Welcome to another episode in our series on God as a character in the Bible! Today, Tim and Jon dive into Paul’s understanding of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The passages that Tim shares are commonly referred to as the “Trinitarian texts” of Paul. These passages were fundamental to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.
In part 1(0-11:00), Tim uses an example out of Galatians 4.
“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Torah, so that He might redeem those who were under the Torah, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
Here, Paul invites people to see that the same Father-Son love that was communicated by the Spirit at Jesus’ baptism is inviting us into the community of divine love as well. Tim says you quickly reach the point in Paul’s letters where all the terms are interchangeable. Jesus’ Father becomes “Our Father”.
In part 2(11:00-21:50), Tim shares another example, this time out of
Jesus, the Spirit, and God’s Life [Romans 8:9-11]
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. [Romans 8:14-15] For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
Tim points out that this statement is very similar to the Shema. Paul has taken the God/Spirit unity and put Christ in the middle of it. Paul and the early Christians believed that Jesus was divine from the very beginning. Christ’s divinity, identity as God, and the doctrine of the Trinity, are beliefs that the earliest Christians shared, it was not an idea later imposed on Christianity.
In Part 3 (21:50-end),
Tim outlines part of his own personal journey of faith. He shares that when Paul says we are known by God more than we actually know God. Fundamentally, Christianity is experiencing God, living in a relationship with God. It is secondarily about arranging facts and knowledge. To us the metaphor of a parent and child, a child never truly knows a parent. But a parent knows a child.