Today’s podcast continues the series, Know What You Believe… In this series, we’re looking at the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. I hope you enjoy.
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We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.
If God were small enough to be understood, he wouldn’t be big enough to be God.
We believe there is one and only one God. We also believe that our God is united within himself, so that he isn’t at all like a bunch of parts rattling around in a box. He is perfectly united and singular and one.
I’m saying all this, because the Trinity is hard to think about. But to grow along the Grace Pathway means we have to stretch our minds around ideas we might have never thought about before.
There is one God, and one nature of God.
At the same time, our one God is three Persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
The essence of God—his nature and being—is always singular and one.
The Persons of God—his way of existing—is always plural and triune.
The three persons of the Godhead are co-equal and co-eternal. The Father is fully God, the Son is fully God, and the Holy Spirit is fully God. Everything that God is and everything that God has belongs equally to each person of the Godhead forever. But there is no sense whatsoever in which God is divided, like three different people, or like a beast with three heads. He is One. He is Three.
There is nothing in the truth of the Trinity that can possibly be of human origin. Not only are we unlike the Trinity, we find it extremely hard to even imagine such a divine being.
God is not like us.
God is not just a bigger, better version of a human being. Our Triune God is without peer and without parallel.
“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.” (Isaiah 55:8, 9)
This is super important.
All the gods of all other religions are essentially bigger, better, stronger projections of human nature. But not our God. There is no good comparison to the Trinity.
The people of God would have never in a million years come up with such a teaching. Unless God himself dropped it down from heaven through the inspired writers of Scripture, there would never be any idea of such a being.
To say that the doctrine of the Trinity is hard in no way implies it is irrational. It simply means we are dealing with a transcendent person we can never fully wrap our minds around.
Although the word Trinity is not in the Bible, it doesn’t need to be. The teaching echoes across the ages of history and is found throughout the pages of Scripture.
The Scriptural Case for the Trinity
Jesus teaches, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19).
Jesus did not say “names” but “name.” In his mind, though God is Three, God is One.
In chapter four, we will look at Scriptures that show that Jesus is God. In chapter five, we will look at Scriptures that show the Holy Spirit is God. This is simply to say that the writers of Scripture saw the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as equally divine, even as they carefully maintained that there is but one God.
Jesus sang exactly the same tune.
So did the early church leaders. Paul wrote:
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. (2 Corinthians 13:14)
When a convinced monotheistic Jew like Paul blessed his friends in the name of the One God, he had no problem referring to his One God in three Persons.
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