The Trinity, Page 2, Part 2

It’s amazing how much information is really in this little black book of Scripture, and I’m exciting to open the window even more to what my Great Uncle experienced in his journey of faith.  The way these entries alternate in pencil or pen indicate that these were not a one time listing but categorizing that he continued to add to over time.  I so wish there were dates.  😦

In the last entry, we had just begun the category labeled “The Trinity”.  After his “Godhead” notation, the majority of the entries following are not accompanied by any notation at all.  I went through and briefly read them to try and figure out if there is a patterned grouping or not.   Unfortunately it does go back and forth through the remaining Scripture.  Which left me to ponder continuing in order that it was added to the list or to go ahead and just post everything associated with a grouping (even if out of order).

Ultimately, I have decided that I’d like to follow his train of thought in the notations.  So, today we will focus on Jesus’ position as Son in the Trinity expressed in 6 verses listed.  Next, the role of the Holy Spirit (4 verses), and then wrap it up with the remaining verses.

Let’s begin…

1 John 5:6-7 (-12)

And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross- not by water only, but by water and blood.  And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony.  So we have these three witnesses.

1 John hits it right out of the gate, that the baptism in water & the shed blood on the cross is testimony to Jesus’ sonship.  Remember, when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist it is said the Holy Spirit came upon him as testimony.  Even though people had been stating it (Mary, Elizabeth, etc.) this was the spiritual confirmation.

My Great Uncle’s notation was just for verses 6 & 7, but I think verses 8-12 are equally important for the context.  They read:

vs. 8-12

The Spirit, the water, and the blood – and all three agree.  Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God.  And god has testified about his Son.  All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true.  Those who don’t believe are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son.

This was not singular witness/testimony to Sonship, but three… The Spirit, the water of baptism, and the shed blood of the cross.  And if we are willing to believe what men say, how could we deny what God says to be true.  The last verse strikes hard, as it isn’t just as simple to say that you are not certain of the Sonship.. but to deny it is outright calling God a liar.

Our next entry addresses the presence of the Son since the beginning.  Jesus didn’t enter the story when he was knit in the womb of Mary.  No, he was always there… from the beginning of creation…

John 1:1-3,14

In the beginning the Word already existed.  The Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He existed in the beginning with God.  God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him…

…So the Word became human and made his home among us.  He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

Even more so than being present for creation, Jesus was part of the creation.  When Word became human, he physically entered Creation in flesh and bone, making his home among us.   And while all of this is noted in my Great Uncle’s notes as part of affirming the trinity, something caught my attention.  Note in verse three how it states:  God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him?  That brought my mind to a similar piece of Scripture, John 14:6 which includes:   None come to the Father except through me.  Trinity access, all are important in accessing God.

The next entry:

Colossians 2:15-17

In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.  So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.  For these rules are only shadows of the reality.

How does this fit into a definition of Sonship in the Trinity?  It illustrates his authority and power, made known to man through the cross.

The next entry is:

Ephesians 3:9

I was chosen to explain to everyone the mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things had kept secret from the beginning.

Another support that Jesus’ presence has been since the beginning, kept secret, until the appointed time.  Then those who knew him would go and tell the rest of the world about God made flesh.

Next we move to our final two texts.  The first is from the New Testament:

Acts 13:33

…and God has now fulfilled it for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus.  This is what the second psalm says about Jesus:  You are my Son.  Today I have become your Father.

Which references the Scripture of the Old Testament:

Psalm 2:7

The king proclaims the Lord’s decree:  The said to me, “You are my Son.  Today I have become your Father.”

Not only is this a testimony of God about Sonship, but again it carries the New Testament back in history to the Old Testament days.  Not just in a OT foreshadowing NT, but that the position of Jesus was established in the beginning.

The Trinity, Page 2, Part 1

On Page two of my Great Uncle’s little black binder of scripture, we enter his study on the Trinity.  The first 3 entries all have a notation of “Godhead” next to them, so we’ll focus on those 3 to begin.

The first Godhead entry is Romans 1:20:

For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made, so they are without excuse.

Romans 1:20

This scripture (and those before/after it) are there to help us to establish the “God” not just as divine, but always divine… since creation.  What I love is this hint at “invisible attributes”, which is the parts of God that are not revealed.  Old Testament God was just simply God, we don’t see the presence of the Son or the Holy Spirit until the New Testament.  However, as we process through my great uncle’s notes (and in our own knowledge and study) we will see that the OT had plenty of references to the Son and the Spirit, just at the time the people were not necessarily aware of what that meant.

The next entry is Colossians 2:9, which reads:

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells, bodily

Colossians 2:9

However,  I want to move forward and complete the thought through verse 10:

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him who is the head of all rule and authority.

Colossians 2:9-10

I feel like adding verse 10 into the notation actually paints a more complete picture of not just the deity of Jesus, but that Jesus is part of the Godhead because he is also the head of all rule and authority.

Then we move to the third entry, which is Acts 17:29…

Being then God’s offspring, we out not to thing that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by art and the imagination of man.

Acts 17:29

This scripture is there to help us see the fullness of who Christ is, as a living breathing offspring of God vs. some idol that we cast because it makes us feel better to see something with our own eyes.  In the Old Testament, they formed the golden calf because they desired something tangible and visible to worship.  Humanity struggles with the unseen.  But, Acts 17:29 points us to the fact that Jesus is not some statute formed to give us something to worship because it makes it easier for us to comprehend.  Instead, it reminds us that we are honoring, worshiping a real God who dwelled in flesh.  (Isa 40:18,19) (Isa 46:5-7) (Rom 1:23)   As it refers to Jesus as the offspring of God, there is a verse that shows us the role of God the Father.

Next entry we will move from Godhead to more specific verses about Jesus.

Just a reminder that we are working with these Scriptures to see why my Great Uncle would have categorized them in such a way.  So, if at some point you are not quite sure about my exegesis … keep in mind that I’m working with skeletal notes, from a man who is no longer on this side of Heaven to ask, that I’m trying to make sense of.

The Bible, Page 1, Part 5

It’s been a little bit since my last post, but I was in full conference preparation mode.  I’m eager to share with you these last entries in the Bible Category of my Great Uncles little black notebook.

We begin with the Acts 13 notation:

“And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm:  You are my Son, today I have begotten you.”

Acts 13:32-33

Pretty straightforward, and I can see the significance of this Scripture in his category about the Bible.  We see here the recognition that the New Testament Jesus is the fulfillment to the Old Testament promise.

The next notation takes us to Matthew 8:

And behold they cried out, “What have you to do with us O son of God?  Have you come here to torment us before the time?”

Matthew 8:29

Now, this one threw me at first.  As I would have expected to see this in a category about the deity or power of Jesus, or even miracles.  Why would my Great Uncle note this under the category of the Scriptures (it’s purpose, credibility, etc.)?  My assumption is that he saw it’s relevance because it points out that even the demons know the credibility of the Scriptures.  They know how the story unfolds, which lends to it’s authority.

We then move to the notation on Hebrews 1:

For which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you?” or again, “I will be to him a father and he shall be to me a son?”

Hebrews 1:5

While that mirrors Acts 13, references the Old Testament Psalms.  Why this point twice in the same category?  If this category is about the authenticity, authority, and credibility of the Scriptures… it could be simply to show consistency in the Word.  Threaded Old Testament to New Testament.  It also points to Jesus fulfillment, and his deity … that his not an angel, nor a prophet but the Son of God.

The next to final notation is 1 Peter 3:

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord a holy, always being prepare to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness, and respect.

1 Peter 3:15

The Scriptures are part of what helps us have a defense to those who asks about the hope that sets us apart from others.  We have our testimony of how God worked and moved throughout our own personal lives, but we also have the Bible that has an Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in a New Testament Jesus.  NT proving the OT, OT proving the NT.  I personally love the point about using this Biblical defense with gentleness and respect.

Finally, our last entry, which is in Isaiah 28.  This is the only entry so far in the notebook that indicates “Bible Study”.  I’m not sure if that means this book is a culmination of Bible Study class, personal study, sermon notations.  Or, if it signifies that this one particular entry alone is from a Bible Study.  Isaiah 28 reads:

For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.  For by the people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue the Lord will speak to His people, to whom he has said, “This is rest, give rest to the weary and this is repose”, yet they would not hear.  And the word of the Lord will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little, that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.  Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem!

Isaiah 28:10-14

Isaiah 28:10-14 is about how God will reveal himself, his promises, his Word to his people.  Concept by concept.  Verse by verse.  Little by little.  In the message translation it says at the end of verse 13 that like toddlers they will get up, fall down, get bruised, confused, and lost.  I think this points to our need to grow in our knowledge of the Word.  Yes, the Bible is credible and authoritative.  To understand it, we must grow in maturity, knowledge, and wisdom.  He will reveal to us, at different paces, what He wants for us to take from the Word… little by little.

The Bible, Page 1, Part 4

Continuing to work through my Great Uncle’s little black binder, we are moving to the 4th out of 5 parts related to page 1, which he titled The Bible.

The first 3 entries for this part (and by part I mean blog entry, he didn’t have these divided into parts) is 2 Peter 1:20 which he labeled as “private interpretation”.

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.

2 Peter 1:20

I’m going to continue his notation through the next verse for 2 reasons.  First, I believe it should be paired with his entry, but the second is just simply related to timing of this post.

Verse 21 reads:

For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

This certainly paints a more complete picture than just having verse 20, and ultimately it is clarifying for us that while the prophets were human beings the words they spoke/wrote were not of their own will but of God’s.   Pretty straight forward.

I want to digress for a second, because of the timing of this passage.  Ideally, I wanted to post on a regular schedule.  However, being in the midst of preparing for a major conference, my focus has been divided.  Yet, in that I see how God works things out for all of our good in the revelation of His Word.

This morning, my church finished it’s series on happiness.  Now you might find it odd that we would go to the book of Revelation to conclude the series, but that is right where we landed.  Before the Pastor even got into the heart of the message, there was some prefacing that set up the direction we were going.

The entirety of the Scripture we were referencing that day was Revelation 19:6-10 and 21:1-6.

As we set forward to read the Scriptures, verse by verse, before breaking it down… this caught my attention:

Revelation 19:10 (last sentence):

It is the essence of prophecy to give a clear witness of Jesus Christ.

The beauty of the Word and how it continually and consistently supports itself.  Amen!

I’m guessing my GU’s notation about “private interpretation” was just a reference point, since the Scripture is pretty clear that it is not a private interpretation but the direct Word of God.

Next, we have an entry about rejection:

For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.

1 Samuel 15:23

I’m guessing I don’t need to put any additional thoughts to that.

Finally, for this portion, we will end on Psalm 2:7.  My GU had no side notations on this one, it reads:

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:  He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.

Some commentaries suggest that this is a referencing the Sonship of Jesus.  Others that this is an adoption reference, our adoption into the family of Christ.   When I read the full chapter of Psalm 2, I’m going with the former.  I believe verse 12 supports that this is a verse about the Sonship of Jesus.

Next post will be part 5, and the last look into the Scriptures related to the Bible category of page 1 in the binder.  Then we will move to the next category, page 2, titled Trinity.

The Bible, Page 1, Part 3.

As we move on to our third portion on this very first page about the Bible, we are looking at Scripture related to understanding and knowing the Word.

In his entry for Luke 24:44-45 his notation reads:  Understand Scripture.

Luke: 24:44-45

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.

I think my Great Uncle’s notation was really points the last part of the verses, that Christ opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.  If, I’m correct, then this is a pretty good reminder.  If we want to understand the Scriptures, we can pray for that understanding.  Solomon asked for wisdom, understanding, and the ability to discern what is right and wrong (good/evil) in 1 Kings 3.  We, too, can ask God for wisdom and understanding when it comes to the Scriptures.

The next entry, for Matthew 22:29 was noted:  Err not knowing Scriptures.

Matthew 22:29

But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.”

Pretty straightforward.  We make mistakes because we don’t know the Scriptures and the power of God.  If we want to know God, what His purposes are for us, we needn’t look any further than in His word.  If we don’t know, we aren’t looking.

The third notation, accompanying the entry for 2 Tim 3:15 reads: from a child

2 Timothy 3:15

and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Again, a pretty straightforward verse.  Here, Paul is recognizing that Timothy is a qualified leader in his stead, trustworthy, and has Paul’s confidence.  Why?  Partly because Timothy has been no stranger to the Word.  In fact Paul credits both Timothy’s mother and grandmother for helping develop his faith.    This tells us that learning about our faith, the Word, is not something that needs to be saved until adulthood but rather part of the childhood upbringing.

The fourth entry is Romans 15:4 and the notation beside it reads: Our learning.

Romans 15:4

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

The Scriptures were written not just to tell a history, but for our instruction… or for our learning.  Not just that we know what rules to follow but rather that in those pages we would find encouragement and hope.

So far, based on the progression of thought, I feel as if my Great Uncle was either taking some sort of foundations of the faith type class or doing his own logical study.  This seems like a train of thought, stringing together points that support the category.  Sort of a walk through of thought…. what is the Bible, why should we believe it, how does it apply today, what do we do with it?

We are going to wrap up this category in the next two posts.

Part 4  we are going to address the notations of “private interpretation”, “rejection”, and “proclamation”.

Part 5 we will wrap up the BIBLE category with what the Bible has to say about Jesus’ identity, being ready to give an answer about our hope, and the final entry about how God speaks to His people.

Then we will move on to our next category, TRINITY.  Which I am going to assume means that we will see how the Bible explains the different roles of within the trinity.  There are less notations next to the Scriptures listed, so I may find as I get into it other points.

The Bible, Page 1, Part 2

Previously, we explored the first notations from my GU’s (Great Uncle) little black binder of Scripture, under the Bible heading.  The first 3 entries were related to the assurance that the prophecies uttered by Prophets and the Scriptures are the direct word of God, spoken/written through man.

Today, we are looking at the next set of entries.  Both of these passages of Scripture include a side notation about “searching the Scriptures”.  It appears my GU was using KJV, NKJV.

John 5:39

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life:

and they are they which testify of me.

… and …

Acts 17:11

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they

received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched

the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

In the verse from John 5:39, the point is that people searched the Scriptures searching for eternal life, but in fact the Scriptures point to God.  Eternal life is not found on words written on a page, but instead through God.

The verse from Acts is commending the people of Berea, who unlike those in Thessalonica, were not just receiving the word from men & accepting is as truth.  Instead, the Bereans were testing it against the Scriptures for themselves.

These two Scripture references direct us toward searching the Scriptures for the Truth and the truth.  The Truth as in The Way, The Truth, and the Life… Jesus, God.  As well as the truth, as in verifying that what the teachers were speaking was in alignment with the actual Scriptures.   A logical train of thought to move from the legitimacy of the Scriptures to using the Scriptures to find truth.

Next time we will look through the entries related to knowing and understanding the Scriptures.

“The Bible” page 1


Page 1 of the categorized section of my Great Uncle’s Little Black Book of scripture begins

with the title BIBLE.  Many of these style pages bear little to no notations other than the actual scripture locations.  I am assuming the penciled in notation above the title came last, as the page filled up, and will treat it as such.  So we will begin with 2 Peter 1:21:

For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

From this point forward, I’ll refer to my Great Uncle as GU for brevity sake.

GU’s notation next to t 2 Peter 1:21 is “Moved by the Holy Spirit”.  Pretty straightforward notation.  The prophecies of the OT were moved through the Holy Spirit while spoken by the prophets.  They were not man made, or even spoken in the will of man.  Look to Jonah who ran from God versus going to Nineveh to deliver a message from the Lord.

We then move to 2 Timothy 3:16-17which reads:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Again, straightforward, that all Scripture originates in God, and it’s intended purpose.

These first two entries seem to indicate that this category title “BIBLE” is going to be about the origin and credibility of God’s Word.

The third entry is 2 Peter 1:19-21, which reads:

We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.  For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit

This is actually a more contextual entry, expanding on his first which was just verse 21.  This entry includes the preceding verses.  Although this time it was entered in pen, which would indicate that these entries were not a continuation of a single sitting and studying the topic of a Bible, but something he added to over time or as something pertinent came about.  It’s possible entry one was from one week’s message that the Pastor then expanded on the following week.

As I look through the entries, other than the fact that black ink, red ink, and pencil are used, there is no other indication that helps me understand how these entries came about.  Nothing is dated, there are no references to people, study books, or anything that could provide some clarity.  The very top of the page, above the page number is a red check mark.   This could indicate that this was part of a study & was completed.  Yet, only the first three pages have that red check mark.  Perhaps, I’m overthinking it.

The key take away from these first three entries is the certainty of prophecy and Scriptures being originated by God and give to man to share.   Next time, we will move on to the next two entries that reference “searching the scriptures”.