A Brief Introduction to Trinity

Christians are accused of being polytheists (or at least tri-theists) and not monotheists. This accusation comes from Jehovah Witness, Muslims, etc. They ask, how can one be three and three be one? This is a contradiction. How can 1+1+1 be equal to 1? We as Christians are challenged to explain about our God who is Triune. George A Paul attempts to introduce Trinity as revealed in the Holy Bible.

Though the Trinity is the supremely resonant doctrine — but for centuries various small groups have rejected it. Today we may identify these groups as Jehovah's Witnesses who are the modern heirs of the heretic Arius having over 3 million people actively engaged in their work; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) are heirs of ancient polytheism and mystery religions, and nearly 10 million adhere to their teachings. A smaller number of people, however, cling to the third-century position of modalism – the teachings of men such as Sabellius or Praxeas or Noetus. Though fewer in number, this position, popularly called the "Oneness" teaching, is followed by Jesus only groups and Oneness Pentecostal’s.

It is sad to see the conduction of the Church where pastors, preachers and teachers are unable to explain the Doctrine of Trinity scripturally.

The Father is God yet distinguishes Himself from the Son and the Spirit. (Deu 14:1; 2Sam 7:14; 1Ch 28:6; 1Ch 29:10; Psa 68:5; Psa 89:26; Isa 63:16; Isa 64:8; Hos 1:10; Hos 11:1; Mat 3:17; Mat 5:45; Mat 6:4; Mat 6:6;)


The Son is God yet  distinguishes Himself from the Father and the Spirit. (John 1:1; Phil 2:6; Titus 2:13; Matt 2:43-45; cf. Rom 10:9, 13 and Joel 2:32; Rev 19:16; John 1:3; Col. 1:15-20; Heb 1:3-4; Matt 1:23; John 5:25; John 5:27; John 14:26; 15:26; Matt 16:18; Matt 14:33; Heb 1:6; Phil 2:10, Isa 45:23).


The Spirit is God (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 5:3-5) and yet distinguishes from the Father and the Son. (2 Cor 13:14; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matt 19:4-5; Titus 3:5; Gen 1:2; Job 26:13; 34:14-15; Psalm 104:29-30; Heb 9:14; 1 Cor 2:10-11; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19-20).


God is one: Deut. 6: 4; Isa. 43: 10-11; 44: 6; 45: 5, 21-22

Thus there is no room in the Biblical portrait for three gods (tritheism) or one God who manifests himself in three different modes (modalism). The Biblical portrait of God is that He is Tri-unity.


These are just a few references from the Bible. However, we can quote and fill pages with similar references. Though, brevity would not allow us to do that.


It is interesting to observe, the ridiculous way of those who erroneously go about opposing this sacred truth. They always begin their opposition, not with the revelation as given in the Holy Scripture, but with the explanation of it; Hence in this write-up we will look at the explanation of the doctrine of Trinity.


The Trinity may be stated as: God is a Being – one in essence and three in persons. If we study this statement we will understand “God” who reveals Himself in The Bible.


The first affirmation of ours is, “God is a Being”. But what do we mean by this affirmation? By asserting, “God is a Being” we include God in the category of beings. When we say, “God is” we are asserting that God is alive, living, and existing. Hence we may say, the quality which makes something or someone to exist is called “Being” or the quality of “is”ness. Hence, the word “Being” should not be understood in the sense of "a" being, but simply being – i.e., that quality of "is"ness, or perhaps, that which "is".


When we meditate about God we may affirm, God possesses the quality of existence or “is”ness in Himself and not outside of Himself. All the other beings have their reason for existence outside themselves but God alone has the reason for His existence within Himself.


The same may be stated in the form of a question: what is it that makes God alive and living? We may answer, possessing or having “is”ness or the quality of existence makes God living. Since, God possesses this quality in himself; He exists with life in himself. No one has to give God life because He himself is life. Hence He is called the living God. This is confirmed by the following scriptures. Jos_3:10; Psa_42:2, Psa_84:2; Jer_10:10; Dan_6:26; Mat_26:63; Act_14:15; 2Co_6:16; 1Th_1:9;


The next affirmation in the statement “God is a being who

is one in essence” is about the essence of God. Essence concerns with the questions of ‘What’ or ‘Whatness’ or what is it that exists? Concerning God’s essence we may state it as, what is it that makes God; God?


Essence may be defined as “the necessary defining characteristic of a thing, such that without that characteristic the thing would not be the thing it is”. Hence, we may answer the question what makes God; God? Saying, God possesses “Godness” as an essence, therefore God is God. The same is true with the creation of God, E.g. salt possesses salt-ness therefore salt is salt. Human beings possess humanness therefore they are humans. But if the salt becomes salt-less, it is good for nothing. Matt 5:13; Hence God is God because of his essence of Godness, just like salt is salt because of salt-ness. That which does not have Godness is not God and that which does not have saltness is not salt. In this sense, God is ONE. In the sense of Essence He is numerically one as a community, together, collectively. Hence, Deut 6:4; would be true about God’s oneness, the words used in Deut 6:4; testify to this fact clearly.


The last assertion in the statement God is a being who is one in essence and three in persons. Concerns the aspect of persons in God; but, what is Person? Person concerns with the characteristic of Who or Whoness. Hence, we may ask who is God? This brings up the unique properties that make-up the identity and self awareness of God, and we may answer the question, who is God? Saying, God is The Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit.


Just as my mom who is a woman in person possessing the essence of humanness fully and completely, the three persons of Godhead possesses one same essence of Godness fully and completely without division. However, my mom and I, who are two distinct persons, possess the essence of humanness separately and differently. But God possess one essence of Godness jointly and collectively in three persons. Hence, in the sense of persons God is three, existing as three persons possessing one essence.


Hence without confusion God is one in a particular sense. In the sense of essence God is one, and in the sense of persons He is three. Because of the two different senses in which God is one and three the doctrine of Trinity is not a contradiction.


Therefore we may affirm God exists as one essence and three self conscious persons.


Hence, by saying God is a being who is one in essence and three in person, it is meant that He “is” one “What” and three “Whos.” The three Whos (persons) each have the same What (essence). So, God is one in essence and three in person. Each person is different, yet they possess and have an indivisible common What (essence) not independently, separately or differently but in unity. Hence they do not share portions of the What (essence), but possess the whole of ‘The What’ (essence) as ‘3 Whos’ (persons).


Let’s understand God better by uniting all the three definitions. In order to do this we have to look at his Being or (“is”ness) first, then his essence (whatness), and then His person (whoness).


However, before we look at God let’s look at a “human being,” may be my mom as an example and let’s first apply all the three definitions to her and then move to God. In doing this hopefully we would have better understanding of God’s Being, essence, and person. 
  • Why do I say my mom exists?
    My mom exists because she possesses the quality of existence or because she possesses “is”ness. My mom’s “is”ness is dependent on food, air, and ultimately on God. Though my mom has “is”ness, her “is”ness or quality that makes her exist, will cease, if the things on which her existence or “is”ness depends is disconnected.
  • Why do I say God exists?
    God exists because He possesses the quality of existence or “is”ness. However, God’s “is”ness does not depend on anything. He doesn’t require anything or anyone to exist. He exists with life in himself and is self existing.
  • What is my mom?
    My mom is a human being
  • What makes her a human being?
    She has humanness therefore she is a human being.
  • What is God?
    God is God
  • Why is God, God?
    God is God because He possesses Godness.
  • Who is my mom?
    My mom is unequally a woman along with other women. Her woman-ness is her primary personal identity. My mom exists as a being who is one in essence (human) and one in person (woman).
  • Who is God?
    God is The Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit. God exists as a being who is one in essence and three in persons. No one is like God, He is the only one in the category of God.

 

Hence a Christian may emphatically say “I believe in one God who is the Father, and The Son and The Holy Spirit”.


We would do well to ourselves if we bear in mind, that the Church first accepted the scriptural revelation of God and then gave its definition of Trinity based on scripture. In my next write up we will look at the scriptures revelation of God and see if we should reject or accept this definition of Trinity.


This is an attempt to understand God as revealed in scripture and an attempt to explain the same to those who seek the truth, sincerely and truthfully.


Finally, to affirm that the idea or definition presented here as scriptural, I would ask you to look at Genesis 1:27; where you will see that God made both male and female in His image. In doing this, he made two persons (Male and Female) with one essence (Human’ness) in His image (unity of essence diversity of persons). This is just a prelude to my next write-up, where we will look and study God’s revelation of himself in scriptures.



Bibliography:

The Trinity, the Definition of Chalcedon, and Oneness Theology by James White

A Brief Definition of the Trinity by James White

A Brief Declaration and Vindication of The Doctrine of the Trinity by John Owen

The Trinity— By Dr. Norman Geisler

Focusing on the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity by Rev. Sudhakar Mondithoka


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12 Responses

  1. Hey George

    I guess you are the same George whom I met @ seminar the other day! creative mp3 owner :)

    This really helps. Looking forward for the follow up article.

    Cheerz

    Ashok

  2. Hi Ashok

    I am the Same George whom you met @ seminar. Praise God and thanks for your comment. I will post my next article by the month end.

    Cheerz

    George

  3. Very Good and systematic article. This is a topic which many avoid becoz they cant explain it. But this effort is surely a very good one.

  4. i really appreciate the work its been helpfull

  5. we infact can learn a lot about Trinity, one such thing is Cohesive synergy for in trinity we find complete agreement among three persons, father son and the holyspirit same in position but different in function.well as families if we emulate trinity we will not be divided but would be united(onness) and complete aggreement among one another would always exist.And remember what jesus promised us if two of you agree than whatever we ask shall be granted, isn’t that amazing!

  6. we can say God is complete even without the creation,thats because of trinity. For in trinity you can always find love,God did not necessarily had to create man in order to express love,he is complete in himself as love.

  7. well written

  8. This is some thing in brief I was looking for.I am sharing it with others who are confounded in confusion for no good.I pray God may use this write-up for those who are seeking the Truth.

  9. Both the Noble Quran and the Bible claim that GOD Almighty is an Absolute One and only One:

    “Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him. (The Noble Quran, 112:1-4)”

    “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (From the NIV Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4)”

    “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. (From the NIV Bible, Mark 12:29)”

    Notice also how Jesus said “our God”, which included him to be under GOD Almighty’s creation and Divine Authority, and not someone or an entity that is equal to GOD Almighty.

    The Bible’s New Testament also records Jesus saying: “”Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.” (From the NIV Bible, Mark 10:18)”

    If Jesus doesn’t consider himself as “good”, then how can any sane person put him on the same level as GOD Almighty?

    I have yet to see a good answer to this one by any polytheist trinitarian.

    Also, another important point to notice in Mark 10:18 is the word “alone”: “”Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.” (From the NIV Bible, Mark 10:18)”

    Jesus in this verse is clearly giving exclusivity to GOD Almighty when he said “alone”. If Jesus was truly part of GOD Almighty and/or the trinity lie was true, then Jesus, to say the least, would not have said that.

  10. Let look at Trinity:

    Father is Fully God

    Son is Fully God

    Holy Ghost is Fully God

    AND THEY ARE NOT EACH OTHER

    so u have Three Fully Gods who are not each other and all three existed from Eternity.

    so ur own belief gives three Gods which is against the first comandment that GOD is ONE.

    Jesus never claimed one living with ppl teaching them different thing but not once he said I AM GOD nor he said HOLY GHOST is God.

    Peace

  11. Dear Brother;

    I have gone through the whole article, I really appreciate the pain you have taken to consolidate such a great mystery in few words.

    I would like to give you a link if possible Pl go through the same and see how the concept “being ” and “essence” can be explained with greater insight. As Thomas Aquinas commented “A small error at the outset can lead to great errors in the final conclusions” he was quoting Aristotle.

    Pl go through the same and give me your feedback.

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/aquinas-esse.html

    God bless you

    AniB.

  12. The Bible does not say anywhere that God is three persons. God manifested as the father, son and Holy ghost. But nowhere does it say that they are three “persons.” Cf. Is. 9:6 – He shall be called (among other things) “THE EVERLASTING FATHER.” I would like to ask Trinitarians how the “son” can be called “father.”

    Of course there are difficulties when it comes to certain verses in the NT where Christ admits ignorance of future events which only the Father know. But if you succumb to the temptation of using such verses to establish personhood, remember the same verses can be used to question the divinity of Christ. The only way around it is to see Christ as a manifestation of God. That way he can have limitations (because of the emptying) and still be God.

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