I believe God is one.
Deuteronomy 6:4 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.
The name used here for God in the original language is YHWH.
The same name is shared by:
The Father: (1 John 3:1-3) Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him. Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.
The Son: (John 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Holy Spirit: (Acts 5:3-4) Then Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds from the field? 4 Wasn’t it yours while you possessed it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? Why is it that you planned this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God!
Therefore the Father, Son and Holy spirit are YHWH, the only God.
God is revealed in three persons:
God has revealed Himself in scripture as three persons in one being. These persons are so distinguished in their roles that they cannot be confused as one person, at the baptism of Jesus Christ, for example. No self revelation of God revealed to the believers through the scriptures, are able to be fully understood or explained. This will be understood when we meet God in eternity.
(1 John 3:2) Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is.
Plurality in the Godhead:
God during creation says, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)
The Hebrew word Elohim shows plurality. God represents Himself in scripture using a plural term. Therefore in the creation account God is already being represented in plurality.
God in three persons:
The biblical God, YHWH, uses other titles that imply three persons. These titles are, Father, Son and Holy spirit.
The Father is God: (Romans 1:7) To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints.Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Son is God: (Romans 9:5) The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Messiah, who is God over all, praised forever. Amen.
The Holy Spirit is God: (Acts 5:3-4) Then Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds from the field? Wasn’t it yours while you possessed it? And after it was sold, wasn’t it at your disposal? Why is it that you planned this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God!”
The three distinct persons of the Godhead interact with each other.
For example; in the baptism of Christ:
Matthew (3:13-17) Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. But John tried to stop Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and yet You come to me?”Jesus answered him, “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him to be baptized. After Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him. And there came a voice from heaven:This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!
This is very clear that while Jesus Christ, God the son incarnate, is being baptized, the spirit of God descends upon him, as the Father (speaking from heaven) affirms the son. All the three persons of the Godhead are distinguished and interact with each other.
- Relationship within the Godhead.
The Son speaks of the Father and The Spirit as though they are different persons:
(John 14:16-17) And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.
The Apostles affirm the distinctiveness of the three persons and how they relate to bring about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
(Acts 2:32-33) God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this. Therefore, since He has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, He has poured out what you both see and hear.
(Galatians 1:3-4) Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father. To whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
- Three Persons in Creation
Role of the Father in creation: (Hebrews ) Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him.
The Son creates: (Colossians 1:15-16) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created through Him and for Him.
The Holy Spirit in creation:
(Psalm 104:30) You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;And You renew the face of the earth.
- The three persons in salvation.
This is the topic that excites me and humbles me at the same time.
The persons of the Godhead work in perfect unity as far as salvation is concerned. The study of salvation in light of the Trinity has not only helped me to be grounded in my faith, but also gives me hope. I am sure that my salvation is secure. I will explain why below:
We are saved according to the foreknowledge and plan of the Father.
(Romans 8:29-30) For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.
(Acts 2:23) Though He (Christ) was delivered up according to God’s (The Father) determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him.
The son executes the plan of the Father, in the sense that He dies for the people whom the Father foreknew.
(John 6:37) Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out.
(John 17) Vs 2: Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said: Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son so that the Son may glorify You, for You gave Him authority over all flesh; so He may give eternal life to all You have given Him.
Vs 6: I have revealed Your name to the men You gave Me from the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.
Vs 9: I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those You have given Me, because they are Yours.
Vs 24: Father, I desire those You have given Me to be with Me where I am. Then they will see My glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the world’s foundation.
The Holy Spirit keeps/seals those specific people that have been called according to the foreknowledge of the Father, through the work of the Cross by the son, Jesus Christ, by the indwelling, inward calling of the Holy Spirit.
(1Peter 1:2) according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ.
(Ephesians 1:13-14) When you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory.
(2 Corinthians 1:22) He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts.
(Ephesians 4:30) And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption.
It is evident from scripture that God is revealed as one being in three persons. The English term that summarises this mystery most succinctly, albeit inadequately, is “Trinity”. That being said, the concept of God’s revelation in scripture as three persons, God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ God incarnate, and God the Holy Spirit, is more important than any human word, which cannot fully explain this divine mystery.
Praise God for His revelation (The Scriptures). Amen.
Bible verses are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.
Catherine Nyambura Ross