Doctrine of the Trinity

Teaching Topics:

Definition: The Triune God (tri=three) is composed of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three are individual persons, yet in union and purpose they are one.

Status: The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are all equal in the Godhead. They have different functions, yet they remain equal.

Functions: The Father is the promoter of the Godhead. He is the thinker. He is the one to whom we pray. He is the one who grants our petitions. He is the one who sent His Son to die for us (John 16:23).

The Son (or second person of the Godhead) is the performer of the Godhead. Anytime a personal manifestation of God is beheld in this world, it is the second person of the Godhead (we know Him as Jesus). The Son became incarnate (flesh) and dwelt among us and died for us. He is now in heaven interceding for us (I John 2:1). He is the one who defeated Satan for us. He is the one who baptizes with the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Spirit is the power of the Godhead. He teaches us, brings things to remembrance (John 14:26); He is the one who convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-11). The Holy Spirit brings people to repentance, if they will but yield. The Holy Spirit speaks to us, so that we will do what the Word tells us to do.

United Activity: The Father, Son and Holy Ghost always work in divine unity. In John 1:1, it says that “…the Word was with God…” or united in activity. In Genesis 1:26 it says, “…let US make man in OUR image….” The word God is in Hebrew, Elohim. El=God Almighty. The ending “im” is plural, while the verb “make” (or created) “bara” in verse 1 is singular. One God in three persons actively involved in the creation of the world. The Spirit was moving upon the face of the waters in Genesis 1:2. In Colossians 1:16-17 it talks about the Son in relation to His work in the creation of the world.

Jesus Separate from the Father: In John Chapter 17 Jesus is speaking in prayer to His Father. At Jesus’ baptism, the Father spoke, the Son was immersed, and the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus in the likeness of a dove.

Jesus Separate from the Spirit: John 7:38-39 talks of Jesus sending the Holy Spirit. He would not be sending Himself. Jesus Himself told His disciples to baptize people in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Eternity of Godhead: All three were in the beginning (see “United Activity”). In Isaiah 9:6 is says that the Son will be the “…everlasting Father”. .which means an eternal Father. John 1:1 talks about their eternity. Revelation 1:8 says that He is the Alpha and Omega (beginning and ending letters of the Greek alphabet. Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and FOREVER. In Isaiah 9:6 it also says that while the child is being born, the Son of God is being given.. Therefore, the Son must have existed before in heaven (Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus Himself said that He existed before Abraham (who lived around 2,000 B.C.) in John 8:56-58. If Jesus was with the Father and Spirit in creation, then He must have been at work during the Old Testament times.

Holy Spirit in Old Testament: In Judges 14:19 the Spirit of God came upon Samson. In Psalm 51 David asks God to restore to him the joy of his salvation, and uphold him with God’s free Spirit. The Holy Spirit came upon Elijah and Elisha many times, as detailed in the books of the Kings.

Godhead in the Bible: The Father’s role throughout Scripture has not changed. He remains the initiator of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit’s role changes a little bit throughout Scripture. 1n the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon people (prophets, etc.) for a short duration of time to give them power for the miracle they needed, or whatever was the situation. In the days of the Acts, (and until now), the Holy Spirit is upon the believers of the church as a unit, and individually- all at the same time. He does not just move upon one Individual, but many.

The Son’s role changes throughout Scripture. He is the performer of the Godhead, so the way in which He reveals or manifests the Father (part of His mission) will change. He is the same person with different roles to play. He is always bringing a message or judgement; there is a reason for His presence. As the man- child Jesus, He reveals the character of the Father, and He dies for the sins of the world. Same person, different manifestation.