|Let’s dig deeper into God’s Word together. As believers, we know that God’s Word is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit” (Hebrews 4:12). The doctrine of The Trinity is often misunderstood, yet the Bible brings clarity to its meaning and application in our lives. |
The Bible teaches that the Godhead consists of three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each is fully God, each showing forth the divine nature; the three members of the Trinity are distinct. The Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Spirit, yet all three are of the same essence, or nature. Scripture distinguishes among the Persons (the Father and Son converse with each other, and Jesus prayed to the Father (John 17). The Father spoke from heaven about the Son, at Jesus’ Baptism. (Matthew 3:15-17). The Spirit was present at the same time, demonstrating that the Three are distinct Persons, coexisting simultaneously.
Though God is One, the members of the Trinity have separate titles and special functions. The Bible teaches that God exists eternally, having one divine nature, yet the three distinct Personalities carry out unique functions. Each Person is distinctive (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), but they share a common nature.
But let us be reminded what the doctrine of the Trinity does NOT mean: The Trinity is not the same as “Tri-theism” (three gods), “Polytheism” (many gods, perhaps innumerable), or “Pantheism” (all is god). “Trinity” means that there while there is One God, there are yet three Persons within that one nature. This is a difficult subject, of course, but it is only fitting that an infinite God extend beyond our finite reasoning capabilities. It is only natural that we fall short of a complete understanding of the supernatural. The doctrine of the Trinity is completely Scripture, yet many in our day seem unable or unwilling to accept by faith what the Bible presents on this subject.
Some object, saying the Bible does not teach the doctrine of the Trinity. However, we clearly see the Trinitarian nature of God presented in passages such as Matthew 3:16-17: “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: (17) And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, In whom I am well pleased.” Jesus is God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, and here at His baptism, we see all three Persons of the Trinity were present and active. (This same incident is also presented in the other Gospels, Mark 1, Luke 3, and John 1.)
In addition, the Trinitarian nature of God is also presented in other passages: “Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). In the Hebrew language, the plural name for God is “Elohim,” and this word is found 2,570 times in the Bible. “Elohim” refers to God’s power and might. Interestingly, in Genesis 1:26 this plural noun, is joined to a singular verb . . . indicative of the fact that God is One singular in nature, yet plural in Personality. In this verse, God was not talking to angels, because the angels could not, and did not help create anything.
We see conversations within the Trinity in scriptures from Isaiah: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, (singular) and who will go for us? (plural)” (Isaiah 6:8). The Holy Spirit, Father, and the Son are all referred to in Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon Me.” It is important to note that Jesus, himself, read and affirmed this verse during His public ministry (Luke 4). As the Second Person of the Trinity, God’s anointed Savior, and the only Person who has ever or could ever conquer the grave, Jesus’ authority is established beyond question. Many deny the Trinity, or pervert what the Bible teaches about God’s nature. But on what authority do they base their teachings? Jesus affirmed the doctrine of the Trinity, and by virtue of His bodily resurrection, His authority to speak as God, and for God, is established beyond all question.
A vivid example of Christ’s co-equality with both Father and Spirit is found in passages such as from John 8. Here Jesus refers to His pre-incarnate existence, remarking that Abraham (who lived centuries earlier) had seen Him. The Jews confronted Him, asking, in verse 56, “Hast thou seen Abraham?” Jesus affirmed His own deity, His divine, eternal nature in the following response, by saying, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” He was ascribing to Himself the same Godhood that the scripture ascribes to the Father, God Almighty. Clearly, God’s Word teaches the doctrine of the Trinity, and Jesus Christ affirmed it in His ministry here on earth.