The Bible teaches that God is one Being subsisting in three distinct consciousnesses or Persons. This doctrine is known as the Trinity, but has been challenged by many heresies.
Tritheism is the belief that there are three Gods in the Godhead, rather than one.
Modalism is the belief that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are different manifestations of the same person, rather than three distinct Persons.
Subordinationism is the belief that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are inferior in essence to the Father, rather than equal. The Bible does teach that the Son and the Holy Spirit submit to the Father in their roles to fulfill the purposes of God. However, that doesn’t effect their essence, just as an employee is submissive to his employer but doesn’t make him less of a human being.
TRINITY TRUTHS EXPLAINED:
*Eph 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
*The Trinity is clearly seen in this verse, Spirit, Lord, God. In the New Testament the Holy Spirit is also known as the Spirit Mt 12:31; Jn 1:33. Jesus is often called Lord Php 2:11; Col 3:17 and many times the Father is just called God Jn 3:16; 1 Th 1:9,10. In fact, the New Testament writers usually delineated between God the Father and God the Son by calling the Father, “God” and the Son, “Lord”. Calling Jesus God might have been a stumbling block to the Jews who were steeped in their belief that there was one God not two, which they were correct. However, the revelation of the three Persons of the Trinity all being God was progressive and not a battle to be fought at this point in time.
The Eph 4:4-6 verses demonstrate that all three persons of the Godhead are fully God.
1. One Spirit is referring to the Holy Spirit, yet we know that God (all three Persons) is in essence spirit.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” Jn 4:24
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him Ro 8:9.
Here the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit, the Spirit of God (Father) and the Spirit of Christ (Son). Although the Holy Spirit is said to live in us, in the complete sense, it is the fullness of Deity that lives in us. As demonstrated in the following verse.
Jn 14:23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. So, it is God—Father, Son represented by the Holy Spirit that live in believers. Just as all three Persons raised Jesus from the dead: Father Ro 6:4; Gal 1:1 Son Jn 2:19; Jn 10:17,18; Holy Spirit Ro 1:4; Ro 8:11; God Ac 5:30; Ac 10:40.
2. One Lord is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, (even when Jesus took on bodily form Php 2:7, He maintained the fullness of Deity Col 2:9).
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Php 2:11
yet Dt 6:4 says: The Lord our God, the Lord is one, meaning that the Father and the Holy Spirit are also Lord.
In Rev 21:22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty (Father) and the Lamb (Jesus) are its temple.
In Rev 11:15 “…The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord (Father) and of his Messiah (Jesus), and he will reign for ever and ever.”
In 2 Co 3:17,18 the Holy Spirit is called Lord. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
3. One God is referring to God the Father, however Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jn 1:1
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Jn 1:14
Tit 2:13 states: while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ… The Granville Sharp rule states that when two substantives agree in gender, number, and case and they are connected with the word (and) “kai”, and the first substantive has an article and the second one does not, then they 100% of the time refer to the same person. So, the nouns God and Savior are referring not to two different persons but one—Jesus Christ.
Jesus is also called (Everlasting) Father Isa 9:6.
Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” Ac 5:3,4
Isa 61:1 also reveals the three Persons of the Trinity.
The Spirit (Holy Spirit) of the Sovereign Lord (Father) is on me (Jesus), because the Lord (Father) has anointed me (Jesus) to proclaim good news to the poor.
1 Co 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
This verse is similar in content to Eph 4:4-6, where Paul is refuting the idea of false gods and lords. He states that there is but one God, the Father and only one Lord, Jesus Christ as all others are false gods and lords. He is not making the point that Jesus isn’t God or the Father isn’t Lord, but is using these two Persons to refute all false gods and lords. He goes on to clarify the Persons’ roles. The Father planned creation (from whom all things came Jas 1:17) while Jesus executed the creation plan (through whom all things came Col 1:16). So, we live for God the Father Ro 12:2 through our faith in Jesus’ sacrifice Gal 3:26.
OMNIPRESENCE: is the truth that God is everywhere simultaneously, yet not as pantheism teaches (God consists of everyone and everything––the world and God are identical). God’s essence is spirit Jn 4:24, therefore not in bodily form Lk 24:39. When the Lord is said to fill the heaven and earth Jer 23:24, it is not in a corporeal sense but in a knowing way Heb 4:13. God can take on form as He did as the angel of the Lord Josh 5:13,14 and lives in believers, yet not in physical form but by His Spirit voice (speaks/tell you) Jn 16:13.
What is spirit? The Greek word used for spirit is pneúma – properly, spirit (Spirit), wind, or breath. The Hebrew counterpart (rûach) has the same range of meaning as 4151 (pneúma), i.e. it likewise can refer to spirit/Spirit, wind, or breath. The Oxford Classical Dictionary gives the following: Pneuma (πνεῦμα, Lat. spiritus) is connected etymologically with πνέω , breathe or blow, and has a basic meaning of ‘air in motion’, or ‘breath’ as something necessary to life.
Air in motion is a good definition for Jn 3:8. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. However, God’s essence is not contained in the spatial realm but resides over it. God created the universe Gen 1:1 but He has existed in eternity past and therefore is beyond time and space. Much like someone watching a train from an airplane and can see the beginning (engine) from the end (caboose) all at once Ps 33:13,14.
Man can’t hide from God Ps 139:7 because God is a self-conscious spirit which allows Him to know what is happening everywhere. God doesn’t need a body to be present, just as a Canadian sports fan can view a baseball game in Florida without being in the stadium via television.
The Bible teaches God is one in essence Dt 6:4, yet He can appear in physical forms when necessary: burning bush Ex 3:2; pillar of cloud and fire Ex 13:22; tongues of fire Ac 2:3,4; in some visible form (John the Baptist saw) the Holy Spirit descending like a dove Mt 3:16; man Gen 18:1,2, Gen 32:24,30, Jos 5:13,14.
God is one essence, and although distinct in three persons, He remains one essence even when appearing in the world in different forms Mt 3:16,17 since His essence is related to self-conscientiousness rather than physical form.
Consider identical triplets. Just as identical triplets come from the same human DNA, so the Persons of the Godhead all have the same spiritual DNA and therefore are equal in essence Col 2:9. Three who’s (persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit). One what (essence/spiritual DNA: God).
Thus, God’s essence (spiritual DNA) can’t be separated as it is the one same DNA, yet because of different roles, the Persons of the Godhead can take on different forms and be in different locations while still being one essence. What does God’s spiritual DNA consist of? The Bible sheds some light on this aspect by explaining some of God’s DNA essence: God is love 1 Jn 4:16 in essence, not that God has the attribute of love. This love then translates into mercy, grace, compassion and many more positive traits. Similarly, God is light 1 Jn 1:5 which makes His character holy, righteous and just. Jesus didn’t have truth but is the truth Jn 14:6 making Him trustworthy, factual and faithful Nu 23:19. God’s essence is the same in all three Persons but because of their roles, is uniquely displayed.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Ro 1:20
God’s divine nature (His spiritual DNA) can be understood from what has been made. God has given us light properties to demonstrate how His nature can exist as one God, yet in three Persons.
If red, green and blue light are shone at the same spot, they will produce white light (portraying our Righteous Triune God), but if the blue light is turned off, the centre colour will no longer be white but yellow. Blue and green light alone would produce cyan, and red and blue, magenta. The colour blue is appropriate to represent the Father because His location is considered heaven (blue skies) Mt 6:9. Nothing better depicts Jesus than the colour red which represents His shed blood that purchased our freedom 1 Pe 1:18,19. Forgiveness alone would not help spiritually dead people and thus green represents the new life that the Holy Spirit breathes into all believers Jn 3: 6; Jn 6:63.
So, the Persons of the Trinity are of one essence and can’t be reduced to being parts of God. This is known as Divine simplicity (God is not composed of parts. He is one God and this oneness and unity extend through His entire essence). The analogy of a three leaf clover demonstrating the Trinity is a false one which denies that each Person is fully God. The Trinity is not
1/3 Person + 1/3 Person + 1/3 Person = 1 God
1 Person x 1 Person x 1 Person = 1 God
11 x 11 x 11
1 God in 3 persons.
God exists in essence as one undivided spirit—distinct but never separated. If the red light was turned off (separated from the blue and green) cyan light rather than white would be produced, which would change who God is.