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"A Brief Look at the Trinity"
By Fred Butler


The 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,

namely, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.



1) God is one, solitary eternal God; there are no others.


The scriptures reveal to us that there is only one God.


Monotheismmonw (mono), meaning “one” and qeo (theo), meaning “God.”


Genesis 1:1ff – Only one God that was creating.  Not a council of god’s or a plurality of gods.  Only one.


Exodus 20:3-4 – Note the words, Before Me.  Literally, To my face.

YHWH (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.   


Why 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. 


Romans 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. 


Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 46:9,10


2) God consists of three divine persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


Personhood – 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.


Essentially, 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. 


The New Testament contains the fullest revelation of the Godhead. 


The persons are revealed together, but separate – Matthew 3:16,17; Luke 10:22


Relate to one another – John 6:37ff, John 12:27-29, John 17

There 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 deity. 


The Father:  The NT reveals the Father to be the God of the OT. 

                     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).


The 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, 6, 11.


                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


The Spirit: The 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 co-eternal


Though each person is an individual person, they are all three co-equal and co-eternal.


Apologist, 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


We see this truth affirmed in scripture:  John 1:1-3, John 17:5, Romans 9:5, Colossians 1:15-18

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