Many people struggle with understanding the Trinity. The Holy Trinity is the belief that one God exists in Three Persons – God the Son, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. This generally presents the difficult question: Is it three gods or one?
What makes the Trinity particularly difficult to understand is our understanding of who a person is. While a person can look, act or even sounds like someone else, a person can’t actually be another person. So how can God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit be one person? While it isn’t easy to comprehend, God doesn’t live with our earthly limitation given His complexity. Jesus, the Son of God can be different from our Heavenly Father, and yet the same. No, you’re not crazy to struggle to comprehend how three can be one. It goes against our logic.
While no specific passage states that God exists in three persons, we do see evidence for the Trinity in the Bible. Matthew 28:19 is an example: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” We also see this taught in 2 Corinthians 13:14: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Scripture teaches that God has certain characteristics and applies them to three Persons – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and these three persons are all one God.
There are countless examples in the Bible that mention all three Divine Persons. Some of these include Acts 2:33: “Exalted to, the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.” Another is 1 Corinthians 6:11, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God.”
We also see examples of the Holy Spirit directly referred to as God throughout Scripture. One of these is Acts 5:3-4: “Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.'”
We also see the Trinity in the very beginning in the Book of Genesis: “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground’…Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.’”(Genesis 1:26-29). Even here we see a blend of singular and plural pronouns.
Yes, it is difficult to understand but for all eternity, the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit have been in communication and relationship with each other, not as three Gods, but as one God.
We recognize the Trinity on Trinity Sunday, the first Sunday after Pentecost. On this Sunday, we honor the Triune God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as one God in three Divine Persons. On Trinity Sunday, the Christian Church ponders with joy and thanksgiving what the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have done to accomplish the salvation of sinful humanity. At this time, we also acknowledge how Christians should respond to the love God has shown for us, praising Him and giving Him glory.
We remember the Father as our Creator, the Son as our Savior and the Holy Spirit as our Comforter. Scripture that is read at Pentecost often include Psalm 8 which says, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength.” 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 appeals to believers to aim for perfection and live in peace, ending with the prayer that the grace of Christ Jesus, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all, including again the commission Jesus left for believers in Mathew 28:16-20.
Trinity Sunday is to explain, to the best of our ability, the clues written in Scripture to guide us to a fuller understanding of our Triune God. The Father is God from the beginning (John 1:1). Jesus revealed Himself as equal to the Father in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” Together, they sent the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us, “For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one” (1 John 5:7-11). To understand the Trinity is to understand God more fully.
While it is impossible to completely understand God as three persons, and also as one Being, the Trinity reminds us of God’s complexity and His greatness.