Understanding the Trinity

You and I are ONE being and ONE person. God is ONE being and THREE persons.

Why should it surprise us that God is beyond our easy comprehension?

My German Shepherd knew me by sight, sound, and smell. She knew I would feed her, take her camping, and discipline her when necessary.

But she had NO IDEA I could solve a quadratic equation by factoring (I am also a math teacher). There are VASTLY more things to me than my dog could possibly imagine. So too, between God and us.

Prior to the coming of Jesus, the “image” of God that could be seen was blazing fire erupting in mid-air. Therefore, God came in the flesh to make himself more fully known. Jesus said, “When you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:6).

The word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible. The first hint we have in the Bible of both the UNITY of God and his TRIUNE personhood is found in the Creation story.

Speaking to himself, God said, “Let US make mankind in OUR image, in OUR likeness” (Genesis 1:26).

However, it was Jesus Christ who made this most apparent to us – that God is ONE being, yet manifested in THREE persons.

First, Jesus referred to God as “Father.” In terms of himself, Jesus never bluntly said, “I am God in the flesh!”

But in various, sometimes subtle ways, Jesus spoke of the inter-connectedness between himself and the Father, such as in these statements:

“If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:7).

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves” (John 14:11).

Furthermore, we see in the New Testament that Jesus is accorded the SAME worship as God.

“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb [Jesus] be praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13).

Moreover, in Revelation 1:8, GOD says of himself, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Then, in the last chapter of Revelation, JESUS claims that title! “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13).

The preeminent text though is the first chapter of the Gospel of John.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … and THE WORD BECAME FLESH and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:1, 14).

In terms of God as the HOLY SPIRIT, Jesus described the Holy Spirit as someone LIKE HIMSELF.

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you ANOTHER advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth” (John 14:15-16).

Elsewhere, we see the Holy Spirit equated with both Jesus AND with God.

“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the SPIRIT OF GOD lives in you. And if anyone does not have the SPIRIT OF CHRIST, they do not belong to Christ” (Romans 8:9).

“Now THE LORD IS THE SPIRIT, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

Is God as ONE being, yet manifest in THREE persons, “Father, Son, and Spirit,” easy to understand? I do not think so. Again, why should that surprise us? If we fully understand God, we would be his equal.

The good news is that we do not have to understand God to come to him. He is willing to receive us as we are. Even LITTLE CHILDREN can find God when they put their TRUST in Jesus Christ. So can you.

If you would like to place your trust in Jesus Christ, this seven-minute video will help you do just that.