GOD IS A TRIUNE GOD
The Bible never mentions the word Trinity. Yet it refers to God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (aka – “The Godhead”). They are co-eternal, equal in power and of the same essence. One God but with three distinctive characteristics and roles. The three are inseparable. If you leave out one of them, you are not speaking about the God of the Bible. As you read the Bible it is important to distinguish their individual qualities and roles and to see each of them as God. When you look for it, you will see it.
THE TRINITY DURING CREATION
Genesis 1:1, tells us, “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… and the Spirit of God was over the waters…” There we see God and the Spirit working together. Where is Jesus? In John 1:1-3 it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” Where was Jesus? He was right there building, creating, bringing forth all that the Father spoke (willed)… Not only that, it says that Jesus was with God and that Jesus IS God. Colossians 1:15-17 says, all things were created by Jesus and that “He is the image of the invisible God”. The opening lines of Hebrews reveals the Supremacy of Christ. And how Jesus created the universe and holds all things together. It is undeniable that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were working together at the beginning of creation. This speaks about the aseity of the Godhead.
THE WORD GOD IS PLURAL
The Bible starts out with, “In the beginning God created…” The Hebrew word for “God” used there is “Elohim.” That is the plural form of Eloa, which also means God. But Eloa is singular while Elohim is plural. From the first verse in the Bible we see the characteristics of the Trinity just by the use of the word Elohim rather than Eloa. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image...” Genesis 3:22, God said, “The man has become like one of us…” It is interesting to note that Elohim, one of the primary titles of God in the Old Testament, is used over 2,500 times. Does this mean Christianity is Polytheistic (belief in multiple gods)? No. We believe in one God. Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Again, the word for God there is Elohim (plural). It’s like saying “YAHWEH is our Gods, YAHWEH is ONE.”
WHY IS UNDERSTANDING THE TRINITY SO IMPORTANT?
Because the Doctrine of the Trinity separates Christianity from all other religions. Islam believes in the Creator God of the Bible all the way up to Abraham and his son Ishmael whom they claim was the chosen son rather than Isaac. Islam believes in Eloa (God). And the modern-day Arabic word used for Eloa is “Allah”. But they do not believe in Jesus as God. Jehovah’s Witness’ believe in God but they do not believe that Jesus nor the Holy Spirit is God. Mormonism believes in Father, Son and Holy Spirit but will say they are not coeternal, coequal in power or of the same essence, but rather, Jesus was like one of us and attained his God qualities by obeying God the Father.
As I mentioned last week, we cannot simply ask a person “Do you believe in God” since 95% of the people in the world believe in some form of a god or higher power. The question is “what God do you believe in?” The same goes for Jesus. Many may claim to know Jesus or believe in Him, so the question then becomes, “what Jesus do you believe in?” Just as Jesus asked His disciples, “who do PEOPLE say I am?” Then asked, “who do YOU say I am?” We need to be able to articulate who the God of the Bible is. Knowing the distinctive qualities of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and knowing they are One God in three persons working together, co-eternal, equal in power and of the same essence is our 1st Pillar. It would do us well to diligently study the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.