Understanding the Trinity
One of the most misunderstood aspects of God is the fact of the trinity. God is three persons but one God. Someone said ‘How can that be?’ That is just the way God is.
The Lord said to me when I was a young Christian that ‘It is I who will tell you how I am and not you to tell me how I am’. So in His introduction to us in the Bible, God introduces Himself to us as a plural and not singular being:
Genesis 1:26 (KJV): 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.
John 1:1 (KJV): In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Genesis 1:1-2 (KJV): In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
In the original Hebrew the word God is actually ‘Elohim’ which is a pluralized word meaning Gods. The scriptures above reveal to us three persons in the Godhead: God, the Word and the Spirit: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
IJohn 5:7 (KJV): For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
|The question then arises ‘How can three persons be one’? The Lord Jesus, the second person of the Godhead, tells us how God is one:
John 17:22 (KJV): And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
The persons of the Godhead are one in the same way the members of the body of Christ are to be one or the same way husband and wife are to be one.
To be one is not be the same person, but rather to have the same nature, character and ability.
The three persons of the Godhead have the same nature: eternal life (John. 5.26).
The same character: lovingkindness, righteousness and justice (Jeremiah. 9.24).
The same ability: omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence (Genesis. 18.14).
However in the creation of the universe and the redemption of man by mutual agreement each person has taken on specialized roles:
The Father, like an architect in the building of a house, specializes in the design: wisdom (Ephesian. 1.8).
The Son, like a contractor in a building project, specializes in the supply of materials: eternal life (1John. 5.11).
The Holy Ghost, like a workman or builder of a house, specializes in the actual construction, using the material supplied by the Son and builds according to the design or pattern given by the Father: power (Acts. 1.8).
In fact the Bible calls the church the ‘house God is building’ (Hebrews 3.4-6, Matthew 16.18, and Ephesians 2. 21-22).
So by using this simple natural illustration of the unity of the architect, contractor and builder of a house which we can see, we can understand the unity of the invisible God who is three persons but one God, whom we cannot see (Romans. 1. 20).