“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
What is the Holy Trinity?
The Holy Trinity is a Bible doctrine that describes the person of God. Although the word “Trinity” (Tri-Unity) is not in the Bible, it is an ecclesiastical term used to describe the triune God that exists in the form of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One God existing in three co-eternal, co-equal Divine persons, each distinct, yet of one substance, having the exact same nature and attributes and each equally worthy of praise and worship. The New Testament describes this as the “Godhead” (Rom. 1:20, Col. 2:9).
Where Is the Trinity Found in the Bible?
All three members of the Trinity are explicitly referenced in numerous Bible passages.
And of course, we have the opening Scripture at the top of this post.
Is the Trinity Mentioned in the Old Testament?
Although the Old Testament does not explicitly mention the Trinity, the basis of this doctrine can be clearly detected throughout. Indications of the triune God are mentioned in the very first passage of the Bible. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The Hebrew word for God in this passage is “Elohim.” The word Elohim is plural, but the verb “created” is bara which indicates a third-person singular masculine. For it to have been plural, it would have to have been baru. So we see God in one sense plural, in terms of His persons, but singular in terms of his being (or deity). This fits the doctrine of the Trinity perfectly.
Then we have Genesis 1:26-27 where it says, “Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”… Once again, the word “God” in this passage is the same word “Elohim” (a plural noun), and the verb “said” is in the third-person singular form – seeing that both the plural pronoun “Our” and the singular “His” referring to the exact same thing (God’s image). God also uses the word “Us” to refer to Himself in other passages such as Genesis 3:22, and Isaiah 6:8. The word “Elohim” and the pronoun “Us” are both used in the plural form, definitely referring to more than two in the Hebrew language. Why would God refer to Himself in the plural form if there was no such thing as the Trinity? The fact is, the word “Elohim” appears in its plural form over 2000 times throughout the Hebrew Scriptures and in virtually every instance it has a singular verb.
Also, in Isaiah 48:12-17, we find the speaker in this passage describing Himself as the Alpha and Omega, and yet saying “the Lord God and His Spirit have sent Me.” And then, the following verse (verse 17) calls the speaker “Lord Redeemer,” and “the Holy One of Israel.” So what this is actually saying is that Yahweh was sent by Yahweh and the Spirit of Yahweh. The doctrine of the Trinity is the only way this passage makes any sense.
Trying to Explain the Trinity
Over the years there have been many attempts to try to explain the Trinity by using earthly examples such as;
However, none of these are good examples for explaining the Trinity, because in each of these situations we have the same problem. Each of the three parts are completely different from each other and each part individually is not a whole without the other two parts. On the other hand, all three members of the Trinity make up only one Deity, yet all three are made of the same substance and each member of the Trinity is fully God without the other two members – Even though neither are really ever without the other two members. Well, is your head spinning yet?
The Bible Teaches There Is Only One God!
There are many people out there (including Jehovah’s Witnesses) who do not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. They think Christians worship three God’s (Polytheism or Tritheism). They use the simple math equation of 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, when in actuality the equation goes more like this; 1 x 1 x 1 = 1. However, the Bible clearly teaches that there is only one God. Consider the following scriptures;
All Three Members of the Trinity Are Called “God”
All three members of the Trinity are addressed as “God” in many different scriptures throughout the Bible. Considering the Bible also claims there is only one God, the fact that all three members are labeled as this one God also makes sense only through the eyes of the Trinity. Below I’ve listed just a few to prove my point.
The Father is God
John 6:27 says, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
Philippians 1:2 says, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 2:11 says, “and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Galatians 1:1 says, “Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead).”
The Son is God
Hebrews 1:8 says, “But to the Son He says: Your throne O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”
Titus 2:13 says, “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
John 1:1-5 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Spirit is God
Acts 5:3-4 says, “But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan field your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
2 Corinthians 3:15-17 says, “But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil was taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
All Three Members of the Trinity Are Completely Distinct
John 14:16-17 says, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because It neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
This is just one of the many scriptures where we can clearly see the distinction between all three members of the Trinity. God the Son prays to God the Father to bring forth God the Spirit. While Jesus was on earth, He was 100% man (flesh and bones) and in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15), and also 100% God. There were definitely times when Jesus revealed His earthly human side by making statements such as; “My Father is greater than I,” or “Not My will but Thine be done,” and during His crucifixion, instead of “Father,” Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Because while Jesus was taking on all the past, present, and future sins of the world, God the Father could not look upon sin and therefore had to temporarily turn His back on His Son Jesus. For the first and only time in history, there was a breach in the Holy Trinity. However, none of these statements made Him less equal to God in terms of the Trinity. The Scripture I’ve listed below definitely proves my point.
The Humbled and Exalted Christ
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
And then we have scriptures such as Matthew 28:19 which says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” This clearly shows the unity of the Holy Trinity. All three members of the Trinity in this verse share one name because all three are the great “I Am.”
And now, I’ve saved the most powerful Scripture for last. A Scripture that is in the Bible but has been scrutinized for its authenticity on being in the original text. For all those of you who have a problem with this verse, there is an excellent book written by C.H. Pappas ThM. that might just change your beliefs. You can get it on Amazon by clicking this (Link).
And the verse is:
1 John 5:7 – “For there are three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”
Can the Trinity Be Fully Understood?
Most people, including Christians, will humbly admit that they cannot fully understand the Trinity. Because the concept of a God who is “three-in-one” is impossible for our finite minds to grasp, even though the word “Triune” clearly expresses its meaning. “Tri” means three, and “une” means one. Don’t feel defeated by not understanding the concept of the Trinity. You can join the millions of people around the world who are in the same boat. After all, if our little earthly brains were smart enough to completely figure out God, then how much of a God would He be? The Bible clearly lets all of us off the hook for not understanding the Trinity. Consider the Scriptures below:
Psalm 147:5 says, “Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure.”
Isaiah 40:28 says, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.”
Romans 11:33 says, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways”, says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
However, make no mistake. If we deny any one of the three members of the Trinity, we are truly denying our salvation. We cannot just accept the Father without accepting the Son and the Holy Spirit.
1 John 2:23 says, “No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”
And Romans 8:9 says, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”
One God doesn’t equal one person, it equals one Deity!
Someone once said, “If you try to explain the Trinity you will lose your mind, but if you deny it, you lose your soul.”
So you see, whether we understand it or not, if we deny the Trinity, we are not Christians at all and we do not belong to Christ. I personally believe in the Trinity with all my heart because God’s Word says it’s true. And I can see the Trinity in my own personal salvation story as with all other Christians. I am brought to humble adoration as I rejoice in a God who has equipped me with a Trinitarian salvation. While I was walking this earth lost in my sin, the loving God of this universe utilized every person of His being to save me. The Father gave me His Son, His Son died on the cross to pay for my sins, and the Holy Spirit led me to the saving knowledge of Jesus. God utilized every member of the Godhead in His plan of salvation.
Here is a beautiful song about the Trinity by Hillsong, for those who would like to listen. (Link).