4. THE HOLY TRINITY
We believe that our God is a Triune God. There are three distinct and different persons who exist as one God. If I were to use a mathematical equation to describe the Trinity it would be 1 + 1 + 1 = 1. That is horrible math. But it is good theology! For we have three distinct persons who are totally and completely God, and yet when you put them together, you get one God. As far as I know, all Christian Churches believe this doctrine. Although this doctrine is truly illogical, and unreasonable, and human wisdom would call it foolish, yet this is the doctrine taught by Scripture, and this is the doctrine that we believe.
Now having said that, I wish I could point you to a particular chapter and verse in the Bible that clearly states this doctrine in no uncertain terms. But I cannot! There is no specific passage in the Bible that claims that our God is Triune. In fact the word “Triune” is never found in Scripture. But it is a term used by the early church fathers to describe the doctrines set down in the Scriptures.
Even though the Word of God never uses the term ‘Triune,” and even though in the Bible, God calls Himself “Triune,” yet there are many hints to prove this point.
In Genesis 1,1 which says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” the word used for God is a plural. The Hebrew literally says, “in the beginning, Gods created the heavens and the earth.” And each time this term for God is used, it is always in the plural. And then in the next verse, we hear, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” And then when it came time for God to create mankind, God takes thought and counsel as He says, “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.” Now who is this “us”? It can’t be the angels, because we are not created in the image of the angels. We are created in the image of God.
Added to this, you have John 1, 1-14, which starts out, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that was made.” And then toward the end of this section, it becomes very clear that the “Word” John was talking about was Jesus. So, Jesus who was born at a specific point in time in the city of Bethlehem, was also with God at the creation of the world!
In the Old Testament, God made it perfectly clear to His people that there are not many gods like all the heathen nations around them believed and taught. There was only one God. In the book of Deuteronomy God writes, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Dt. 6,4)
In the New Testament there are a number of passages that call Jesus God. The section of John 1, 1-14, really nail it down. But then Jesus also said in John 5, 22-23, “Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.” And the apostle Paul also states in Colossians 2,9, “In Christ, all the fulness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”
There are also a number of passages in the New Testament that call the Holy Spirit God. When Jesus was baptized, we hear “At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased.” (Mt 3, 16-17) In 1 Corinthians 12 when Paul is talking about Spiritual gifts Paul says, “There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” (v 6). And then in verse 11 Paul writes, “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each man, just as he determines.” And finally in the books of Acts with the story of Ananias and Sapphira who had plotted to sell some property, and give part of the proceeds to the church, but claim that they had given it all, so they could look good to other people, and still keep some money back for themselves, Peter confronts Ananias with his lie, and tries to get him to confess his sin and be forgiven. But Ananias still sticks to his lie. Peter then states in verse 3, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit?” And then at the end of Peter’s speech, he says in verse 4 “You have not lied to men but to God.”
And then finally when Jesus is ready to ascend into Heaven, and gives His disciples their marching orders in the last chapter of Matthew Jesus gives them the command to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Mt 28, 19-20).
Based on these passages we believe the following about our God. Our God is only one God. But there are three distinct persons in this Godhead. There is the first person of the Triune God who is called the Father. There is the second person of the Triune God who is similar to a Son, and yet is from eternity like the Father. And there is the third person of the Triune God called the Holy Spirit. Each of these persons has existed from eternity! Each of these persons has all power and majesty and might! And yet when you put all these three persons into the Godhead, you get only one God.
How can this be, you might ask me? And I will tell you, “I don’t have a clue! It goes beyond my comprehension.” No human being would ever come up with something like this! No human being can even comprehend this. That means my Triune God, is more powerful, and a whole lot wiser than I am.
We believe that God is Triune! Three distinct and separate and totally equal beings and yet when you put them all together you get only one God. Like I said, it would be like the mathematical equation, 1 + 1 + 1 = 1. Poor math! But excellent theology.