biblical doctrine of the Trinity is a much neglected doctrine.
- Christians are ignorant
of the doctrine or untrained in the scriptures.
- Christians may believe
the doctrine is not that important, because it is not specifically
discussed in the Bible.
- The doctrine is
difficult to grasp and articulate, so it is ignored.
BUT the doctrine is important;
because the Bible would have us accurately represent God. If the doctrine of the Trinity is true,
then it would be sin to ignore it and misrepresent it.
Thesis: Three foundational
areas of doctrine as revealed in Holy Scripture establish the biblical
teaching of the Trinity. They are
summarized in the following definition:
Within the one
eternal Being that is God, there exists three, coequal and coeternal persons,
Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
1) God is one, solitary eternal God; there are no others.
scriptures reveal to us that there is only one God.
Monotheism – monw (mono), meaning “one” and qeo (theo), meaning “God.”
1:1ff – Only one God that was creating.
Not a council of god’s or a plurality of gods. Only one.
20:3-4 – Note the words, Before Me. Literally, To my face.
(God’s covenant name) is saying that he will not share his deity with any other
god, or gods. (I would note that God
could not share his deity with any other god, because none other exists). Furthermore, he demands Israel’s complete
adoration and loyalty.
can God demand such obedience? Because
no other god has proven his deity. YHWH
demonstrated his exclusive claim to worship by destroying the major gods of the
Egyptian religious system. If they had
been real, living gods, they could have defended themselves.
16:27, Jude 25 – the phrase only wise God is translated from the Greek,
root word mono, meaning one.
Eternal – That means God has no
beginning or end. He has always been,
and never will cease to be.
90:2; Isaiah 46:9,10
2) God consists of three divine persons, the Father, the
Son and the Holy Spirit.
– It is
important to distinguish God’s being from the three persons. This is where people get confused and false
teaching is born.
NOT one being that is three
beings. NOT one person
that is three persons. BUT,
One Being that is three persons.
ONE what and THREE who’s. The one what is the Being or essence of God;
the three who’s are the three persons: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
New Testament contains the fullest revelation of the Godhead.
persons are revealed together, but separate – Matthew 3:16,17; Luke 10:22
to one another – John 6:37ff, John 12:27-29, John 17
is an object/subject distinctive between the persons of the Trinity. The Father sends the Son, the Son does the
will of the Father, as well as prays to the Father, the Spirit is sent to
comforter the Church after the Son returns to the Father.
Divine – The persons are also
divine. In other words, each person is
Father: The NT reveals the Father to be the God of
Jesus spoke of Him as the
Father of the people Israel. Matthew 5:48
The Father is said to be
the provider (Mt. 6:8).
The Father forgives sins (Mt. 6:15).
Son: Jesus is revealed in scripture as the Son of
God. The attributes of deity are ascribed to him.
He forgives sins – Mark
2, He did creative miracles – John 2,
He claims divine titles for
Himself – Christ, John 4:25,26.
Son of Man, Mark 14:61-62 (Dan. 7:13-14).
Good Shepherd, John 10 (Ps. 23, Ezek. 34)
He received worship – John
9:35-38; John 20:24-29
spirit is sovereign – John 16:8-11; Acts 16:6ff; Equated to God – Acts 5:3,4
3) All Three persons of the Trinity are co-equal and
each person is an individual person, they are all three co-equal and co-eternal.
theologian James White expresses this point well:
We are told that
the relationship among these divine persons is eternal. They have eternally existed in the
unique relationship. Each of the
persons is said to be eternal, each is said to be coequal with the others as to
their divine nature. Each fully shares
the one Being that is God. The
Father is not 1/3 of God, the Son 1/3 God, the Spirit 1/3 of God. Each is fully God, co-equal with the others,
and that eternally. There was never was
a time when the Father was not the Father; never a time when the Son was not
the Son; never a time when the Spirit was not the Spirit.
James White, The
Forgotten Trinity, pg. 27
see this truth affirmed in scripture:
John 1:1-3, John 17:5, Romans 9:5, Colossians 1:15-18