The word "trinity" is not found in the
Bible. It is a technical theological word coined in the fourth
century A.D. to describe a theological concept. The doctrine of
the trinity recognizes God as being one in essence but three persons
who possess equal, perfect, eternal and infinite identical
essence. Therefore, trinity is used to describe three persons
in one Godhead.
There is only one divine nature or being. This
divine being is tri-personal, involving distinctions between the
Father, Son, and Spirit. These three persons are joint
partakers of exactly the same nature and majesty of God.
So, there is one true God, but in the unity of the
Godhead there are three coequal, coeternal persons. They are
the same in substance or essence, but distinct in subsistence or
continuing in existence.
The trinity is a revealed doctrine; it is
undiscoverable by the natural reason of man. Since each person
of the Trinity has the same essence, God is described as one; but
they are different as persons.
Distinctions are made between the members of the
Trinity, as described in 2CO 13:14.
2CO 13:14"The grace of the Lord Jesus
Christ, and the love of God [the Father], and the
fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."
The word "trinity" was first used by
Tertullian in the second century to designate a Biblical
doctrine. The doctrine of the trinity was confirmed by the
Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. After much controversy, they
finally came to a correct understanding of the doctrine.
Therefore, the doctrine of the trinity is defined as: God
is one in essence but three coequal, coeternal, and coinfinite persons.
When divine essence is the subject, God is said to be
one. When divine persons are the subject, distinction is made
between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The plural pronoun for God, Elohim, is used in
such passages as GEN 1:26; GEN 3:22.
GEN 1:24"Then God said, 'Let the
earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and
creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind'; and it was so."
GEN 1:25"And God made the beasts of
the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and
everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that
it was good."
GEN 1:26"Then God said, 'Let Us
make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule
over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the
cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that
creeps on the earth."
In GEN 3:22"Then the Lord God said,
'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and
evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the
tree of life, and eat, and live forever."
ISA 6:8 "Then I heard the voice of
the Lord, saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?'
Then I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"
GEN 11:1"Now the whole earth used the same
language and the same words."
GEN 11:2"And it came about as they
journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and
GEN 11:3"And they said to one another,
'Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.' And they
used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar."
GEN 11:4"And they said, 'Come, let us
build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into
heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered
abroad over the face of the whole earth.'"
GEN 11:5"And the Lord came down to see the
city and the tower which the sons of men had built."
GEN 11:6"And the Lord said, 'Behold, they
are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what
they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be
impossible for them.'"
GEN 11:7"Come, let Us go down and
there confuse their language, that they may not understand one
JOH 17:21"that they may all be one; even
as Thou, Father, [art] in Me, and I in Thee, that they also
may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me."
We also have passages like PSA 110:1"The Lord
[God the Father] said to my [David's] Lord [God
This distinction is also delineated in PSA 2:7"I
will announce the decree of the Lord [God the Father].
He said to Me [God the Son], 'You are My Son. This day [day of incarnation] I
have begotten You.'" This is quoted three times
in the New Testament, in Acts 13:33, HEB 1:5, and HEB 5:5.
ISA 48:16"Come near to Me; listen to
this. From the first, I have not spoken in secret. From
the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord God
[God the Father] has sent Me [God the Son], and
His Spirit [God the Holy Spirit]."
MAT 28:19"Go therefore and make disciples
[Bible students] of all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." This is
a reference to the pre-Canon period of the Church-age in which water
baptism was practiced to illustrate the baptism of the Holy Spirit by
the use of ritual.
In JOH 10:30, Jesus said to the crowd, "I
and the Father are one." He was referring to
The Father and the Son are two distinct persons in the
Godhead, but they have identical essence.
JOH 14:16"I will ask the Father, and He
will give you another Counselor to be with you forever."
The next verse explains that the Counselor is said to
be "the Spirit of truth; He abides with you and He will be
Thomas called Jesus both Lord and God when he saw Him
in His resurrection body.
JOH 20:28"Thomas answered and said to Him,
'My Lord, My God.'"
Another passage which proves the Trinity is 1Co
12:4-6, "There are a variety of spiritual gifts, but the
same Holy Spirit. And there are a variety of ministries [opportunities
for Christian service], but the same Lord [God the Son].
And there are many different kinds of activities, but the same God [God
the Father], who works all of them in all persons."
1PE 1:2"According to the foreknowledge of God
[the Father] by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you
may obey Jesus Christ."
REV 1:4-6"John, to the seven churches that
are in Asia: Grace to you and prosperity from Him who is [present
state of the glorified Christ at the right hand of the Father],
who has always existed [Jesus Christ as eternal God prior to
the Hypostatic Union], who is to come [Second Advent],
and from the seven spirits before the throne [God the Holy
Spirit as the power system in both Christocentric dispensations],
and from Jesus Christ, the dependable witness, the first formed from
the dead, also the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who
loved us and has liberated us from our sins by means of His blood,
and He has provided for us a royal power as priests to God, even the Father."
Point 3. Though one in essence, God is three
In the doctrine of the unity of God, there is only one
essence or substance. In the doctrine of the persons of the
Godhead, the individuality of the Father, Son, and Spirit is
preserved against the notion that there are only modes of God.
The idea of modes of God is a false doctrine dating back to the
fourth century. It implies that one God has various modes for
various purposes in dealing with man, whether in creation or at salvation.
God is one, yet in Himself, He is three separate and
distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
From all eternity past, God has always been one in essence, but three
Argumentation for the trinity begins in Genesis with
the use of plural pronouns for God.
GEN 3:22"Then the Lord God said, 'Behold,
man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil.'"
ISA 6:8"Then I heard the voice of the
Lord saying, 'Whom shall I [God the Father] send, and who will go for Us?'"
When a distinction is made between the persons of the
Trinity, it refers to a specific activity of specific persons in the
Godhead. 1TH 1:2-3"We give thanks to God
[God the Father] always for you, making mention of you in our
prayers, constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of
love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the
presence of God our Father."
So distinction is made between the Father and
Son. They have identical essence, but they are two separate and
1PE 1:2"According to the foreknowledge of
God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may
obey Jesus Christ."
TIT 3:5 "He [Jesus Christ] saved
us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness,
but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the
renewing of the Holy Spirit."
Distinction is made between our Lord Jesus Christ and
God the Holy Spirit.
TIT 3:6"Whom He [God the Father] poured
out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior."
2TI 1:13-14"Retain the standard of sound
doctrine which you have heard from me in the faith and love which are
in Christ Jesus. Guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us
the treasures which have been entrusted to you [the deposit
of Bible teaching]."
Each person of the Godhead provides divine power for
the function of the PPOG. The omnipotence of God the Father is
related to our portfolio of invisible assets. He is also
the designer of the predesigned plan of God (PPOG). The
omnipotence of God the Son is related to the preservation of the universe
as well as the perpetuation of human history. The
omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit is related to residence,
function, and momentum inside the PPOG.
Point 5. Though three in persons, God is one
There is one God, yet three persons who possess every
attribute of deity equally, perfectly, and eternally. This
means that there is a unity of essence and a plurality of
persons belonging to the same divine being. The persons of
the Godhead are not separate and independent beings, such as Peter,
James, and John; but three persons with identical essence eternally
and inseparably united as one in essence. They are three
individuals, Father, Son and Spirit, yet one God. None of these
is God without the other, and each with the other is God.
God is one in essence yet three distinct persons, and
these persons have identical substance.
Point 6. Illustrations of the Trinity.
The illustration given in the Bible is that God is light.
1JO 1:5"And this is the message which we
have heard from Him and we communicate to you, that God is light and
in Him there is no darkness."
In JOH 1:5"The light shined in darkness,
and the darkness did not overpower it."
1TI 6:13 "I charge you in the presence of
God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified
the good confession before Pontius Pilate," 1TI 6:14"that you keep the commandment
without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ," 1TI 6:15"which He will bring about at the
proper time - He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of
kings and Lord of lords;" 1TI 6:16"who alone possesses immortality
and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see.
To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen."
Now, light can be regarded from two different
viewpoints. Light can be regarded from the standpoint of the
colors in the spectrum which illustrate the essence of God. For
example, every ray of light from the sun is pure white, and yet it
contains all the colors of the spectrum in light waves or particles
of light. Particles of light operate on different waves, which
is how we see color. All color in the world depends on
light. When all light is reflected from an object, the object
is white. When light is absorbed in an object, the object is black.
Every ray of light has three primary colors:
red, yellow, and blue. When a ray of light strikes an object so
that the red and yellow are absorbed, the color reflected is
blue. If the yellow and blue are absorbed, its color is
red. So when a ray of light strikes any object, certain parts
are absorbed and certain parts are reflected. The secondary
colors are orange, green, and purple, and when certain colors are
combined they produce other colors. For example, red plus
yellow equals orange, and blue plus yellow equals green.
The point is that every color is in every ray of
light. What colors are absorbed determine the color of an
object as it reflects that light. So light from the standpoint
of color illustrates the essence of God. For just as God is
one, light is one. However, light has many colors, just as God
has many different attributes in His essence. And under certain
conditions, you see certain attributes of God.
Light can also be regarded from the standpoint of its
composition. Light is one substance, but it is composed of
three different properties: actinic, luminiferous,
1) Actinic light is a ray of light of
short wavelengths that produces photochemical effects.
Photochemical effects are related to the effects of light on chemical
systems. Actinic light is neither seen nor felt, a perfect
illustration of God the Father.
2) Luminiferous light is light produced
as a result of heat. Luminiferous light is both seen and felt,
a perfect illustration of God the Son.
3) Calorific light is light converted
into heat. Calorific light is not seen but felt, a perfect
illustration of God the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, the composition of light is analogous to
the three persons in the Godhead who are one. Light is one with
three properties. God is one in essence but three persons.
Another illustration of the Trinity, though not as
good, is an egg. The yoke, white, shell are three parts, but
there is only one egg.
Point 7. The Concept of the Trinity.
God is one in essence or substance. God is three coequal,
coeternal, and coinfinite persons in that one
essence. When divine essence is the subject, God is revealed as
one. When divine persons are the subject, God is revealed as
three separate and distinct persons. In the unity of God, there
is only one essence or one substance. In the persons of the
Godhead, there is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
EPH 4:4-6"There is one body and one
Spirit, just as you have been called with reference to one hope of
your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, even the
Father of all."
The subject of this paragraph in Eph 4 is unity among
the royal family of God. Verses 4-6 teach that just as there is
unity in the Trinity, so in principle there is unity in the body of Christ.
Verse 4 teaches there is "one Spirit."
Verse 5 teaches there is "one Lord."
Verse 6 teaches there is "one God, the
Father of all."
Point 8. Summary of the Doctrine of the Trinity.
Trinity is not a Biblical word, but a technical,
theological term to designate the three-fold manifestation of one God
as Father, Son, and Spirit. God is one in essence who exists
eternally in three distinct, coequal, coeternal persons.
God is one, GAL 3:20; JAM 2:19. The Son (Joh
1:1, 14:9; COL 2:9) and the Spirit (Acts 5:3-4; 1CO 3:16) are also
fully God, yet they are distinct from the Father and from each
other. The unified equality and yet distinction is seen in the
triactic references to three persons, as noted in 2CO 13:14; Eph
4:4-6; 1PE 1:2.
The Old Testament reveals a plurality of persons in
the divine name of Elohim, as well as in the plural pronouns
of GEN 1:26 and 11:7, the plural verbs of GEN 11:7 and 35:7, the
identity of the angel of the Lord as God in EXO 3:2-6 and Jud
13:21-22, and the references to the Spirit in GEN 1:2 and ISA 63:10.
These all add up to the fact that God is one in
essence but three separate and distinct personalities.
NUM 6:22"Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying," NUM 6:23"Speak to Aaron and to his sons,
saying, 'Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:'" NUM 6:24"The Lord bless you, and keep you;" NUM 6:25"The Lord make His face shine on
you, And be gracious to you;" NUM 6:26"The Lord lift up His countenance
on you, And give you peace." NUM 6:27"So they shall invoke My name on
the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them."
ISA 6:3"And one called out to another and
said, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth
is full of His glory.'"
Let's take the body of Christ as an illustration.
1CO 12:12"For even as the body is one and
yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they
are many, are one body, so also is Christ." 1CO 12:13"For by one Spirit we were all
baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or
free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." 1CO 12:14"For the body is not one member,
ECC 12:1 "Remember also your Creator in the
days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near
when you will say, 'I have no delight in them';"
The word Creator is the plural of bara which is bowraeykaa.
PRO 9:10"The respect of the Lord is the
beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One[qadoshiym
- plural - Holy Ones] is understanding."
JOB 35:10 "But no one says, 'Where is God
my Maker [the plural of asah which is 'osaay
- Makers], Who gives songs in the night.'"
ISA 54:5"For your husband is your Maker [plural],
Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is
the Holy One[plural] of Israel,
Who is called the God of all the earth."
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