One definition of the word “trinity,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “a group of three closely related persons or things.” Tri means three, so when we hear the word “trinity,” most of us often think about three parts, pieces, or even persons.
However, unlike the human definition and representation of a trinity, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity doesn’t suggest that there are three divine beings or Gods. It is a complex and challenging topic to have a solid grasp on, even for believers. Despite this, the biblical doctrine of the Trinity of God remains an essential concept of the Christian faith.
- 1 What Is The Trinity?
- 2 What Does It Mean That God Is A Trinity?
- 3 What Does The Bible Teach Us About The Holy Trinity?
- 4 Where Do We Find The Trinity In The Bible?
- 5 The Trinity Explained
- 6 Why Should We Try To Understand The Trinity?
- 7 Top 10 Scriptures About The Trinity
- 8 Conclusion
What Is The Trinity?
In the Christian faith, the concept of the “Trinity” tackles our triune God. The mystery of the Trinity doctrine is the manifestation of three distinct persons in one God, not the existence of three separate gods.
“As concerning, therefore, the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one.”—1 Corinthians 8:4
“Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.”—Galatians 3:20
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men: the man Christ Jesus.”—1 Timothy 2:5
“There is no other God besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.”—Isaiah 45:21–22
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord, our God, the Lord is one.”—Deuteronomy 6:4
What Does It Mean That God Is A Trinity?
“God is a Trinity” means that God is one in essence or divine nature that eternally exists as three divine persons. The Bible speaks of God the Father, God the Eternal Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
1. The Father, The Son, And The Holy Spirit Are Three Persons
When Jesus, the only begotten Son, lived on Earth, He often spoke while referring to His Father and the Holy Spirit. Several instances in the Bible illustrate the existence of three persons working together in the Old and New Testaments, particularly when our Savior, Christ, was sent to Earth.
The fact that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct persons means their roles are not interchangeable. The Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit; the Son is neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is neither the Son nor the Father.
2. Each Person Of The Trinity Is Fully God
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, sometimes called the Godhead, are each full Gods. Since every Person of the Trinity is entirely God, they cannot be regarded as parts of a larger whole. They are not like puzzle pieces that must be assembled to complete the whole picture. Each Person is equally God and one hundred percent God.
3. The Three Persons Are One True God And Only One Being
Now that we know that each of the three Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—is fully God, we can conclude that the three Persons are the same God. This is the Trinity of God.
They may be distinct Persons, but they are always viewed as equals. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commanded His disciples to make disciples of all nations and baptize them in the name of the three Persons: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Christian church has summarized it as the idea that there are three Persons in one divine essence or being. For a better understanding, God’s essence or being is what He is made of. However, do not think that God is made up of anything other than divinity, as He is not a collection of substances or elements that were united to become God. Each person is made up of one whole entity in their essence.
There is an “unfolding” of three personal distinctions inside God’s one, undivided essence. Each Person in the Trinity also does not imply a different “person” like how humans use it in everyday life. When the Father speaks, He regards Himself as I and the others, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as You.
In terms of the Trinity, we can say that “Person” denotes a distinct subject who identifies Himself as “I” and the other two distinct subjects as “You.” Persons are personal forms of existence rather than different persons or being when talking about the Trinity. Each divine Person is different yet is one, full God.
What Does The Bible Teach Us About The Holy Trinity?
The Bible teaches us that there is only one GOD who exists in three Persons. This doesn’t mean that there is more than one God or more than one being. It is also not true that the Father transforms into the Son or the Holy Spirit or that each member comprises one-third of the Holy God. According to the Bible, God is one undivided Being and is only one essence. The Persons are not merely three roles that God plays.
The three Persons are distinct yet operating in unity. The Old Testament, particularly Psalm 2:7, clearly speaks about the coming of God’s Son: “I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you.'”
Each member of the Trinity is a complete God. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all God with the same nature and characteristics. They are co-existent, co-eternal, and co-equal, hence, worthy of equal praise and worship.
According to the Scripture, the Holy Spirit is subservient to the Father and the Son, while the Son is subservient to the Father. However, these interpersonal relationships between the Persons of the Trinity do not negate the divinity of any one of the Trinity, or make the only Son and the Holy Spirit much less of a God.
Each Person in the Trinity has a separate role and differs in their tasks. The Father is the origin and creator of all things in the eternal Trinity. The Father does all things through His Son, who took on the role of His agent. Lastly, the Father completes His works through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Helper.
Where Do We Find The Trinity In The Bible?
While the exact word “Trinity” does not appear anywhere in the Bible, the idea that God exists as not one Person is revealed multiple times and taught in the Old and New Testaments. Genesis 1:1 reads, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” When translated into Hebrews, “Elohim” is used to refer to God, which is the pluralization of the Hebrew word “El.”
Another example is Genesis 1:26–27, where God used the word “us”: “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.” So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Across the Bible, the three Persons are referred to as God. Galatians 1:1 mentions the Father as God: “Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.”
Before Christ’s crucifixion, the Lord spoke of a Helper in John 16:7. This Helper is the Holy Spirit, who will be with His disciples in His absence.
The same way the Spirit or the Helper is called God is found in Acts 5:3–4: “Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.'”
One clear evidence of the existence of the Trinity is when God sacrificed His own Son, who came on earth in human nature. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Therefore, the Father cannot be the same person as the Son.
The Trinity Explained
Humans have long attempted to illustrate the doctrine of the Trinity to have a more complete understanding. However, nothing and no one can precisely define and create an exact image or illustration of the Trinity. One famous illustration is the egg, made up of a shell, yolk, and egg white. However, as mentioned earlier, the Persons are not “parts or pieces” of the Trinity, as each is fully God.
There is also the water analogy, for it can exist as a solid, liquid, or vapor. But water can only exist in one state at a time, which isn’t the case for our living God. Moreover, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not separate forms of God’s being. Each of them is God and exists simultaneously.
Why Should We Try To Understand The Trinity?
Trying to understand the Trinity is one way of honoring God. He revealed it to us so we can ponder it and apply it to our lives. It is essential because we are created to love and worship God. Understanding the Trinity allows us to grow and strengthen our worship and relationship with God.
The verse in John 4:24 states that God seeks people not only to worship Him, the divine Being with divine power, in spirit but also in His truth: “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Thus, we must strive to honor, glorify, and worship Him by knowing and recognizing His truth.
Furthermore, the Trinity explains how we were saved and are granted access to the Almighty. In Ephesians 2:18, Apostle Paul said, “Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.” Being aware of the three interpersonal relationships between the three Persons and their roles provides us comfort and direction in our prayers.
Top 10 Scriptures About The Trinity
- “…who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.”—1 Peter 1:2
- “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and belief in the truth.”—2 Thessalonians 2:13
- “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”—2 Corinthians 13:14
- “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about me.”—John 15:26
- “The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.'”—Luke 1:35
- “This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”—1 John 5:6–8
- “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”—Romans 5:5
- “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in Him, all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together.”—Colossians 1:15–17
- “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”—Matthew 11:27
- Draw near to me, hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there. And now the Lord God has sent me, and his Spirit.”—Isaiah 48:16
The complexity of the Trinity, which is beyond human comprehension, humbles us and sets humans apart from God, for He is more than what our minds can comprehend. More importantly, it shows how much God loves us and how He worked in every Person of His essence so we can attain salvation.
No one but an all-powerful God can bear the sins of the world to redeem us. We may not fully understand the Trinity, however, we can strive to honor, glorify, love, and worship God with all our heart, mind, and soul—a God who loved us steadfastly and unchangingly despite our sinful nature.