The Trinity

trinitygraph.jpgThe Bible teaches the Trinity. When we say, “Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, we still affirm that there is only one True God; there are not three distinct gods being indicated by the phrase. The Bible teaches that Jesus is God. Likewise, we learn from the Bible that Jesus, the Son, prayed to His Heavenly Father. Jesus was bodily raised from the dead and he ascended into heaven to be with the Father. He then sent the Holy Spirit to be with his people. The Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God, and there is only one God. This is the teaching of the Bible. By carefully collecting, comparing and collating the Biblical texts, the teaching about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit can be represented as per the accompanying graph.

The graph reads, “The Father is God.” We follow the arrow from Father to God and see the link is by the word, “is.” Likewise, we see that the “Holy Spirit is God.” We also see that the “Father is not the Holy Spirit.”

This graph is not a drawing of the Trinity, per se, but it represents the different Biblical teachings on the Trinity. Please don’t confuse this graph with me trying to draw a picture of the Trinity. It is different than that and tries to show the interconnections between various statements from the Bible. That is, the Bible teaches that Jesus is God, the Father is God and the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible teaches that there is only one God. The Father is not the Son. By saying this, we are stressing that God was not playing different roles where sometimes he was playing the part of the Father, then at other times he was the Son, and sometimes he was the Holy Spirit (this false idea of God playing roles is called Modalism). The graph also captures the biblical teaching that the Son is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father.

The Bible Teaches These Things

Christians did not design the doctrine of the Trinity. The Bible reveals the Trinity and Christians believe what God has said about himself in the Bible. That is, Christians did not decide what to say about God; they believe what the Bible says about God.

Denial of any leg or any node of the above diagram means that some Biblical verse must be rejected. To deny, for example, that Jesus is God means denying the clear teaching of John 1, Hebrews 1 and Revelation 1 (to name only three texts). Likewise, to say that Jesus is the Father involves rejecting many teachings of Jesus from the Gospels — places where Jesus talks to the Father or makes distinctions between himself and the Father.

Help For The Confused

If a Christian is mistaken about any node or line in this graph, then I suggest the following two steps:

1) Don’t teach your error, and
2) Seek a pastor who can show you the verses that would correct your thinking. It is the task of the Church to teach rightly the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity.

Those who misrepresent the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity must rest their case on a distorted reading of some verse of Scripture. Doing so publicly is even worse. There is a higher level of accountability for propagating falsehood, and such falsehood is a threat to the body of Christ.

This article was published under Jesus, Theology, Trinity.

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