|SERMONS, ESSAYS AND OPINIONS|
The Trinity is the unique teaching of Christianity about the three-yet-one nature of God. It is one of teachings that makes Christianity unique among other religions, and although impossible to fully comprehend, the doctrine can be summarised by the following:
- There is one and only one God
- The one God eternally exists in three distinct persons
- The Father is God, Jesus, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God
The word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible. It was first used in writing by Theophilus of Antioch around 180 A.D. as a way of expressing the triune (three-yet-one) nature of the one God that is revealed in the Bible, which does use the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Scriptural References To The Trinity
A number of passages in the Bible refer directly to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Matthew 28:19 - Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
- Luke 1:35 - The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God.
A number of verses also show that Jesus was God.
- John 1:1 and John 1:14 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.
- John 5:21 - For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he desires.
- John 8:23-24 - He said to them, "You are from beneath. I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world. I said therefore to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins."
- John 8:58 - Jesus said to them, "Most certainly, I tell you, before Abraham came into existence, I AM." (Jesus is speaking in reference to when God told Moses to tell the Hebrews "I am has sent you" in Exodus 3:14)
- John 10:30 - I and the Father are one."
- John 10:38 - But if I do them, though you don't believe me, believe the works; that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."
- 1 John 5:20 - We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, that we know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
- Titus 2:13 - looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ;
- Colossians 2:9 - For in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily,
- Philippians 2:5-6 - Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, didn't consider equality with God a thing to be grasped,
The word trinity is derived from the Latin tri-unitas which literal means "three unity".
Difficulties in Understanding
Throughout the history of the church objections have been raised to the teaching of the Trinity, but the doctrine has stood as a central feature of orthodox Christianity despite this.
The following folk story illustrates the difficulties in understanding the Trinity.
- It has been said that when the church father Augustine wrote a treatise about the Trinity he encountered a little boy walking along the seaside. The boy appeared to be scooping water from the sea in a little basin at the beach and Augustine asked him what he was doing. The boy answered: "I want to sccop the sea in my pond," to whicch Augustine responded: "You will never succeed." But the boy replied: "I'm doing the same thing as you: You want to understand the mystery of the triune God with your human mind."
Historically many religions have been critical of the doctrine of the Trinity. The Quran has numerous quotations questioning and denying the Trinity and it is an issue that many Muslims exploring Christianity find to be barrier.
Recently numerous off-shoot religions related to Christianity have formed that deny the Trinity. These includes religions such as the Jehovah's Witnesses.
It seems that the best way to think of what the Trinity is, are in the terms of an analogy. It should be what we already have observed to be present and accepted.
If the Trinity is to be recognized as how God Is, should there be some evidence of this conceptually and perceptually in our world today?? Creation should logically mimic its’ Creator in some way, should it not??
The following is accepted without question in the realm of science:
Space - which is made up of height, width and depth. height is Space but it is not width or depth. Width is Space but it is not height or depth. Depth is Space but it is not height or width. All three when separate, height, width and depth are Space and when combined is Space.
Time - which is made up of past, present and future. Past is Time but it is not present or future. Present is Time but it is not past or future. Future is Time but it is not past or present. All three when separate, past, present and future is time, and when combined is Time.
Matter - which is made up of solid, liquid and gas. Solid is Matter but it is not liquid or gas. Liquid is Matter but it is not solid or gas. Gas is Matter but it is not solid or liquid. All three when separate, solid, liquid and gas are Matter, and when combined is Matter.
If the above is correct why are there so many objections to the conceptual and perceptual knowledge of the Trinity?? Is it illogical??
The Christian God – which is made up of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Father is God but He is not Son or Holy Spirit. Son is God but He is not Father or Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is God but He is not Son or Father. All three when separate, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is God, and when combined is GOD.
Why is the logic of the Trinity rejected when the exact same logic is universally accepted by science when referencing space, time and matter??
- "We will prove that we worship him reasonably; for we have learned that he is the Son of the true God himself, that he holds a second place, and the Spirit of prophecy a third. For this they accuse us of madness, saying that we attribute to a crucified man a place second to the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of all things; but they are ignorant of the mystery which lies therein" (First Apology 13:5–6 [A.D. 151]).
The Trinity Explained
Also see Trinity Explained by Ravi Zacharias
- trinities A blog by a Christian philosophy professor devoted to recent and past theories about the Trinity
- Holy Trinity by OrthodoxWiki
- A Comprensive Defense of the Trinity
- Early Church Fathers on the Holy Trinity
- One God in Three Persons, by Dr. Bill Weinrich
- A Brief Definition of the Trinity, by James White
- Who Is God?
- Understanding The Trinity, by Matt Perman
- The Doctrine of the Trinity
- Articles On The Trinity
- The Splendor of the Three-in-One God: The Necessity and Mystery of the Trinity, by R.S. Clark
- The Being of God, The Character of God, The Trinity, by Paul D. Adams
- Trinitarian Analogies, by John Frame
- The Trinity Doctrine Heaven Net