by Issa Haddad

The term “Trinity” designating the three members of the triune God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The word “Trinity” does not appear in the Bible; it was created by scholars to describe the three members of the Godhead. Throughout the Bible, God is presented as being Father, Son, and Spirit—not three “gods” but three personas of the one and only God (see, e.g., Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 16:23–24; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

The belief in the Trinity is a logical conclusion of understanding the biblical revelation. One reading the Scripture will definitely see the doctrine of the Trinity throughout many biblical passages.

First of all let me start by giving a definition to the term Trinity. What do we mean by the Trinity?

The Athanasian Creed (fourth-fifth centuries A.D.): “We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons: nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father: another of the Son: and another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.”

Wayne Grudem: “God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God.”

James R. White: “Within the one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (The Forgotten Trinity, p. 26)

From these above definitions we will see that there are three main things we need to know about the Trinity.

FIRST, GOD IS ONE.

Christians don’t believe in many gods or three gods. We believe in one and only one God. When we speak about the oneness of God we are talking about the essence of God. God in His essence has one substance or essence. Within this one essence there exist three coequal, coeternal persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The essence of God is undivided and indivisible. The Father is not 1/3 of God, the Son 1/3 of God the Spirit 1/3 of God. Each is fully God, coequal with the others, and that eternally.

 The OT clearly teaches that God is one:

Deuteronomy 4:35, 39 “You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other….Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.”

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

Also the OT clearly teaches that God is unique there is no one like Him:

Exodus  15:11 “Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?

2 Samuel 7:22 “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.”

The NT also teaches clearly the oneness of God:

The Lord Jesus citing Deut 6:4 in Mark 12:29 answering the question of one of the teachers of what is the greatest commandment saying, “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is one….”

John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

1 Timonthy 1:17 “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

James 2:19 “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” Our belief in the oneness of God should reflect on our daily lives.

Practical implications out of the belief that God is one:

1. God is the only God that deserves our praise and honor.

2. God alone is worth of our dedication and commitment.

3. So if there is any kind of idols in our hearts, let’s get ride of them.

1 John 5:21 “…keep yourselves from idols.” Money, fame, possessions, cars, houses, our work could be our idols.

The Lord Jesus said “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:19-21).

SECOND, THERE ARE THREE DIVINE PERSONS WITHIN.

ü  The Deity of the Father:

John 6:27 “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Romons 1:7 “To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Galalatians 1:1 “Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.”

ü  The Deity of the Son:

John 1:1-2 “In the beginning (From eternity past-before any beginning) was (past tense) the Word (Christ as a person within the Trinity), and the Word (Christ) was with God (the person of the Father), and the Word (Christ) was God (distinct from the Father yet equal in essence).

In the beginning before time began, Christ was already in existence with God. That is what is meant by the term “the pre-existent Christ.” In this verse the Word (Christ) is said to be with God (i.e., in communion with and yet distinct from God) and to be God (i.e., identical in essence with God).

Philippians 2:6 “Who (Christ) being in very nature (morphe-the very exact nature of God) God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped….”

Colossians 1:15 “He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God (God’s nature), the firstborn over all creation (The Creator-before all things).”

Colossians 1:19-20 (cf. 2:9) “For God (Father) was pleased to have all his (Father) fullness ( the full essence or substance of deity) dwell in him (Christ) and through him (Christ) to reconcile to himself (Father) all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his (Christ) blood, shed on the cross.”

Colossians 2:9 “For in Christ (the Son) all the fullness of the Deity (Essence) lives in bodily form.”

ü  The Deity of the Holy Spirit:

The Holy Spirit is called God: Acts 5:2-3

The Holy Spirit is called Lord: 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

Practical implications from the Deity of the three Persons within the One essence of God:

1. We have to give do honor and worship to all three persons of the Trinity.

2. We should give thanks to all three: concerning our Salvation, thanks God the Father for electing and predestining us, the Son for redeeming us and by His blood we are forgiven, and the Holy Spirit for applying these facts and regenerating us and now sanctifying us daily.

THIRD, THE THREE IN ONENESS.

The OT references concerning the deity of the three persons of the Trinity.

Genesis 1:26 (3:22; 11:7) “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Notes the change between the plural pronoun and the singular verb.

Isaiah 48:16 “Come near me (Christ) and listen to this: From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there.” And now the Sovereign LORD (God the Father) has sent me (Christ), with his Spirit (Holy Spirit).” In this verse the Messiah is speaking and clearly identify three persons within the Godhead.

The NT references concerning the deity of the three persons:

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

The fact that Jesus uses the singular “name” rather than the plural “names” indicates that God is one and that his nature, signified by his name, is singular, not plural. There is one God, not many. Yet this singular name is itself differentiated among three Persons, so that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit comprise the one God in whose name we are baptized.

2 Corinthians 13:14 “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” This passage is an early witness to belief in the Trinity. It clearly teaches the unity and equality of the three persons by having them on equal scale.

It is in the Gospel of John where we see clearly the equality and the unity of the Trinity (1:33-34; 14:16, 26; 16:13-15; 20:21-22 [cf. 1 John 4:2, 13-14).

Of the Father and the Son: The Son is sent by the Father (14:24) and comes forth from him (16:28). Jesus says, “I and the Father are one” (10:30), and “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (14:9). He prays that his disciples may be one as he and the Father are one (17:21).

Of the Father and the Spirit: The Spirit is given by the Father (14:16, is sent from the Father (14:26), and proceeds from the Father 15:26).

Of the Son and the Spirit: Yet the Son is closely involved in the coming of the Spirit: he prays for his coming (14:16); the Father sends the Spirit in the Son’s name (14:26); the Son will send the Spirit from the Father (15:26); the Son must go away so that he can send the Spirit (16:7).

CONCLUSION:

In the final analysis, the Trinity is incomprehensible. We cannot fully understand the mystery of the Trinity. When someday we see God, we shall see him as he is, and understand him better than we do now. Yet even then we will not totally comprehend him. Because he is the unlimited God and we are limited in our capacity to know and understand, he will always exceed our knowledge and understanding.

 What are the three foundations of the Trinity?

1. That God is one.

2. The three persons are equally and fully God.

3. The three in one.

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