Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Considering the Trinity

Sometimes Christians can become embarrassed about the Trinity. They have a hard time explaining it to those who want a God they can understand. But not only is the Trinity a fundamental truth of the Christian faith, it is a clear vindication of that faith. We would expect God to be, not only beyond our understanding, but beyond our understanding in ways we would not guess. The Trinity fits that bill. The idea of a God who is three in one at the same time is not something a human being would have come up with. If we look at man-made gods, we find they all make sense, perhaps a little too much sense. They look man-made. The Trinity, by its very mysteriousness, is an argument for the truth of Christianity.

It is also necessary for understanding other aspects of Christian truth. We affirm God is love (1 John 4:16). But to love is to love someone. A solitary God may be good, He may be merciful, but He cannot be love. But a triune God can have love as a basic part of His nature (John 17:23,24). A solitary God can be austere or indulgent (Among those who hold to a solitary God you will find both), but He cannot be loving. Also, fundamental to the gospel is that Christ paid the price for our sins (1 Peter 2:24,25; Colossians 2:13,14; 2 Corinthians 5:21) and we are declared righteous in the sight of God based on it (Philippians 3:8,9; Romans 3:21,22; 4:4,5). This requires someone to make the sacrifice and someone to whom the sacrifice is made (Hebrews 9:14; Revelation 5:9,10; 1 Peter 1:18,19; Ephesians 5:2). God must be both at once. Also, while it is not strictly necessary, it fits to have God inside us as another person to regenerate us (Titus 3:5; John 3:5-8; 1:12,13) and transform us (2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:16; Philippians 2:13). So it is the Trinity that makes redemption make sense.

How then do we explain this difficult idea? We must start by explaining that God is beyond human understanding (Romans 11:33; Isaiah 55:8,9, 1 Corinthians 3:18,20). But this is what we would expect of the real God. If we cannot understand something as ordinary as light, which scientists tell us exists as particles and waves at the same time, how can we expect to understand God? But the Trinity can be broken down to five basic statements. There is one God (Isaiah 43:10; 44:8; 1 Timothy 2:5; James 2:19). The Father is God (John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; Luke 10:21). The Son is God (Hebrews 1:8; John 1:1; 20:28; Philippians 2:6). The Spirit is God (Acts 5:3,4; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2:10,11; 2 Corinthians 3:17). All three exist at the same time (Matthew 3:16,17; John 14:16; 12:27-30; Matthew 26:39). I have found that it helps to ask a person which of these they disagree with and proceed from there. But to deny these is to deny the only true God.


  1. Greetings Mike Erich

    On the subject of the Trinity,
    I recommend this video:
    The Human Jesus

    Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you in your quest for truth.

    Yours In Messiah
    Adam Pastor

  2. Pastor Adam,

    The real issue here is the question of whether we should trust Scripture or human reason (1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 3:18-20; Colossians 2:8; Romans 11:33). I have quoted a few of the verses in the New Testament that affirm that Jesus is God. There are many more including such subtle things are his accepting worship and claiming to forgive sin.
    As I pointed out Trinitarians believe and have always believed that God is one. The question is whether we are willing to accept something that is beyond our human understanding.