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The Trinity/Godhead
by Dr. Linda Smallwood, BBS, M.Min., D.Min.


In This Lesson
Introduction | The LORD Is One | The Trinity Is a Revealed Doctrine | God Talks to Himself in the Plural
The Triune Composition of Creation | A Closer Look at the Three Persons of the Godhead | Their Distinct Personalities
Their Divine Attributes | Their Relationship to One Another | One in Purpose, Power, and Nature


Before we begin this study, understand this: There is no way to perfectly and completely understand the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. It is impossible for any human being to fully understand, let alone explain. God says: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9). Certainly, none of us would dare argue about that! God is infinitely greater than we are; therefore, we should not expect to be able to fully understand Him with our intellect. In other words, there are mysteries which will be gloriously revealed when we stand before His throne. Until that Day, we study and ask for revelatory knowledge from the Holy Spirit; but ultimately, we assent that some concepts must be taken on faith.

Although we can understand some facts about the relationship between the three, ultimately, their being three distinct Persons forming one God is incomprehensible to the human mind! However, this does not mean the Trinity is not true or that it is not based on the Bible. And it does not mean that we take it only on faith without earnest study and contemplation.

The Word "Trinity" Is Not in the Bible
The word "triune" comes from a combination of the Latin tri meaning "having, combining, or involving three" and unus meaning "one". Thus, "triune" means "three-in-one". The word "trinity" comes either from the Greek trias or the Latin trinitas meaning "threefold" or "a set of three persons or things that form a single unit".

We have studied about who God is, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. We have acknowledged that each One is a distinct Person working in concert with each other — united in purpose, power, and nature and comprising the one divine Being we call "God". The two best-known Bible verses that reveal this truth to us are found in:

  • Matthew 28:19 when Jesus said: "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." (emphasis added)

    Rules of grammar dictate that if these three — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — are three separate Beings, then this verse would read: "...baptizing them in the names of..." However, Jesus used the singular noun "name" when mentioning all three Persons.

  • 1 John 5:7 where the Apostle John wrote: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

To say that God is complex would be a gross understatement! However, God is not so complex that we cannot know Him. He inspired the Bible to be written so anyone can understand and draw near to Him. The difference is that God is not human. As such, we cannot describe Him in the same way as we would describe another human. The gods of every other religion can be described in "normal" terms since they were invented in the minds of men. And by denying the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity, even some "Christian" cults invent their own descriptions of God in an ill-fated attempt to force Him into a human-shaped mold.

But the fact remains, He is not human. However, He can be, and wants to be, understood by us!

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The LORD Is One

The Bible teaches that the Father is God, that Jesus is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also teaches that there is only one God and no other God beside Him.

  • "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one." [In Hebrew: "Sh'ma, Yisra'el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad"] (Deuteronomy 6:4)

  • "...all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other." (1 Kings 8:60)

  • "...Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any." (Isaiah 44:8b)

  • See also 1 Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:5.

The Hebrew word for "one" in Deuteronomy 6:4 is echad. The same Hebrew word is used for "one" in Genesis 2:24, which states: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Does a sort of metamorphosis take place when a couple marries so that they actually become one person? No. Nevertheless, God's Word says clearly that they "become one flesh." Obviously, the intent here is that they become "one" united in heart, mind, and purpose.

See also Genesis 34:16,22; Ezekiel 37:17.

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The Trinity Is a Revealed Doctrine
Although you will not find the words "triune God" or "Trinity" anywhere in the Bible, we call this divine unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit the "Trinity" or "Godhead". The King James Bible uses the term "Godhead" in three places:

"Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device." (Acts 17:29 emphasis added)

"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" (Romans 1:20 emphasis added)

"For in him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:9 emphasis added)

Other translations use the terms "deity", "divine nature", "divine being", and "eternal character" in place of "Godhead". Why not simply use the term "God"? Because it is impossible to define the God of the Bible by a single word. 1 Kings 8:27b tells us: "...Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you..." If the "highest heaven" cannot contain God, how can a single name or word describe Him?

That's why we see Him in Scripture, not only as YHWH [Yahweh/Jehovah], or Adonai and Elohim, but also as...

  • "The LORD Will Provide" [YHWH-Jireh] (cf. Genesis 22:14);
  • "The LORD Our Healer" [YHWH-Rophe] (cf. Exodus 15:26b);
  • "The LORD Our Peace" [YHWH-Shalom] (cf. Judges 6:24);
  • "The LORD My Shepherd" [YHWH-Rohi] (cf. Psalm 23:1);
  • "The LORD Our Righteousness" [YHWH-Tsid'Ke-nu] (cf. Jeremiah 23:6);
  • "The LORD Is Here/There" [YHWH-Shammah] (cf. Ezekiel 48:35);
  • "The LORD Our Banner"/"The LORD Is Our Refuge" [YHWH-Nissi] (cf. Exodus 17:15);
  • "The LORD Who Sanctifies/Makes Holy" [YHWH-M'Kaddesh] (cf. Exodus 31:13);
  • "The LORD of Hosts" [YHWH-Tzva'ot] (cf. 1 Samuel 1:11);
  • "Almighty God" [El Shaddai] (cf. Genesis 17:1);
  • "God Most High"/"Most High God" [El Elyon] (cf. Genesis 14:18–22); and
  • many other names and designations.

What we learn from studying His names/designations is that no finite word(s) can adequately define the infinite personality, character, and attributes of our God! Really, can one name ever be adequate to God's immenseness?

As we already mentioned, the word "Trinity" does not appear in your Bible. That's because the doctrine of the Trinity is a purely revealed doctrine. It embodies a truth which cannot be observed by natural reason. In Isaiah 55:9, God says: " the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." No doubt, that is certainly the case in the doctrine and mystery of the Trinity. It is one of the deepest truths of God that mere human intellect can never fully discern or attain.

Simultaneous, but Separate, Interactions among the Three
There are several instances where Scripture references all three Members at the same time, or where the Holy Spirit and Father interact distinctly and separately with the Son.

"'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 emphasis added) Here, we see the Son speaking through the prophet Isaiah while making reference to the Father and Holy Spirit. While some might argue that this is not Jesus speaking, when you take the verse in context, it is clearly an instance of Old Testament prophetic utterances by the Son.

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound." (Isaiah 61:1 emphasis added) Here, again, we see the prophetic utterance of the Son while referencing both the Holy Spirit and the Father. [See Luke 4:14-19.]

In Jesus' water baptism, we see God the Holy Spirit descending on God the Son while God the Father proclaims His pleasure in the Son. Matthew 3:16-17—

See also Mark 1:10-11 and Luke 3:21-22.

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God Talks to Himself in the Plural
The doctrine of the Trinity is given to us in Scripture, not in specific words or by definition, but in infrequent and incomplete passing references. For instance, God revealed His triune nature in His initial revelation in Genesis about the Creation. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth . . . Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.'" (Genesis 1:1,26a).

"Then the LORD God said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil...'" (Genesis 3:22a)

Genesis 11:7a—

Isaiah 6:8—

The original Hebrew word for "God" in the Creation narrative is "Elohim", which is a plural noun. [See the discussion of the plural nouns "Elohim" and "Adonai" in the lesson "Who Is God in Judaism?".] So, when God used phrases like "Elohim completed His work which He had done..." (Genesis 2:1b TS98) or other verses incorporating the plural noun "Elohim" with the singular pronouns "He" or "His", He was in fact revealing to humankind that He was/is, not only plural in majesty [as in "holy, holy, holy"], but also plural in nature. Such a concept is completely illogical and one that man, in his seeking for a "higher power" outside of himself, would never create on his own!

While the plural names "Elohim" and "Adonai" are not an explicit argument for, or definitive proof of, the Trinity, they do denote the aspect of plurality in God. Thus, these Hebrew names definitely allow for the Trinity.

This concept developed via the progressive revelation of the Bible to incorporate the involvement of Jesus Christ — as the "Word", the "Light" and the "Life" — and the Person and ministry of the Holy Spirit with God the Father. In bringing these references together into their revealed unity, we are not rejecting Scripture in favor of a non-Biblical conclusion. Rather, we are entering into a more thorough understanding of all that God has revealed to us in His Word.

The Word Became Flesh
God revealed His triune nature to the Apostle John, too, who wrote: "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 was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:1-3 emphasis added). Not only does the last phrase put to rest the teaching that Jesus is a created being — which some cults teach — but from a strictly human standpoint, these sentences make no sense. How could Jesus [the Word] be "with God" and at the same be God? What a marvelous mystery and revelation the Lord gave to John!

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The Triune Composition of Creation
Since the doctrine of the Trinity cannot be discovered or discerned by intellect, then it also cannot be proven by mere human reason. Many people throughout Church history have tried to use things in nature to illustrate the Trinity. One of the best analogies I've come across is the following excerpt from "Another Look at the Trinity" by Matt Slick of the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry.

Another Look at the Trinity
The Trinity can be a difficult concept to understand. Some think it is a logical contradiction. Others call it a mystery. Does the Bible teach it? Yes it does, but that doesn't automatically make it easier to comprehend.

The Trinity is defined as one God who exists in three eternal, simultaneous, and distinct persons known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Such a definition may suffice for some, but for others this explanation is insufficient.

Therefore, to help understand the Trinity better, I offer the following analogy that, I think, is hinted at in Romans 1:20: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

Notice that this verse says God's attributes, power, and nature can be clearly seen in creation. What does that mean? Should we be able to learn about God's attributes, power, and nature by looking at what He has made? Apparently, according to the Bible, this is possible.

When a painter paints a picture, what is in him is reflected in the painting he produces. When a sculptor creates a work of art, it is from his heart and mind that the source of the sculpture is born. The work is shaped by his creative ability. The creators of art leave their marks, something that is their own, something that reflects what they are. Is this the same with God? Has God left His fingerprints on creation? Of course He has.

Basically, the universe consists of three elements: Time, Space, and Matter. Each of these is comprised of three 'components.'

As the Trinitarian doctrine maintains, each of the persons of the Godhead is distinct, yet they are all each, by nature, God.

With time, for example, the past is distinct from the present, which is distinct from the future. Each is simultaneous, yet they are not three 'times,' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: time.

With space, height is distinct from width, which is distinct from depth, which is distinct from height. Yet, they are not three 'spaces,' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: space.

With matter, solid is not the same as liquid, which is not the same as gas, which is not the same as solid. Yet, they are not three 'matters,' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: matter.

Note that there are three sets of threes. In other words, there is a trinity of trinities. If we were to look at the universe and notice these qualities within it, is it fair to say that these are the fingerprints of God upon His creation? I think so. Not only is this simply an observation, but it is also a good source for an analogy of the Trinity.

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A Closer Look at the Three Persons of the Godhead
Although the above illustrations may give us a picture of the Trinity, they remain extra-Biblical truth. Really, any analogies to the Trinity in nature will always be inadequate, because an infinite God cannot be fully described by finite illustrations. So, let's go back to God's Word and compare what it reveals to us about the three Persons of our triune God.

Their Distinct Personalities
[Note: We already reviewed some of the following points in the lesson "Who Is God: God Is a Trinity". However, the triune nature of our God is such a sensitive and difficult concept that I believe it warrants another look.]

When describing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we use the word "Person" — which is not to be confused with "human", which they certainly are not! We can accurately refer to each one as a Person because they each display characteristics of identity similar to humans — not in a body of flesh-and-bones, but in personality. They each have a will, they love and speak, and they desire fellowship just as human beings do.

  • Each one fellowships with us.
    1 John 1:3—

    "God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:9 emphasis added)

    2 Corinthians 13:14—

    "If there is therefore any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tendernesses and mercies..." (Philippians 2:1 MKJV emphasis added)

  • Each one has a will.
    "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." (Luke 22:42 emphasis added)

    "All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills." (1 Corinthians 12:11 emphasis added)

  • Each one speaks.
    Matthew 3:17—

    22"When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, 'Why do you question in your hearts? 23Which is easier, to say, "Your sins are forgiven you," or to say, "Rise and walk"? 24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins' — he said to the man who was paralyzed — 'I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.'" Luke 5:22-24

    Acts 8:29—

    "And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction..." (Acts 11:12a emphasis added)

    See also Acts 1:16; 10:19; 13:2.

  • Each one loves.
    "God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die." (John 3:16 CEV emphasis added)

    "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." (Ephesians 5:25 emphasis added)

    "I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf." (Romans 15:30 emphasis added)

  • Each one experiences and gives joy.
    Psalm 92:4—

    " not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10c)

    "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." (John 15:11)

    "And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit." (1 Thessalonians 1:6 emphasis added)

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Their Divine Attributes
Like a family name or surname, the Bible uses the word "God" for all three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To distinguish between them, we usually refer to the Father as "God", we call the Son by His earthly name, "Jesus" or "Yeshua" [also Y'shua or Yehoshua], and we refer to the third Person as "the Holy Spirit". Let's examine what the Bible says about each of them.

  • The Bible calls each one "God".
    "Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal." (John 6:27)

    Philippians 1:2—

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

    John 1:14—

    "For in him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:9 KJV emphasis added)

    "But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.'" (Acts 5:3-4 emphasis added))

    1 Corinthians 3:16—

    See also Romans 1:7; Romans 9:5; Hebrews 1:8; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 5:20.

  • The Bible refers to each as the Creator.
    "But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand." (Isaiah 64:8)

    John 1:3—

    15"He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (Colossians 1:15-17)

    "The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life." (Job 33:4 emphasis added)

    Job 26:13—

  • Each One is eternal.
    "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." (Psalm 90:2)

    "And you, Bethlehem Ephratah, you being least among the thousands of Judah, out of you He shall come forth to Me, to become Ruler in Israel, He whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity." (Micah 5:2 emphasis added)

    " much more shall the blood of Christ (who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God) purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14 emphasis added)

  • Each One resurrects and gives life.
    Genesis 2:7—

    "For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will." (John 5:21)

    "All things were made through him [Christ], and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:3)

    2 Corinthians 3:6—

    See also John 2:19; 10:17; Romans 8:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:10.

  • Each One is omnipresent.
    "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!" (1 Kings 8:27)

    7"Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me." (Psalm 139:7-10)

    Matthew 28:20—

  • Each One is omniscient.
    "Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God." (John 16:30)

    John 21:17—

    "these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." (1 Corinthians 2:10-11)

    1 John 3:20—

    See also Jeremiah 17:10; Revelation 2:23.

  • Each One indwells us.
    "even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you." (John 14:17 emphasis added)

    2 Corinthians 6:16—

    "To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27 emphasis added)

  • Each One sanctifies us.
    "Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

    Hebrews 2:11—

    "...according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you." (1 Peter 1:2)

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Their Relationship to One Another
A closer examination of Scripture reveals that there is a hierarchy among the Three and they each have different works or tasks.

  • Subordination
    Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son, and the Son is subordinate to the Father. This is an internal relationship and does not deny the deity of any one of them. This is, again, a difficult concept for our finite minds to understand concerning the infinite God.
    • Concerning the Son:
      Luke 22:42—

      "But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me." (John 5:36)

      "Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.'" (John 20:21)

      1 John 4:14—

    • Concerning the Holy Spirit:
      John 14:16,26—

      "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)

      John 16:7—

      "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you." (John 16:13-14 emphasis added)

  • Different Tasks
    The individual Members of the Trinity each have different tasks from one another.
    • The Father is the Source or Cause of...

      ...The Universe:
      1 Corinthians 8:6—

      "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."" (Revelation 4:11)

      ...Divine Revelation:
      "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place..." (Revelation 1:1a)

      John 3:16-17—

      ...Jesus' Human Works:
      John 5:17—

      "Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works." (John 14:10)

    • The Son Is the Father's Agent for...

      ...the Creation and Maintenance of the Universe:
      The Father accomplishes the following tasks through the Son, who functions as His agent.

      "All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:3 emphasis added)

      1 Corinthians 8:6—

      "For by him [Christ] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." (Colossians 1:16-17)

      ...Divine Revelation:
      John 1:1—

      12"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you." (John 16:12-15)

      See also Matthew 11:27; Revelation 1:1.

      Matthew 1:21—

      John 4:42—

      " Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:19)

    • The Holy Spirit Is the Means by Whom...

      ...the Father Creates and Maintains the Universe:
      Genesis 1:2—

      See also Job 26:13; Psalm 104:30.

      ...the Father and Son Impart Revelation:
      See John 16:12-15 above.

      "When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit." (Ephesians 3:5 Emphasis added)

      "He [Holy Spirit] was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God." (2 Peter 1:21 Emphasis added)

      ...the Father and Son Save:
      "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6)

      Titus 3:15—

      "...according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you." (1 Peter 1:2)

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One in Purpose, Power, and Nature
The doctrine of the Trinity has been a divisive issue throughout Church history. God's Word clearly presents the core facets of the Trinity — such as each One being called "God", possessing attributes of deity, or demonstrating characteristics of personhood. However, some of the subordinate essences are not as explicitly clear. The seemingly self-contradictory Biblical doctrine of the Trinity teaches and confirms there is only one God, not three. But, just as time, space, and matter each exist in three forms but are each one unit, so the one God of the Bible exists in three distinct Persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — and yet is one God..

Illogical? Yes! Unimaginable? Yes! This is why we say the doctrine of the Trinity is discerned, not in a single verse, but by a careful study of the whole of God's Word — and perhaps child-like faith and acceptance that our God is fully entitled to be more than we can understand or explain.

What distinguishes our triune God from the triad divinities of polytheistic religions is that these three distinct Persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — are one in purpose, one in power, and one in nature. They have always co-existed and have always worked together in perfect union and harmony. They did in creation; they did while Jesus was here on earth; and they always will.

Beyond that, the issue is, to one extent or another, arguable but also non-essential. Thus, it should never divide the Body of Christ, as it is not a salvation issue. Rather than attempting to fully and conclusively define the Trinity with our finite human minds, I suggest we might better "redeem the time" by meditating on God's greatness, His infinitely higher nature, and His outrageous and unfathomable love. "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 'For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?'" (Romans 11:33-34 via Isaiah 40:13, Jeremiah 23:18).

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Dr. Linda SmallwoodQuestions/Comments?
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1 Septuagint n. The oldest Greek version of the Old Testament; said to have been translated from the Hebrew by Jewish scholars at the request of Ptolemy II.


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