Matthew 28:19 “…, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,….”
2 Corinthians 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
The trinity is a teaching derived from scripture that the God head is made up of three Supreme Beings. The three Supreme beings are distinct from each other but forever United in purpose and actions. The three Supreme Beings have presented themselves to all creation as one God, and would love to be forever identified as one God. To therefore insist that they are three and not one is to oppose their will and wishes. To therefore insist that one is superior to others, or others are inferior, is to divide what shouldn’t be divided. Trinity teaching therefore is an appreciation of God in three Supreme Beings! We have one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
The major issues in this study of the trinity include (1) Mystery of God and membership of the trinity (2) Evidence of three distinct Beings (3) Unity within the trinity (4) Concept of subordination within the trinity (5) Equality of the members of the trinity (6) historical issues in development of the trinity doctrine (7) Concerted efforts within the trinity for our salvation. The discussion below will follow that order.
Mystery and membership of the trinity. God is a mystery. When God ceases to be a mystery, He ceases to be God. God is greater than our ultimate ability to comprehend Him. We therefore will remain limited when it comes to fully understanding God, His nature, His purposes, His ways and all else. What we know is the little He has revealed and its already overwhelming. Our limitation and His holiness, causes us to approach any study of God including this one, with humility and awe, and acceptance of even that which He reveals but doesn’t make sense yet. We cant fully claim to know God as He knows us, or as we know ourselves, or as we are known by others, or even as we know other created beings and subject matters. The trinity therefore must be studied and understood in the light of it being a revelation and mystery combined. We pray, we read the Bible about the trinity, we present findings here, we believe it is what God has said, we pray and accept it. Members of the trinity according to the two verses cited above are God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Evidence of three distinct beings. There is evidence that the trinity is made of three distinct beings. They are not conjoined into one. They can act separately. Therefore they need to consult. In Genesis 1:1-2 while creation is going on the Spirit is hovering over the waters. In Genesis 1:26 suggests a consultation of more than one member in creating human beings. In Genesis 3:22 God refers to man having become like them, referring to more than one member of the trinity. Genesis 11:7 Consultation of more than one, so that they go down and see what is happening at the construction site of the Tower of Babel. Matthew 3:16-17 at the baptism of Jesus, we see the three members of the trinity acting separately, differently at one go. God the son is baptised, God the Spirit comes down as a dove and God the Father speaks from heaven. The trinity therefore is made of three distinct Supreme Beings that act separately but in unity of purpose.
Unity within the trinity. The trinity though made of three distinct Supreme Beings is presented to us as one God. We don’t have three Gods, no! We don’t have one God with three different names, no! God is one in three distinct Supreme Beings. Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORd our God, the LORD is one.” We worship one God only. John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”
Subordination. The apparent subordination within the trinity was necessitated not by their eternal nature but by our need for salvation. Salvation had to be understood by us, therefore God revealed Himself to us for purposes of salvation in a language that we could comprehend. God the Father was not always the Father in eternity past, but He was God. He became Father not because He married and sired children, but because that title would help us place His role in our salvation. God the Son was not always the Son in eternity past, He became the Son, so that we who have sons and know sons can appreciate and understand His sacrifice for our salvation. He is not the Son because He has a mother or parents, but for our understanding, appreciation and acceptance of the gospel. The Spirit as a Helper, was not always a helper in eternity past, He became a helper for purposes of our salvation. In eternity to come, they will maintain their titles as an eternal reminder of God’s love and sacrifice to save us and help us understand salvation in human language. God sacrificed and took titles of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to help us understand and save us! Any subordination we see is to demonstrate to us their role in our salvation and not their nature being superior to the other or inferior. They remain equal in every sense, but take up roles that seem subordinate, for purposes of our salvation! John 17:5 “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
Equality. None of the members of the trinity is superior to the other except when taking roles for our salvation, which they do voluntarily. If one can create, all can create. God the Father created the world. John 1:3 God the Son created the world. Genesis 1:2 Holy Spirit also participated in creation. Jesus wasn’t forced to come and die, He did it voluntarily. John 10:17-18. What is true of God the Father is exactly and equally true of the Son and Spirit. They share exactly the same nature, exactly the same attributes, but remain distinct Supreme Beings!
Historical issues in the development of the trinity doctrine. David Livingstone was the first European to discover Victoria Falls. Discovering and telling the world about it, does not mean he created the falls. The teaching of the trinity may have been arrived at and taught by people whose beliefs we oppose, but it doesn’t make it non-biblical. Truth belongs to God regardless of who has it or discovers it. Trinity doctrine has been rejected by many because of those who discovered it in scripture. Trinity doctrine has been rejected by those who feel that only God the Father is God and the rest are subordinates. Trinity doctrine has been rejected by those who see Jesus as a creature and not God, and those who view the Holy Spirit as mere force or wind and not a Being. A study of each member of the trinity quickly reveals that they are all equal and one, and non is inferior to the other.
Concerted efforts for our salvation. The problem of sin requires comprehensive salvation. The problem of sin is first guilt, second the punishment due, which is death, and thirdly the enslaving power of sin. The guilty need love, God the Father loves us and welcomes us back home, so that our guilt can be taken away. Punishment due to us was taken graciously by Jesus. It is grace because we didn’t deserve that favour. Jesus died in our place. Gracious Lord fixed the problem of our pending punishment. Finally sin had enslaved us. As slaves we had no control or choice. As slaves we were doomed to be sinners forever. But God provided power to help us overcome slavery of sin, power of the Holy Spirit. He empowers by abiding with us. That is why the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is critical for us to overcome sin and be saved. We need Father’s love, Grace of Jesus and fellowship of the Holy Spirit!
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God the Father, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever more…Amen! (C)firstname.lastname@example.org (do not delete any part of this post including this. You are free to share these posts but don’t edit the authorship or content… share as it is… thank you and be blessed!)