The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith. But most Christians won’t talk about it. There’s a lot of confusion around that doctrine among Christians. Often, some Christians are not sure who to go and ask those questions. And when they approached certain Christians who they thought were mature in Christ, they received confusing answers and contradicting answers. And that’s why some of them have decided to remain silent, rather than have their faith questioned. And, in remaining silent, they’ve lost out on the blessing of understanding the doctrine of the Trinity.
Now, the approach that we’re going to take is not to revel in philosophical or theological speculations, but we’re going to directly look at the Biblical revelation on this topic. We will look at what the Bible says on the doctrine of Trinity. And a true and accurate understanding of the doctrine will bring a lot of blessing to our lives. Because any revelation of God’s truth ― and a clear understanding of any revelation of God’s truth ― brings blessing to our life.
So, let me begin the doctrine of the Trinity by an exegetical definition of the entire Bible. Now this definition has been made by exegeting the entire Bible passages on the topic. The one Being that is God is eternally and fully shared by three co-equal Persons. Let me say that again: the one Being that is God is eternally and fully shared by three co-equal Persons ― namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Now, that’s the definition. Let me expand on that definition that I just gave. The first thing: we said, ‘The one Being that is God.’ We are affirming monotheism. We don’t believe in three gods. The Bible affirms monotheism ― very strongly. “Hear, O Israel, the LORD your God is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). So God’s Being is one. God is unique. God is indivisible. God is undivided. So, that’s the first thing we’re affirming in the definition: monotheism. God is one Being.
We don’t believe in three gods. The Bible affirms monotheism ― very strongly
The second thing we’re affirming is that the Being of God is fully and eternally shared by three divine Persons, who are co-equal and co-eternal. Now, notice here that we’re not saying that God is three Beings and one Being at the same time. We’re not saying God is three Persons and one Person. Now, that would be contradictory. And a lot of representations about the doctrine of Trinity go wrong on this particular point. And because they cannot understand this, people misrepresent the doctrine of the Trinity. What we’re saying here is that the one Being of God is fully and eternally shared by three Persons.
Now, we’ll talk a little more about what a being is and what a person is a little later for our understanding. But for the moment, to expand on this, let me just say that we’re talking about one what and three who’s. The one what is the essence or the being of God. The three who’s are the Persons who share the being of God ― the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That’s the second thing.
The third thing in the definition that we find is that there is a relationship among the Persons of the Trinity that is eternal. Each Person is eternal. Each Person is co-equal. Each Person is divine. And each Person fully shares the Being that is God. Now here, we’re not saying that the Father is one-third God ― or the Son is one-third God or the Spirit is one-third God ― as though God could be divided ― or the Being of God could be divided. He cannot be. God is a simple Being.
But what we’re saying here is that three Persons who are co-equal with each other, co-eternal with the others, they fully share the being of God.
Now there are three truths here that we want to summarise from this definition. Number one is monotheism: God is one. And the Judeo-Christian faith affirms that God is one. The second thing is that this one being that is God is fully and eternally by three divine Persons, who are co-equal with the others. Number three: the three Persons are co-equal and co-eternal with each other.
What we’re saying is that three Persons who are co-equal with each other, co-eternal with the others, they fully share the being of God
Now, just to affirm that Biblically, I want to read just three passages for you. One from the Old Testament, and two from the New Testament. The first thing comes from Deuteronomy 6:4, which is called The Shema. The word ‘shema’, in the Hebrew language, means, to hear. And the verse goes this way: “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one!” We mentioned this before that the Bible affirms monotheism strictly. The Bible does not talk about three gods nor affirm three gods, but it affirms monotheism.
The second passage is what we call as the prologue to the Gospel [according] to John, which is John 1:1-18. But let me just look at the first three verses here. It says, “In the beginning was the Word,” which means, the Word is eternal. The Word is eternal. “And the Word was with God.” The Word is a distinct entity from God and He was with God. In the original language, He was in a close, face-to-face relationship with God. “And the Word was God.” John is affirming here, that the Word who was distinct from God is also God. And in verse two he says, “He was in the beginning with God.” Now, the Word is a Person. He is not some abstraction. He is a Person. And He was in the beginning with God. And he goes on to affirm that, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.”
So you have the affirmation here, that the first Person of the Trinity is God. He shares the whole being of God. The second Person of the Trinity, who became Jesus Christ, is God. He shares the being that is God. And you have the third Person of the Trinity, that is the Holy Spirit, who is also God. And we see that in Acts 5.
This is the incident of Ananias and Sapphira, and their death. And Peter says, “You’ve not lied to men, but to God.” And he also goes on to say, “That you’ve not lied to men, but to the Holy Spirit.” So, the Holy Spirit is a Person. And the Holy Spirit is God.
So, once again, we come back to the definition that the one Being that is God is eternally and fully shared by three co-equal Persons. And these Persons are divine. They share the being of God fully and eternally ― the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a Person. And the Holy Spirit is God
Now, we’ve been using terms like ‘being’ and ‘person’. And I think it’s important for us to understand at this point what those terms mean. First of all, everything that exists has being. Everything that exists has been. The chair that I’m sitting on has being. The rock is a being. But not everything that has being is personal. I could sit here and beat this chair up the whole day, and it would not react because it’s not a personal being.
So, there are personal beings and there are impersonal beings. And the Bible talks about three different types of personal beings. God is a personal being. Human beings are personal beings. And angels are beings as well. Now, I’m a human being. I’m not a being different from you ― we’re all humans. But I’m a different Person from you. I’m Revanth, and you’re somebody else. Now, my being is limited, is finite, and is time-bound. And therefore in my limited being, I can only contain one person. I can only accommodate one person. And that is Revanth. And if I begin to act like somebody else, people will think I’ve schizophrenia.
Now, the limitless, infinite being of God is fully and eternally shared by three Persons. And there is no contradiction in that. So the being of God ― the one Being that is God ― is fully and eternally shared by three co-equal Persons. And that’s the difference between being and person. When you confuse between being and person, that’s where you think there’s a contradiction. But there is no contradiction in the doctrine of the Trinity.
And I just want to end by the words of the songwriter; “Holy, Holy, Holy, the LORD God Almighty.” And then he goes on to write, “God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.” That’s what the doctrine is about.
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