Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

How to Use the Recovery Version to Present the Genuine Christian Faith—Concerning the Bible and the Trinity

You know you’re a “believer.” But have you ever found it difficult to present what you  believe to someone else?  It’s not as simple as you may think.

And I’m not talking about presenting just any Bible teaching.

I’m talking about presenting those crucial truths in the Bible that form the essential content of our Christian belief. They’re what the Bible calls “the faith” (Jude 3). They’re those great truths that determine whether a person is a genuine Christian or not.

It’s definitely worthwhile to dig into the Bible, to internalize these crucial truths  and to pick up the key verses so that you can clearly present the genuine Christian faith to others.

I’ve found the Recovery Version study Bible with footnotes to be a great tool to grasp these truths in order to present them to others. (You can get your own free copy of the New Testament Recovery Version from Bibles for America.)

So in this post we’ll consider two items of the genuine Christian faith which every believer should dearly hold–the Bible as the God-breathed Word and the divine Trinity for God’s dispensing. We’ll refer to a few key verses and helpful  footnotes in the Recovery Version that clearly present these items of the genuine Christian faith.

Hopefully with some amount of personal study with prayer, we’ll be equipped to give an answer, or a defense, to everyone who asks an account concerning the hope that is in us (1 Pet. 3:15).

First, the Bible is the divinely inspired, God-breathed Word—2 Pet. 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16.

The base for the genuine Christian faith is the revelation contained in the 66 books of the Holy Bible. These books have been put to the test over thousands of years and have been proven to bear the mark of divine inspiration.

2 Peter 1:20-21 says,

 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of one’s own interpretation; for no prophecy was ever borne by the will of man, but men spoke from God while being borne by the Holy Spirit…”

The Recovery Version notes on verse 21 say,

“For introduces an explanation of the preceding verse. No prophecy of Scripture is of the prophet’s or writer’s exposition, for no prophecy was ever borne, or carried along, by the will of man. Rather, men spoke from God while being borne by the Holy Spirit.” (note 1)

“… No prophecy was ever borne by the will of man. Man’s will, desire, and wish, with his thought and exposition, were not the source from which any prophecy came; the source was God, by whose Holy Spirit men were borne, as a ship is borne by the wind, to speak out the will, desire, and wish of God.” (note 2)

Moreover, the Scriptures are God-breathed, conveying God’s breath, His essence, as the Spirit to the readers for their profit (2 Tim. 3:16; John 6:63).

Some other helpful verses to consider on the Bible being the God’s Word are: Heb. 1:1-2, with the notes; 1 Thes. 2:13, note 2; and Rev. 22:6, note 3.

Second, the one God is Triune—Father, Son and Holy Spiritto dispense Himself into us—Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14.

How can God be one, yet three? This is impossible for our human mind to fathom, yet it is an eternal, divine fact. From eternity to eternity, the one unique God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Isa. 9:6; Heb. 7:3; 9:14). All three are eternal; all three co-exist; all three co-inhere (exist within each other). They are eternally distinct, but not separate.

It is clear from the Scriptures that in His essence God is one (Isa. 45:18b; 1 Cor. 8:6a).

Concerning the coexistence of the divine Trinity, I like Matt. 3:16-17 which says,

“And having been baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water …and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon Him. And behold, a voice out of heaven saying, This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have found my delight.”

Note 1 on verse 17 says,

“The Spirit’s descending was the anointing of Christ, whereas the Father’s speaking was a testimony to Him as the beloved Son. This is a picture of the Divine Trinity: the Son rose up from the water, the Spirit descended upon the Son, and the Father spoke concerning the Son. This proves that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit exist simultaneously. This is for the accomplishing of God’s economy.”

God’s economy is simply His plan to dispense Himself into humanity. In order to carry out such an economy, or plan, God had to pass through some steps. (This is covered in more detail in my post reviewing the book The Economy of God).

Note 1 on John 14:7, showing the economy of the Trinity, says,

“This chapter [John 14] unveils the way God dispenses Himself into man.  In the dispensing of Himself into us, God is triune. He is one, yet He is three—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The Son is the embodiment and expression of the Father (vv. 7-11), and the Spirit is the reality and realization of the Son (vv. 17-20)…The Father in the Son is expressed among the believers, and the Son as the Spirit is realized in the believers…Hence, this Triune God—the Father in the Son and the Son as the Spirit—dispenses Himself into us to be our portion that we may enjoy Him as our everything in His divine trinity.”

We can show people that in His essence or existence, God is eternally one.  Yet at the same time He is three, the Triune God, the divine Trinity. We may also show people that without any contradiction of His eternal being, in His economy, the Father is embodied in the Son (John 14:11) and the Son is realized as the Spirit (2 Cor 3:17)—the Spirit of reality in you (John 14:17) is the “I [Christ] in you” (14:20). This is so God can dispense Himself into us, to indwell us. Praise the Lord that in such a way Christ can now be in us as our hope of glory (Col. 1:27)!

For a further study of the divine Trinity, I’d also highly recommend taking the time to study 2 Cor. 13:14, note 1.

“Lord thank you for opening your Word so we can see that You are the source of the Scriptures and that the Scriptures  are Your breath. Lord remind us to contact You in the Word to receive Your living essence. And Lord, we also praise you that You’re eternally triune—the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yet, all You are was embodied in Jesus Christ. Praise you, that through death and resurrection, You were transfigured into the Spirit so that You can now dispense Yourself into us. Lord, daily dispense Yourself into us  by Your Word and Your Spirit. Lord, we can’t fully understand You but thank you that we can daily enjoy Your moment-by-moment dispensing and indwelling. Lord Jesus, we love You.”

If you’ve enjoyed using the Recovery Version with the footnotes to present your faith to someone, we’d love to learn from your experience. Take a few moments to share in the  comments following this post.

Other helpful resources:
Songs on the Triune God:  The Triune God a Mystery and What Mystery the Father, Son and Spirit (click “View Lyrics”)
Further Reading on the Triune God: A Brief Presentation of the Lord’s Recovery, pp. 9-12 or read it online.
 

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

6 Replies

  1. It is timely that you present another article which could help me and my gospel friend know the basic truths in the Bible concerning the genuine Christian faith and the Trinity. My friend has been enticed with false teaching of a cult group called WMSCOG claiming that there is a “God the Mother”. God is not mocked. He will make a show of them openly. I pray that God will display His multifarious wisdom of the riches of Christ to all the rulers and authorities in the heavenlies through the church.

    1. Tom Smith

      Paul told Timothy (who represents us), in 1 Tim 4:6 that if he would “lay these things”–the things spoken by Paul, the apostles’ teaching, before others, he would be a “good minister of Christ Jesus.” To be such a “good minister,” we first need to be those who are being nourished with the “words of the faith.” When we receive such “words of the faith” not only as sound doctrines, but as “healthy words” (6:3), words of life that nourish and constitute us, we’ll be able to minister Christ through these words to those like your friend. Only the riches of Christ ministered by us into others can save them from such false and heretical teachings. This was Paul’s practice and it must be ours also.

  2. Teri O

    What a help and encouragement this post is to those of us who have difficulty presenting what we believe to others. Oh Lord, may we dig into the Bible to clearly present the genuine Christian faith to others in our daily living.

    1. Tom Smith

      To present what we believe to others doesn’t require us to be gifted teachers. We need to eat these “healthy words” of the faith ourselves, and equip ourselves with some of the key verses and footnotes to read with people. It is good to pick up 3 or 4 such verses on an item of the faith to share with others. We can do this in short, repeated times of informal fellowship, all the time keeping in view that our goal is simply to feed them with Christ through the Word. (My reply to the previous comment, continues this same thought.) Thanks for the encouraging reply.

  3. Tom, I second your comment to equip ourselves with a few key verses on the crucial truths. If we know where to turn in the Bible, we can read the verses with people even if we haven’t memorized the verses. And, if we have a Recovery Version NT with footnotes, we can read with a friend one of the footnotes you referenced. In this way we present the faith without being a “gifted teacher.”

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