Who is the Trinity?
If there has been one concept throughout Church history that has been the most misunderstood, it is the doctrine of the Trinity. The word trinity is not even found in the Bible. Indeed the word trinity is probably not the best word to use for describing this teaching since it only describes half of this truth.
In Scripture there are some doctrines that are explicit (readily observable) and some that are implicit. A good definition for the word implicit is something implied or understood though not directly expressed (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company). The Trinity is a truth in the Bible that is expressed implicitly. In a nutshell, the Trinity is the doctrine that there is one God who eternally exists in three persons. While we could literally spend weeks studying this doctrine, for now we will be studying this concept at an introductory level.
A better word to describe the trinity would be triunity (tri- meaning three and unity meaning one). Let's examine this teaching in more detail.
1. God is one.
This teaching is clear throughout the Bible.
1 Timothy 2:5
2. Yahweh (Jehovah, the Father) is God.
This truth is presented in more detail in the lesson Who is God?. When most people think of God they are thinking about the LORD God of Israel.
1 Corinthians 8:6
3. Jesus is God.
The apostle Thomas recognized him as God (John 20:28). Mark 2:11-12 shows us that when Jesus healed the paralytic, he had the power to forgive sins, something that only God can do. The Bible teaches that Christ has the attributes of God:
Omniscience - Matthew 9:4
Omnipotence - Matthew 28:18
Omnipresence - Matthew 28:20
To learn more about Jesus Christ, please see the lesson Who is Jesus?.
4. The Holy Spirit is God.
For a more detailed study of the Holy Spirit, please see the lesson Who is the Holy Spirit?. In this lesson, however, the study of the Holy Spirit will be examined for his divine attributes. The Bible clearly teaches that He is God (Acts 5:3-4). He also shares the same attributes as God:
Omniscience - 1 Corinthians 2:10
Omnipotence - Ephesians 6:17
Omnipresence - Psalm 139:7
It is also the Spirit who regenerates man (John 3:5-6; 8).
5. The Old Testament clearly supports this teaching.
In the lesson Introduction to the Bible, we notice that the Old Covenant was divided into three sections: the Law, the history of the Israel and the Prophets. Rather than paraphrase what other scholars have written, Dave Hunt wrote an excellent article, which can be found at http:/www.menorah.org/trinity2.html.
I know that you may feel a bit overwhelmed at this teaching. But there are many things in the Bible that are difficult to understand. All we can do is accept what He has revealed to us and ask His Spirit to help us apply these truths in our lives.
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