Abin thank you for your question. Sharing truths about GOD is both a great privilege and a weighty task. We all have a desire to share but we all also have the fear of not being able to answer questions correctly. I would like to begin by saying that the first step to helping others understand GOD is to admit that we cannot and do not know everything about Him. We can only know what He reveals to us through His word. We are completely and utterly dependent on Him to know Him. Our attitude is not to try and figure GOD out but to know Him as Creator, King, Father, Savior, and Restorer. He is worthy of our worship and we should be in awe of His eternal and infinite nature.
I also want you to know that there is not enough paper and ink on the planet to capture all there is to say about the Trinity. People have written books that are thousands of pages long and they still fall short. There is one book that I really enjoy called “Experiencing The Trinity” by Joe Thorn. It is very helpful and available on amazon.
I believe the Doctrine of the Trinity is foundational to the Christian faith because within it we see who GOD is, what He is doing, and How He is doing it. It is also incredibly helpful in answering the most important question for humanity: How can I relate to GOD?
Let’s begin with the definition…
The doctrine of the Trinity means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Simply stated, God is one in essence and three in person. When we break this definition down we get three crucial truths: (1) the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, (2) each Person is fully God, (3) there is only one God.
DISTINCT PERSONS BUT ONE GOD
The Bible speaks of The Father as GOD (Philippians 1:2), The SON as GOD (Colossians 1:16; Titus 2:13) , and the HOLY SPIRIT as GOD (Acts 5:3-4). But the Bible is clear in Deuteronomy 6:4 (a passage of scripture that would of been memorized by every single Israelite) when it says “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one…” It’s also important to note that the New Testament is not the only place that you discover the trinity. Throughout the Old Testament you have shadows of the trinity everywhere. You have prophecies about Jesus, you have references to the Holy Spirit. Even in the creation story in Genesis you have GOD the Father, and His word (JESUS), and the HOLY SPIRIT hovering over the deep. So the concept of three persons but one GOD is woven throughout the Biblical narrative. Although the word trinity does not exist in scripture it is a word that we have adopted to describe how GOD has revealed himself to us through out scripture and history.
One of the most common questions about this idea is “Are these just three different ways of looking at God, or could they be ways of referring to three different roles that God plays? “ The answer must be no, because the Bible also indicates that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons.
For example, since the Father sent the Son into the world (John 3:16), he cannot be the same person as the Son. Likewise, after the Son returned to the Father (John 16:10), the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit into the world (John 14:26; Acts 2:33). Therefore, the Holy Spirit must be distinct from the Father and the Son. The Bible continually communicates three distinct persons all fulfilling distinct roles while saying The LORD our GOD, the LORD is ONE.
This means that each member of the Trinity has a distinct consciousness. They relate to each other personally — the Father regards himself as “I” while he regards the Son and Holy Spirit as “you.” Likewise, the Son regards himself as “I,” but the Father and the Holy Spirit as “you.”
This is important for many different reasons but one of the greatest reasons is that it communicates something to us about who GOD is. He is relational. He has perfect relationship within the Godhead. Each person relates perfectly to one another in a deep and abiding relationship to one another. This means that GOD is a relational GOD and as we read in scripture each member of the Trinity is uniquely at work to restore relationship with GOD and mankind.
EACH PERSON IS FULLY GOD
Another common mistake many make in the trinity is dividing up the Godhead in the wrong way. Wayne Grudem (a systematic theologian) says it in this way: “We should not think of God as a “pie” cut into three pieces, each piece representing a Person. This would make each Person less than fully God and thus not God at all. Rather, the being of each Person is equal to the whole being of God” (Grudem, Systematic Theology, 1994, page 255). The divine essence is not something that is divided between the three persons, but is fully in all three persons without being divided into “parts.” This is why Paul in Colossians 2:9 can say with confidence “the fullness of the diety of GOD dwells bodily in Christ.
This means we can pray confidently, and trust completely that Jesus is fully GOD and the HOLY SPIRIT is fully GOD, and the Father is fully GOD. Each member is fully at work fulfilling GOD’s promises.
Although our understanding of the trinity is limited as Isaiah 55:8 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” The trinity is another reason to worship GOD. He is bigger and more powerful and more beautiful than we can ever imagine or comprehend yet He has revealed himself to us in ways that allows us to have a real and genuine relationship with Him. The trinity should cause us to desire to know Him more. It also allows us to trust Him fully because He is the source of eternal life and He is capable of accomplishing everything necessary for our salvation. Praying for you Abin as you cherish and share the LORD!
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
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