I Believe There Is One God

Hello everyone. The Deeper Waters blogger is back. I ask that you pray for me as I’m continuing to learn more of the lessons of life I need to know and I had a few curve balls thrown my way today. Oh well. It’s just a chance for me to grow more to be like Christ I suppose. At least, that’s the way I try to see these situations. I ask for your continued prayers in the areas that I have spoken on. I also hope that you all got to have a happy Thanksgiving. I know I certainly did. For now, let us go to the text. Tonight, we’ll be looking at James 2:19.

19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

The book begins with addressing the twelve tribes and it’s a verse like this that leads me to believe further that James is writing to an audience largely consisting of Jews. If there was any group in the world that was known for believing in one God, it was the Jews. The pagans all had several deities in their pantheon.

It was the Jews who affirmed there is but one God. Hear O Israel. The Lord your God is one. Every Jew knew that. It was the Shema. They were to recite it twice a day. It was an identifying pledge of theirs. It also became foundational in the formation of the doctrine of the Trinity.

Many critics of the doctrine of the Trinity insist that it is a polytheistic doctrine. I have recently heard a clip of Muslims speaking in Speakers’ Square in London. Speakers’ Square is a sort of public debate site in London where people of different religions can come and debate. The Mormons were speaking about the doctrine of the Trinity and saying that Christians believe in three gods.

As a Trinitarian, I immediately start pondering how badly they’re representing my doctrine. Now if I did believe in three gods, I would have a problem, but it seems that those who speak out most against the doctrine of the Trinity are those who have taken the least time to understand it by really reading great Christian minds on the topic.

If you look at the great creeds of the church, all of them affirm monotheism. We are not polytheists. Now does that mean we fully understand how one God can dwell in three persons? No. It doesn’t. However, it does no good to say that because we do not understand it, that that is not what we believe then.

Which is why this verse has been chosen for our Trinitarian commentary. If we do not have monotheism, we do not have the Trinity. The very words Trinity means “Three in one.” Throughout the New Testament, one finds the constant affirmation on there being one God, but also the affirmation that Jesus is fully God and the Spirit is fully God along with the Father, but these three are one.

While we do not fully comprehend, we must be clear also that this is what we believe. Our opponents would do well to recognize that.

We shall continue tomorrow.


This Year, I’m Thankful

Hello everyone. Normally, I do my Thanksgiving post on Thanksgiving, but I’m going to be out of town this year and I won’t be back until Sunday night. Now I’d like to have a blog up by then, but I cannot guarantee it. I do ask for your continued prayers as I am going through a lot right now. I pray that I may become a man who is more like Christ. I’ve got some areas I’m dealing with in that and then there’s another area I’m hoping for God to work through in a major way. He knows what it is. I just ask for your prayers.

So let’s get to my Thanksgiving blog. I’d like to share what I’m thankful this year and if anyone wants to comment on what they’re thankful for, feel free.

I would like to start as well with D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s advice in beginning with theological truths.

I am thankful that God is there. I am thankful that he is who he says he is.

I am thankful that he sent his Son to die on the cross for my sins and that he rose again on the third day that I might live forever.

I am thankful that he sent his Holy Spirit and that I am the temple of the Holy Spirit.

I am thankful that God dwells in Trinity and that I might learn how to love my neighbor from that.

I am thankful that I am justified by grace through faith and that my sins will never be counted against me.

I am thankful that he gave us Scripture so that we could come to know him better.

I am thankful that he has the power to transform lives and that he is doing that in me.

I am thankful that I have been saved from the penalty of my sins and do not have to face the judgment of Hell.

I am thankful that I am promised that I will one day see the face of my savior in Heaven.

Now let’s move on to other things I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful first off that I have someone special in my life who means very much to me and encourages me to be a better man.

I’m thankful for my closest friend who has been a friend by my side for these years that I’ve lived in this town.

I’m thankful for all my other friends both near and far off who have been a support through my life and I could not have made it without them.

I’m thankful for my workplace where I do a job that I enjoy and I get a good pay.

I’m thankful that I have a place to live and that I have my health.

I’m thankful that God has blessed me with a vast library of books.

I’m thankful that he’s allowed me to be an influence and blessed me with knowing some great minds in my field.

I’m thankful that I have an excellent church that has been a family to me.

I’m thankful for the mind that God gave me that I can use it for his glory.

I’m thankful that he made me the person I am. He made me a man that can uniquely enjoy the beauty of the lady and he gave me a unique condition that causes me to see the world differently. See here for more details on my story:


I am thankful for a family back where I used to live who made sure that their son was raised in church. I didn’t always understand it at the time, but now I appreciate it.

I am thankful that I live in a country where I can worship freely.

I am thankful for the medium of the internet whereby I am able to disseminate my thoughts for others to see.

I’m sure throughout this weekend, I’ll think of several other things I’m thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ for all he’s done for us.


Like Shifting Shadows

Welcome back everyone to the Deeper Waters blog. I do ask for your continued prayers as things are still a struggle in many ways, but I figure the best way to see things is that the Holy Spirit is at work and it’s a painful process, but it is the process of God working to make someone like Christ and this is something I have been specifically praying for lately. I have another request that I’d like to have answered positively, but I prefer to leave that unmentioned. God knows. For now, we’re going to continue our Trinitarian commentary and we’ll be continuing the book of James in the first chapter with verses 16-18.

16Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Why are we going to this text? Because this text while not about the Trinity or about Christ or the Holy Spirit, is about the nature of God as a whole and there are some fundamental qualities of the nature of God that we need to grasp. This is one that we saw back in the last chapter of Hebrews and we’re going to comment on more now.

The unchangeableness of God is referred to as immutability. By this, it means that God does not change in his nature. I do not believe the incarnation counts as a change either as the ontological nature of God did not change, but one person who bore that nature did take on the nature of humanity. I do not know how this works with space and time entirely, but it is something we see in Scripture and we must accept as Christians then.

Why is it that God cannot change? Because God in his nature is perfect. He does not have any property that we would call accidental. That would in essence make him a composed being made of properties that defined his nature and non-essential properties that are in many ways simply add-ons.

If God takes on another attribute, then does that mean he wasn’t perfect before? Did he improve in some way? After all, if he takes on something else, that will count as a change in some way.  If, on the other hand, he loses one and that makes him lesser, then we can be assured that he wasn’t perfect.

This relies heavily on God being the source of all that is. God is not a composed being and does not have parts. This is the simplicity of God. Since he is the source of all, he is simple in his nature as otherwise, he would be a combination of parts and then we could ask where these parts came from and who put them together? This is an objection Richard Dawkins raises in “The God Delusion”, which shows why we should not take Dawkins seriously as a theologian or philosopher, for he has not studied the doctrine of simplicity in Christian thought.

If someone wants to say the Trinity violates immutability or simplicity, they can do so, but the burden of proof is on them. The same applies to the incarnation. This is a doctrine we need to understand however in understanding the doctrine of the Trinity.

We shall continue tomorrow.


Jesus and Temptation

Hello everyone. Welcome back to Deeper Waters. I ask for your continued prayers with a situation I’ve been working on for awhile. God knows the need. I also ask for prayers in another situation as I have recently seen the need for me to be a far better man than I have been and learn some lessons that I never really sat down to take the time to learn. I ask that my readers pray for me in this. Let it always be kept in mind as I would think regular readers respect me. Even teachers you respect need prayer. We can often be put on pedestals, but if we are cut, we will bleed the same way. Tonight, we’ll be continuing the book of James and looking at verses 13-15 of the first chapter:

13When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

I have lost track of how many times I have seen someone use this passage to argue against the deity of Jesus. The idea is that God cannot be tempted. However, Jesus was tempted. Since Jesus was tempted, then Jesus is not God.

There are arguments that have been raised to question the Trinity that are good arguments. I don’t think they’re valid, but they’re good arguments that raise points that we need to answer. Unfortunately, this is not one of them. If someone raises this one, it shows a lack of understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity.

Consider the case of the one who makes the argument that God doesn’t sleep but Jesus was asleep on the boat. The same principle applies. Jesus slept in his humanity, but his existence as deity never ceased. He was still fully God even while his human nature was asleep. Do we really understand that? No. It’s not a contradiction however.

This is a different case however. James is talking about the desires that war within us tempting us. In other words, he is talking about temptation that is coming from within and not from without. After all, take a look at what he says.

James tell us that each person is tempted by his own evil desire. The problem is that we are sinners and because we are sinners, we have this internal war waging within us where we want something that we ought not to have or something that we ought not to have at that point in time.

Jesus, however, did not have a sinful nature and so was not subject to that. Was he tempted in other ways? He was tempted from without and not from within.

Note also that the same word is used to describe God being tempted however in the Old Testament, in a passage such as Psalm 106:14. Of course, God could not give in to temptation, but the passages teach of how God was tried by his people when they were in the wilderness. Once again, the argument falls short here as well.

In conclusion, we have another supposed anti-Trinitarian prooftext that is anything but. Perchance we should look more for the struggle with our own temptations instead of trying to impugn Christ with this one.


Greetings From James

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. Again, I ask your continued prayers as God keeps working on this vessel to make him what he ought to be. It is a process and one that is not pleasant as I look at myself and see things that ought not to be there and realize I need to work on developing Christlikeness more. I also ask for prayers regarding a particular situation. I don’t need to tell you the need. God knows it. For now, let us continue our Trinitarian commentary. Tonight, we’re going to start the book of Jams and we’re going to start with the very first verse of the epistle. Let’s go to the text:

1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:

James was the brother of Jesus. This is important for our considerations since we know from texts in the gospels that the brothers of Jesus did not believe him and thought he was literally out of his mind. Now we might think that odd, but consider the claims Jesus made. James was one who grew up with him. What would you be thinking if your brother was going around claiming to forgive sins and telling everyone that he was the Messiah and that your eternal destiny depended on what you thought about who he was.

Now we can say James was wrong, which he was of course, but let us not overlook that chances are, most of us would not have been much better. That does not justify James at all, but it does put things in perspective and we will see later on makes this even more remarkable.

James went on to become the leader of the Jerusalem church. This letter I believe was written to Christians of a heavily Jewish background and is the only book of the NT that is Proverbial in nature. It is wisdom literature, such as James 1:5, telling us how we are to live on a practical basis.

However, look at how James identifies himself. First, he is a servant of God. All well and good. Nothing controversial there. Next, he is a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. Okay. Now it’s time to step back. This is the James who thought Jesus was out of his mind. Now he’s using the title that we’ve seen involves his humanity, deity, and being messiah.

What would it take for you to believe that your brother was the Messiah, God, and yet fully human at the same time? Today, we believe this is because of the evidence of the resurrection. James came to see that his brother had been risen from the dead.

James also identifies himself as a servant. This is the leader of the Jerusalem church. This is the brother of the Lord. If anyone had any step they could take to lift themselves up, it was surely James. James does no such thing. He considers himself to be just a servant.

This tells us much about James and how he viewed his brother. James came to realize Jesus was not out of his mind. He really was the one he claimed to be. James submitted himself to the Lordship of Christ then and became what we know him to be in the NT, one of the heroes of the early church and a writer of sacred Scripture.

What would it take to convince you that your brother was God? Undeniable evidence that he was. That is what James was given. We should see the resurrection of Christ and the claims of who he was as such evidence today.


Yesterday, Today, Forever

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. I ask for your continued prayers. I have been busy with a project today and I am having a difficult time as there are obstacles that stand in my way. That and there are just many other things going on in my life right now. I know I am general in what I ask, but the Lord knows what is on my heart and he is able to provide. For now, let us go to the text tonight. We will be looking at Hebrews 13:8 and closing out the book of Hebrews with this.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

It’s a simple verse indeed, but it is so profound. The author has been making the point about Jesus being the focal point of history. Everything revolves around Jesus. We spoke about this in our blog last night and how the Jews had a unique view of history and that it was moving towards a point. For the writer of Hebrews, Jesus is that point.

Here we have a statement about the immutability of Jesus. What does that word immutability mean? It means being incapable of change. Now someone will object “Hey! We know that Luke says that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man!” That sounds like a change to me.

Fair enough question, but one that misses the point. Our writer surely knew that as well for he is well familiar with the incarnation of Jesus. How is it then that the writer can speak of a Jesus who never changes and yet one who has been made perfect?

He is not speaking of Jesus in his humanity, but Jesus in his deity. Why is this important? Because the Jews certainly knew what it meant for someone to not change. Consider Malachi 3:6:

“I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.

The changelessness of God meant that God was someone they could depend on. The same is true of Christ. We can depend on Christ because he is the one who never changes. We can be sure, however, that the Jews who were hearing this letter, rather it was read or rather it was a sermon as some suspect, would make the connection.

Why does deity never change? Deity is absolutely perfect and is not in time. Being in time would place one in the area of change. There is nothing outside of the nature of God that he can take in that would make him better than he is or he would be less than absolutely perfect. There is nothing he can lose or else he would cease to be absolutely perfect.

In his deity, Jesus is of this nature. The trust that was to be given to YHWH was given to Jesus as well as he has the same nature. The writer of the epistle began by saying that Jesus is the exact representation of God. Now we see that he is that eternal reflection and he never changes, just as the Father never does.

Tomorrow, we shall begin James.


Author And Perfecter

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. There is a lot going on now in the life of your blogger here. I ask for your prayers that hurdles in my path will be removed and that I will think and live the way that I ought. I’m doing much looking into my own psyche and finding some bad beliefs that need to be dealt with. I ask for your prayers in this. As for now, let us continue our Trinitarian commentary. We are in Hebrews 12 tonight and we’re going to look at the first three verses:

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

The 12th chapter comes right after the great faith chapter of Hebrews and we are told of all the great heroes of the faith, and of those who suffered so much for the faith. I believe all the saints of the past are the ones the writer has in mind when he tells his readers about the great crowd of witnesses.

What is the connection with them and Jesus? The verse speaks of Jesus as the author and perfecter of faith, but the idea could also be that of a leader in the faith. It would be the idea then that Jesus is not only the one who started the faith but is the inspiration. This makes sense in light of the statement in the 11th chapter that Moses considered the joys of Christ to be worth more than that of Egypt, even though Moses did not know of Jesus.

This would point to a Jesus who transcends time. He is there for the Old Testament saints and the New Testaments ones as well. Hebrews is a book written with the mindset of Christian history and this is important to consider when reading it.

In the ancient world, history was often seen as cyclical. This is understandable with the idea of seasons repeating. The Hebrews were the ones who actually thought that history was going somewhere, which is why they placed so much stress on genealogies. They were people who saw a God outside of space and time who was guiding it to a future destination, which is one reason why prophecy is so important. This God knows the future.

The Hebrews writer uses the same idea with Jesus as the cornerstone of history. Thus, Jesus is the cornerstone of faith. He is the one who the prophets spoke of and he is the one speaking in the last days. He was there for the saints of old and he is there for us now.

The same Jesus who was with them is ours today. Isn’t that good news?


The Spirit Says

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. I do ask for your continued prayer. I am working through something right now that should be a growing and learning process and that involves dealing with some misconceptions I realize I’ve been carrying with me for some time. I do pray that God will give me the strength and courage I need and I ask my readers to pray with me and rest assured that God knows the most pressing need on my heart right now. For now, let us go to the text. Tonight we’ll be in Hebrews 10:15-17.

15The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
 16“This is the covenant I will make with them
      after that time, says the Lord.
   I will put my laws in their hearts,
      and I will write them on their minds.” 17Then he adds:
   “Their sins and lawless acts
      I will remember no more.”

The writer has been talking about the superiority of Christ in the new covenant. However, integral to that is the work of the Holy Spirit. Too often in Protestant churches, aside from charismatic ones, we have ignored the person of the Holy Spirit. For those of us who are not charismatics, one thing we can learn from our charismatic brethren is that we need a doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

As this is a Trinitarian commentary, we are to show the deity and personality of the Holy Spirit as well to demonstrate the doctrine of the Trinity. Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance, deny both of these seeing the Holy Spirit rather as God’s active force. Now I do see the Spirit usually as God’s manifest power at work, but that does not deny his personality or deity any more than the Son being the Wisdom of God denies his personality or deity.

In tonight’s passage, we are told that the Holy Spirit stated the truths that Christ came to fulfill. What is interesting about this first is the casualness with which the Spirit is said to have said these things. There is no need to explain who the Spirit is to these listeners. They automatically seem to understand that where Scripture speaks, one also has the voice of the Holy Spirit.

The reference is again to Jeremiah 31, which was also referred to in Hebrews 8. This is the passage about the new covenant. Notice that in this passage, we are told about the new covenant that YHWH is making with his people. YHWH has always been the one who makes covenants, which is what interested us when we looked at the person of the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament.

What we have here then is that the Holy Spirit is involved in this as well just as the Angel of the Lord, who we saw as the pre-incarnate Son, is. Thus, when a covenant is made, it is a covenant that is made by a person who is ontologically God, which would mean either the Father, Son, or Spirit.

In conclusion, this is a passage that testifies not only to the personality of the Spirit as he is speaking, but to the deity of the Spirit as well. Where Scripture, the Word of God, speaks, he speaks. Where a covenant is made, he makes the covenant. The Spirit has the ontological nature of God.

We shall continue tomorrow.


Make My Enemies A Footstool

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. There is a lot going on in the life of the Deeper Waters blogger. I have a need that I’m wanting God to supply and I am praying that it comes through. I will not tell what it is at this point, for God knows what it is. I just ask that my fellow Christians join me in this prayer. For now, let us continue our Trinitarian commentary. We are in the 10th chapter of the book of Hebrews and tonight, we’re going to be looking at verses 11-14. Let’s go to the text:

11Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

We are looking again at the superiority of Christ and how he is truly a greater high priest by his very nature. What we wish to emphasize is first off the statement that Jesus is waiting for his enemies to be made his footstool. The reference is one the Jewish audience would understand.

Ask yourself this question. What is the most quoted Old Testament verse in the New Testament? It’s Psalm 110:1 which reads as follows:

The LORD says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”

The idea is of the Messianic leader who will come and defeat the enemies of Israel and we know that this verse pointed to the deity of that ruler from our earlier looks at it. This is the passage that Jesus used to stump the Pharisees.

Yet look at verse 4 of this passage:

The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”

This ruler would at the same time be a priest. His defeat of sin would also be the defeat of his enemies. Christ did not come to defeat Rome. He came to defeat sin. He came to defeat the gates of hell and the message of the gospel being spread is the enemies of Jesus being made a footstool for his feet.

This is the connection with the one sacrifice for all time making people holy. When people become holy, the forces of satan lose. Thus, when the gospel is preached to people and they become a part of the body of Christ, they are made holy. By the sacrifice of Christ, they are redeemed and Christ’s kingdom is spread.

Once again, we see the connection. The deity of Christ is essential in that it is because of who he is as Lord and as high priest both, that he can bring about a defeat of sin by the offering of his perfect sacrifice. If there is no deity of Christ, there is no holiness brought about. The blood of anyone else would be like a bull or a goat incapable. The blood of Christ is nothing like that and only by that can we be made holy.

We shall continue tomorrow.

A Body Prepared

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. I thank you all for your continued prayers and I hope that you keep them up. I am on an exciting journey and want to make sure that the people of God in the body of Christ, as all are, will be praying for me on this path. We’re going to get into our Trinitarian Commentary once again and tonight, we’re in the 10th chapter of Hebrews and we’ll be reading verses 5-10:

5Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, O God.’ ” 8First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). 9Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

I recommend readers look at verses 1-4 to see what the therefore is there for. What is being talked about ultimately is the inability of bulls and goats to take away sins. Christ is superior and this passage tells us about that.

Note that we see the pre-existence of Christ spoken of. I do not believe in the pre-existence of other human beings. Now I do not think that Scripture gives an explicit “yay” or “nay” on the doctrine at this point, but I am personally skeptical of such an idea.

However, this is about Christ coming on a mission from the Father and saying that a body has been prepared for him. Christ has not always been tied with a human body. He has been fully deity. We must get this clear in our Trinitarian thought. The body of Jesus is not God.

When we realize that, it helps us deal with a lot of misconceptions, such as the objection to ask if God died on the cross. God did not die on the cross, but the person of Jesus who is ontologically God was separated from his body when he died on the cross, which is a good definition of death as well.

This sacrifice is essential to the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews as well. It was the body that Christ dwelt in that became the sacrifice. Notice that the writer makes a distinction between Christ and his body as well. Now I believe the body is part of being fully human and so when Christ rose again, he did rise again in his body. If Christ had not been raised physically, then that would mean that we had a more Gnostic religion. The body was something bad to be discarded upon victory. However, Christianity does not affirm that. The body is good. Matter is good. It is the creation of God.

And a body was a tool that was used to bring about our salvation. We Christians are people of the body of Christ, but we are also persons in bodies, and we should be thankful for them as well and celebrate our own bodies as the good creations of God.

We shall continue tomorrow.