The book of Acts mentions Jesus as the Messiah at least 12 times. These 12 presentations are given by 7 different people. The point being made here is that Acts was written in the First Century about events that took place prior to the writing of the book of Acts. Jesus was presented as the Messiah of Israel using only the Old Testament. There was no New Testament for most of the First Century.
Seven different people presented Jesus as the Messiah to audiences of very tough critics – the Jewish people. The Jewish leadership had Jesus crucified and they were determined to stop the Jesus movement after His crucifixion. Still the faithful followers of Jesus did their work. The book of Acts shows 7 people presenting Jesus as the Messiah entirely from the Old Testament. The 7 people were: Peter, Stephen, Phillip, Paul, Apollos, Aquila and Priscilla. Jesus was presented as the Messiah in:
- Peter’s first sermon in Acts 2: 22 – 38
- Peter’s second sermon in Acts 3: 18 – 26
- Stephen’s presentation before the Sanhedrin in Acts 7
- Phillip’s presentation to the Ethiopian Treasurer in Acts 8: 26-39
- Saul’s sermon at Damascus (before he became Paul) in Acts 9: 20 – 22
- Peter’s sermon to the Gentiles in Acts 10: 42 – 43
- Paul’s sermon at Antioch in Acts 13: 16 – 41
- Paul’s presentation at Thessalonica in Acts 17: 2 – 3
- Paul’s presentation at Corinth in Acts 18: 5
- Apollos, Aquila and Prescilla’s at Ephesus and Corinth in Acts 18: 24 – 28
- Paul’s presentation to Agrippa in Acts 26: 23
- Paul’s sermons at Rome in Acts 28:23
Peter and Paul when preaching always spoke of the resurrection of Christ and when they were speaking to the authorities they would say – The One that you killed! In addition, Jesus presented Himself as the Messiah from the Old Testament in Luke 24:13, on the Emmaus Road and in Luke 24:44, in the Upper room.
How can we explain the Trinity to non-believers? It is impossible to explain the Trinity too non-believers! 1 Corinthians chapter 2: 14 says, 14 “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” “The person without the Spirit” means – the nonbeliever does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God – which means the nonbeliever does not accept God’s Word or the Bible. It says that they do not accept and they consider them foolish.
Nonbelievers cannot understand things like the Trinity because it can only be discerned through the Spirit. In other words – the Trinity cannot be explained to a nonbeliever! They cannot understand the Trinity and they will not understand the Trinity unless God opens their eyes. So do not get frustrated and angry with someone about this – the Holy Spirit must open that persons eyes! When it comes to the deep things of God – nonbelievers cannot understand it. Do not try to convince nonbelievers – just tell them the truth – lay it plainly before them and let the Holy Spirit do the work. Plant the seed – the rest is up to God.
The word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible. The first time we see the word “Trinity” used was around 400 A.D. when the Bible was translated into the Latin language. The translation is called the Latin Vulgate and that is where we see the word Trinity. Prior to that time we do not see the word Trinity used.
If you search your Bible you will not see the word “Trinity” anywhere. However, you will see the concept of the word “Trinity” throughout the Bible. As an example, go to Genesis chapter 1. First you must understand the idea of what the Trinity is to Christians. Christians believe in One God – who is tri-personal – the Trinity. God is a Sprit being and God is One in His being. The essence of God is that He is Tri-personal – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holt Spirit. One God but 3 persons. They are coequal – coeternal and of one being and essence.
Let us look at the third person of the Trinity in Genesis 1:1, we see the Holy Spirit. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Here it says that the – Holy Spirit – is hovering over the waters. In Proverbs 30: 4, we see the Son. “Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is the name of his son?…” In this passage the Son of God is mentioned. In Malachi 2: 10, we see God the Father. 10″ Do we not all have one Father[b]? Did not one God create us?” This passage mentions God the Father. So here in the Old Testament we see very clearly the concept of the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holt Spirit.
In Matthew 28: 18-19, Jesus shows us the Trinity as He is about to ascend into heaven. 18″ Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” In this passage we are commanded to baptize in the name of our one God identified as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen! God is three persons, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. One God in three persons!
It is a tough concept to understand because we are physical beings. Humans are one person in being and essence, God is a Spirit being. God is above us:
- He is the creator and we are the created.
- We are finite and God is infinite.
- Humans are imperfect and God is perfect.
God tells us who He is – who are humans that they should question Him? God says that He is one in being and essence – He is one God!
Look at John chapter 10. Jesus makes it very clear about His equality with the Father: John 10: 27- 30 says, 27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[c]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
It says here that Jesus is the Great Sheppard and we are His sheep. Sheep are dumb, disobedient and defenseless without a sheppard. In this passage Jesus says “My sheep” – they know my voice, they listen and they follow. Jesus says He gives His sheep eternal life. That is a great verse. You cannot earn eternal life. Eternal life is a gift and Jesus says, He gives eternal life to His sheep.
Jesus guarantees us eternal life – He says we will never perish. No one can snatch you out of Jesus’ hand! The Devil cannot steal you away from your salvation. Even you cannot steal yourself away from your salvation. You cannot lose your gift of salvation. If you could lose salvation then it would not be a gift – Jesus gave it to us.
The passage goes on to say that no one can snatch them out of the Father’s hand and He is greater than all. Then in verse 30 it says, I and the Father are one! Jehovah Witnesses and the Church of Christ etcetera cannot get around that verse. They try to pervert this verse and say it means something else – but it says very clearly that – Jesus is equal with the Father. So here we see that the Father is God and the Son is God!
In Acts 5, the story of Ananias and Sapphira who were struck down dead by God.
5 “Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”
5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him…”
In the context of this passage the Holy Spirit is God. 2 Corinthians 13: 14 is Paul’s prayer closing out his letter to the Corinthians says, 14″ May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ – God the Son – the second person in the Trinity. May the love of God – God the Father – the first person in the Trinity and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit – that is – the third person of the Trinity. God is three persons, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. One God in three persons!
Try studying Romans chapter 8, it is the premiere passage in all the Bible about the security of our salvation. You will see how the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all guarantee our salvation.
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