is a trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the same person as the Son; the Son is
not the same person as the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is not the
same person as Father. They are distinct persons; yet, they are all the
one God. They are in absolute perfect harmony consisting of one substance.
They are coeternal, coequal, and co-powerful. If any one of the three were
removed, there would be no God.
"I am the LORD, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God" (Isaiah 45:5).
What is the Trinity?
The word "trinity" is a term
used to denote the Christian doctrine that God exists as a unity of three
distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of the persons is
distinct from the other, yet related in essence. Each is divine in
nature, but each is not the totality of the Godhead. Each has a will,
loves, and says "I", and "You" when speaking. The Father is not the same
person as the Son who is not the same person as the Holy Spirit who is not
the same person as the Father. Each is divine, yet there are not three
gods, but one God. There are three persons individual subsistences, or
persons. The word "subsistence" means something that has a real
existence. The word "person" denotes individuality and self awareness.
The Trinity is three of these, though the latter term has become the
dominant one used to describe the individual aspects of God known as the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
§ God is three persons
§ Each person is divine
§ There is only one God.
Many theologians admit that the term "person" is not a perfect word to describe the three individual aspects/foci found in God. When we normally use the word person, we understand it to mean physical individuals who exist as separate beings from other individuals. But in God there are not three entities, nor three beings. God, is a trinity of persons consisting of one substance and one essence. God is numerically one. Yet, within the single divine essence are three individual subsistences that we call persons.
The word "trinity" is not found in the Bible. But this does not mean that the concept is not taught there. The word "bible" is not found in the Bible either, but we use it anyway. Likewise, the words "omniscience," which means "all knowing," "omnipotence," which means "all powerful," and "omnipresence," which means "present everywhere," are not found in the Bible either. But we use these words to describe the attributes of God. So, to say that the Trinity isn't true because the word isn't in the Bible is an invalid argument.
Is there subordination in the Trinity?
There is, apparently, a subordination within
the Trinity in regard to order but not substance or essence. We can see
that the Father is first, the Son is second, and the Holy Spirit is third.
The Father is not begotten, but the Son is (John
3:16). The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father
5:26). The Father sent the Son (1
John 4:10). The Son and the Father send the
Holy Spirit (John
15:26). The Father creates (Isaiah
44:24), the Son redeems (Gal.
3:13), and the Holy Spirit sanctifies (Rom.
Is this confusing?
Another important point about the
Trinity is that it can be a difficult concept to grasp. But this is not
necessitate an argument against its validity. On the contrary, the fact
that it is difficult is an argument for its truth. The Bible is the self
revelation of an infinite God. Therefore, we are bound to encounter
concepts which are difficult to understand -- especially when dealing with
an incomprehensible God who exists in all places at all times. So, when
we view descriptions and attributes of God manifested in the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit, we discover that a completely comprehensible and
understandable explanation of God's essence and nature is not possible.
What we have, however, done is derive from the Scripture the truths that
we can grasp and combine them into the doctrine we call The Trinity. The
Trinity is, to a large extent, a mystery. After all, we are dealing with
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