Every believer has been given to Jesus Christ by God the Father. In the Church Age, believers become part the “body” of Christ (the universal church) and will be the “Bride of Christ” in the future. It is this act that secures forever the believer’s eternal life and assures us that we can never lose our salvation. Believers are said to be the sheep and Christ is the shepherd. In other words, God the Father has given the Son a “flock.” (John 10:1-39)
As Christ’s “flock,” it is important to remember that all three members of the Godhead are intimately involved in our daily lives. Our understanding of the Trinity (or Godhead) affects our understanding of Christology, the doctrine of the Person and work of Christ. It also affects our understanding of Pneumatology, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, our power source. Understanding the Godhead and the role of each member is essential to a believer’s ability to live the Christian Way of Life. (Psalms 110:1; John 10:30)
The Trinity does not mean that there are “three gods in one.” The Trinity does mean that there is “one God existing as three persons.” Each Person of the Trinity is co-equal, co-eternal and co-infinite and possesses the same nature. Each Person of the Trinity is a separate Person Who possesses the same attributes individually. Each Person of the Trinity has a distinct purpose that is related to God’s eternal plan. For example, the Father is the planner and source of all things, the Son is the executor of the Father’s plan and the Holy Spirit is the revealer of the plan and the power to execute it. (Matthew 28:19)
The word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible; it is a technical, theological word to describe the Godhead. It is a concept is established in both the Old and New Testaments. Even the Hebrew word for God (Elohim) in Genesis 1:1 is a plural noun used with a singular verb asserting that all Persons of the Trinity took part in Creation. In Genesis 1:26-27 we see the phrase, “Let us make man in our image…” indicating the Trinity. (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2)
All three members of the Godhead possess identical attributes. These attributes are Sovereignty, Righteousness, Justice, Love, Eternal Life, Veracity, Immutability, Omnipresence, Omnipotence and Omniscience.
When a believer begins to understand Who God is by learning about His attributes and perfect character, he can begin to build a stable foundation of inner happiness and peace. This foundation, based on God’s character, will sustain the believer in adversity and in prosperity. Relying upon God’s character results in good decisions and actions regardless of life’s circumstances.
It must be remembered that God’s attributes work in harmony. For example, righteousness and justice work in harmony with love in answer to “How can a loving God send someone to hell?” God’s righteousness and justice demand a penalty for man’s sin and God’s love provides the payment – Jesus Christ. Once the salvation solution is accepted, God’s other attributes become operational in the life of the believer. (John 3:18)
Every believer is in union with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. As believers, we are members of the “universal church.” When we refer to the Church, we are often referring to all believers in this age, not simply the local church. Therefore, as believers we are all members of Christ’s “flock.”
God gave us to His Son as a gift and His Son gives us eternal life and all the necessities for this life. He also sent the Holy Spirit as our mentor, our guide and our source of power as we function in the devil’s world. When we follow our Shepherd and function together as a body, God can be glorified in the life of believers in the local church.
We are permanently related to Jesus Christ at salvation, which is illustrated in the Bible, by the use of analogies.
The analogy of “the Head and the Body” is a reference to Christ being the head of the Church, which is called “the Body of Christ.” The Church is made up of all believers of the Church Age from the Day of Pentecost to the Rapture. This, of course, is a reference to Positional Sanctification when the believer is placed into union with Christ at salvation. Therefore, all Church Age believers are members of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12-16; 5:23-30)
Jesus Christ is our Shepherd because He gave His life for “the sheep” (Positional Sanctification). (John 10:9-11) Jesus Christ is called the Great Shepherd, the Good Shepherd and the Chief Shepherd. (Hebrews 13:20-21; I Peter 5:4) Christ is our Shepherd and we are His sheep. As sheep we have certain needs that must be provided for us by the Shepherd. For example, sheep cannot guide themselves (John. 16:13), sheep cannot clean themselves (I John. 1:9), sheep are helpless when injured (Psalms 9:9; 46:1), sheep are defenseless (John. 14:27), sheep cannot find food or water (John 14:26), sheep are easily frightened (John 14:16), and sheep produce wool that belongs to the shepherd. (John 15:4-5) Our Shepherd provides guidance, cleansing, help, protection, spiritual food and drink, freedom from fear, and all that we have belongs to Him.
In this analogy Christ is the vine and believers are the branches. The branch takes its life from the vine. The branch must periodically be “pruned” so that it will continue to produce a maximum amount of fruit. In the same manner, when we as believers abide in Christ (continue in fellowship) and He is abiding in us (God’s Word, the mind of Christ) we are able to produce maximum divine good. Just as a branch will wither and die when separated from the vine, the believer will experience temporal death (temporary loss of his spiritual life in time) by staying out of fellowship with God for a prolonged period of time. Failure to abide in Christ and to allow His Word to abide in you results in the failure to execute the Christian Way of Life. Abiding in Christ means that you understand the system God has provided for you for the recovery from your personal sin. (I John 1:9) It also means that you use this system to spend a maximum amount of time in fellowship with God, being guided and taught by the Holy Spirit. Abiding in Christ also means that His Word is circulating in your soul, which is the means by which the Holy Spirit guides and teaches you. (John 15:1-14)
A cornerstone in biblical times was much more than a mere symbolic stone placed in the corner of a building with the names of builders, architects, founding members, etc. In biblical times a cornerstone was a load-bearing stone that connected and held together two walls of a structure. It is with this in mind that Peter and Paul used the cornerstone as a type of Christ and smaller stones to represent believers. Both are necessary to the overall building, but it is the Chief Cornerstone (Jesus Christ) that we rely upon to “bear the load” and to “connect us” together with God and other believers.
Paul, for example used the analogy to show that believing Jews and Gentiles are united in the body of Christ. (Ephesians 2:20) Peter used the analogy to refer to the Royal Priesthood of the believer (living stones) and the spiritual house that they are building. (I Peter 2:1-8)
Jesus Christ is our Royal High Priest. (Hebrews 5:6,10) In order to become our High Priest, Christ had to become a human being. Jesus Christ represented us before God first on the “altar of the Cross,” and now represents us in Heaven before the throne of God. By becoming our High Priest, Jesus Christ became our mediator with God. (I Timothy 2:5-6) As believers in this age, we belong to His priesthood (the Royal Priesthood). This priesthood is far superior to any that existed in the past. (Hebrews 7) As our High Priest, Christ won the strategic victory over Satan in the Angelic Conflict. (Hebrews 4:14-16; 6:17-20)
During the Church Age, God is forming a bride for the Bridegroom (Jesus Christ). It is the body of Christ (the Church) that will become the “Bride of Christ” in the eternal state. This analogy refers to the fact that we are uniquely united to Christ at salvation. We are placed into union with Him in the same manner as a bride and a bridegroom “become one” in marriage. (I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 21:9) As the Bride of Christ, we will participate in the marriage feast, which will be a time of joy and celebration. As the Bride of Christ, Church Age believers will be “dressed in fine white linen,” which is a reference to God’s righteousness. (Revelation 19:7-9)
The fact that God has a kingdom means that there must be a king. We have seen that Jesus Christ will be the king on earth during the Millennium, but who is the king of the Kingdom of God? Remember that the Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. Therefore, the king of this kingdom must be a spiritual being. The king of this kingdom is also Jesus Christ. He is perfect humanity and perfect deity in one Person forever. Jesus Christ is uniquely qualified to be both the earthly ruler in the royal line of David and to be the spiritual ruler as the Second Person of the Godhead. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in one Person forever.