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THEOLOGY: The Trinity


1. The Trinity is the Mystery of Mysteries.

  1. The doctrine of the Trinity is a great mystery in the Bible.
  2. It is revealed, but not fully revealed.
  3. It is vastly deep and high, and inspires holy awe in those who approach it rightly.

2. The Trinity is Declared in Scripture.

  1. There is no perfect analogy to the Trinity in Creation, so the doctrine is taught by Revelation.
  2. No one place in Scripture discusses it at length.
  3. It is learned by comparing text with text.
  4. Some places are of particular importance in setting forth the Trinity, such as the Baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3) and Christ’s command to baptize “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt.28:19).
  5. All three members of the Trinity are sometimes mentioned together, such as Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14, Eph. 2:18, 3:14-16, 1 Pet. 1:2, 2 Thess. 2:13-14, 1 Cor. 6:11, Gal.4:6, etc.

3. There is Only One God.

  1. There is only one God. Truth of the Old Testament - the “Shema” (Hebrew for “Hear”) of Deut. 6:4, “Hear, 0 Israel. The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”
  2. This truth is repeated over and over in both testaments.
  3. The doctrine of the Trinity does not teach that there are three gods.
  4. The unity of God disproves polytheism (that there are many gods, such as in Hinduism) and henotheism (one favorite god among many others).

4. God is Incomparable

  1. The Bible teaches that there are three Persons within God.
  2. They share the same one divine nature, the same substance of deity.
  3. All are equal, for one infinite being cannot be larger than another infinite being.
  4. There is no hierarchy or subordinate natures within the Trinity.
  5. Each one is fully God and has all the attributes of full deity.
  6. Each one is God and with God (John 1:1-2).
  7. The Son is equal with the Father (John 5:18, Phil. 2:6).
  8. Theologians speak of the Trinity in two ways.
    1. The “Ontological Trinity” is what God is in-and-of Himself from all eternity.
    2. The “Economical Trinity” is the Trinity in relation to time, history and Man.
  9. The latter reflects and reveals the first.

5. The Members of the Trinity are Not Identical.

  1. The three divine members share the same nature, but have distinct persons.
  2. They are not three in the same sense that they are one, so there is no contradiction here.
  3. The Father is not the Son; the Son is not the Spirit; the Spirit is not the Father.
  4. There is only one Father, one Son, and one Spirit (Eph. 4:4-6).
  5. It was the Son, not the Father nor the Spirit, who became a man.
  6. It was the Spirit, not the Son nor the Father, who came at Pentecost.
  7. The atonement was presented to the Father, not to the Son or the Spirit.
  8. Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17, not to Himself.
  9. The Father spoke to Jesus at His Baptism.
  10. Jesus called the Spirit “another comforter”, therefore not Himself.

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    1. How can God be both one and three?
    2. Is the Trinity a contradiction?
    3. If Jesus is God, why does He pray to God?
    4. What is the definition of the Trinity?
    5. What is the explanation of the Trinity?
    6. What is the significance of the Trinity?
    7. If each Person of the Trinity is distinct and yet fully God, then why not conclude that there is more than one God?
    8. If God is three Persons, why doesn’t this mean that each Person is “one third” of God?
    9. Does the Trinity mean that God is divided into three parts?
    10. How is God one?
    11. How is God three?
    12. What does essence mean?

Upcoming Studies

  • March
    Theology: Doctrine of God
  • April
    Christology: Doctrine of Jesus Christ
  • May
    Pneumatology: Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
  • Angels
    Angelology: Doctrine of Angels