THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY

Since the doctrine of the Trinity consists of truths that are clearly and explicitly stated in Scripture, references to it can be found in both the Old Testament, and in Jewish literature written prior to the time of Christ. Nevertheless, during the fourth century Christians adopted a terminology that made it easier to express certain facts about God without contradicting what the Bible says elsewhere. For example, even though the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, if we referred to them as three Gods, we would contradict the Bible passages that say there is only one God. Therefore, in order to avoid confusion, while making it clear that only one God exists, we refer to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost as three persons rather than three Gods. Furthermore, when we refer to them as "persons," all we really mean is that they have the attributes of a personal being (they love, care, plan, think, speak, etc.). Thus, we refer to the Holy Spirit as a person because the Bible tells us that He has a "mind" (Romans 8:27), "speaks" (1Timothy 4:1), teaches (John 14:26), can "grieve" (Ephesians 4:30), can be "lied to" (Acts 5:3-4) and should be referred to as "He," not it (John 16:13). That terminology makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force, while working like an index to assure that we do not omit relevant facts about Godís triune nature. What follows is a presentation of the doctrine of the Trinity as it is revealed in Scripture.

 

THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD

Deuteronomy 6:4, Hear O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord. (Mark 12:29)

Mark 12:32, There is one God; and there is none other but He.

1Timothy 2:5, For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

James 2:19, You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

1Corinthians 8:6, There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him.

Isaiah 43:10-11, I am He: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am Jehovah; and beside me there is no Savior.

Deuteronomy 4:35, Jehovah He is God; there is none else beside Him.

Isaiah 44:6, Thus says Jehovah the king of Israel, and His redeemer Jehovah of hosts; I am the first and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

THE FATHER IS GOD

Deuteronomy 32:6, Do you thus repay Jehovah, O foolish people and unwise? is not He your Father who has bought you? has He not made you, and established you?

Isaiah 64:8, Jehovah, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; and we all are the work of your hand.

Isaiah 63:16, You are our Father though Abraham is ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: you O Jehovah, are our Father, our redeemer; your name is from everlasting.

1Thessalonians 3:11, Now God Himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

THE SON IS GOD

Matthew 1:23, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Isaiah 7:14)

Isaiah 9:6, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulders: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Psalm 2:7,12, The Lord hath said unto me, You art my Son; this day have I begotten you ... Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.

Hebrews 1:8, But unto the Son He says, Your throne, O God , is for ever and ever.

Isaiah 49:26, I Jehovah am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob.

Isaiah 54:5, For your maker is your husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer the holy one of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called.

John 20:28, And Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and my God.

[See also, 1Timothy 1:1, 1Timothy 2:3, and 1Timothy 3:16.]

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD

Acts 5:3-4, But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Ghost ... You have not lied to men, but to God.

Job 33:4, The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life.

Matthew 12:31-32, Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men ... whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him.

Isaiah 61:1, The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek.

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS PERSONAL (NOT A FORCE)

Acts 13:2, As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

Acts 5:9, Then Peter said unto her, How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?

Ephesians 4:30, And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.

1Corinthians 12:11, But all these works the one and selfsame Spirit dividing to every man severally as He will.

EACH PERSON IS DISTINCT FROM THE OTHER TWO

Matthew 3:16-17, And Jesus when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

John 14:16-17, I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth.

John 14:26, But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things.

YET THERE IS ONE GOD, NOT THREE GODS

Mark 12:32, There is one God; and there is none other but He.

[See all of the Bible passages in the first section which tell us that there is only one God.]

THE THREE ARE ONE

Matthew 28:19, Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

1John 5:7, For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (these tri are une.)

[See, 2Corinthians 13:14, Isaiah 48:16, Genesis 18:1-3, and all of the passages in the first section that tell us that there is only one God.]

JESUS CHRIST IS TRUE GOD, JEHOVAH INCARNATE

Isaiah 49:26, I Jehovah am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob.

[See all of the passages in section three that tell us that Jesus is true God.]

JESUS IS ALSO TRUE MAN, THE SERVANT OF JEHOVAH

1Timothy 2:5, For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 42:1, Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights. (Matthew 12:18)

CONCLUSION

The Bible tells us that God teaches doctrine "line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little" (Isaiah 28:9-10), and the doctrine of the Trinity gives us a clear example of how that is done. While I could add many other passages, the point I am trying to make is that those who are truly orthodox allow the actual words of Scripture to be their doctrine, and so teach nothing that is not taught in God's Word.

Gary Ray Branscome