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Is the Trinity Doctrine Biblical? (Does the Bible Really Teach Trinity)?
The first definition given on trinity by the dictionary is a group consisting of three closely related members, also called triunity. A second definition given by the dictionary says that trinity is the union of three divine persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in one God, also called Trine.
Indeed, Christians believe there is only one God, but the three persons of the Godhead (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) are coequal and coexist.
A)One God One probably will not encounter much resistance in trying to convince others that there is only one God. After all, the Jews, the Muslims and the Jehovah's Witnesses all believe there is only one God. The following are passages in the Bible which support this doctrine of Trinity.
For Biblical proofs that there is only one God, please click on the following link There is only one God
B)Three Persons in the Godhead of Trinity
After proving there is only one God, how can one proceed to prove that there are three persons in the Godhead of trinity?
First of all, let's go back to the Bible. In the beginning of the Bible, it is solemnly announced that God created heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1). The Hebrew word for God here is Elohim, which is in plural form (three persons of the Trinity), however, the verb and the adjective used in the same sentence are of singular form (one God). The plural forms of other Biblical verses are listed below (note the "us" and "our" in the following verses referring to the three persons of the Trinity Godhead):
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. - Genesis 1:26, 27
Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. -Genesis 3:22, 23
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."-Isaiah 6:8
The three persons of trinity Godhead actively participated in important events in human history, for examples, creation, Christ's baptism, Christ's resurrection, the salvation plan, and indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
1) Trinity & Creation: Father the Creator- By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth… For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast- Psalms 33:6, 9 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, And He who formed you from the womb: "I am the Lord, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself- Isaiah 44:24 For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the Lord, and there is no other- Isaiah 45:18
Son the Creator- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made- John 1:1-3 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him- Colossians 1:16
Holy Spirit the Creator- The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was F1 on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters- Genesis 1:2 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth- Psalms 104:30.
2) Trinity at Christ's Baptism: When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."- Matthew 3:16,17 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."- Mark 1:10,11 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased."- Luke 3:22 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'- John 1:32, 33.
3) Trinity and Christ's Resurrection: God resurrected Christ (Acts 2:24, 3:15, 13:30, 37; Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 1:19; Colossians 2:12; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 1:21) The Father resurrected Christ (Romans 6:4; Galatians 1:1) Christ resurrected Himself (John 2:19; 21, 10:17, 18) The Holy Spirit resurrected Christ (Romans 8:11)
4) Trinity and Salvation The Father chose us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), according to His purpose. The Father loves the world and sent His son, so that those who believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). The Son humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8). Whom the Father sent the Son, the Son should lose no one (John 6:39). The Holy Spirit convicts us with our sin, Christ's righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8), allowing us to be born again (John 3:6, 7), giving us strength (Ephesians 3:16), so that we can be more like Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18) as reflected by the fruit of our spirit (Galatians 5:22).
We can see Trinity's work in Salvation within a few passages of Ephesians. The Father chooses who will be saved (Ephesians 1:4); the Son redeems them (Ephesians 1:7); and the Holy Spirit seals them, (Ephesians. 1:13).
Two other passages which give a strong flavor of Trinity in salvation are that of 1 Corinthians 8:6 and Ephesians 2:18. Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live (1 Corinthians 8:6). For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father (Ephesians 2:18). See Figure 1B.
5) Trinity and the Indwelling Spirit The Bible teaches that our body is the temple of God; and that God is in us (2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:22, 1 John 4:12-16); the Father is in us (John 14:20, 23, 2 John 9); Christ is in us (John 14:20, 23, Romans 8:10, 2 Corinthians 13:5, Ephesians 3:17, Colossians 1:27, 1 John 5:11, 12); and the Holy Spirit is in us (John 14:17, Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Corinthians 1:22, 2 Timothy 1:14).
6) Trinity Passages in the Bible The following Biblical passages explicitly imply trinity Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19) God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10:38) The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen (2 Corinthians 13:14) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied (1 Peter 1:1, 2)
C) Coequality of the Three Persons of Trinity- To prove coequality of the three persons of trinity, we need to first prove that Christ and the Holy Spirit are God and they are equal to the Father.
1) Christ is God- For Biblical proofs that Jesus Christ is God, please click on the following link. Christ is God
One of the strongest proofs that Jesus is God can found in Section 2 of Coexistence of the Three Persons of Trinity in this paper, where we only use the Old Testaments (for the sake of our Jewish and Muslim friends) to prove Christ's Deity.
2) Holy Spirit is God- For Biblical proofs that the Holy Spirit is God, please click on the following link Holy Spirit is God
3) The Scripture Teaches that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are Equal- The following three passages equate the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you (Matthew 10:19,20)
But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate F67 what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit (Mark 13:11)
But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist (Luke 21:12-15)
The above passages equates the Father (Matthew 10:19,20) to the Holy Spirit (Mark 13:11)to Christ who spoke in Luke 21:12-15).
Three other interesting passages which prove the equality of the Father, Christ and the Holt Spirit can be found in Isaiah 6:8-10, Acts 28:25 and John 12:40. In Isaiah 6:8-10, we have a description of God the Father in His temple, where the plural form of God, or Elohim, is used, asking the question, "who will go for us?", with "us" being the triunity God. In Acts 28:25, the same incidence was described with Luke saying that it was the Holy Spirit who spoke to Prophet Isaiah. In John 12:40, John told us that it was Christ glory that the Prophet Isaiah saw in Isaiah Chapter 6, thus equating the Father, the Holy Spirit and Christ.
4) The Names of the Holy Spirit Tells that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are Equal- From the name of the Holy Spirit, we can also draw the conclusion on the equality of God the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit, for their names are interchangeable. God's Spirit (Matthew 3:16; 12:28; Romans 8:9, 14; 1 Corinthians 2:11, 14, 7:40, 12:3; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Peter 4:14, and 1 John 4:2). The Father's Spirit (Matthew 10:20) The Lord's Spirit (Isaiah 4:17; Acts 5:9, 8:39; 2 Corinthians 3:17) Christ's Spirit (Romans 8:9; 1 Peter 1:11 and Galatians 4:6)
Names of the Father Names of the Christ Names of the Holy Spirit
5) The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit All have Attributes of God Only God can have attributes of God, which include omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence and everlasting (or eternity). Please take a look at the following table with Christ and the Holy Spirit, bearing the attributes of God.
Table 1- The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit All have Attributes of God
6) The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit can All Perform God's Work Only God can perform the work of God which includes creation, giving life, forgiving sin, justify us, sanctify us and resurrect us. Please take a look at the following table with Christ and the Holy Spirit performing the work of God.
Table 2- The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit All Perform the Work of God
D) Coexistence of the Three Persons of Trinity
The Father- The Father created the universe (see Creation in Table 2) and has been at work eversince (John 5:17).
The Son, Jesus Christ (the numbers below correspond to that of Figure 2): 1) The Bible teaches that through Him all things came into being (John 1:3) 2) This is a period when the existence of Christ appears to be questionable. We know that the Father has entrusted all judgment to the Son (John 5:22). Indeed, there is the Angel of the Lord (the Destroying Angel in 1 Chronicle 21:15 and the Destroyer in Exodus 12:23). Through three judgments in the human history, let's look at whom this Destroyer or Destroying Angel was.
The Holy Spirit (the numbers below correspond to that of Figure 2): 8) The Holy Spirit took part in creation (Genesis 1:2) and probably indwelled in Adam and Eve before the fall. 9) Genesis 6:3 tells us that God's Spirit cannot abide in man forever for he is in flesh after he sinned. From then on, the Spirit will dwell in those who are spiritual, like Samson (Judges 13:25), Saul (1 Samuel 10:10), Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:2 and 3:24) and leave when they are not, e.g., Samson (Judges 16:20), and Saul (1 Samuel 16:14). King David pleaded to God not to take back His spirit (Psalms 51:11). Not until Christ's salvation work (John 7:39, 16:7) on the cross can the Spirit be abiding in us for ever (John 14:16). (10) The Holy Spirit actively participated in Christ's ministry on earth. Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18-20, Luke 4:35) and filled by the Spirit (Luke 4:1. John 3:34). As we mentioned before in Section B.2 that the Spirit also participated at Christ's baptism. The Holy Spirit then led Christ to be tempted by the Satan (Mark 1:12, Luke 4:1). Christ rejoiced greatly in the Spirit (Luke 10:21) and He performed some of the miracles through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:27-28, Luke 4:18). The Spirit also took part in Christ's death (Hebrews 9:14) and resurrection (Romans 8:11). (11) This is the Church Age, and the Holy Spirit indwells each and every believer (see Section B.5) (12) In the end time, the Spirit will be poured out (Isaiah 32:15, 34:16, 44:3 and 59:21). This prophecy was only partially fulfilled in Pentecost (Acts 2). The Holy Spirit will also resurrect believers (Romans 8:11, John 6:62-63). The work of the Holy Spirit will not cease with the destruction of heaven and earth, but will receive bigger glory (Romans 8:23, 2 Corinthians 1:22, 5:2-5).
Conclusions: We have proven in this paper that Christian's doctrine of Trinity with one God in three coequal and coexist persons of Godhead is Biblical, and the doctrine is a well explained doctrine in the Bible.
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