[Papercut Press] 2002-06-17 - The Trinity

2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

From time to time I hear someone point out that the word Trinity is not in the Bible and therefore they maintain that it is not a valid belief for Christians. I wanted to touch on this topic today and give you some ammunition on the Trinity so that you can answer such statements. The word Trinity comes from the Latin, Trinitas. The adjectival from of this word is trinus, which means threefold, or three in one. We first know of the term being used by Theophylus, bishop of Antioch, in Syria, from 168-183 AD

In the idea of the Trinity we are saying;

  1. That God is one,
  2. That Jesus Christ was truly God, and yet distinct from the Father,
  3. That the Holy Spirit is truly God, and yet a distinct person,
  4. That the Scriptures directly teach a trinity of persons in one Godhead. We can't really cover all four of these in this short space, so I elect to simply discuss what the Scriptures teach.

In the verse we began with above we can see some interesting things. Wesee different attributes assigned to each person; To the Father, love, which is principally in his sending His Son to accomplish Redemption, To the Son, grace, which is that principal of Redemption accomplished through His Atonement, To the Holy Spirit, the application of the Redemption of Christ, which is here designated fellowship with Him. Here we see three distinctive names, ministries, and yet all of them divine.

We also have the example of the baptism of Christ in Matthew 3:13-17. Here again we have three distinctive names being used. We have the Spirit of God descending from the heavens as a dove and resting upon Christ. In addition we have the voice of God coming down from heaven pronouncing that Jesus Christ is His Beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased.

We also have Christ speaking in John 15:26, where He says, "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me." Again here we have three persons named with all distinctive modes of operation. It is interesting that here we note that while it is God the Father who sent the Son, it is both the Son and God the Father who send us the Holy Spirit.

There are other passages we could turn to regarding this topic, but these are clearly enough to establish that the basic understanding of the concept and function of the Trinity are found in the New Testament. I present these to you to encourage you to seek to understand these things even deeper. We read from Paul in Philippians 1:7 that the defense of the gospel was something he was thankful that everyone had been engaging in together. It should be this way with us. We are all to be able to defend at least the basics of our faith. Certainly, the Trinity is one of the basics of the Christian faith and so I hope that what I have given here will be of use to you to that end.

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] godrulestb@aol.com