One of the most wonderful and unique truths of the Christian faith is that God is Triune—one God in three persons (i.e., God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit). Understanding the nature of the Trinity is difficult because it is simply mystery. But more important than understanding the nature of the Trinity is to know how each of the persons of the Trinity accomplishes our salvation and transformation.
The following list of verses shows that although the word “Trinity” is never used, God as Father, Son and Spirit occur in many places where they are presently and actively involved in our salvation and transformation.
God (the Father), the Lord Jesus Christ (the Son) and the Holy Spirit are often grouped together because of what they do together on our behalf.
1. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
2. “This is how we know that we live in him [God] and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.” (1 John 4: 13-15)
3. “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.” (Romans 8:9-10)
4. “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)
5. “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
6. “For this reason I kneel before the Father [God],from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And . . . that you . . . may have power [ability through the Spirit] . . . to grasp [“and to know”] . . . the love of Christ . . . that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God [his character].” (Ephesians 3:14-19)
7. “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord [Jesus], one faith, one baptism;one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)
8. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spiritdistributes There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord [Jesus]. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
9. “To God’s elect . . . who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:1-2)
There are a number of verses that say that Jesus is God (John 1:1-2; 18; 10:30; 20:28; 1 John 5:20; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Titus 2:13). The clearest verses for the Holy Spirit being God are found in 2 Corinthians 3:16-18.
DEFININTION OF THE TRINITY
From the Athanasian Creed (c. 300s A.D.)
And the catholic [i.e., Christian] faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal.
As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords.
The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.