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What is the Trinity?

The Trinity is a core doctrine of Christianity, but also a complex one. Although the Bible never uses this term explicitly, evidences of the Trinity can be seen throughout the scriptures. The Trinity refers to the three members of the godhead: God, the Father; God, the Son; and, God, the Holy Spirit. Although God is one in essence, He is three in persons. This is a difficult concept for both believers and unbelievers to grasp, but we will attempt to simplify this doctrine through logical deduction and proof texts here.

The Attributes of God

In order to understand the Trinity, we must recognize the attributes of God, or what must be true about God in order for Him to truly be God. Scriptures reveal the following truths concerning the attributes of God:
  • God is a Spirit (John 4:24).
  • God is life (John 5:26).
  • God is self-existent (Exodus 3:14).
  • God is infinite (Psalms 145:3).
  • God is immutable (James 1:17).
  • God is truth (John 17:3).
  • God is love (1 John 4:8).
  • God is eternal (Psalms 90:2).
  • God is holy (1 Peter 1:16).
  • God is omnipresent (Psalms 139:8).
  • God is omniscient (Psalms 147:4-5).
  • God is omnipotent (Matthew 19:26).
We can therefore deduce that any person who possesses all these attributes is indeed God.

One God

Scripture also reveals that there is only one God (Romans 3:30). This question usually arises in any discussion of the Trinity, but the Bible here states explicitly that there is only one essence who is God.

One Essence

The doctrine of the Trinity states that God is a godhead of multiple persons in one essence. (Genesis 1:26, 3:22, 11:7). This is why these scriptures refer to God in the plural. Unfortunately, this is also why some choose to argue that there are multiple gods.

Three Persons

If we are to establish that God is one essence in a Trinity of three persons, then we must be able to show that each of those three members of the Trinity is indeed a person. Again, scripture verifies this as follows: God the Father is a person (John 14:23); Jesus is a person (John 14:23); and, The Holy Spirit is a person (John 14:16-17).

Distinct Persons

The natural argument against the Trinity would be that the three persons of the Trinity are all the same person, but they're not. Again, according to scripture, God the Father and Jesus are two distinct persons (Psalms 2:7, Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 28:19, John 14:23); God the Father and the Holy Spirit are two distinct persons (Psalms 104:3, Matthew 28:19, John 14:16-17); and, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are two distinct persons (Matthew 3:16-17), Matthew 28:19, John 14:16-17).

Three Members of the Godhead

Finally, if we are to establish that these three persons of the Trinity are each indeed members of the godhead, then we must also be able to show that each of these three is indeed God. Again, the Bible verifies this for us: God the Father is God (1 Corinthians 8:6); Jesus is God (Isaiah 9:6); and, The Holy Spirit is God. (John 14:26).

Conclusion

God is indeed a Trinity of three persons in one essence.

Owen Weber 2008