Does the Bible teach the Trinity?
By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries
How can God be three distinct Persons? How can the Father be God, Jesus Christ be God, and the Holy Spirit be God, and yet there is only one God? No other issue has generated as much debate as the Trinity. It was debated thoroughly at the earliest church councils, and it is still hotly debated today. Unlike many other hotly debated issues, I entirely understand why there is so much controversy over the Trinity. The reason is simple – there is no way to adequately or perfectly explain the Trinity. To the finite human mind, it is impossible to understand how God could be three distinct Persons, but only one God. All the debate over the Trinity is due to finite human brains trying to comprehend what only God can understand.
Does the Bible teach the Trinity? Absolutely! Yes! The Father is God (John 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2). Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1, 14; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16). But, there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:5). How the idea of Persons within the Trinity is fully compatible with monotheism is impossible to understand. The sooner we admit this, the better. Now, I am not saying the doctrine of the Trinity is unimportant. Nor am I saying that we shouldn’t study what the Bible says about the Trinity. What I am saying is that we have to, at some point, stop trying to figure it out and just accept, in faith, what the Bible says.
Nearly all of the debates result from individuals or groups who attempt to make sense of the Trinity. Whether it is Modalism, Monarchianism, Sabellianism, Patripassianism, or some other Trinitarian “heresy,” the cause is the same – trying to explain the unexplainable. In a sense, it is pride, maybe even arrogance, that continually motivates people to try to develop a theology that results in the Trinity making sense. I cannot tell you how many times we have received emails that say “I finally figured it out.” If I spend the time to examine the “new” explanation, I am always taken back to Solomon’s words, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Is the Trinity related to the trichotomous nature of humanity (body, soul, spirit)? Is the Trinity like an egg (shell, white, yolk)? Is the Trinity like water (liquid, vapor, solid)? Will we see all three members of the Trinity in heaven? What is the perichoresis? What is the filioque controversy? What is the eternal generation of the Son? All of these questions are fascinating and interesting, but ultimately, they can become a waste of time if they are our primary focus. Yes, the Bible teaches the Trinity. Yes, I firmly believe in the orthodox understanding of the Trinity. But, I decided a long time ago to stop trying to figure it out and to simply trust that what the Bible says is true.
The Father is my Creator. The Son is my Savior. The Spirit is my Comforter. To God be the glory, great things He has done!
Related GotQuestions.org article: Does the Bible teach the Trinity?
Tags: Jesus | Theological-Beliefs