The Holy Trinity
Definition of the Trinity
What is the Trinity? If someone were to ask you that question, what would
A. The Holy Trinity is the person of God, seen in the manifestations
of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
It's easy to see from these examples how one could carelessly go astray
on the issue. So then, our understanding of the Trinity must come from
B. The Holy Trinity is the term used to describe God as He has
revealed Himself-3 persons, (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy
Spirit) but one God.
C. The Trinity is the 1 God, revealed unto man through the person
of Jesus Christ.
D. The Holy Trinity is God the Father God the Son, and God the
The Biblical explanation of God is that within the God-head there
are 3 distinct and separate Persons, functioning in complete and total
"God does not consist of parts nor can He be divided into parts.
His being is simple, numerically one, free from composition."
The Old Testament
The Old Testament does not plainly and directly teach the trinity, and
the reason is evident. In a world where the worship of many gods were common,
it was necessary to impress upon Israel the truth that God was One, and
that there was none beside Him. (Is.43:10)
Each member of the Trinity, however, is mentioned in the Old Testament:
1. The Father: Is. 63:16; Mal. 2:10
Foreshadowing of the Trinity have been seen in the triple benediction of
Numbers 6:24-26 and the triple doxology of Is. 6:3. (See also Gen 1:26
2. The Son(Messiah): Jer. 23:5,6; Is. 9:6
3. The Holy Spirit: Gen. 1:2; Is. 11:2; Is. 61:1, 63:10
The New Testament
One of the clearest pictures of the Trinity comes from Matt.3:16,17. The
New Testament provides a wealth of information regarding the Trinity.
1. General statements: Jesus prayed that the Father would send
ANOTHER Comforter (John 14:16). The disciples were told to baptize in the
name(note: the singular form of "name") of the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:19). The three Persons of the Trinity
are associated together in their work: I Cor. 12: 4-6; I Peter 1:2, 3:18;
II Cor. 13:14.
2. The Father is recognized as God: John 6:27; Gal.1:1
(and numerous others)
3. The Son is recognized as God: The doctrine of the deity
of Christ is crucial to the Christian faith. It can be demonstrated that
He is God in several ways.
a. He is eternal - John 8:58
Note: Now it is true there are certain statements which seem to indicate
something less than omniscience. Jesus was ignorant of the date of His
return (Mark 13:32), marveled at the people's unbelief (Mark 6:6) and went
to the fig tree expecting perhaps to find figs (Mark 11:13). However, it
must be recognized that in the days of His earthly ministry, Jesus surrendered
the independent exercise of his divine attributes. Without a doubt,
Jesus now knows the time of His second coming.
b. He is omnipresent - Matt.18:20, 28:20
c. He is omniscient - John 16:29-30; 21:17.
d. He is omnipotent - Matt.28:18
4. The Holy Spirit is recognized as God: Before it can be demonstrated
that the Holy Spirit is God it must first be established that He is
a person, not a mere influence or power.
e. He is immutable - Heb. 1:12, 13:8
a. Jesus in John 14:26 and 16:13 used the masculine demonstrative pronoun
"he" of the Holy Spirit.
Now that we've established the fact that the Holy Spirit is a person,
we must go on to assert that He is a divine person:
b. He is called Helper (Comforter). This designation is applied
to both the Holy Spirit and Jesus (John 14:16, 26). Since the title implies
personality when applied to Jesus, it must also do, when applied to the
c. Personal characteristics are ascribed to Him: Intellect-I
Cor. 2:11; sensibilities- Rom. 8:27, 15:30; and will- I Cor. 12:11
d. Personal acts are performed by Him: He regenerates- John
3:5, teaches-John 14:26, bears witness- John 15:26, convicts- John 16:8-11,
guides into truth- John 16:13, glorifies Christ- John 16: 14, calls man
into service- Acts 13:2, speaks- Rev.2:7, intercedes Rom.8:26, searches
out- I Cor. 2:10.
e. He is susceptible of personal treatment: He can be tempted
Acts 5:9, lied to- Acts 5:3, grieved-Eph.4:30, resisted- Acts 7:51, insulted-Heb.10:29,
and blasphemed- Matt.12:13
1. He is eternal (Heb.9:14)
Works of the Deity are ascribed to Him:
2. He is omniscient (I Cor.2:10, John 14:26)
3. He is omnipotent (Luke 1:35)
4. He is omnipresent (Ps.139:7-10)
1. Creation (Gen 1:2)
Finally, He is expressly called God in Acts 5:3, II Cor. 3:17.
2. Regeneration (John 3:5)
3. Inspiration of scriptures (II Peter 1:21)
4. Raising the dead (Rom 8:11)
"The doctrine of the Trinity, as I have said before, is truth
for the heart. The fact that it cannot be satisfactorily explained, instead
of being against it is in its favor. Such a truth had to be revealed; no
one could have imagined it."
Some persons who reject all they cannot explain have denied that God is
a Trinity. They conclude that it is impossible that He could both one and
three. But God is not triplex (1+1+1)-- He is triune (1x1x1).
False views of God's nature include:
1. There are 3 Gods: Father, Son and Holy Spirit or Tri-Theism.
Other areas of improper thinking:
2. God the Father is God; Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are lesser
3. The One God is manifested as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
4. The Father's name is Jesus, the Son's name is Jesus, the Spirit's
name is Jesus. (In fact, the Father and the Spirit are manifestations of
5. God the Father exists; His Spirit is His life force (not a separate
person) and Jesus was a mere prophet- not God.
"We evangelical Protestants are sometimes prone to relegate
the Father & the Holy Spirit to lesser important. It is to be expected
that we would feel close to the one who "pitched his tent" among us, who
died for us, wept for us, is coming to translate us. Stressing the deity
of Christ as we need to do, we might tend to make the Begotten One the
1st instead of the 2nd person of the Trinity." --unascribed
The truth is, the three are of equal dignity, majesty, glory, power, and
*editor's note: "heresy" means "to choose", implying a choice
independant of God's will. One good definition has "heresy" as "religious
--Downloaded from a BBS long ago, edited to suit and posted here by:
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