The Trinity

The Bible reveals to us that God  is three (tri) “persons” as one (unity) and they are of the same essence of deity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all completely God. There are some that believe that the Father and Son are God, but the Holy Spirit is just a source of power. We are going to take a look at the subject of the Trinity briefly. The term “trinity” is the term used to explain that God exists in three, distinct persons. But let’s start with some verses that proves that the Holy Spirit is God.

In Acts 5.3 we have the story of Ananias and Sapphira. They lied about some land that they gave and Peter says to Ananias “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit.” Now, you can’t lie to a “force” or be baptized in the name of a “force” (Matt 28.19). And you will see in that verse that you can’t be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit if not all three were persons. The Holy Spirit can be “grieved” (Eph 4.30) and he speaks (Acts 13.2). He can intercede for us (Rom 8.26). He is called God in Acts 5.4. Now, with that in mind, let’s look at how all three relate together in what is called “the Godhead.”

There is a concept in the Bible called “overlapping deity” in that the Father is associated with the Son on deified terms. For example, many Epistles talk about grace, peace and mercy coming from the Father and the Son (1 Cor 1.3; 2 Cor 1.2; Phil 1.2; Eph 1.2). The Son is associated with the Holy Spirit in John 16.7-15.  So, if A (Father) equals B (Son), and B (Son) equals C (Holy Spirit) , then A (Father) equals C (Holy Spirit) as God.  

The Father is a God of truth (Isa 65.16), so is the Son (John 14.6) and so is the Holy Spirit (1 John 5.7). All three are included in the “us” and “our” of Gen 1.26. All three are mentioned in Isa 48.16 where it says “and now the Lord God (Father) has sent me (Messiah) and the Spirit himself” (Holy Spirit, Rom 8.26).  In Isa 44.6 it says that the Lord, the King of Israel and his redeemer (Messiah), the Lord of hosts, says that they are the first and the last and there is no God besides them. God is one in essence (being), distinct in persons and not a multi-faceted manifestation of one person like the “oneness” movement teaches.

The Father is unique (Dan 7.13), the Son is unique (Psa 40.7-8) and the Holy Spirit is unique (Rom 8.26). They possess full and equal status as deity (Matt 28.19-20; Gen 1.26; 2 Cor 13.14).  All three are uniquely revealed as God. For example, the Father (Deut 4.35), the Son (Titus 2.13) and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5.4; 1 John 5.7).

The Holy Spirit has the same nature or composition of essence as the other two, in that, he is infinite, spirit, immeasurable, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. The character traits of essence of the Holy Spirit are the same as the other two, in that, he is perfect, good, holy, truthful, sovereign, loving, righteous and just. The Bible clearly teaches that the Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit, the Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son.

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are divine and unique beings who are coequal and coeternal. The Lord has chosen to reveal this doctrine carefully and gradually. It is a guarded revelation due to our limitations. Wrong ideas have produced heresies and threatened the Faith at times. Titles for the Lord like “elohim” (plural in Hebrew for “gods” and “judges”) is a collective, plural title. YHVH (Hebrew letters yod, hey, vav, hey) is singular, but it can be used for the Father, Son or Holy Spirit individually.

The Father (Deut 32.6), the Son (Rom 8.14) and the Holy Spirit (John 3.1-8) represent their individual roles for us in order to help us understand the relationship and functions of the three, divine beings. These roles should not be pushed beyond their clear, intended relationships. For instance, “Son” does not mean subordinate in essence to the Father. The “Spirit” is not an inanimate force or “wind.” Father is a position of authority, the Son is the intercessor and the Holy Spirit is a comforter. These terms are used to help us understand the Lord and what their roles are in relation to the redemption and should not be pushed beyond that.

There will be certain things that we will never be able to fully understand in this life and trying to explain the essence of the Godhead is one of them. However, the Bible is very clear about what the Lord says about himself and this should always be where we find out the answers to any question we have.

Here is a list of other Scriptures that will help and you can study them out: Job 35.10 (“maker” is plural); Ecc 12.1 (“creator” is plural); Psa 149.2 (“maker” is plural); Isa 63.7 (Father), v 9 (Son), v 10 (Holy Spirit); Psa 2.12; Isa 6.8 (“us”); Micah 5.2 (Messiah is from days of eternity= the L’Olam Va’ed); Deut 6.4 (“one” is “echad”=plural unity).

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Understanding the New Testament

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