, “How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us publicly!” Jesus answered them, “I have already told you, and you don’t trust me. The works I do in my Father’s name testify on my behalf,but the reason you don’t trust is that you are not included among my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice, I recognize them, they follow me,and I give them eternal life. They will absolutely never be destroyed, and no one will snatch them from my hands. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no one can snatch them from the Father’s hands. I and the Father are one.
Notice first the strong distinction Jesus puts between himself and the Father. Secondly, notice that Jesus is discussing his role in the plan of salvation. He and his Father are one in the sense of purpose, namely, saving the elect. Now, I’m not saying that this is the only way in which Jesus and the Father are one. They are also one in the sense of substance. They are both divine and the one God.
53. Can it be proved scripturally that Jesus and the Father are one in the same sense that husband and wife are one?
UPCI: No. The Godhead was never compared to the relationship of a husband and wife. Jesus identified Himself with the Father in a way that husband and wife cannot be identified with each other. John 14:9-11.
Me: This is referring to a popular analogy that Jesus and the Father are one in the same way husband and wife are “one flesh”. There is certainly a lot of parallel between the two cases, however, I will be the first to say that all analogies are terrible. This question is attacking an analogy, not the Doctrine of the Trinity.
54. Does the Bible say that there is only one wise God?
UPCI: Yes. Jude 25.
55. Does the Bible call the Holy Ghost a second or third person in the Godhead?
UPCI: No. The Holy Ghost is the one Spirit of God, the one God Himself at work in our lives. John 4:24; I Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19; 12:13.
Me: No, the word ‘person’ isn’t used. Consult Questions 1 and 2.
56. Can Trinitarians show that three divine persons were present when Jesus was baptized by John?
UPCI: Absolutely not. The one, omnipresent God used three simultaneous manifestations. Only one divine person was present–Jesus Christ the Lord.
Me: First, the Bible doesn’t use the word ‘person’. Second, the answer to this question depends entirely on one’s presuppositions. The UPCI answer is merely asserting its interpretation. I could easily say
“Can the UPCI show that it was three manifestations? Absolutely not. It was three persons.”
so this doesn’t get anywhere.
57. Then what were the other two of whom Trinitarians speak?
UPCI: One was a voice from heaven; the other was the Spirit of God in the form of a dove. Matthew 3:16-17.
Me: The Father spoke from Heaven to the Son being baptised as the Spirit descended like a dove. Whether He actually looked like a dove or not, I’m not sure.
58. What did the voice say at Jesus’ baptism?
UPCI: “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Mark 1:11. As the Son of God, Jesus was the one God incarnate.
Me: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” not “This is me in whom I am well pleased”. Yes, Jesus is God.
59. Does the Bible say that God shed His blood and that God laid down His life for us?
UPCI: Yes. Acts 20:28; I John 3:16. God was able to do this because He had taken upon Himself a human body.
Me: Yes. I agree, but here’s a question, to whom did Christ offer himself as a sacrifice? To himself or to the Father?
60. The Bible says that God is coming back with all his saints (Zechariah 14:5) and also that Jesus is coming back with all his saints (I Thessalonians 3:13). Are two coming back?
UPCI: No. Only one is coming back–our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13.
Me: No, there is only one God.
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