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Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Feast of the Holy Trinity



By Norma Boeckler


The Feast of the Holy Trinity

Live Lutheran Worship Service, Sundays, 8 AM, Phoenix Time

The Hymn #246 - Nicea
The Invocation p. 15
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual Romans 11:33-36
The Gospel John 3:1-15
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Athanasian Creed p. 53
The Sermon Hymn #251 by Luther - Wir glauben all’
The Sermon

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

The Hymn #250 Grosser Gott
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #464 - Boyston

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Romans 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

One of the familiar claims of liberal theology books is this – The Trinity did not exist until around 500 AD, when the term first began to be used, after the Council of Chalcedon, in 451 AD.

As I said before, the term Trinity is rather late, because the word itself was invented to serve as shorthand for all the discussions, a way of saying Three-in-One, the Three-ness of the One God, the Unity of the Three Persons. Trinity is a concise way of saying – Tri-unity.

In this brief lesson from Romans, there are three different indications of the Trinity. The one is hidden by the translation. It is more like this – O the depth of the:
1. Riches
2. Wisdom
3. Knowledge
Of God.

This is followed by three questions:
1. For who hath known the mind of the Lord?
2. or who hath been his counselor?
3. Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

And then we have another series of three:
1. For of him,
2. and through him,
3. and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Throughout the Bible, God’s attributes are described in groups of three. But the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are specifically named together in many places – long before Chalcedon. (There are many Trinitarian passages in the Old Testament, but I will get to those in another sermon.)

One illustration of the Holy Trinity is well known to everyone. When Jesus was baptized, the voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Paul’s letters are full of Trinitarian references.

Titus 3:4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

The lessons from John about the coming of the Holy Spirit are explicit teachings about the Trinity:

John 14:16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever --
17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

Matthew shows Jesus addressing the Trinity.

Matthew 22:43 He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 44 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool" '? 45 "If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his Son?"

Matthew closes with the Great Commission, where the Holy Trinity is named. Jesus’ Gospel command is to teach all nations (not to manufacture disciples) and to baptize in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Cults Hate the Trinity
The cults, including the cult of apostate liberal theology, all hate the Holy Trinity. They do not want to name the Name of God. They fight against it. Jehovah’s Witnesses will come to the door just to teach against the Trinity. (JWs use liberal scholarship to prove the Trinity is wrong. There is something amusing and deadly about JWs and liberal scholars in agreement.) Mormons use the word Trinity but teach polytheism when they do.

Feminists do not want to baptize in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. So they use Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier (three terms also used for the Hindu group of three main gods). Agreement with Hinduism is not good, since they accept around 300 million gods.

The Holy Trinity Named and Defined
There can only be one true God. He has revealed Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Teaching against this is a grave sin because there are many false claims about the godhead.

Avoiding the Trinity means a denial of God Himself. The liberal apostates have chosen to pick and choose what aspects they approve, but that is not possible.


Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

The epistle expresses the nature of God, as far beyond anything we can imagine. The general trend in the last 100 years has been to move from seeing everything from the perspective of Creation to seeing everything from the perspective of man. If man approves and understands, then it is accepted.

We can see this in the area of evangelism, ethics, and ministry. Something is true because a group did a study about the issue. It is true because it is superficially successful. It is true because it is popular at the moment.

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