The concept of The Trinity is possibly one of Christianity’s most difficult ideas to understand.

We had a great question and comment from the review forms about how Jesus is God.  All of our reviews are anonymous so, as the pastor, I don’t ever know who writes the reviews, but here’s the actual question that came in.

OK now; item 2 was “Jesus is God”. So first how do we get the Trinity? Father, Son and Holy Spirit are Three different beings we talk about. I know there is a saying 3 in one so…and if God is supposed to be alpha how can he be born when he is already…

Ultimately, our defense of the Trinity is “because the Bible teaches it”. Therefore, I would spend time answering the question do you believe the Bible is true.

This is a tough one.  The Trinity is one of our most difficult beliefs to understand.  The word “Trinity” literally means the “Tri-Unity” of God.  Here’s how I understand who God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are and what this Tri-Unity is that we talk about.

First and foremost, I believe in the one true, living and eternal God.  I believe that he exists in “three distinct subsistences, the Father, the Word or Son and Holy Spirit.”  

These words come from a statement of beliefs that is over four hundred years old.  

Here’s the more technical answer explaining the Trinity from Scripture.  For my answers to a some common questions, skip down a bit.  

The Trinity Knot, A Common Symbol of the Trinity

The Trinity Knot, A Common Symbol of the Trinity

In the Old Testament, we see surprising evidence of the Trinity as we look through the pages of Scripture.  

First, in the opening verses of Genesis, we see that “God created the heavens and the earth” and that “a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.”  The word used for wind is also translated “Spirit” in other translations.  

This is one example of God the Holy Spirit being present, alongside God the Father, during the act of Creation.  This Tri-Unity of God is also seen later in Genesis 1:26 when God said “Let us make humankind in our image.”  

This emphasis on the plurality of God provides us with the insight that whomever God is talking to is considered to be equal with Himself.  After all, God is saying that man will be made in “our” image, this implies that all parties in the conversation are of equal, divine status.  

In the New Testament, the opening of John’s gospel reveals that the Word, Jesus Christ, “Was with God and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God” and “all things came into being through him.”  

While Jesus Christ is evidenced in other places in the Old Testament, this New Testament insight demonstrates that he was both present for and a vital participant in God’s creative work.  We also see Jesus himself, at the end of his earthly ministry, commanding his followers to go out, making disciples “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  This confirms that both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are fully and completely God, yet they are distinct individuals with their own personhood.

Of course, while we can prove the reality of the Trinity from scripture, we should pause a moment and ask why the nature of God is important to us.  Simply put the “doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God and comfortable dependence on Him.”  Our ability to relate to God and his ability to relate to us is grounded in his eternal relationship with himself.   

 

QUESTIONS:

So do we have one God or three?  

We have one God, made up of three persons.  

How does that make sense?

It doesn’t.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not true.   😆 

Why does this matter?

First, it matters because we have a God who holds himself accountable.  When the God found in the Bible makes a promise, he can never break it because he is accountable to himself.  

Second, Scripture teaches us that we are made in his image.  This is the foundation for what healthy relationships look like.   The Father, Son and Spirit are all equally powerful, yet they exist in a perfect relationship.  All healthy human relationships reflect God’s relationship.

How do you know it’s true?

We believe that this is clearly taught in Scripture.  So the question back is do you believe the Bible is true?  

I hope this is helpful.  If you have any more questions about the Trinity, you can ask them in the comments below and I’d be happy to answer them the best I can.  One thing to remember is that some of the most brilliant minds in the world have studied the Trinity and its still confusing.  It is definitely a mystery of our faith.

If you have any questions about the truthfulness or reliability of the Bible, that we can answer with much greater authority.  I would encourage you to explore this question first.  Ultimately, our defense of the Trinity is “because the Bible teaches it”.  Therefore, I would spend time answering the question do you believe the Bible is true. 

Thank you for your question and your feedback! Next week we’ll tackle the second part of the question: If God is supposed to be alpha how can he be born when he is already? by exploring the concept of The Incarnation.

How would you explain the concept of the Trinity? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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