The Trinitarian Framework
As a young Christian, I always believed in the Trinity, but I confess I found the Bible’s teaching on it confusing. That all changed when I had an “Aha!” moment. This happened when one of my professors pointed out to me the “trinitarian framework” that pervades the NT. A wonderful example of the trinitarian framework comes from the passage we will study this morning: Acts 1:6–11.
Look specifically at vv. 7–8. Jesus says this to his disciples,
“He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Do you see the “trinitarian framework?” If you didn’t, let me explain. In this passage, Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, speaks. He says that the disciples will witness to others about Jesus. The gospel is about Jesus. It focuses on His person and work. The timing of Jesus’ second coming has been fixed by the Father’s own authority. So, the Father, the first person of the Trinity, has established when the second person of the Trinity will return. Now, how will the apostles fulfill the Father’s plan for the whole world to hear about Jesus? This is where the Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, comes into play. The Father’s plan for the gospel of Christ to be spread by the apostles will be accomplished by means of the Spirit’s power. Each person of the Trinity has a role to play in Acts 1:7–8.
The trinitarian framework is everywhere in the NT. Take a look at these passage and see how prevalent the Trinity is: Matt 3:16–17, 12:28, 28:19; Luke 1:35, 3:22; John 14:26; Acts 1:4, 2:33, 10:38; Rom 1:4, 14:17–18; 1 Cor 6:11,12:4–6; 2 Cor 1:21–22, 13:14; Gal 4:6; Eph 1:17, 2:18, 2:22, 4:4–6; Titus 3:6; Heb 9:14; 1 Pet 1:2; and Rev 1:4–5.