The Trinity And Evangelism!

jesus relationship not religion

On this 4th Sunday after the Epiphany in the Christian Calendar (The Season Of the God Revealed in Jesus Christ), Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore proclaims the Good News of Jesus sharing the Good News in Mark 1:14 – 15. It is followed up with a conversation about Evangelism from Dr. Baxter Kruger, William Paul Young (Author of The Shack), and Dr. Mike Feazell of Grace Communion International. The conversation is centered in the Light of the character of God: Father, Son and Spirit Himself and the implications of this discerned.


  • We discuss what evangelism is and what it is not.
  • We discuss how knowing God as Father, Son and Spirit should affect our approaches to sharing our faith.
  • We are reminded that The Father, Son and Spirit IS RELATIONSHIP and His dream and intent IS to draw humanity into His relationship so that it becomes as much ours as it is His!

Listen in and join the conversation!

photo compliments:

4 comments so far

  1. Mike Smith on

    Hi Mr. Brassell,
    Thank you for all the hard work you put in to sharing your thoughts on our Triune God. I really appreciate it. I have a couple of questions for you. I have been leaving the following lengthy (sorry!) quote with a comment and questions at a couple of my favorite theologians’ blogs.
    I believe that a huge advancement in our understanding of the Gift of the New Covenant Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, happened in the exciting time for theology, the nineteenth century. I am aware of the dangers that lurk there too (Theological Liberalism anyone?) but, there were several great conservative biblical theologians that emphasized this new advancement in understanding (that was in Scripture all along) of the newness of the Gift of the Spirit. Here is the quote:
    “How, then, is the mission of the Spirit after the Ascension to be distinguished from what it previously was?…
    1. Before the Incarnation of our Lord the Spirit to be given had not assumed that special form which He was to possess in New Testament times. Had the gift been merely outward, such as a Divine Person may bestow in the plenitude of His grace; or had it been only the gift of the Third Person of the Trinity, viewed in His Eternal existence and Divine attributes, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to understand why the Spirit should not have been granted in the same sense, though perhaps not in the same degree, to the saints of the Old Testament as to those of the New Testament age. But we have already seen that, as the Spirit interpenetrates our Lord in His human as well as His Divine nature, so our Lord in His human as well as His Divine nature interpenetrates the Spirit. The Spirit bestowed upon us as the fulfilment of the promise of the New Covenant is the Spirit of Christ as He is now. With, by, and in this Spirit we receive Christ Himself, together with all that He is as the Redeemer of men. By faith we become really and inwardly one with Him, and the energies of His life pass over into our life. These may be stronger or weaker, fuller or less full, according to the capacities of the vessel receiving them. But in character and essence they must be the same to every believer. All Christian men are members of the Divine-human Body of which Christ is the Head. They are branches of the Vine of which He is the Stem. They are in organic connexion with the Stem; and our Lord Himself says, “Apart from Me” (not “without Me”) “ye can do nothing.” (John xv. 5.) The beloved disciple, who records these words of Jesus, has taught us the same lesson: “Ye have an anointing (not the act, but the result of the act) from the Holy One”; and “The anointing which ye received from Him abideth in you.” (1 John ii. 20, 27.) In other words, as He who was anointed with the Holy Spirit is The Anointed One, so are ye in like manner anointed ones; and His Spirit is not given you only outwardly, it abideth in you. This, however, implies in the nature of the Spirit an adaptation to human nature, a possibility of His interpenetrating human nature, which can only be reached by means of His possessing a human element; and that human element could not enter into the Spirit of the Christ before the Christ assumed humanity.
    2. Before His Ascension our Lord was not in a position to bestow the gift of “Holy Spirit.” It was only then that He Himself was “perfected.” Until that time He had been confined by the limitations and sinless infirmities of His pre-resurrection state. During His life on earth He had, by a constant exercise of His own will, maintained that condition of humiliation which St. Paul describes as an “emptying of Himself.” He had constantly exerted a self-restraining power. He had not reached that complete development of His own Person which, in the economy of redemption, was the appointed end and issue of all He was to do. He had not become essentially “Spirit” (although it must never be forgotten that the “Spirit” which He became expressed itself in the form of the “spiritual body”), and the Spirit could not proceed in all His fulness from a fountain which presented any obstacle to the outflow of its waters.
    Upon these two conditions, then, rested, it would seem, the great truth which we are now considering, that “Spirit” (or “Holy Spirit”) was not yet; because Jesus was not yet glorified. Not that “the Holy Spirit” had no existence before that time, an idea which it is unnecessary to controvert. Not that the Holy Spirit had not been previously “given,” for we know that He had been given. But “Spirit” in the peculiar sense in which the New Testament uses the word–that is, the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of the glorified Lord, and in the full exercise and manifestation of His power–had not yet begun to operate upon the minds of men. Then only could He do so when our Lord Himself entered on that stage of His Being to which St. Paul applies the term “quickening or life-giving Spirit,” and when He could bestow the Spirit in fulness from the ever-springing fountain of His own Spirit-life.
    From that moment, accordingly, it is that the whole glory of the New Testament dispensation spreads itself out before our eyes. The dispensation then introduced is emphatically the dispensation of the Spirit, the last of the three great eras into which the history of the Church has been divided, the first being that of the Father, and the second that of the Son. (The saying is attributed to Joachim, Abbot of Floris, in the kingdom of Naples; comp. Cheyne, Hallowing of Criticism, and Milner’s Latin Christianity, v. 254, etc.) In this third and crowning dispensation of God’s grace there is not merely a gift of the Spirit added to gifts that had been previously enjoyed, or a larger measure of the Spirit bestowed than the Church had previously received. The promise of the older Covenants has rather been accomplished in a new and more perfect form. Freed from every restraint, and adapted in the most intimate manner to the spirit of man, the “Spirit of Jesus” has been sent forth to secure the illimitable issues of the Divine plan. With the beginning of the new dispensation not merely was the work of the Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world finished, the redemption so dearly purchased completed, and the way opened by which the end of all human thought and longing may be attained in a perfect union between God and man. More was effected. These results are involved in the preliminary truth that the Spirit given to the Church is the Spirit of One who had successfully executed His Mission. The glory of the dispensation under which it is our privilege to live consists still further in the provision made for the application of redemption; so that the work of the glorified Lord may be intertwined with the inmost fibres of our being, and His Kingdom established as an actual reality in our hearts and lives. All holy thoughts, all heavenly aspirations, all works of faith and hope and love; all that was in Him who on earth could say, “I and My Father are One”; all that is in Him now glorified, may be ours. There is no hindrance on the Divine side to the communication of whatever is necessary to the progress and perfection of the world.”
    – William Milligan (The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of Our Lord, Baird Lectures, Lect. IV, pp. 208, 209-213)
    How beautiful and wonderful is our Triune God revealed and communicated to us in Jesus Christ! My questions for you are, do you agree with this? Why is this vitally important emphasis not emphasized in much of modern theology? I know T.F. Torrance was influenced by Dr. Milligan, I know specifically from this work anyway. Does this emphasis exist in Dr. Torrance’s thought? This work by Dr. Milligan by the way is available online for free to read. Thank you for any thoughts on this, I know times are busy.

    • tjbrassell on

      Hello Mike, and thanks for writing!

      What an in-depth response, and I agree with your comment: “How beautiful and wonderful is our Triune God revealed and communicated to us in Jesus Christ!” I have never heard of Dr. Milligan but I have read your complete response and like what I believe I perceive in this writing you shared.

      In answer to your question I believe that I do agree with most of the tone and direction of Milligan’s comments. Encouragingly, and because of the Work of God: Father, Son and Spirit, we are in a recovery of a more proper Gospel emphases!

      With what I believe I understand Dr. Milligan to be saying, he sounds very similar to St. Irenaeus, and T.F. Torrance, where, in Against Heresies, he writes:

      “When the Lord told his disciples to go and teach all nations and to baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, he conferred on them the power of giving men new life in God. He had promised through the prophets that in these last days he would pour out his Spirit on his servants and handmaids, and that they would prophesy. So when the Son of God became the Son of Man, the Spirit also descended upon him, becoming accustomed in this way to dwelling with the human race, to living in men and to inhabiting God’s creation. The Spirit accomplished the Father’s will in men who had grown old in sin, and gave them new life in Christ.

      Luke says that the Spirit came down on the disciples at Pentecost, after the Lord’s ascension, with power to open the gates of life to all nations and to make known to them the new covenant. So it was that men of every language joined in singing one song of praise to God, and scattered tribes, restored to unity by the Spirit, were offered to the Father as the first fruits of all the nations.

      This was why the Lord had promised to send the Advocate: he was to prepare us as an offering to God. Like dry flour, which cannot become one lump of dough, one loaf of bread, without moisture, we who are many could not become one in Christ Jesus without the water that comes down from heaven. And like parched ground, which yields no harvest unless it receives moisture, we who were once like a waterless tree could never have lived and borne fruit without this abundant rainfall from above. Through the baptism that liberates us from change and decay we have become one in body; through the Spirit we have become one in soul.

      The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of God came down upon the Lord, and the Lord in turn gave this Spirit to his Church, sending the Advocate from heaven into all the world into which, according to his own words, the devil too had been cast down like lightning. If we are not to be scorched and made unfruitful, we need the dew of God. Since we have our accuser, we need an Advocate as well. And so the Lord in his pity for man, who had fallen into the hands of brigands, having himself bound up his wounds and left for his care two coins bearing the royal image, entrusted him to the Holy Spirit. Now, through the Spirit, the image and inscription of the Father and the Son have been given to us, and it is our duty to use the coin committed to our charge and make it yield a rich profit for the Lord.”

      From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop (Lib. 3, 17. 1-3: SC 34, 302-306)”

      Does that sound like what you read Dr. Milligan saying in his own way? If so, I definitely read about Irenaeus’ “accustomed” language in Torrance. I have also learned much about this from Dr. Baxter Kruger, one of Torrance’s students.

      Thanks, Peace and Every Blessing,


  2. Mike Smith on

    Thank you Mr. Brassell for that wonderful quote from Irenaeus. I am so glad to hear about this language in Torrance. It does sound very similar to what Dr. Milligan wrote in that wonderful work that you can read online at anytime at in PDF form at the Baird Trust site or in book form at Internet Archive:
    Dr. Torrance was influenced by this great theologian from what I understand from p. 3 of the article by David Fergusson at After you read Milligan’s work, if you decide to, you will see why! Thank you again sir for being an available vessel for the Lord to advance His Kingdom!
    Your fellow branch on the Vine,

  3. Mike Smith on

    Hi Mr. Brassell,
    Just in case anyone is curious, Ted Johnston at The Surprising God Blog has posted a wonderful post consisting of Dick Eugenio’s take on T. F. Torrance’s view of the Holy Spirit’s work in salvation from Mr. Eugenio’s book Communion with the Triune God. Mr. Johnston also links at the end of the post to a wonderful academic paper by Dr. Gary Deddo on T.F.’s theology of the Spirit! Here is the link:
    Thank you once again sir for weighing in yourself!

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