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Core Questions: What Is the Trinity?

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The Depths of Eternity

If there was ever a subject matter in the study of theology that has at the same time been greatly important and greatly mishandled in the evangelical world, it is the study of God.

The word Trinity isn’t in the Bible (neither is the word ‘Bible’ or ‘discipleship’), but the reality of the Trinity is revealed in the Bible. God has revealed Himself to us through the Scriptures by speaking to us. To seek to understand and read about the Trinity is to peek over the wall of eternity and to attempt to plumb the depths of the eternal Godhead.

The Trinity is not like an egg with three parts, for each person of the Godhead is fully God. Nor is it like the three states of water for each person is co-eternal and coexisting with one another. The Trinity is like nothing else in the the world, because there is none like the Lord (1 Samuel 2:2).

First, we need to get our definitions right according to the Bible.

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There Is One God

Christianity is strictly a monotheistic religion. The Bible teaches from cover to cover that there is one God. The Old Testament reveals to us amidst the many false gods and false religions in the world that Yahweh is the only God.

Deuteronomy 6:4, ““Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one,” (ESV). Isaiah 44:6, “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god,” (ESV). There is no other foundational truth than the reality that there is only one God (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 4:35; 1 Kings 8:60; Isaiah 43:10; etc.)

The New Testament likewise confirms this truth as foundational to the spread and birth of Christianity. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:5 (ESV), “For there is one God,” as does James, the Lord’s brother (James 2:19).

All four Gospel accounts testify that there is one God, one divine essence of divinity, as does the full attestation of the New Testament epistles (Matthew 4:10; Mark 12:29; John 1:18; Romans 3:30; Galatians 3:20; Ephesians 4:5; Revelation 22:13).

Christianity does not believe in three gods, three lords, or three deities. Christianity believes in one eternal God.

1 Timothy 2:5, ESV Bible Verse Quote

Three Persons Who Are God

The same Bible also tells us that there are three, coexistent and coeternal persons who are God. Each person is distinct from the other and each person is fully God. And all three of these persons co-exist together as three eternal persons, and in some passages, we see the multiplicity of persons as divine.

No Matter What It Is, Jesus Is Better

Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the plurality of persons while emphasizing that there is one God. Mormons deny the truth of monotheism and believe in many gods.

John 1:1 (ESV), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This text tell us there there are two persons who are both God and yet, different and coexisting persons. The Word is God and He was with God (the Father) — and later in the passage, John tells us that the Word of God incarnate is Jesus Christ (John 1:14).

Much of the New Testament unveils the divine mystery of the eternal joy and fellowship shared between the Father and the Son (1 John 1:1-3).

The Bible shows us the deity of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son (John 14:16-17; John 15:26). To lie to the Holy Spirit is to lie to God (Acts 5:1-4) because He is the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:11), the eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9:14). Jesus said that He is one with the Father (John 10:30) and yet He is clearly distinct from the Father.

We are commanded to baptize in the name of the Triune God (Matthew 28:18-20) and are given a benediction from Him (2 Corinthians 13:14). In heaven, worship is centered around one God: God and the Lamb (Revelation 5:9-14).

To be a Trinitarian is to be a Christian. There are three eternal persons, one eternal God.

The Richness of the Athanasian Creed

Here are some excellent words and clear teaching about the doctrine of the Trinity from the Athanasian Creed:

The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not three almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

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Cale is the pastor of Union Baptist Church in Orrick, MO. He is married to his wife Kelly and they have two children (third on the way!). Cale will be graduating with a Masters degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this Fall and Spring 2023.
Cale is the pastor of Union Baptist Church in Orrick, MO. He is married to his wife Kelly and they have two children (third on the way!). Cale will be graduating with a Masters degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this Fall and Spring 2023.

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