Understanding The Bible
STUDY REFERENCE
Clarence E. Mason's
"Theology Proper"

THE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY

BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
1970

THE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY

  1. God the Father

    1. His relationships

      1. Father of the Lord Jesus Christ
        This relationship is definitely announced, but nowhere clearly explained. It is fundamental within the Divine Being and has always existed.

        1. Plain statement of Scripture,
          2 Cor. 1:3; 11:31; Gal. 4:4; Eph. 1:3; Rom. 15:6; 1 Pet. 1:3

        2. The Son is said to have been "begotten" of the Father,
          Jn. 1:14,18; 3:16; Col. 1:15; 1 Jn. 4:9

        3. The Father affirms this relationship,
          Mt. 3:17; 17:5; Lk. 9:35; Heb. 1:5-10

        4. Christ affirms this relationship
          Jn. 5:17-26; 8:54; 14:12; 17:5; Lk. 2:49

      2. Father of the nation Israel (as a unit, not as individuals as in NT),
        Ex. 4:22; Dt. 32:6; Isa. 64:8; Mal. 1:6; 2:10

      3. Father of all who believe in Christ (a NT privilege),
        Jn. 1:12; Gal. 3:26; Eph. 2:18-19; Rom. 8:14-17; 1 Jn. 3:1, Eph. 4:6
        This relationship does not include all mankind. The so-called "universal fatherhood of God" is wholly unsupported by Scripture,
        1 Cor. 8:6; Jn. 8:44; Eph. 2:2-3. He is the Creator and in this sense they are His "offspring, " Acts 17:29 (Greek genos = race).

    2. His works

      1. Determination of the decree,
        Ps. 2:7-9; Jn. 6:37-38; 17:4-7

      2. Election, Eph. 1:3-6

      3. Creation, 1 Cor. 8:6

      4. Sending Christ, Jn. 3:16; 5:37; 8:16

      5. Raising of the dead, Jn. 5:21; 1 Cor. 15:15

      6. Revelation, Rom. 1:2

      7. Judgment, 1 Pet. 1:17

      8. Disciplining of sons, Heb. 12:9; Jn. 15:1-2
         

  2. God the Son (outline by Chafer)

    1. His pre-existence,
      Mic. 5:2; Jn. 1:1-2; 5:58; Col. 1:17; Rev. 1:17-18; Jn. 6:62; 17:5,24; 16:28; 8:42

    2. The deity of Christ
      Consider notes on this point in section pertaining to Trinity.

    3.  The humanity of Christ (Incarnation)

      1. Scriptural proof,
        Jn. 8:40; Acts 2:22; Rom. 5:15; 1 Cor. 15:21; Jn. 1:14; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 Jn. 4:2

        He possessed the essential elements of human nature--a material body and a rational soul,
        Mt. 26:26,28,38; Lk. 23:46; 24:39; Jn. 11:33; Heb. 2:14.

        He was subject to the ordinary laws of human development and to human wants and sufferings,
        Lk. 2:40,52; Heb. 2:10,18; 5:8.

        The normal experiences of man's life were His,
        Mt. 4:2; 8:24; 9:36; Mk. 3:5; Lk. 22:44; Jn. 4:6; 11:35; 12:27; 19:28,30; Heb. 5:7.
         

      2. Scriptural reasons

        1. He came to reveal God to man,
          Jn. 1:14,18; 14:9; Mt. 11:27; 1 Jn. 3:16; Col. 2:2.

        2. He came to reveal man. He is an example to the believer,
          1 Pet. 2:21.

        3. He came to provide a sacrifice for sin,
          Heb. 10:1-10.

        4. He came in the flesh that He might destroy the works of the Devil,
          Heb. 2:14; 1 Jn. 3:8; Col. 2:13-15; Jn. 12:31; 16:11.

        5. He came into the world that He might be a. merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God,
          Heb. 2:16-17; 8:1; 9:11-12,24.

        6. He came in the flesh that He might fulfill the Davidic covenant,
          2 Sam. 7:16; Lk. 1:31-33; Rom. 15:8; Acts 2:30-31, 36.
           

    4. The "hypo static union"
      This doctrine indicates the union of the two natures of Christ in one person. Three essential facts are to be considered:

      1. "The Lord Jesus Christ was from the moment of human gestation until His resurrection the undiminished presence of God. He suffered His glory to be veiled, but none of His conscious Deity was ever sacrificed. The Babe of Bethlehem could have commanded the dismissal of all material things, had He chosen to do so. God could do no more, or be no more, than is claimed for Christ. " (Chafer)

      2. Christ was truly man with a complete human nature.

      3. These two natures were, without diminution or complication, united in the one unique and incomparable Person. He is humanity un-exalted and Deity undiminished.

        Also to be considered in the doctrine of the hypostatic union of Christ is the impeccability of Christ. By this we affirm that Christ was not merely able not to sin, but was not able to sin. Because of His immutable holiness Christ, being God, could not sin, and in His sinless humanity, as procreated of God, He was "that holy thing" (Lk. 1:35) incapable of sin.

        An objection to the hypostatic union of Christ is given in the Kenosis Theory, based on Philippians 2:7, where the literal translation would be "Christ emptied Himself. " This theory advances the thought that the Incarnate Christ emptied Himself of His Deity.

        (For a fuller discussion of our Lord's alleged limitation of knowledge, urged by some because of improper views on His self-humbling, see next page for a special note on Mark 13:32.)

        The orthodox position in regard to Philippians 2:7 is that Christ surrendered only:
        (1) the independent use of His attributes
        (2) His visible glory
         

    5.  The offices of Christ

      1. Prophet - representing the claims of God to man

      2. Priest - representing man to God, Heb. 5:1

        1. Priest taken from among men to be their representative.

        2. He is appointed by God (cp. 5:4).

        3. He is active in those interests of men that pertain to God.

        4. His special work is to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.

        5. He makes intercession for His people, Heb. 3:1; 4:14; 5:5; 6.20; 7:26; 8:1.

      3. King - the promised Seed of David who is to reign in righteousness over a regathered, redeemed Israel and over the world
         

  3.  The Holy Spirit

    1. His personality: Acts 8:29,39; 10:19; 16:17 (Cp. notes on Trinity)

    2. His titles
      It is to be observed that no name is revealed of the Holy Spirit. He is identified in the following passages: Mt. 10:20; 12:28; 4:18 Lk. 11:13;  Jn. 14:17; Rom. 8:2,9,16; 2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 4:6; Phil. 1:19; 1 Jn. 3:24.
 

"Mason's Notes"


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