A Personal Introduction to This Week’s Article
This is the third time that I’ve begun an article on a personal note. The reason: this week’s post is number 300 since my first article was published.
Given that 300 is an obvious multiple of 3, what better subject than the number three!
After my 2nd book Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved? was published in 2011, a few people asked if/when I would write a third book. At the time, I had no answer for them or for me. But the Lord knew, and it wasn’t long afterward that he answered that question with the inception of Eye of Prophecy blog site in July 2013.
Out of curiosity I searched the statistics available through my blog site host Word Press for the combined word count of all 299 articles prior to this week’s post. That count: 1,400,049 words. Then I divided that number by the manuscript word count of Out of the Abyss (111,470 … 286 pages).
The comparison: these 299 articles would be the equivalent of 12.5 books the length of Out of the Abyss!
This is in no way, a boast. Instead, I’m in awe of the Lord who can and will do for his people, that which we could not do for ourselves … either in quantity or quality.
Said Jesus to his followers: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). The profound implication here is that we can do nothing that produces eternal dividends unless we are in Christ and Christ in us.
There are several numbers in Scripture that bear remarkable relevance to the accomplishment of God’s providential plans for his creation, especially humanity. Such numbers as 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 40, 70, 400, 1,000. But none more so than 3 & 7, which are divine in both essence and expression. They are the numbers that, above all, reveal and relate to God’s ultimate sovereignty in all things pertaining to life and death—past, present, and future.
The number three decisively defines who God is; I AM … everlasting to everlasting.
The number seven dramatically demonstrates what God does in the course of his interaction with people and nations, reflecting his creative love but also his consuming judgment of sin and evil. For example: the seven days of creation and seven years of the Great Tribulation, soon to come.
Thus, it’s no coincidence that there are three sets of seven judgments each (Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls in the book of Revelation) in preparation for the magnificent Kingdom of God on earth. Which will bring mankind full circle back to where it all began in the Garden of Eden. Only this time even better and lasting forever—New Jerusalem, new heavens, new earth!
Continuing briefly with the personal introduction of today’s post: In Romans 12:6-8, the Apostle Paul lists the seven gifts given (one to each believer in Messiah Jesus) by the Holy Spirit. They are:
Prophecy (forthtelling, not foretelling as that ended with the closed Canon of the Bible): Declaring the Truth.
Service: Practicing the Truth
Teaching: Explaining the Truth
Exhortation: Applying the Truth
Giving: Supporting the Truth
Leading: Organizing the Truth
Mercy: Ministering the Truth
(Note: Credit goes to my Pastor, Mark Martin; Senior Pastor of Calvary Community Church in Phoenix, AZ for the concise one-word summary of how each believer uses his/her gift to serve the Lord)
The Lord has graciously given me the gift of teaching, primarily through the written word. And by the Lord’s grace, through the discernment and insight given to me, I will do as exhorted by the Apostle Paul: “…If you are a teacher, teach well” (Romans 12:7).
Whether I have taught well is not mine to gauge. That critique belongs first to God, then to the readers.
Whatever the result or harvest, it is a profound privilege and humbling honor to serve him.
One other observation: Today’s article is the 21st in the Category of Devotional / Miscellaneous (one of five categories for Eye of Prophecy articles). Which is meaningful to me in the following way: 3 x 7 =s 21!
The Number Three
The number 3 is used 467 times in the Bible. Then the intriguing fact that there are 27 books in the New Testament. Which is 3 x 3 x 3. With the 39 books of the Old Testament also a factor of three … 3 x 13.
Although there are several sets of threes in Scripture, we’re only going to examine the two most prominent. The first set comprising the very essence/existence of God; the second set containing the three primary attributes of God. Plus, a third general group presenting analogies to or examples of threes that track with their divine counterpart.
But first, I need to cite three passages that encapsulate the purpose, productivity, and (hopefully) the profitability (spiritually to the readers) of Eye of Prophecy website. Particularly to help believers, whether students of Bible prophecy or not, to: “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen. (II Peter 3:18).
First Passage: “…For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus” (Revelation 19:10b). Without changing the meaning of this part of the verse, the idea could accurately be expanded to: For Jesus is the very essence of prophecy.
Second Passage: “…defending and confirming the truth of the Good News” (Philippians 1:7b). Because we are near the end of this age, there is no greater time in history for the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be preached, defended, and confirmed by believers, through the gift given to them.
Third Passage: “Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does” (Psalm 96:3, emphasis added). Thanks be to the Lord, people from 189 nations have visited this website.
First Significant Set of Threes: The Trinity
Trinity is a theological term that succinctly describes the Triune God; however, the word itself is not found in Scripture. It doesn’t need to be. Because the existence of One God (the only true and living God) in Three Persons is crystal clear in the Bible: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are even a handful of situations (passages) in which all three are identified at the same time. For example, Matthew 28:19.
Based on this universal, eternal truth, Webster’s Dictionary defines Triune as: three in one; of or relating to the Trinity (of God).
There are multiple references in both Old and New Testaments to confirm the existence of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; but in keeping with today’s theme, only three pivotal passages (with relevant associated verses) will be quoted. Beginning with the very beginning of the Bible … the Book of Genesis.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters” (Genesis 1:1-2).
Most know that the original language of the Old Testament is Hebrew. Elohim—the first of several names/titles of God found in the Bible—is in the plural. In His magnificent account of creation given to Moses, the Lord makes this astounding statement:
“Then God (Elohim) said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…’” (Genesis 1:26, NASB, emphasis added, parenthesis mine).
Although Judaism doesn’t recognize the Triune existence of God and unfortunately will not accept the Biblical evidence that God has a Son as clearly conveyed in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Lord plainly pronounces from the beginning that he is Three Persons in One.
Jewish scholars have tried to explain away this remarkable referral of God to himself as “Us,” by proposing that the plural is used in deference to (God’s) divinity or royalty. Which is sometimes the case with rulers (monarchs) when referring to themselves. At the very best, this is a woefully weak argument as applied to the account in Genesis. If that were the case, then the Lord would have more frequently and consistently referred to himself in the plural throughout the many times he spoke in the first person to Moses and subsequent prophets.
Instead, God uses the plural of his name in a startling manner to specifically reveal (from/in the beginning) that He (Us) created tri-part man/woman—body, soul, spirit—in His image.
God the Father is a Person and has personal characteristics, three of which we will examine shortly. The Holy Spirit is also a (the third) Person of the Godhead and was there at creation, “…hovering over the surface of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). God the Son was first introduced immediately after Adam and Eve sinned; disobedience that would devastatingly result in death and all their descendants inheriting that sin nature. A nature that could only be transformed by God’s remarkable plan of redemption, which would come through a special man (in bodily form).
Thus, God said to Satan, “And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head (an eternal death blow), and you will strike his heal” (Genesis 3:15, parenthesis mine).
This strike on the heel would be a temporary wound (Jesus’s death on the cross) that would providentially lead to eternal salvation to all who believe that God raised his Son from the dead and then receive the Son as their Personal Savior.
“For God loved the world (you/me) so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, parenthesis mine).
“All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’) (Isaiah 7:14, parenthesis in the text).
This is a powerful prophecy of the coming Messiah, a child (son) born of a Virgin. Moreover, this Son would indisputably be from the woman’s seed only … as we read in Genesis 3. With the extraordinary evidence that the child would not be fathered by a man, rather through God’s supernatural means by which the woman (Mary) would conceive her son.
Said the angel Gabriel to Mary: “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his kingdom will never end!’
“Mary asked the angel, ‘But how can this happen? I am a virgin.’ The angel replied, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.… For nothing is impossible with God’” (Luke 1:31-35 & 37).
Returning to the book of Isaiah; just two chapters after God announces that a Virgin will conceive and deliver a son who would be Immanuel (fully man and fully God), we read what is one of my all-time favorite passages in the Bible … though all of Scripture is dear to me.
How plain can anything be? This supernaturally conceived child, this son (of God) IS God, as much as God the Father is surely the only true and living God. Furthermore, the child was born and given to us—the whole world. Which is why Jesus often referred to himself as the Son of Man. Meaning universally.
Third Passage (Another Messianic prophecy/reality):
“For the Lord declares, ‘I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.’ The king proclaims the LORD’s decree: The LORD said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father (the today would be the composite “day” of the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus some 1,000 years later)….’
“Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned you rulers of the earth! Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 2:6-7 & 10-12, parenthesis mine).
The existence of the Trinity is overwhelmingly manifest in Scripture, both stated and implied. Including the exceptional evidence that God has a Son and King David recognized the Son as his Lord (Psalm 110).
Note that these three leading passages have been taken from the Old Testament, commonly referred to as the Hebrew Scriptures. This to once again demonstrate (with love and concern for both non-believing Jews and Muslims) that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit comprise the One God in Three Persons. Whereas, those believers in Messiah Jesus, Jew and Gentile alike, already know that the New Testament is replete with references to our Triune God.
Second Significant Set of Threes … The Three Omni(s)
There are a multitude of attributes ascribed to the Triune God, all of which express the Lord’s glory (essence). Such as: God IS Love; God IS Truth; God IS Righteousness; God IS Justice; God IS Light (literally and spiritually); God IS Immutable (does not change), and God IS (the very source of) Peace.
Yet, there are three features that supremely contain and supernaturally convey God’s sovereign capacity to accomplish his purpose and plan for humanity.
All three of these characteristics begin with the word, Omni.
The word (used almost exclusively as a prefix) Omni is derived from the Latin word omnis which Webster’s Dictionary defines simply as: “all; universally.”
As applied to God’s absolute divinity this prefix, by default, both states and infers that the following three ascendant attributes of God belong only to Him. Not to mankind and certainly not to man-made gods such as the god of Islam, or of any other religion or cult.
God’s Omnipotence (All Powerful)
We’ve already read Gabriel’s announcement to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and bear a son (through the non-physical spiritual power of the Holy Spirit). The same Holy Spirit who “hovered above the waters” at Creation. When Mary asked how such a thing could be, Gabriel explained it by summarily saying: For nothing is impossible with God.
Amazingly enough, the first time this expression to communicate God’s omnipotence is found in Scripture regards another miracle birth of a child. Nearly every student of the Bible (and even many unbelievers) know the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac. Sarah was 90 years old when she gave birth to the promised child, Isaac … impossible!
Do you remember the Lord’s (the first Pre-Incarnate appearance of Messiah Jesus) response to Abraham when Sarah laughed at the thought? Read with me:
“…Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything to hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son” (Genesis 18:13-14, emphasis added).
Throughout Biblical times right up to our post-modern world, we see God’s unequaled power (omnipotence) on display through mighty miracles, not the least of which is Creation itself that established the natural laws of physics in the universe and biological order of life itself.
Then more miracles that transcend those laws; often performed to deliver and defend his chosen people. Each of the ten awesome plagues against the Egyptians that led to the Exodus, fall into the category of “super” natural (above and beyond the natural). As did the Lord’s unimaginable extension of daylight hours, enabling Joshua to soundly defeat Israel’s enemies during the conquest of Canaan. There are dozens of incidents in the Old Testament where God divinely intervenes in the affairs of people to demonstrate his sovereignty and omnipotence.
And, of course, the Gospels of the New Testament are replete with miracle after miracle performed by Messiah Jesus to irrefutably validate that he is the Son of God and God the Son. To wit: Setting aside the laws of nature by turning water into wine and then walking on water. Feeding thousands of men, women, and children with hardly enough food for one person. Healing hundreds (if not thousands) from incurable diseases and irreversible deformities. Casting out demons with but a simple command. Raising the dead. And the greatest of all: his own resurrection from the grave.
Once again in the soon to come Great Tribulation, our Triune God’s incomparable power and authority will be on full display. This time to judge the earth and prepare the whole world for Messiah’s return to establish the eternal Kingdom of God. It will begin with God’s decisive defeat of the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel.
The result: “In this way, I will show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:23).
By the time that the seven seal, seven trumpet, and seven bowl judgments have run their seven-year Tribulation course, there will be no doubt whatsoever among all the earth’s inhabitants who have chosen the Antichrist over the true Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, that: “I am the Lord; there is no other God … so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the Lord, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:5-6).
And, “For the Lord is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place… I am the Lord, he says, and there is no other…. I, the Lord, speak only what is true and declare only what is right…. For there is no other God but me, a righteous God and Savior. There is none but me. Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other” (Isaiah 45:18-19 & 21b-22).
Did you come away with the same conclusion as I did from these verses (and many others like them): The Lord alone is God and there are no other gods! That assuredly includes Islam’s Allah and the Koran which is virtually devoid of miracles and prophecies in stark contrast to the Bible which contains a plethora of both.
Speaking of prophecies, the second sovereign attribute is that of:
God’s Omniscience (All knowing)
Scripture tells us that God is timeless; indeed, he created time itself. He is everlasting to everlasting … with the past, present, and future the same to him. He knows precisely what will happen tomorrow, next month, next year, and for all eternity. This omniscience is why only God can foretell the future with 100% accuracy and has done so countless times throughout Scripture. Then through his providential omnipotence, he brings his prophecies through his prophets to pass. Thereby, accomplishing his purpose and plans for humanity. With the greatest of these: His (free) gift of salvation through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ to pardon the penalty of our sins.
Says the Lord: “…I am the First and the Last; there is no other God. Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future” (Isaiah 44:6-7, emphasis added).
Can anyone know all that God knows? Or do what he has done and will do? Yet, there are a host of philosophies, religions, and geopolitical schemes that purport to know and presumptuously tell billions of people on this planet what’s best for them. With these man-made religions and systems and their adherents, “…refusing to love and accept the truth that would save them” (II Thessalonians 2:10). Whereas, true Christianity is NOT a religion. Rather it is a personal relationship with the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Ever so sadly, billions on Planet Earth have and will continue to reject their only hope for salvation. They don’t want to know and do not acknowledge the truth of God’s Word, such as:
Regarding mankind’s vain search for wisdom and knowledge that excludes the very source of both, God issues a challenge with some fascinating images.
“Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him? Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice?” (Isaiah 40:12-14).
Despite theory after changing theory, to this day secular scientists still disagree over how the universe came into being.
They still cannot explain precisely where gravity came from or how such an invisible force can hold the heavenly bodies in place. Or the wonders of where a sperm and an egg came from originally or how the union of the two can produce thousands of species after their own kind, the most intricate and most complex of which is human life. How is it possible that certain cells create certain organs, then for these organs to fit and work together with intricate body chemistry, not to mention sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch? And the capacity to inductively and deductively think (the human brain). And how on earth did the blood originate?!
Here is another challenge from the Lord regarding his Omniscience and his amazing ability to predict the future, to include false gods and false prophets not even able to recall the distant past with any degree of accuracy or certainty, let alone the future:
“Present the case for your idols, says the Lord. Let them show what they can do, says the King of Israel. Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what’s going to happen. Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything—good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us. But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Those who choose you pollute themselves” (Isaiah 41:21-24).
There’s more: “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols. Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens” (Isaiah 42:8-9).
Hundreds of years later, the Apostle Paul summarized the matchless knowledge and wisdom of the true and living God, but this time in the context of the New Covenant—established and sealed through the once for all shed blood of Messiah Jesus for our sins.
“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.’
“So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish…. It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God” (I Corinthians 1:18-24).
What’s your preference? Have you looked to astrological horoscopes or to so-called psychics or to political and socioeconomic pundits to tell you what’s going to happen? Do you seriously believe they can, with 100% accuracy? Or any accuracy at all? Would you really trust them with your life and future?
(The Stars won’t determine our future. But the One who created them will, if we only let Him)
As for me, I have entrusted my eternal destiny to the God of miracles, whose prophecies (promises) are fulfilled 100% of the time. Whose Son rose from the dead to prove that he is who he said he is: “The way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). With the Holy Spirit sealing my salvation and indwelling (guiding, counseling, comforting) me during my time on this earth.
“In him (Messiah Jesus) lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3, parenthesis mine).
God’s Omnipresence (Everywhere, All at Once)
Our Great God is confined neither to time nor space, because he created both. He can be anywhere he chooses; at any time, he chooses. If you think about it, that’s incredible. No human being can do that. Nor can any other god, because there are no other gods. Even Satan and his demons (fallen angels) can not be in two places at once.
The Third Person of the Triune Godhead, the Holy Spirit, is the one who expresses God’s divine attribute of omnipresence. Although Messiah Jesus is Omnipotent and Omniscient and though he has an immortal glorified body since his resurrection from the grave, he can only be in one place at a time. However, the primary purpose and practical performance of the Holy Spirit is to indwell believers in Messiah Jesus world-wide (from every nation, language, and peoples) to do what Jesus would do if he were still on earth. And do so everywhere, all the time.
Listen to these stirring words from Jesus given so his followers would not be discouraged when he returned to heaven until Father God’s appointed time for him to return to earth:
“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you (that he would be leaving them). But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.
“…When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me’” (John 16:5-15, parenthesis mine).
Which effectively means that Jesus—who is the express image of God and who reveals to us the very essence of God (Hebrews 1:3 & Colossians 1:15 & 19)—is also omnipresent, i.e. through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
By virtue of the Holy Spirit indwelling believers, God the Father and God the Son is with every believer ALL THE TIME, wherever we are. Not just individually, but in groups of two or three or three hundred or three thousand … on and on. No matter how many of these groups happen to be meeting at the same time around the world.
That is truly amazing!
Third Significant Set(s) of Threes
Here, we’re going examine in more general terms examples of threes that represent (analogies to) and/or resemble (examples of) the dynamics of the Trinity.
The Sun: Though it’s nigh on impossible to fully wrap our minds around God’s existence as Three Persons in One, it’s possible to at least partially grasp this phenomenon by considering the intrinsic qualities of our Sun, as applied to the Trinity. It’s a paradigm I and others have used before. The Sun (as a whole) itself represents God the Father. The light of the Sun depicts the Son of God, Messiah Jesus—who said himself that he is the light of the world. The warmth of the Sun is reflective of the Holy Spirit who envelops believers in the wonderful warm-heartedness of God’s unconditional love, protection, provisions, promises, and very presence.
Water: Nearly everyone knows from elementary school science that water can be in three forms or states of existence—liquid, solid (ice) and gas (vapor or steam). This is a three-in-one dynamic because at any time under the right conditions, each of these behaviors of water can become one of the other two. If this prototype of three-in-one exists in the natural (nature), then why not in the spiritual (supernatural).
Human Beings: Although each of us is one person, we consist of three distinct parts—body, soul, and spirit. This unified yet tri-part existence is what makes us in the image of God. Among other things (like language), it is our spirit that distinguishes us from the animals, for our spirit is eternal. (And one day so will the bodies of believers be transformed to that which is immortal … spiritual bodies).
Every(body) is unique, even identical twins. As is our soul (persona, who we are).
However, the human spirit is the same in every person.
It is our spirit that connects us to God. Yet, because we are born with a sin nature, the Bible tells us that our sprit is dead (to God). It must be made alive. Jesus explained the spiritual rebirth (of all who personally accept him as Lord and Savior) as that of being “born again” (John 3:3).
Without the second (spiritual) birth, no one can truly relate to God, be in right standing with him, or spend eternity in heaven with him (Romans 3:22-25).
Measurement & Experience of Time Itself: Past, Present, & Future.
Obviously, we always experience time itself in the immediate present. A second after we live the next moment of the future, it becomes the past. However, think about it: for one fleeting nanosecond, we are essentially in the past, present, and future all at once. Which for all practical purposes, makes these divisions of time three-in-one.
A Three-Branch Government: Until Messiah Jesus returns to establish the Kingdom of God on earth which will effectively be a Divine Monarchy with Christ as the King of all kings, the best form of government is one of checks and balances via Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. Each is separate from the other, but each serves to identify and (hopefully) unify the people governed as one nation. Whether this is through a Republic or Parliamentary representative system doesn’t matter that much, if the three branches serve in the role designed for each branch without any one branch usurping the constitutional designated authority of the others. At least in principle, this is a three-in-one model.
Things to Ponder
“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
“When you came to Christ, you were ‘circumcised’ but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature…. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:8-11 & 13-14)
If you were condemned to die, wouldn’t you accept a pardon if freely offered to you as a gift? Especially, if someone else had died in your place to make that pardon possible?
No one can earn God’s favor or work their way to heaven by hoping their good deeds outweigh the bad. It’s not only impossible, it’s an insult to God. Because, if our intrinsic worth or good works could set aside our sins, then Messiah Jesus died for absolutely no reason.
“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) … God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:4-5 & 8-9, parenthesis in the text).
Now, three more threes:
“…Grace and peace to you from the (1) one who is, (2) who always was, and (3) who is still to come (1 God the Father); from the sevenfold Spirit (2 another name for the Holy Spirit) before his throne; and from (3) Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:4-5a, parenthesis mine).
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (II Corinthians 13:14).