The Holy Trinity
Perhaps the most Christian—and the most difficult—teaching about God is the Trinity. Have you ever tried to understand the Trinity? Many religions find the Trinity puzzling, and have concluded that it could not be true. But if God can fit into our finite minds, is He really God, and is He really worthy of our worship?
Earlier we learned that God is a personal being, but we did not mention at that point that God is a plurality of persons—He is more than one person. In fact, God is three persons. Those persons are Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The doctrine of the Trinity is easy to state—God is one in being, and God is three in persons. God is not three gods, but one God. God is not one person, but three persons. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4). “Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me” (Isaiah 43:10). Therefore, when we speak of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as God, we do not mean that they are three different gods, but one eternal and ever blessed, living God.
The difficulty is to understand what a person is. A person is an intelligent, conscious individual, distinct from other persons. You are a person, distinct from other persons. As a person, you say “I,” and you have a distinct consciousness. Within the one being of God are three distinct individuals, which we call “persons.” Therefore, the Father is not the Son or the Spirit; and the Son is not the Father or the Spirit; and the Spirit is not the Father or the Son. These three persons live within the one being of God in a perfectly harmonious and blessed relationship of love. That is why we can say that God is love—the Father and Son love one another in the Holy Spirit. “The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him [God]” (John 1:18).
Some might say—“That is all very good, but why believe in the Trinity? What practical use is such a difficult doctrine?” The Trinity is necessary for salvation. If the Father is not God, He cannot be our Creator. If the Son is not God, He cannot be our Redeemer and Saviour. If the Holy Spirit is not God, He cannot be our Sanctifier and Comforter. We are baptized into the Name of this God, and we receive the blessing in the Name of this God (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14). All of this is necessary for our worship.
How vital that all three Persons are true and eternal God!