by Lita Cosner

Worshipping the true God requires at least minimal knowledge about who He is. And while none of us can understand God completely, He has revealed some truths about Himself in Scripture in a way we can understand. As Christians, we should want to understand God’s revelation of His own character as clearly as possible. The Trinity is at the heart of God’s self-revelation.

But the Trinity is one of the most easily misunderstood doctrines; even many Christians are uncertain of what the Trinity means. Many unwittingly hold to doctrines that have been condemned as either heresy or serious error throughout Church history. Others are aware of the heterodox nature of their beliefs, but insist it was the Church, not the heretics, who were mistaken. In an era where theological teaching is often underemphasized in the Church, it is not surprising that there are fewer today than in the past who can confidently say what the Bible teaches about the Trinity.

Is the Trinity present in Scripture?

Anti-Trinitarians will point out that the word ‘Trinity’ is not in the Bible anywhere—and they are correct. It is a technical term that arose later to communicate the entirety of the Bible’s teaching about the triune nature of God without having to spell it all out every time. But each facet of the Bible’s teaching on the Trinity is present in Scripture. These facets are:

  1. There is one God.
  2. The Father is God; The Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God.
  3. The three Persons are distinct, and each is equally God.

In the Bible, the Persons of the Trinity are differentiated both in their relation to each other and to the Creation, but they are all called ‘God’.

There is one God

The Bible is clear: there is one God, and we should worship and serve Him only. Deuteronomy 6:4, states, “Hear, O Israel, Yahweh1 our God, Yahweh is One.” In Isaiah 45:5–6, God says:

I am Yahweh, there is no other,
Besides me there is no God;
I gird you, though you do not know me,
that men may know, from the rising of the sun,
and from the west, that there is none besides me,
I am Yahweh, and there is no other….

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