SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20140309: "St. Patrick & the Trinity"

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St. Patrick's Day this year is March 17th. Patrick began his ministry in Ireland as a missionary. After evangelizing the entire Island, he began his organizational and teaching ministry in 435 A.D. His premier teaching involved the Holy Trinity. His theology contrasted the sin-based, somber theology of Rome. Patrick's joyful theology involved the goodness of God's Creation. He saw God's Word as filled with healing, mystery and divine messages.

          Since his father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest, Patrick had a very religious upbringing. But when he was about sixteen, he was out working in his father’s field when Irish militia raided the land. Patrick was kidnapped and carried off as a slave to Ireland. There, he worked as a herdsman, remaining a captive for six years. During that time he writes that his faith grew and that he prayed daily.
          After six years he finally escaped by stowing away on a ship, traveling more than two-hundred miles, and finally returning home. When he was old enough, he followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, eventually becoming a Bishop in the church. But in the latter half of his life, Patrick felt called to become a missionary—to go back to the land in which he had been a slave and share the grace and love of Jesus Christ. So in latter part of the fifth century, just four hundred years or so after the death of Christ, Patrick became instrumental in bringing Christianity to Ireland.
          Others had tried to bring Christianity to Ireland, but the Irish people could not grasp the concept of the Trinity—the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who are all said to be God. To them it sounded like polytheism at best and nonsense at worst.
          While other missionaries had struggled to explain the concept of the Trinity, Patrick relied on a simple illustration—he used a shamrock, or three-leaf clover, which was the symbol of national pride in Ireland at the time, to explain the nature of the Triune God of the Bible. Each leaf is separate and distinct, yet part of a whole. It’s just one clover, yet with three individual leaves. By making that simple comparison, countless Irish men and women were able to accept the basic concept of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
          Thus, Saint Patrick’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of the life of Saint Patrick himself, who died on March 17, as well as a celebration of the birth of Christianity in Ireland. My sermon today explores the Trinity and Patrick's key to Irish Hearts: the Shamrock.
Pastor Phil  <><<









March 9, 2014 – Sheepfold Ministries
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration – Pastor Phil Roland

MATTHEW 28:19,20 -
”When St. Patrick's Day arrives each year we breathe a sigh of relief that snow is over and Spring is coming. St. Patrick's Day is more than that. It celebrates the life one of the greatest missionaries of the Western World. His premiere teaching was on the Trinity."                           Pastor Phil   <><<

”Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.                Matthew 28:19, 20

          A. Many views of God in U.S. and World pluralistic religious culture
                        1. Atheism – There is no God – 10% of humanity is atheist
                        2. Polytheism – Greeks/Romans/Hinduism/Buddhism
                        3. Pantheism – Wiccans/Spiritualists
                                    a. Druids Practiced Magic and offered Human Sacrifices
                                    b. Neo-Druids today would like to revive ancient rites
                        4. Monotheism – Muslims/Jews/Christians
            B. Druids wrote about their need to "Kill that Holy Patrick!"
                        1. He was not afraid to be a witness of Christ
                        2. Patrick wrote about his Early Battles with Cultists
                        "Daily, I expect murder, fraud or captivity…but I fear none of these
                         things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into
                         the hands of God almighty who rules everywhere”
            C. Contemporary Religionists Deny the Trinity
                        1. Charles Taze Russell’s Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses
                        2. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young’s, Latter Day Saints

            A. Nicene Creed – 325 A.D.
                        1. Affirms belief in God the Father
                        2. Jesus Christ is only begotten Son of God
                        3. Affirms belief in the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father                                 and the Son
            B. Apostle’s Creed – 390 A.D.
                        1. Jesus is conceived of the Holy Spirit
                        2. Jesus is born of a Virgin
                        3. Died on the Cross for our sins
                        4. Rose again on the third day

St. Patrick and the Holy Trinity, cont. p.2

            C. ST. PATRICK was the first Christian leader to take the Gospel                                   outside the Roman Empire
                        1. Patrick was first missionary to teach on the Holy Trinity
                        2. The Holy Trinity Doctrine was less than 100 years old
                        3. These basic issues on the nature of Christ were hard fought
                        4. Settled in the Counsel of Nicea 325 A.D.
            D. Patrick was both a Missionary and an Apologist - 1 Peter 3:15,16
            "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a
             defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you,                     with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they
             defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ                     may be ashamed."
                        1. APOLOGIST - Greek: "APO-LO-GIA"  "To make a defense"
                        2. Patrick brought clarity to the teaching of the Trinity with                                       "The Shamrock"
                        3. Botanist says Patrick's use of the Shamrock was Brilliant
                        "The shamrock is a great example, perhaps more than Saint Patrick
                         had ever realized. Because, believe it or not, the three-leaf clover
                         actually only has one leaf. It is what botanists refer to as a
                         composite leaf—three leaves in one, one in three. That’s the nature
                         of God."
                        4. Early in his ministry Augustine's writing aided Patrick in his
                            struggle to understand the nature of God  
                        One day Augustine was walking along the beach and he saw a little                           boy dumping buckets of water into a hole he had dug in the sand.
                        Augustine asked the boy, “What are you doing?” And the boy
                        replied, “I’m putting the ocean into this hole.” It was only then that
                        Augustine realized his quest to understand the Trinity was like that
                        little boy trying to put the ocean into a small hole in the sand. There
                  is more to the nature of God than our small minds can possibly contain.

"There are three persons – Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and these three share the same attributes. In effect, the three Persons are the One God.
All we are saying very simply is – that within God’s Unity or Nature, we can discern three distinct Persons, so far as you and I are able to understand Persons. And, these three Persons are in effect the One God. That’s the Christian Doctrine of the Trinity."  Walter Martin
          A. God's Word is based on Inductive Logic
                Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other
                        1. If the Heavenly Father is called God
                        2. If Jesus Christ, the Son is called God
                        3. If the Holy Spirit is called God
                        4. The Three are God - The Hebrew Shema: Deut. 6:4
                                   "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

St. Patrick and the Holy Trinity, cont. p.3

            B. THE FATHER IS GOD - 2 Peter 1:17
            "For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice
             came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I
             am well pleased.”
            C. THE SON, JESUS CHRIST IS GOD - John 8:57-59
            "Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You
             seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you,
             before Abraham was, I AM.”59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him;
             but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst
             of them, and so passed by.”
            D. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD - Acts 5:3,4
            ”But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy
             Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it
              remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your
             own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have
             not lied to men but to God.”

The kind of relationship God wants from us can be demonstrated in the following story.
"There was a little church in Scotland which years ago as the ushers were returning to the altar with the offering plates, a little boy sitting next to the aisle tugged at the sleeve of one of the men and whispered,
“Please put the plate down on the floor."
Bewildered, the usher obeyed.
Then the boy preceded to step into the plate. This was his way of saying to Jesus,
"I I give my whole self to you, not only the money in my pocket, but my time, my strength, my whole life."
This boy was Robert Moffat, the great missionary to Africa and the father-in-law of David Livingstone.

2 Cor. 13:14 - NKJV
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

2 Cor. 13:14 -  PHILLIPS Trans.
14 The grace that comes through our Lord Jesus Christ, the love that is of God the Father, and the fellowship that is ours in the Holy Spirit be with you all!



Matthew 28:16-19
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.







I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;*
I bind unto myself today.
I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.
I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.
I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.






Someone once said,
“If you try to explain the Trinity, you will lose your mind. But if you deny it, you will lose your soul.”
When examining teachers and churches this is the place to start. Find out where they stand on the doctrine of the Trinity.