Is there an 'age of accountability'?

There is one theme which permeates the pages of Scripture from beginning to end. This theme is that of salvation. From the opening chapters of Genesis, the stage is set. God created everything, including man. Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden and God Almighty was in relationship with them. Something happened though, all of that changed. There was one rule given to Adam and Eve—do not eat fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When this one rule was broken, so was the relationship between God and humanity. There was a punishment which had to be satisfied; for the rule also contained a consequence if broken. With the disobedience of Adam and Eve, sin entered the world and marred the relationship of the creation with the Creator.

Salvation is the plan of action God implemented in order to restore that relationship. Jesus Christ, God himself, put on the flesh of humanity and died upon the cross. His death paid the price for our sins and paved the way for the gift of salvation. The Scriptures make all of this plain. There is no person not stained from sin: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This creates a very real problem for us. Without forgiveness for our sins we are doomed to eternity in hell; we are unable to enter the presence of our Holy God in our present sinful state (1 Corinthians 6:9). The Bible further makes plain the way we receive this forgiveness is “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Therefore, salvation is a willful participation of one’s self with the death of Christ on the cross. In doing so, we are counted as righteous before God because Christ accomplished what we are unable to do.

Anyone reading the whole of Scripture cannot, in good conscience, come away with any other understanding of salvation. It is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8) found only in Jesus Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:12) that grants salvation to any person that would accept him as Lord and Savior (Acts 2:38, Romans 10:13).

Even though this is clear, there is a point where this causes us trepidation. It causes us to question if this is how salvation always works. Tragedy is often the source of much questioning concerning God and the Bible. So it should be no surprise that tragedy is what brings about this question. The death of a child is a tragedy, which to the grieving parents, cannot be eclipsed by many others. During this time of loss, our hearts and minds often turn to the fate of that child—to his/her eternal destiny.

While this seems at first glance a simple question to answer, it is somewhat difficult. One reason for this is that Scripture does not explicitly address the eternal destiny of the unborn, infants, and young children. Another reason is that Scripture is clear the unborn, infants, and young children are not innocent either. For example, Psalm 51:5 explains that we are sinful from conception, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Psalm 58:3 also articulates this, “Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies.” Romans 3:23, quoted above, as well as many other Scriptures substantiate the clear teaching that humanity is in a state of sin from conception and as such, doomed to eternal punishment in hell unless one accepts Christ. I’m sure you are beginning to see the problem at this point. How can the unborn, infants, and young children accept Christ?—they cannot talk nor can they understand their need for salvation. This is where the point of contention lies.

The answer to this question and the teaching which surrounds it is often referred to as “the age of accountability.” This phrase refers to the belief that God does not hold us morally accountable for our sins until we reach a specific age. This is not uncommon though. For Jews, this is associated with Bar mitzvah. This is when Jewish children are held accountable to Torah. When Amish children reach sixteen they enter into “Rumspringa;” a time when they are allowed to decide if they are going to remain in the Amish church or leave for the world outside their community. Once the decision is made though, the children are held accountable.

The question remains though, does God grant a continuance per se? One method of answering this is to simply assert that they are in heaven. This answer, however, is simply a sentimental attempt at resolving the problem at hand. It is born out of what we want concerning these little ones; we want them to be in heaven. It completely ignores Scripture and lacks even an attempt at seeking an answer there. A second manner of answering this is that they are doomed to eternal punishment in hell. This answer is unsettling; although it attempts at drawing in the biblical understanding of our sinful state. A third vein claims that only those children who have been baptized will enter into heaven, but this answer places too much importance of the act of baptism. So what is the answer to this question?

Considering the understanding of how salvation normally works, it is important to first look at how it might be possible for the unborn, infants, and young children to be forgiven of their sins without cognitively accepting Christ. The atonement is of premier importance. Christ’s death on the cross was the atoning sacrifice sufficient for the forgiveness of sins for all of humanity. First John 2:2 describes this succinctly, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (cf. 1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:15; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Heb 9:26; John 1:29, 12:32-33). In other words, Christ paid the price for all sins to be forgiven; however, that forgiveness is applied to us individually as we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior recognizing that we are unable to atone for our sins as he has.

While many believe the Scriptures do not have much to say on this topic, there is much to glean from the pages of the Bible. The starting point is Jeremiah 31:29-30, “In those days people will no longer say, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ Instead, everyone will die for his own sin; whoever eats sour grapes—his own teeth will be set on edge.” The prophet Jeremiah was writing about the new covenant. This is different from the old covenant God made with the Jews. In that covenant, the Law was the mediating factor in the relationship between God and his people. The new covenant is different because it was to be a law written on the hearts and minds of the people rather than stone tablets and parchment. It was to be a relationship. That our hearts desire is to please the God whom we love, not to follow a set of rules. We enjoy the new covenant and under this new covenant every individual is responsible for their actions before the Lord—whether that be for good or for bad. A lengthy passage in Ezekiel expounds upon this understanding, but ends with a clear point that is salient to the discussion at hand. “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?” declares the Sovereign LORD. “Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23). God does not derive any pleasure from sending the wicked to hell; instead, he finds pleasure in people repenting and placing their trust in Jesus. The problem still remains though as this passage bolsters the position that there must be an acceptance of salvation, a willful repenting from one’s sins.

The Old Testament book of 2 Samuel contains much of David’s life as the king of Israel. It also contains one of David’s biggest failures as king. He commits adultery with Bathsheba and has her husband murdered to cover up the resulting pregnancy. Part of David’s punishment is the death of that child conceived by the adulterous relationship. When the child becomes ill and during the entire time of the child’s illness, David fasts, weeps, and prays for the child. However, when the child dies, he gets up and goes on with life. This bewilders his attendants and advisers. David explained his actions by stating,
“While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:22-23, emphasis added).
David clearly believed that he would be reunited with his child in the presence of the Lord. He doesn’t go into detail about why he believes this, there is just a simple trust in the Lord at this point.

Jesus, however, is not so silent on the matter. The parable contained in Matthew 18:10-14 is very illuminating:
“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost”
Immediately preceding this parable, Jesus has a young child come and stand among he and the disciples (as a visual aid if you will). In his words to the disciples he makes it clear that God does is not willing that any of these should be lost. A similar passage, Mark 10:13-16, explains that the disciples were actually attempting to prevent children from “bothering” Jesus. This upsets Jesus and prompts him to chastise the disciples with his statement in verses 14-15, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” So we have two statements by Jesus Christ. The first is that God is not willing for any child to be lost. The second is that the kingdom of God belongs to children. Combining these two statements by Jesus with David’s statement, it becomes clear that God makes a way for the unborn, infants, and young children to enter heaven.

This is clearly an act of God’s grace (Romans 5:15, Ephesians 2:1-10), because the child has not done anything to deserve it. What then does this mean in terms of judgment? That is an important question because Scripture is clear that mankind will face the judgment of God. It means that there has to come a point in one’s life where God does hold us accountable for our sin. Otherwise, we quickly fall into the heresy that everyone will eventually make it into heaven. This is a teaching that is refuted by an overwhelming tide of Scripture which explains there is an eternal punishment for the wicked and eternal life for the righteous.

Where does this point exists? At what age do we become accountable? The Bible does not establish a specific age. Rather, one’s ability to understand the basic problem of sin and the need for salvation determines accountability before God (Romans 1:19-20; Acts 28:23-31). Therefore, a specific age cannot be established. This is especially true considering that every person mentally matures at a different rate. Likewise, I think this gift of God’s grace also extends to the mentally handicapped (at least those unable to reach this stage of understanding). Since there is no specific age established in Scripture nor is there any passage which expounds upon this matter in depth, we must be careful not to make this a dogmatic doctrine upon which we judge one’s position to be heretical or orthodox. Rather, we must simply trust God. For as Abraham exclaimed, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25). Consider Psalm 116:5 as well, “The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.” The evidence from Scripture indicates that God extends his grace and mercy to the unborn, the infant, the young child, and the mentally handicap in order to bring them into eternal life—and we must trust God as the righteous judge, the Creator of the universe.
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Placing the Bible on Indefinite Furlough

There was an article yesterday by Michael Coogan on CNN’s belief blog. The title of the article was “Bible has some shocking ‘family values’”. I was rather intrigued by this title and immediately recognized that it was meant to grab one’s attention and suggested that something about the Bible’s “true” family values would be revealed in the article that you wouldn’t hear any Christian professing as biblical family values. This simply wasn’t the case in the article. Yet, it was still a scintillating piece which I would like to address because the author got a few things out-and-out incorrect concerning the Bible and the principles contained therein.

He starts out with the statement: “When talking about so-called family values, pastors, popes, and politicians routinely quote the Bible as if it were an unassailable divine authority—after all, they assume, God wrote the Bible, and therefore it is absolutely and literally true.” There are a number of disturbing remarks contained in this sentence. First, he hints that family values are something that people don’t understand or which don’t truly exist by referring to them as “so-called.” The second major problem is his straw man tactic. He paints everyone that would call his/herself a Christian with one broad stroke. It is true that there are some Christians who would fall into the belief that the Bible is absolutely and literally true, but this does not characterize all or even most.

Let me explain. Most Christians are not complete bumbling idiots as he ever so slightly indicates by writing, “But that [God writing the Bible] is a misconception. As the Bible itself makes clear, its authors were human beings”. We know that the Bible was written by human beings. The doctrine concerning biblical inspiration does not revolve around God himself penning the Bible. We understand that it was penned at the hands of men. When most Christians speak of inspiration it is in terms of God inspiring those human authors. This, we believe, was accomplished by God in a fashion that was not God dictating what to write, nor was it God possessing the authors so as to remove their individuality and humanity from the process, nor was it free reign to write their own thoughts or opinions. Rather, it was a process where God used human authors to convey his message. This is expressed in 2 Peter 1:20-21, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” So Mr. Coogan is completely off base in his statement that the biblical authors’ “writings reflect their own views and the values they shared with their contemporaries.” In fact, the authors’ own views regularly stood in stark contrast to their contemporaries.

The article continued down this road of biblical unfamiliarity by stating that Jews and Christians have traditionally agreed on the Bible’s authority in principle but not in practice. Citing as an example of this agreeing in principle but not practice, Mr. Coogan references slavery stating it is “a divinely sanctioned institution.” I’m not sure how he came to this conclusion. Perhaps it is because of the regulations the Bible places on slavery. Surely he does not take the Bible’s directives on how people should address slavery as its creation and/or stamp of approval upon it. Perhaps he misunderstands slavery allowing our American conception of it to skew his opinion. The most common form of slavery in ages past was indentured servitude. This occurred when someone sold themselves into slavery as a way to pay for a debt they otherwise had no other means of repaying. The other way slaves came about was through the conquering of another nation. These forms of slavery were around long before the Jews became a people or the biblical directives were given. The Jews understood slavery all too well being slaves in Egypt before becoming a sovereign nation. In fact, God reminds them of this fact as a means to understand the regulations placed upon them concerning slavery (Deut 24:22).

Furthermore, he suggests that the Bible addresses women as men’s property and upholding the practice of polygamy. Neither of these are accurate. The Bible does contain clear gender roles, but in no way does it place women in the position of property. Neither does the Bible condone polygamy. One could say that it condemns it (Deut 17:17). Even though this directive is aimed at the king, he was to be an example for the nation.

In short, he is advocating a discarding of the Bible’s “shocking” family values by recognizing “that the values of the biblical writers are no longer necessarily our own.” Instead, Mr. Coogan advocates that we “attempt to determine what its [the Bible] underlying values are.” What does he consider these to be? He pronounces that the Bible’s underlying message is: “Equal, even loving, treatment of all persons, regardless of their age, gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.”

That sounds really good though. I don’t think any Christian would disagree with that statement on the surface; however, it is couched in an article that is clearly dismissive of the Bible and aimed at bringing Christians into compromising on their convictions. Not too mention this is not in hopes of bringing the two opposing views some honest common ground, but to get Christians to completely abandon their views to embrace those opposite their own using thoroughly deceptive, misinformed points and straw man tactics.
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Cultural Clashes: Abortion

When one begins to survey those topics which polarize the public forum, there are few that have remained as charged as abortion. Likewise, I don’t think there is such a widely debated issue that is not fully understood by those on either side of the fence. Because neither side understands all of the intricacies involved, it quickly becomes oversimplified and the impact it has upon all those involved is understated. This, in my opinion, is where the greatest injustice has been done in regard to abortion. Abortion is a very complex topic. It involves mothers, fathers, children, uncles, aunts, grandparents, etc. Furthermore, it involves many complexities. Some of these are because options such as adoption are available. It also concerns the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the mother and father and those deeply connected and involved with the mother and father.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to address every subtlety due to the vast nature of this issue. Neither is it my goal in this post to argue for a specific position as being more right/wrong. I simply want to bring some awareness to the profound nature of this subject and spark some discussion that will lead to both sides better understanding one another. This is in the hope that we might be able to reach some common ground and quit treating those personally facing this in their life as though they are objective subject matter available to use as ammunition in the continued war which we have created.

How do pro-lifers oversimplify and understate?
This side of the fence is often characterized as the religious, right-wingers who protest and picket in front of abortion clinics. It is certainly true that a great many of those who hold to this position do so for religious reasons. Because this is the foundation for their view, they often make the mistake of painting this as simply a matter of “the sanctity of life.” The war cry was quickly stereo-typed as “abortion is murder.” When pressed about possible instances where abortion would be acceptable, the standard canned response seems to be, “There is never a time where it is ok to take a life—period.” This is a huge oversimplification when considering possible reasons for abortion.

When a woman is raped and then is impregnated by her attacker, it takes a callow individual to tell her she has no option but to carry the child to term and love the child with everything she has. A woman in this instance has gone through something which is emotionally traumatic on a level that those who have not experienced cannot fathom. Hear me out, I am not saying that this is a green-light instance for a woman to get an abortion, but I think those in the pro-life camp are displaying a callous heart when we don’t even consider the woman’s emotional state in a situation like this. Would it not be better to help her deal with the emotional trauma from which she is suffering? Doing so would bring more positive results (adoption?) as well as help her heal. All too often, what seems to be the prevailing story in this situation is those in the pro-life position simply state that she would be murdering this child and sinning if she has an abortion. Now some of you in the pro-life position are getting angry with me as you read this, but stop and take a breath for a moment. I write this because I used to be one of those who would have told her those very things. I would’ve heralded “abortion is not an option under any circumstance.”

I have since softened my approach. I still do not agree that abortion is okay, but I have been able to gain some understanding into the pro-choice position. For example, there are very rare instances where carrying a child to term would place the mothers life at risk. One of those instances is a condition known as a tubal or ectopic pregnancy.” This is where the fertilized egg becomes lodged in the fallopian tube. If left untreated, the embryo will continue to grow and eventually rupture the tube. When this occurs the woman is in serious danger of dying from the hemorrhage. Another condition which would place both the mother and the child at risk is preeclampsia. When a couple is faced with this, it is a hellacious decision. One that I know (as a parent) is not easily made. Why do I say this? Because it is a decision that results in the ending of a life. Either they decide to follow thru on the oversimplified pro-life position and not have an abortion and the mother dies (and possibly the child as well) or they end the child’s life saving the mother’s life. It is a no win situation for those parents and the public sector seems to forget this fact.

However, I also realize that not every person who could be categorized as pro-life hold to the extreme which has been painted. It still remains, however, that the vast majority of the pro-life camp does not give any consideration beyond that of preserving the life of the unborn. We must begin to move beyond seeing that as the only thing at stake here—it is much deeper than just the unborn child; it involves real people, facing real decisions, which affect more than just the unborn.

How do pro-choicers oversimplify and understate?
The biggest way in which those advocating this position have oversimplified the issue is by deeming it simply as a “woman’s choice.” This statement is naïve at best because it is not just the woman involved. There is, at least in the beginning, a man involved as well. It is ridiculous to me that when a child is born the father has rights to the child and the major decision which affect that child’s life, but when the child is in the womb a woman can abort the child even if the father wanted to keep the child. An even greater hypocrisy lies beneath the surface of the “woman’s choice” statement—partly because what is hailed as giving much support to the woman’s choice position is contained in two concurrent decrees from the Supreme Court. In the first of two decisions, Roe v. Wade determined that the fetus is not person and, therefore, not entitled to constitutional rights. This decision also determined that States cannot regulate an abortion during the first trimester for any reason, but could regulate the second trimester to protect the health of the mother and during the third trimester states could regulate/prohibit abortions to promote its interest in the potential life of the fetus (save threatening the health or life of the mother). The second decision by the Supreme Court in Doe v. Bolton outlined what constituted the “mother’s health”. It defined health as "all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age – relevant to the well-being of the patient." This expanded the “right to abortion” for almost any reason.

Consider this. A pregnant mother in her third trimester, one week away from her due date can go and receive an abortion because the fetus is not considered a person as defined in the above Supreme Court decision. However, if she were to wait one week and give birth to the child, she could no longer terminate that life because it is now considered a person. Does one week make that drastic of a difference in the development of the fetus? Of course not, that child could be born a week early and be completely healthy and survive outside of the mother. Here is the oversimplification. It is difficult by any means to try and define the point at which the developing embryo should be considered a person. My opinion is that the Supreme Court did not wish to delve deeply into the matter as they are supposed to interpret the law and not get into ethical considerations; so they simply took the plainest definition of personhood available to them—at birth. That, after all, is when we receive a certificate of live birth and are eligible for rights as citizens.

Even though we have made great advancements in the medical field, we are still learning a lot about the entire process of pregnancy. This is a difficult point, but one which is of extreme importance. We must begin open, honest discussions about when personhood begins. Why is that so important you might ask? Because history bears out that in order to oppress a group or mistreat them in any way, you must first deny them personhood. The slaves in America were not considered to be persons, but property. Native Americans were not considered persons, but savages. The Jews during World War II were denied personhood, leading to their horrific mistreatment. So the matter of personhood concerning the unborn is one to which we must give complete diligence because the unborn cannot plead their case. Before we can begin to move this discussion forward, however, we must remove all of the appeals to emotion, the politically charged language, and our own personal biases from the arena and begin to look at the issue honestly. Only then will we as a society be giving a fair handshake to the unborn. Always remember, you were a fetus at one time as well. Would you have wanted someone to plead your case openly, honestly, and fairly?

Likewise, those in this camp have understated the serious nature of the abortion procedure chalking it up to a routine medical procedure. As anyone who has undergone surgery knows, any invasive medical procedure brings risks with it regardless of how small the procedure. Abortion is no different. In fact, abortion is very invasive and traumatic on a woman’s reproductive organs. If you do not know what is involved in the abortion process during the three different trimesters, please take a look at this video. The video is produced by an OB/GYN to tactfully demonstrate what is truly involved in an abortion. This is also why the Supreme Court made the following statement:
“The State has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical procedure, is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient. This interest obviously extends at least to the performing physician and his staff, to the facilities involved, to the availability of after-care, and to adequate provision for any complication or emergency that might arise. The prevalence of high mortality rates at illegal "abortion mills" strengthens, rather than weakens, the State's interest in regulating the conditions under which abortions are performed.”

Both sides of the camp are guilty of making grievous errors when addressing abortion. I’m not claiming that I have the answer, but I am willing to talk about the issue with an open mind and to think through the issues surrounding it logically and reasonably. That is my hope for you after reading this—that you would be willing to modify your opinion as you learn more about abortion from engaging others in productive discussions.
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1+1+1=1 The Trinity, Part 2

In my previous post I outlined the trinity in as basic and succinct fashion as possible. At the end of that post, however, I explained that I would tackle the big question—why is the trinity such a big deal? When one looks at the history of the Christian church, this is one of the subjects which have caused considerable debate and division among the ranks of Christendom. So why is everyone so vehement about their position concerning the trinity? It is important for a couple of reasons.

It is how God revealed himself
This may seem to be an understatement at first glance. This couldn’t be further from the truth though. It strikes at the very core of who God is—his very being. God is the creator of all things and made us with a purpose. He made us to be in relationship to him. So understanding God is not unimportant. When getting to know another person, it would be rather offensive to them for us to say, “Oh, I don’t need to know whether you are white, blue-eyed, or male.” These are all facts of who that person is—their very being. God has revealed his very nature to humanity and the picture with which one draws is important to how they will interact with him.

It serves as an example to us
There is a perfect love that exists between the members of the trinity, which is the example of how our relationships should be characterized between one another. Jesus speaks to this very point in John 15:9—“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” Several other Scriptures address this as well. 1 John 4:21 reads, “And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” Similarly, John 17:22-23explains that we are to be exhibiting the unity and love that exists among the Father, the Son, and (implicit in the passage) the Spirit—“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

What if any of these points are neglected or denied?
While some would attempt to state their agreement with one or two points, one cannot be a quasi-trinitarian. It is a doctrine where one must agree with all three points or else they come away with a greatly distorted image. For example, if someone denies the first point (there is one God), then they become polytheistic, pluralistic, or the like. It would be denying one of the foundational tenants of Christianity. It would be leaving the realm of monotheism and entering another.

The second point also must be maintained. When this is denied, it puts got in an awkward position as it then forces him to take on different “roles.” There are clearly three main characters when speaking to God in the Scriptures. When one denies that God is three persons, it follows that there is one person fulfilling three different roles. Does this mean that God left the throne room unattended while in the physical person of Jesus Christ? Was he performing one big magic trick at the baptism of Christ in order to make us think there is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit? Lastly, what would God truly gain in having three different roles to fulfill? It seems that this only serves to complicate things. Would it not be easier for God to simply be God? Trying to balance three different “hats” unquestionably muddles up the picture God is trying to paint of himself to humanity. I imagine it would be like trying to have a relationship with someone who has a multiple personality disorder; you would constantly have to ask yourself with which personality you are currently relating before being able to proceed forward.

When denying the third point, it leads to having a hierarchy and essentially denies deity to one or members of the trinity. What do I mean by that? Viewing the members of the trinity as not being equal in deity inevitably leads to one member of the trinity being exalted over another. This is actually all too common among Christians. While they do not overtly or explicitly promote this position, they inadvertently advocate it by their actions. For example, the salvific work of Christ on the cross is certainly an important part of our daily life as Christians. However, this usually leads us to making all of our prayers about him, to him, and through him even though Romans 8:26 makes it clear that it is the Holy Spirit who intercedes for us and makes our prayers effective (especially when we are spiritually week). Likewise, there are groups who focus on being “led by the Spirit” and end up neglecting the very work which the Holy Spirit helped produce to guide men—it’s called the Bible.

All three points regarding the doctrine of the trinity are essential to the complete understanding of God and how we relate to him in our faith, both daily and for eternity. While I hope that I have been able to bring some clarity about this doctrine, I also want to remind you that it is a subject which is beyond our complete comprehension. So even after reading this post and even if you began an exhaustive theological study concerning this doctrine, you will always find yourself coming away confused and not concrete in your understanding.
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