The Bible clearly tells us there is only one God: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deut. 6:4). At the same time, we encounter passages in the Bible that show the one God consists of more persons. This is hard for us to understand. We should realise that is not because of a logical contradiction, but because of our limitations as human beings in the flesh trying to understand fully God. That the complexity and beauty of God’s being surpasses our understanding is not strange. He is God and we are man.
When we take the passages that are talking about a plurality in God together, we see there are actually three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is what we call the Trinity. The term Trinity is not used in the Bible, but the concept is clearly there.
In the Old Testament there are various verses that distinguish between the three. A clear example is Psalm 110:1, where David says: “The LORD says to my Lord…” Since David as king did not have any earthly lord, he must refer here to a heavenly Lord who is distinct from the LORD. Jesus confirms this when he claims this verse is about him, and implies that he is the Son of God (Matt. 22: 41-45).
In other verses, a distinction is made between the Lord and his Spirit. For example, Isaiah 48:16 reads “And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit.” It is obvious that someone cannot be thought of apart from his spirit; yet a distinction is made. So already in the Old Testament we find verses that point us towards God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The New Testament makes this much clearer. Many verses teach us about the divinity of God the Father.1st Cor. 4:8:“for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things.” On the divinity of God the Son – Titus 2:13: “…the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” On the divinity of God the Holy Spirit. One example is 1stCor. 6:11: “you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
In several places in the New Testament the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are mentioned next to each other in a way that leaves no doubt that they are equal and equally God. An example is ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2nd Cor. 13:14.
So God reveals himself in the Bible as God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God the Father is our creator. God the Son is our saviour. God the Holy Spirit sanctifies us. That in short is the ‘Trinity’.
God bless you, and have a great week ahead, and shine as light in the world!
Your Vicar and friend
The Revd. Canon Kiri Wakama.