Category: God, Word: TRINITY
June 19, 2015 | by: Kendell Easley, prepared by Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments
Posted in: 52 Words
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. (2 Corinthians 13:13)
DEFINITION: God is eternally one Being. Yet He exists eternally as three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. There are not three Gods, only one. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are distinct from each other.
The term “Trinity” is found nowhere in the Bible, but the biblical foundation for orthodox belief is undeniable. In the earliest centuries of Christianity, a number of challenges by false teachers provoked debate and discussion about the relationship among the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. How should Jesus be understood in relation to the Father? Is there warrant to refer to the Spirit as personal, rather than as a divine force? The Council of Nicea, a notable meeting of Christian leaders in AD 325, published a statement of faith around which true Christians rallied.
What is the relatiionship of the Son to God? Here’s how the framers of the Nicene Creed stated it: “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.” This reflected the conviction that a number of passages unambiguously refer to Christ as God. An example is Romans 9:5: “From them [the Israelites], by physical descent, came the Messiah, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.”
Is the Spirit a person? Here’s the answer given in the Nicene Creed: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified.” This develops the conviction that the Holy Spirit has emotions or affections, something limited to personal beings. An example is Ephesians 4:30: “And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit, who sealed you for the day of redemption.”
The diagram below represents a famous attempt at illustrating the classic conception of the Godhead. Understanding the Trinity has escapted the most brilliant Christian thinkers of the ages, and this doctrine is perhaps best thought of as an inscrutable mystery received by faith.
REFLECTION: How does the Trinitarian view of God differ from that of other religions that worship one God? How does this doctrine help explain that God’s love existed before creation?
PRAYER: Father, Son, and Spirit, You are wonderful and beyond my ability to understand. I praise You that in the everlasting love of the Persons of the Godhead, You chose to create and to redeem to Yourself other persons to love who will love You in return. Amen.
Dave Maniquis is a Teaching Elder at Restoration Church. He holds a BA in History from Rutgers University and an MA in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. He enjoyed a 23-year career in the U.S. Government, working and traveling extensively in Western and Eastern Europe. He has been a Christian for most of his adult life and has been involved in church planting, overseas as well as here in Port Orange, teaching the Bible and speaking into others’ lives with the Gospel. He is married to Maureen and they have two wonderful sons, Dylan and Evan.