There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.
(Click on the Bible verses below to quickly access the verse in New King James Version.)
The Trinity is one God existing in three Persons. This does not mean there are three Gods. The word “Trinity” is not found in Scripture. It is a term used to describe the triune God—three coexistent, co-eternal Persons who make up God. In this study, we will see that the concept of the Trinity is found throughout Scripture.
Each participated in Creation
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”
From the start of God’s word, we see a coeternal Godhead made up of three distinct persons yet one. They interact with each other and perform specific roles in the universe and on earth….They all work to save mankind from eternal destruction that is sure to come.
The use of the word “Our” indicates there is more than one person, otherwise it would be read as,
“Let (me) make man in (my) image according to (my) likeness”
Present on that week of creation were the Spirit, God the Father, and the Son-Jesus
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
John 1: 1-3
Notice that the “Word” become a personal pronoun “He.” Who is this? Let’s let the Bible speak for itself a little further down in John 1
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth
Who became flesh and was with us? Who is described as the only begotten of the Father? Is it not clear that it is none other than Jesus? From this passage, we can clearly see that Jesus was with God (Father) in the beginning along with the Spirit.
Let’s look at another few verses that make this passage even more clear. Notice in Colossians that through Jesus “all things were created” and they are “for Him.”
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Colossians 1: 15-18
Further God (Father) calls His Son God!
But to the Son He says:
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
So, we see God the Father, Jesus in his pre-human form participating in the creation of all life and all the universe. Further, The Spirit of God as the third member of the Godhead is vital in the creation of man and giving him life.
The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
The Father, The Son, and the Spirit are the “Our” found in Genesis 1: 3. In a future post, we will examine all Three in separate studies.
The Lord is One
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!
As we will study in a future post, the plan of salvation began before the foundation of the world. The Trinity would participate in different roles but with the same purpose and forthrightness. They are one in purpose, but separate in their roles. Isaiah pulls back the curtain on the mystery of God dwelling among us in order to save us.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
Jesus was sent to us to save a planet in rebellion. We were on the path to eternal death and annihilation, but God intervened and sent forth His only begotten son to die for us that we might have a way of escape.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Here we see two members of the Godhead at work. God the Father sending His Son. The motivation? Love for us, His creation.
This was foretold in the Tanakh (Old Testament)
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (God with Us)
The gospel writer Matthew recognized Jesus as Immanuel. He wrote:
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Matthew 1: 22, 23
While upon the earth, Jesus recognized his role and referred to himself in his pre-incarnate existence when he said to His accusers,
Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
John 8:57, 58
Jesus was referring them to the Torah and the story of Moses and the burning bush, when God stated,
And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’
This statement infuriated the Jews. they took stones and attempted to stone Him as blasphemous (claiming to be God) as the Torah allowed.
Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
So Jesus was claiming to be God to the Jews! He is part of the Trinity with one specific purpose…the salvation of man. He demonstrated there was another member of the Trinity when he prayed to the Father and asked that His people (including you and me) would be one as they are one:
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours….
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You”
John 17:9, 20
In this prayer, Jesus also refers back to his pre-existence when he prayed,
“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
John 17: 24
Paul tells us that the eternal Three are seen in Christ,
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily
Jesus confirmed this when he told His disciples that seeing Him is the same as seeing the Father. Keep in mind, this is not a reference to his physical being, but His character, purpose, and will
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
The Mystery and the Work of The Spirit
The Trinity is a mystery to most for a couple of reasons:
1.) To understand spiritual teachings, one must be spiritual. Too many today operate on a purely day-to-day human level way of thinking. But, once they have been influenced by the Spirit, a whole new world opens to them
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:4
It is the work of the third member of the Godhead to help us all move from our carnal way of thinking to a spiritual level:
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth
Did you notice that the Spirit is given the designation of a personal pronoun, He?
At the baptism of Jesus, all three are present. Can you see them in this verse?
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He[c] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3: 16,17
2,) Understanding the truth comes from a desire (will) to do God’s will and to act on the truth given you.
If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.
When Jesus left this earth, he made a promise to his disciples and to us. It was a promise of the work being passed on to the omnipresent Spirit.
“But now I go away to Him who sent Me…I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
John 16: 5, 7, 8
Again, these verses designate the Spirit as “He” and the work “He” will do until Jesus returns.
So through out Scripture it is easy to see the working of the eternal Three and their roles in the great plan of salvation.
Next time, we will begin our study of each one separately. Until then, this is my prayer,
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:14