What Is The Trinity?
The Trinity is the belief that God is one but three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all one God, but the Father is not the Son or the Spirit; the Son is not the Father or the Spirit; the Spirit is not the Father or the Son.
The Trinity’s Meaning
- God is three-in-one: This truth is grounded in Scripture, but as with many aspects of God, it cannot be completely understood because it surpasses our human knowledge (just like God being eternal — no beginning, no end — it surpasses our human understanding). Even though we cannot fully understand this truth, it is important to believe because the Bible teaches God is three-in-one.
1 John 5:7
- Each Person of the Trinity is God: God the Father is introduced in the very first verse of the Bible as Creator. As you read the Bible, most references to “God” are usually referring to God the Father. His Son, Jesus, is also God. We are introduced to Him and the Holy Spirit/Ghost in the New Testament. The Spirit is equally God and equal to the Father and Son.
Genesis 1:1; Colossians 2:9; John 20:28, 31; 1 Corinthians 2:11; Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3–4
- Only one God, not three: This complex truth is that even though there are three persons who make up the trinity, there is only one God. We do not worship multiple “Gods” or believe that multiple gods exist. There is only one Supreme God, the God of the Bible. He is a triune God, which means He is three and yet only one.
Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5; Romans 3:30; 1 Timothy 2:5; James 2:19
- Different but Equal: Each person of the Trinity will have different roles and you will find them doing different things in the Bible, but you have to remember they are equal. If you reject any person of the Trinity you also reject all the other persons of the Trinity. For example, if you honor the Son you honor the Father, but if you don’t honor the Son you don’t honor the Father.
John 5:19–23, 26
The Trinity’s Evidence
- Evidence at creation: When God was making man, He referred to making man in “our image,” showing there was more than just one person. Also, all three Persons were involved at creation: The Father spoke the earth into being. The Son carried out those words. The Spirit “moved upon” creation.
Genesis 1:2, 9–10; 26–27; John 1:3
- Evidence at Jesus’ baptism: When Jesus we being baptized you also see that God the Father was speaking and God the Holy Spirit was resting on the Son, showing three distinct persons.
- Evidence in the commission: We are commanded to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. These three individual names together show they are three but of equal importance.
- Evidence in the different roles: Praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, and look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
- Evidence at salvation: All three Persons are involved in salvation: The Father, in spite of our sin, is willing to forgive us and sent His only Son to die on the cross for us. The Son only does the will of the Father and willingly died in our place that we might receive the forgiveness of God the Father. The Holy Spirit, who was sent by the Father and the Son, opens our eyes to understand what Jesus did for us and gives us the choice to receive or reject the gift of salvation given by God through Jesus Christ.
John 3:16–17; 6:38; 14:26; 16:7; Hebrews 10:10
The Trinity’s Importance
- Understanding the truth of the Trinity is important because we only serve one God, not three. Christianity only believes in one God, not many. This one God is triune and eternal. These two characteristics are hard to grasp, but can be believed through faith.
- Understanding the truth of the Trinity is important because each Person – Father, Son, Spirit – can only fulfill their position as God. If the Father is not God, then we do not know who created us. If the Son is not God, then He could not have died in our place. If the Spirit is not God, then He could not draw us to salvation.
- Understanding the truth of the Trinity is important because the Bible would be contradicting itself if this were not true. Therefore, this is a cornerstone doctrine of the Christian faith.
- What is the Trinity?
- Do we believe in one God or multiple Gods?
- Who is more important in the Trinity?
- Can we completely understand the Trinity? Why?
- Is each Person of the Trinity’s work the same? Why?