ABCs of Christianity: God, the Trinity

Before I get into a very difficult doctrine called “the trinity,” let me share a couple of Bible verses that I believe are relevant:

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” 36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

One of the messages you can take from these two verses is this — when an eternal, all-knowing God speaks to finite, limited mankind, we may not be able to completely grasp everything. Some things, though true, may be beyond our limited abilities to comprehend. But that doesn’t mean that they are not important for us to hear, know and trust, even though we may not completely grasp how it all works. It seems like God is saying in Isaiah 55 and Romans 11, “concerning some of the things I will reveal to you, you may not be able to understand all the ins and outs; but know them anyway…..” We are about to enter into one of these realms with “The Trinity”.

One God, Three Persons

Here are some things that the Bible teaches about God:

  • There is only one God.
  • This one God manifests Himself in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  All of these are “fully God.”
  • These three persons of “the Trinity” are distinct from one another. God the Father never becomes God the Son, God the Son never becomes God the Holy Spirit, etc….

Okay, I’m sure that you now have a complete grasp of the Trinity, right? Probably not…. How can one say that there are three distinct persons but only one God? Well, maybe adjusting how we think about it will make it a little clearer.

Think about the “oneness of the Trinity” in terms of Purpose, likeness and nature; rather than trying to comprehend how three persons can make up one God. Jesus never does anything outside of the character of God the Father. The Holy Spirit never strays from the purposes of God the Father or God the Son. This is how Jesus could say to one of His disciples, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Together, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are perfectly unified in a way that we just don’t see on earth.

Unified Character of the Trinity

Here are some wonderful truths about God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit):

  • God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipresent (everywhere).
  • God created us and loves us (meaning you).
  • God’s desire is to have a personal relationship with us (meaning you).
  • God has provided the way that we (you) can have this relationship with Him.

I will talk more in other posts about each member of the Trinity, and the role each one plays in bringing us into a close relationship with God.

I hope this helps you understand the nature of God. I’d love to hear from you if you have any comments or questions.

churchspeak Christian Jargon

Doctrine – Belief that is held and taught.

Trinity – One God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Other terms used to refer to God in this way are Godhead and Triune God.

 

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