ONE GOD IN THREE PERSONS
By Cougan Collins
“For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him” (1 Cor. 8:5-6).
How many “Gods” do you believe in? Muslims and Jews renounce Christians as “tri-theists.” Yet we believe the Bible progressively reveals that the infinite, eternal God who created and rules over all is a triune God.
“Trinity” is an English term meaning “three in one.” It’s
used to describe the Bible concept of the triune God or “Godhead” (Rom 1:20,
The “Godhead” is a composite unity revealed in the Bible. It may be scripturally defined as one God subsisting in 3 co-equal, co-eternal persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The Biblical revelation emphasizes both the unity and diversity in the Godhead.
The nature of the infinite God is hard for limited humans to understand, yet this is the Bible’s revelation of God’s eternal nature. Matthew 28:18-20 reveals that the one “Name” or divine family of God consists of three (a trinity): “the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” There is one divine nature (substance, family) but 3 distinct Divine Persons with 3 distinct roles (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) (1 Cor. 8:5-6, 2 Cor. 13:14).
It’s like there is “one human race” but many individuals that share the traits of being human. A husband and wife are two, yet God sees them also as “one flesh” (Mt. 19:4-6). This is a composite unity.
Someone said understanding the concept of the “trinity” is like the one element of “water” that exists in three different states: ice, liquid and gas. It’s the same substance but it subsists in a different expression of it. When the Bible talks about “one” God (Deut. 6:4), it is stressing His unrivaled uniqueness as Deity over all so-called gods or idols. When the Bible talks about God existing in three persons, the Father as God (Eph. 4:6), Jesus as God (Jn. 1:1, 20:28) and the Holy Spirit as God (Acts 5:3-4), it is stressing the distinct personalities within the one Godhead.
The practical lesson for us is the three members of the one Godhead family loved one another from eternity (1 Jn. 4:7-8), and this love can be ours in uniting our spirit with theirs in spiritual unity (Jn. 17:20-24, 16:13-15). Are we “partakers of the divine nature” in love and spiritual unity (2 Pet. 1:4)? We invite you to worship and study with us to learn more about first century Christianity – lgchurchofchrist.com
Adapted from Frank Walton