When a person receives Christ by faith they are largely ignorant of the major doctrines (authoritative teachings) of the Christian faith. Thus they begin the journey of learning, of study, of relationship with God and of the fellowship of the saints. Pastors and teachers instruct believers in the Bible and in doctrines of God’s kingdom. One major doctrine is the Trinity of God. It is incumbent upon all Christians to understand and embrace this teaching. To miss it, misunderstand it, or worse, deny it, puts your salvation in peril and results in an incomplete understanding of God our Savior, and as a result relationship with God is hindered, victory in the Christian life is hampered, and your usefulness in advancing the kingdom of God is greatly limited. Let this not be your lot. Better to understand this doctrine, and to do so requires study and proper, focused, consistent teaching. Let me add as well that understanding the doctrine does not mean that we have complete understanding of God himself. We are limited, and God is unlimited; we are finite, and God is infinite. It is unreasonable to think that an imperfect, finite, created being (man) can have total understanding of the perfect, infinite, creator of all. But we can understand the teaching of the doctrine of the Trinity of God, and why we believe it, and why we accept it. And we should!
Doctrinal Statement The Doctrine of the Trinity or Tri-unity is that in one God there are three distinct persons, the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. They are all of the same substance and are co-equal and co-eternal.
Importance of This Doctrine It is contrary to the clear statement and meaning of Scripture to speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three gods or as three modes in which One God has revealed himself. Though the concept of a “three in One” Trinity has no parallel in the human world, it is absolutely scriptural and essential to a proper understanding of the multifaceted nature of God.
Comment on This Doctrine Water can exist simultaneously in three states: ice, liquid, vapor. Time is past, present, and future. Mathematically 1 x 1 x 1 = 1. Man is body, soul, and spirit. Space is length, width, breadth. While not proofs of the Holy Trinity, it shows plurality within singularity in both creation and mathematics, and reflects the nature of God.
A cardinal doctrine (authoritative teaching) of the orthodox Christian faith is that God is a Trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the same person as the Son; the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is not the same person as Father. They are not three gods and not three beings. They are three distinct persons; yet, they are all the one God. Each can love, hate, care, and grieve, which are attribute of persons. Consider these scriptures:
God loves: John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
God hates: Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
God cares: 1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
God grieves: Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in absolute perfect harmony consisting of one substance. They are all knowing (omniscient), all powerful (omnipotent), and all present (omnipresent).
All knowing: Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
All powerful: Revelation 19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
All present: Psalm 139:7-10 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Note that Christian teaching is that God is all present, but not present in everything. If God were in everything, man could worship any object and he would be worshipping God. God is a spirit being. John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Christian Doctrine is derived from the entire testimony of the Bible, not one isolated verse. Further, it is not sufficient to say that God is not a Trinity because the word “Trinity” does not appear in the Bible. The concept of “monotheism” is also taught in Christianity but that word likewise does not occur in scripture. The word Trinity means “tri-unity,” and is a single term used to describe the discovered attribute of God, that is, that the scriptures demonstrated that within the three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, there is one God. Let us consider some scriptures describing God as one (there are many more like-scriptures in the Bible):
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.
Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us 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.
Following is a passage that shows a separation of some functions among the members of the Godhead. Here, the Father chooses who will be saved (verse 4), the Son redeems them (verse 7), and the Holy Spirit seals them (verse 13).
Ephesians 1:3-13 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.
The doctrine of the Trinity is implied in the Old Testament. Consider these verses:
Genesis 1:26-27 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
“God said,” not, “the Gods said.” But notice the plurality – “us,” and “our.” As we study the scriptures, we conclude a plurality, yet a singleness. Three persons, one God. Note the New Testament passages that give rise to the doctrine of the Trinity:
Matthew 3:13-17 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (theme: Active Participation by the Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit)
1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. The “Word” is Jesus Christ. John 1:1, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (theme: God is 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. (theme: Baptism)
2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. (theme: Eternal Assurance)
Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (theme: Regeneration)
Ephesians 2:18 For through him [Christ]we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (theme: Prayer)
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name [Christ], he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 15:26-27 But when the Comforter is come, whom I [Christ] will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. (theme: Learning of Christ)
Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (theme: Active Participation by the Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit)
Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (theme: Salvation)
A further point of clarification is that God is not one person – the Father – with Jesus as a created being and the Holy Spirit a force, as is taught by the Watchtower Society. Neither is God one person who took three consecutive forms, i.e., the Father, became the Son, who became the Holy Spirit. Nor is God the divine nature of the Son, where Jesus had a human nature perceived as the Son and a divine nature perceived as the Father, which is a Oneness Doctrine teaching. Nor is the Trinity an office held by three separate Gods, as is taught by the Latter Day Saints (Mormons). The student is encouraged to study out the differing doctrines of major religions and draw their own conclusions. Yet it is understood that the above descriptions of God are wholly inconsistent with orthodox Christian teaching.
God is one, but the one God is in three simultaneous, distinct persons. The concept of a composite unity is not a foreign concept in the Bible. Note Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Consider the following twenty common attributes of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the table and the scriptures used to derive the doctrine of the Trinity. This on-the-surface hard concept is made easier and clearer when the whole counsel of God is studied. Further, a comment is made under the “attribute” to bring better understanding of why this doctrine is important, relevant, and essential to having a successful Christian life, one where you experience and enjoy and appreciate all that God has done for you.
If you say you “live for God” but don’t know who He is, do you really live for him?
|Philippians 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.||Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.||Acts 5:3-4 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost…4…thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.|
God is the creator of all things. Or do you think it all just happened? God gives life, you appreciate that more when you understand the God of all creation.
|Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.||Colossians 1:16-17 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 7 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.||Job 33:4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.|
A key advantage for any Christian is hearing the voice of God for direction.
|Matthew 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.||Luke 5:20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.||Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.|
Another cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith is the bodily resurrection of the dead in Christ. The Trinity of God is involved in all aspects of this experience.
|1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.||John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.||Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.|
Can you appreciate the fact that as a Christian God dwelling in you is an advantage? Does that not give you confidence, assurance, peace that the unredeemed do not have?
|2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.||Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:||John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.|
Any person knows he has faults and shortcomings, but is it good to know that you are sanctified “set apart” by the cooperative work of the triune God?
|1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.||Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.||1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.|
The Christian is never alone! Is it not a blessing to know that whatever situation you are in, whether you caused it or not, God is there? Also it is a good reason to behave properly since the triune God is there to observe what you do, see, and say.
|1 Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?||Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.||Psalms 139:7-10 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.|
Maybe you don’t know the answer, but the triune God does. The deep things of you life are known to the triune God, who is able to minister on your behalf.
|1 John 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.||John 16:30-31 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. 31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?||1 Corinthians 2:10-11 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.|
God has a will, and you have a will too. Let your will align with God’s will.
|Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.||1 Corinthians 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.|
Do you want the triune God involved in your life, hopes, dreams? God gives life to all of these! It’s His nature!
|Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.||John 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.||2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.|
The triune God is your friend and God desires relationship with you. Is not fellowship with the God of the universe a good thing?
|1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.||1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.||Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies.|
The Christian need not wonder where God came from, we need to know that God has existed from eternity past, The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
|Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.||Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.||Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?|
So who loves you if you have an inaccurate concept of God? The triune God loves you. Understand who He is.
|John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.||Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.||Romans 15:30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.|
Searches the heart
Guess what, you need your heart to be searched. And God does just that.
|Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.||Revelation 2:23 … and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.||1 Corinthians 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.|
An incomplete or erroneous understanding of the triune God leaves us “working for our salvation,” which is anathema to God.
|1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.||2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.||
. . .
We are commanded to believe in God; what God do you believe in?
|John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.||John 7:39 But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.|
If we’re in the dark on the God we are commanded to serve, it’s either because of indifference, unbelief, willful ignorance, or bad teaching.
|Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.||Colossians 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.||Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?|
We belong to
Who do you really belong to? If you deny the Trinity your concept of God is in error.
|John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.||John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.||
. . .
God is the righteous Judge. You will be judged by the triune God.
|John 8:50 But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges.||John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.||Judges 3:10 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel…|
Joy is a human emotion. The Christian life should be one of joy, not one of burden, guilt, unbelief, defeat. Know God and know Joy!
|Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.||John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.||Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…|
Let’s look at some more reasons that the doctrine of the Trinity is important. Unity is essential for the smooth running of the Church. This unity is not natural to the carnal person, but can only be attained through fellowship with God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul recognizes how the three Persons of the Godhead are operative in unifying the many diverse gifts and activities of those in the body (1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14). This unity that God desires in the functioning of His Church, is a reflection of the perfect unity that exists in Himself. All persons of the Trinity act in harmony with one another; and there are no separate agenda’s as are sometimes found in Christian circles.
1 Corinthians 1:10-13 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
Further, concerning no separate agendas: the Father sends the Son (John 3:16) and draws attention to Him (Matthew 17:5), the Son is obedient to the will of the Father (John 17:4) and seeks to glorify Him in Himself (John 13:31-32), and both the Father and the Son send the Holy Spirit (John 14:26, 15:26), who glorifies the Son (John 16:14).
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Matthew 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
John 13:31-32 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.
John 14:26, 15:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.
John 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.
In connection with this unity, there is also an equality. Consider this: There is so great an equality in the Trinity, that not only the Father is not greater than the Son, as regards divinity, but neither are the Father or the Son greater than the Holy Spirit. In many ways therefore, the unity and equality that is evident in the Trinity serves as an example of the harmony that should be in the life of the Christian.
On the theme of unity let us also consider James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. This is a most unusual thing to say about the demons who do not question if God exists, having seen Him with their own eyes. Instead, this verse is saying that the demons understand that the three persons of the Trinity are in perfect unity, without difference of opinion, plan or authority. The unity between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is what makes the demons shudder, not the fact that God exists. The verse makes no sense if the demons shudder merely because they believe in God. Its God’s unity that makes them shudder.
Yet another area where the doctrine of the Trinity is significant for the Christian life is in the union that believers experience in Christ. Union with Christ can be defined as being several different relationships that the believer has in Christ, whereby every benefit of salvation is received. These benefits enable the Christian to live a powerful and victorious life (1 John 5:11). The Apostle Paul likens the union that exists between Christ and His people to the union of love and oneness that husband and wife share in marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33). To be in union with Christ means that all things can be done in Him (Philippians 4:13), and a godly life can be lived (2 Timothy 3:12), with the result of bearing much fruit (John 15:5). Not only is the believer in Christ, but Christ is also in him or her (Galatians 2:20); which is described as being a profound mystery (Colossians 1:27).
1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Ephesians 5:22-33 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Philippians 4:13 can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Beloved, the doctrine of the Trinity is not at all hard to accept and understand when the light of many, many scriptures is considered. It is also vital, relevant, and applicable to Christian deportment and behavior. Understanding the doctrine of the Trinity allows you to appreciate all that God in Christ has done for you in salvation, regeneration, indwelling you, abiding with you, comforting and leading you, and fellowshipping with you. To deny the Trinity leaves the individual with the conclusion that they have to earn their salvation. Look at any organization that openly denies the Trinity and you will see that they teach that good works, the following of ordinances and strict adherence to their teaching is required to be in right standing with God. Look at that those organizations that opposed the doctrine of the Trinity and see how they are exclusionary; they have no desire for unity but rather treat people harshly who question their teachings or practices. Look at those who deny the Trinity – they preach “another gospel,” one that focuses on temporal issues (wealth, self-esteem, dominance, hyper-faith) because they have missed the core element of the Christian faith: “who is God and how do I relate to Him” – they are, as a result, in error and that error clouds their judgment, perspective, vision, and balance, no matter how sincere they are. Error comes at a price, and erring on the doctrine of the Trinity is a very, very, very serious mistake.
Consider this as well – the Bible teaches that God is love. Let us ask the question, “who was God loving before the creation?” If God is love, then if there is no Trinity who was God loving? This is a valid question! Since God is a Trinity, there was never a time when there was not the Father was not loving the Son, and the Son was not loving the Father, and out of this love comes the Spirit of God, which also has no beginning and no end, and has been with the Father and Son from the beginning. This may be considered a philosophical argument for the existence of the Trinity, but it is backed up by the Biblical record, the testimony of the Scriptures, that declare the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, three persons, one God.
Pure and simply, if God is not a Trinity, He cannot be love, Christ Jesus could not be the savior of man, God could not live in us by His Spirit, and the Biblical record would make no sense at all. Study it out Beloved, and embrace the God of the Bible, the Creator, the Savior, the One who indwells His children. The One who loves you like no one else ever has or ever could.
Partial List of Major Pro-Trinitarian Organizations
- Roman Catholic Church
- Eastern Orthodox Church
- Anglican Church
- Seventh Day Adventist
- Lutheran Church
- Protestant Church
- Assembly of God
For your reference, and not to disparage any organization, the following organizations are staunchly non-Trinitarian. They are listed for your review. They will affirm their non-Trinitarian stance and are on record as having a non-Trinitarian doctrine.
Partial List of Major Non-Trinitarian Organizations
- Watchtower Society – Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Latter Day Saints – Mormons
- Christian Scientists
- Unitarian Church
- The Way International
- United Pentecostals
- Oneness Pentecostals
- Unification Church (Rev. Moon)
One time I was riding in a car with three Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were all my friends and we had just returned from a medical trip. One was a surgeon and two were medical technicians. I was there as an engineer observing the tools used in surgery so my company could design better tools (which we did!). We had often chatted casually about the Watchtower organization and the Orthodox Christian Church. In the car I brought up the doctrine of the Trinity, to hear their views. Yet I knew their views before I even asked, because the Watchtower teaches that there is no Trinity, that it is a doctrine of the devil, and that it has its origins in paganism. (This is not written as a criticism; they openly teach this and will quickly admit to their rejection of the Trinity teaching.) One of the medical technicians said “I don’t understand the Trinity so I don’t believe it.” My friend, this entire lesson is centered on what the Bible says about this doctrine. What is written in the scriptures is not “of the devil” and is not “originated in paganism.” It’s the Bible, and the Bible can speak for itself, and the Bible needs to be studied to understand the Trinity. Just because you “don’t understand it” is not a reason to deny it! Further, there are those in the Orthodox Christian Church where the Pro-Trinity doctrine is embraced and taught, who do not understand the doctrine of the Trinity. Again, lack of understanding is not a reason to reject a teaching, especially a fundamental teaching. It has to be studied, and that takes effort!
Rather than taking anyone’s word, whether pro-Trinitarian or anti-Trinitarian, why not study the Bible out for yourself? In the end, it is you who will benefit from a proper Biblical understanding of God, the God on whom we stake our eternal destiny, and with whom we can have a present relationship. The majority viewpoint is that the Orthodox Doctrine of the Trinity is valid and true. It is the unanimous but still minority position of those non-Trinitarian organizations listed above that reject the Orthodox Doctrine of the Trinity.
The first thing you should look at before joining any church or para-church organization is their Statement of Faith. See what they say about God – is he eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or is he “existing in three manifestations: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”? This is Modalism (Jesus appears as the Son this time, then as the Holy Spirit another time, and then the Father at another time – whatever mode is required at any one time), and is a Oneness Pentecostal doctrine that denies the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. A very well known and popular TV minister, T.D. Jakes, denies the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity (he and others will use the term “trinity” to refer to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but have a vastly different view on their substance and being versus orthodoxy) and his self-help books can be found in any Christian Bookstore. Why is that? It’s because many church people would rather be entertained than be taught. It’s also because fundamental Christian doctrine is not well known among many a church-goer. So why is that? Check out the doctrine of anyone you receive teaching from, anyone. If they get important and fundamental doctrine(s) wrong, what are they really teaching? What else are they getting wrong?
What conclusion would you draw from reading the volume of scriptures referenced in this short paper? Could you conclude that God is One? Could you conclude that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are referred to as God? Can you see their common attributes? Finite man, attempting to understand the infinite God, will understandably encounter some areas that are a mystery. However, the reality of the Trinity is strongly supported by the scriptures and is reflected in God’s creation.
This is how men of God derive doctrine – they consider the full volume of scripture from the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, and draw conclusions. Then, it’s up to us of the household of faith to learn, to study, to research, to accept, and then to act accordingly when we have truth illuminated to us. The error is in seeking to change the Bible to fit our understanding, ignoring scriptures, or drawing conclusions from isolated scriptures. Through the entirety of the church age the doctrine of the Trinity of God has been established and affirmed. Let it be so with you also. World without end, Amen!
 Some materials in this lesson gleaned from The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry; notes in The Open Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers; the tract Our 16 Doctrines, published by The Assemblies of God; and What is the Significance of the Doctrine of the Trinity for Living the Christian Life? Spotlight Ministries.