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The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Brief overview: There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6;1 Peter 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 14:7.)
God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father. (Gen. 1:1; Rev. 4:11; 1 Cor. 15:28; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8; 1 Tim. 1:17; Ex. 34:6, 7; John 14:9.)
God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God’s power and was attested as God’s promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things. (John 1:1-3, 14; Col. 1:15-19; John 10:30; 14:9; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17-19; John 5:22; Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 2:9-18; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; Heb. 8:1, 2;John 14:1-3.)
God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ’s life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth. (Gen. 1:1, 2; Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:38; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:11, 12; Acts 1:8; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26, 27;16:7-13.)
Why it is important to know the truth about the Trinity:
Some people make this teaching more intense and complicated than it really is. Some wonder how the Father , Son and Holy Spirit can all be three different Beings while just one God. It is really very simple. There is one Congress in the United States. Yet it has over 500 members. The Senator from Florida is a congressman, while the Senator from Hawaii is also. Still they make up one congress or one ruling entity. So there is one God or one ruling entity made up of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 1 john 4:8 tells us God is love. The Bible tells us love is being others centered as opposed to being self centered. If you think about it, there had to be a time in the universe when nothing else existed but God. I don’t know how long ago it was or how long it lasted, but my reason (which is subject to error) tells me at one point in time there had to be nothing but God. If God had been only one Being at that point in time He could not have been love, because love is being others centered, and He would have had only Himself to be centered on. But God has always been three Beings, each one centered upon the needs of the Others, therefore God has always been love. The Trinity or Godhead is the First family of the universe. They are a model of what are families can be.
Why it is important to understand the Trinity in light of the cross.
Understanding the trinity is crucial to understanding John 3:16.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NLT For years I just pictured Jesus coming to die for us and making all the sacrifices while God the Father just stayed up in heaven and watched from a distance. Then in the mid-1990s I got a phone call from my mother. A young friend of ours had died while waiting on a heart transplant. My mother was crying, telling me she had lived a full life so why couldn’t she have just given our young friend her heart? “No way!” I thought to myself. “You are my mother!” When I hung up the phone I had a clearer view of John 3:16 and what happened at the cross. God the Father was not just watching from a distance as His Son made all the sacrifices. It was actually God who was making the greater sacrifice. Many of us would rather suffer ourselves, than see a family member suffer. Unless you understand the Trinity, and that there was a Father sacrificing not Himself, but His Son, you really can’t understand the cross.
Further Study on the Trinity
Who was present at the Baptism of Jesus?
After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Matthew 3:16-17 NLT
Note: Here we see three distinct members of the Godhead, the Son Jesus, coming up from the water, The Holy Spirit descending like a dove, and the voice of the Father from heaven.
Did Jesus have to submit His will to the Father?
“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:39 NLT
To whom does the Holy Spirit bring glory?
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. John 16:13-14
Note: If the Holy Spirit was not His own Person and just the attitude of Jesus as some suggest, then John 16:13 would make no sense because here Jesus says the Holy Spirit is not working on His own but to glorify Jesus.
Does God want us all to be united as one as He and the Father are one, while we are still a multitude of Entities?
“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. John 17:9-11 NLT
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Thanks for the clearly expounded study on the Trinity. However, I have a problem with the NLT rendering of Matthew 24:36, this is how KJV puts it. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Jesus neither includes nor excludes Himself from those who know, because clearly Jesus should not be excluded. What happened to His omniscience? I believe omniscience is ALL-KNOWING, and not just MOST-KNOWING…Christ is God, the Omniscient God, and He knows the day and the hour of His return.
Thanks for the note boit 04. I just did a check on Bible Gateway and several versions include the Son and have a footnote saying some manuscripts omit the Son and then some versions that leave out the Son have a footnote saying some manuscripts add the Son. Also Mark 13:32 in the KJV includes the Son does not know the hour.
I concur with you on the separate entities but of the Father knowing something that the Son doesn’t, I don’t find it biblical. That wont make them one. Christ will know when He will finish His ministry in the Sanctuary hence when He will return because it will be thereafter, as scripture says. I stand to be corrected
But Evans, Matthew 24:36 is the Bible.