We Believe: God is Triune

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The Bible

Last week we talked about the Bible as God’s Word and as such it bears ultimate authority over all that we believe and all that we do.
We believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and infallible word of God.
By it, God reveals who He is, who we are, and what life is meant to be.
His word is complete and supremely authoritative in all matters.
It is the Holy Spirit that enables a human mind to understand its truths.
For the next two weeks we are going to talk about what we believe about God based on what we learn from the Bible. Having already established that it is our authority we will accept what it teaches and do our best to fully grasp the truth.

Our statement on God.

We believe God is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit who are One essence existing eternally in loving relationship with one another.
He is perfect, infinite, eternal, and unchanging.
He is all-powerful, all-knowing, always present, self-sufficient, and sovereign.
He is righteous, holy, just, loving, gracious, merciful, and true.

What we believe about God, Part 1.

We believe God is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit who are One essence existing eternally in loving relationship with one another.

Today we are going to think like the early church. We are going to look at the scriptures and what they teach and determine why the church holds to this belief that God is one being whose subsistence is three distinct persons.
So, like the early church let’s begin where they would have.
From the Old Testament we learn that:

God is One

Deuteronomy 6:4 ESV
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Isaiah 44:6 ESV
6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
Isaiah 44:24 ESV
24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,

The Father is God

John 17:3 ESV
3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
1 Corinthians 8:6 ESV
6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
So the Father is God . . . so what is Jesus?

The Son is God

John 1:1–3 ESV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 20:28 ESV
28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Hebrews 1:8 ESV
8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
Colossians 2:9 ESV
9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,
So the Son is God . . . where does the Spirit fit in?

The Spirit is God

Acts 5:3–4 ESV
3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.”
Mark 3:28–29 ESV
28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—
So the first dilemma we have is to understand how this can be. How do seemingly contradictory statements stand?
This diagram can help us have a visual of what we are talking about. This is what the Bible teaches. In this teaching is clear truth that is shrouded in mystery.
C.S. Lewis explained it this way.
One Dimension
Two Dimensions
Three Dimensions

The Mystery of the Trinity is that God who is an infinite being can exist in a way that is beyond our comprehension.

Human Errors


There are three God’s. This is often expressed in this way. Just as we are all human but different people, The Father, The Son, and The Spirit are all God (a type of being) but completely distinct from each other having their own individual essence. Attributes are not shared through oneness but are the same because they are the same type of being.


There is one God who shows himself in different modes. They are made of the same essence but revealed in a hierarchical order of expression.


Jesus is not God. He was begotten of the Father, so He was created and therefore not equal with God the Father in his essence. Christ is therefore not eternal.

Misunderstanding Jesus:

Begotten: Announced and Fulfilled

Matthew 1:20 ESV
20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
Micah 5:2 ESV
2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
Acts 13:32–33 ESV
32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “ ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’

First-born: Position

Deuteronomy 21:17 ESV
17 but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the firstfruits of his strength. The right of the firstborn is his.
Colossians 1:18 ESV
18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

Only-begotten: Uniqueness

John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 4:9 ESV
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

Why is the Trinity important for us to understand and believe in?

It is what the scriptures teach.

God has revealed who He is. We don’t have to guess about God. We worship God and honor him. So we recognize the oneness of God, the unity of God, the three persons of God. We don’t try to fit it into a neat category that our human minds can comprehend. When Jesus claims to be one with the Father, when John writes that the Word is God, we are being taught a mystery that we believe by faith. Not blind faith, but faith none-the-less.
Matthew 28:18–20 ESV
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Romans 8:9–11 ESV
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

It is what Jesus taught.

John 5:19 ESV
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.
John 8:28 ESV
28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.
John 12:49 ESV
49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.
John 14:10 ESV
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

It is the root of our humanity.

Created in God’s image

We are created with the need for a capacity for relationships.

John 3:35 ESV
35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.
John 17:24 ESV
24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
1 John 4:8 ESV
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
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