Bible Questions

Bible Questions

What is meant by saying that God is a Trinity?

The one true God is one in every way, in nature, will and being; but one in three distinct Persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

(The word 'Trinity' is not found in the Bible. Nevertheless it sums up what the Bible teaches throughout concerning the mystery of God's Being. The term was first used to preserve truths concerning God's Being from error and false teaching.)

There is one God.

There is only one living and true God, or divine Being (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29; Romans 3:30; 1 Timothy 2:5; James 2:19).

Before Him no god was formed; nor will there be one after Him (Isaiah 43:10). He is the first and the last (Isaiah 44:6).

Besides Him there is no other (Deuteronomy 4:35).

God exists in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Since the beginnings of human history God has revealed Himself as a Trinity: indications of the truth of the Trinity are found in the Old Testament, and in the earliest books of the Bible.

On occasions God speaks using the first person plural (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 11:7; Isaiah 6:8).

The form of God's blessing is threefold (Num. 6:24-26).

A distinction is made between the Lord and the angel of the Lord, who Himself is God, to whom all divine titles are given and divine worship offered (Genesis 16:10-13; Genesis 18:13-14, Genesis 18:19, Genesis 18:25, Genesis 18:33; Genesis 22:11-18; Genesis 48:15,16; Exodus 3:2, Exodus 3:6, Exodus 3:14; Exodus 13:21; Exodus 14:19; Exodus 23:20,21; Joshua 5:13-15; Judges 6:11-24; 13:3-23).

As the revelation of the Old Testament is continued, the distinction between the Lord and the angel of the Lord becomes clearer. This messenger of the Lord (Malachi 3:1) is called the Son of God (Daniel 3:25). His personality and divinity are clearly revealed (Zechariah 3:1). His origins are from of old, from ancient times (Micah 5:2), the Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6), the Lord of David (Psalms 110:1), who was to be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), and bear the sins of many (Isaiah 53:4-6,10).

With regard to the Holy Spirit, He is represented in the first chapter of Genesis as the source of order and life in the created universe (Genesis 1:2). In the books that follow in the Old Testament, He is represented as inspiring the prophets (Micah 3:8; compared with 2 Peter 1:21), giving skill, wisdom, strength and goodness to political leaders and warriors, and to the people of God (Exodus 31:3; Num. 11:17, 25; Deuteronomy 34:9; Judges 3:10; 11:29; 1 Samuel 10:6; 16:13).

The New Testament provides ample confirmation of the truth of the Trinity. There is the specific evidence of the baptismal formula (Matthew 28:19) and the apostolic benediction (2 Corinthians 13:14).

The Trinity is a mystery beyond our comprehension - to be accepted and believed.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three distinct Persons: that is to say, these Persons are not simply different modes of appearance God uses in His revelation to us.

The Father says 'I' (John 12:28); the Son says 'I' (John 17:4); the Spirit says 'I' (Acts 13:2).

The Father says 'You' to the Son (Mark 1:11); the Son says 'You' to the Father (John 17:2); the Father and the Son use the words 'He' and 'Him' in reference to the Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26).

Although the work of the Father and the Son is one, Jesus said, 'My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working' (John 5:17), implying that their being - in some mysterious way beyond our understanding - is distinct.

The Father loves the Son (John 3:35); the Son loves the Father (John 14:31); the Spirit testifies about the Son (John 15:26).

Some acts are referred to the Father, Son and Spirit: for example, creation and preservation. The Father created the world (Isaiah 40:28); the Son created the world (John 1:3); the Spirit created the world (Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4). The Father preserves all things (Nehemiah 9:6); the Son sustains all things (Hebrews 1:3); the Spirit is the source of all life (Psalms 104:30).

Other acts are mainly referred to the Father, others to the Son, and others to the Spirit: for example, in the work and plan of redemption. The Father chooses and calls, the Son redeems by His blood, and the Spirit sanctifies (1 Peter 1:2).

There is a particular order of relationships between the Persons of the Trinity.

The Father is first (John 5:26, 27; Ephesians 1:3).

The Son is second: He is the only begotten of the Father and is sent by Him (Psalms 2:7; John 3:16; Hebrews 1:5; 1 John 4:14).

The Spirit is third: He is given us by the Father and the Son (John 14:16; 15:26; 20:22).

The order of relationship does not imply that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit do not possess true and equal divinity: their true and equal divinity is insisted upon.

The Father is God (1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6).

The Son is God (John 1:14, 18; 20:28, 31; Philippians 2:6; Titus 2:13).

The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

In the Bible all the divine characteristics are considered as belonging to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: for example, holiness (Exodus 15:11; Acts 2:27; 1:5); love (John 3:16; Galations 5:22; Ephesians 3:18); omnipotence (Job 42:2; Isaiah 9:6; Romans 1:4 and 1 Corinthians 2:4); omniscience (John 21:17; 1 Corinthians 2:10; Hebrews 4:13); omnipresence (Psalms 139:7-10; Jeremiah 23:23, 24; Matthew 28:20).

The Trinity is a mystery beyond our comprehension - to be accepted and believed.

We cannot delve into God's secrets that He has not chosen to reveal (Romans 11:33-36; 1 Timothy 6:16).

Nor can the angels of heaven fathom the mystery of His being (Isaiah 6:2, 3).

By means of the Scriptures we are given sufficient understanding of the work of the Trinity, in creation, redemption, and sanctification, to be saved and to be brought to eternal glory (Colossians 1:11-14; 2 Timothy 3:15-17).