*THE UNITY AND THE TRINITY OF GOD*
*A. The Unity of God*
The Scriptures teach monotheism.
There are three persons who are united into one God (Deut4:35; 6:4; 1Kings8:60; 2Kings19:15; Is43:10; 44:6, 8; Zech14:9; 1Cor.8:6; Gal3:20; 1Tim2:5; James2:19)
”Hear O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is *one*!” Deut6:4
”You believe that God is *one*. You do well…” James2:19; also Cor8:6; Gal3:20; 1Tim2:5
*B. The Triune Nature of God*
Although the Trinity cannot be completely understood, it should be accepted as being a clearly taught and repeated Bible doctrine.
*1.The Trinity in the Old Testament*
The doctrine of the Trinity is most fully developed in the New Testament; however, it is interesting that Trinitarian doctrine is also present in the Old Testament in an indirect way (See also Is9:6, Ps110:1, Jer23:5-6).
a. The Hebrew word for God is plural (Elohim). The fact that the Hebrew word for God is plural would not by itself prove the Trinity. It could be what grammarians call “the plural of majesty.” The Hebrew words for face, water, and heaven are also plural. However, the plural grammatical form of God does make room for a Trinitarian concept. Also, when supported by other clearer evidences for the Trinity, one satisfactory explanation for the plural form is that it was intended to be a veiled hint to the triune nature of God.
b. In a number of texts of the Old Testament, pronouns that are best taken to refer to God are plural. Again, by themselves, they would not establish the Trinity for other explanations are possible. Yet, in the light of other clearer texts these do support the doctrine of the Trinity as secondary evidences.
”…Let Us make man in *Our* image…”Gen1:26
”Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us…” Gen3:22
”And the LORD said,…“Come, let *Us* go down and there confuse their language…Gen11:6,7
”Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”…Is6:8.
Jn12:41-42 indicates *Christ was the one on the throne speaking in Isaiah6*. Acts28:25ff says the Holy Spirit said these things. In the Isaiah context one would assume God the Father was speaking. A combination of these texts supports the Trinity.
c. God seems to be distinguished from God although there is only one God.
”…And the LORD said to him…“But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the LORD their God…” Hosea1:6-7.
”The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.” Ps110:1
d. Even the Old Testament indicates that God has a Son (See also Is9:6)
”I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, “Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee.” Ps2:7
”Do homage to the Son, lest He become angry, and you perish in the way…”Ps2:12a
”…Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name?…”Prov30:4
e. The Angel of the LORD appears to be separate from God and yet is God.
(1) The Angel of the LORD is separate from God.
Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, “O LORD of hosts…Zech1:12
(2) The Angel of the LORD is recognized as God
• By Hagar – “Thou art a God who sees” Gen16:13
• By Moses as the author of Genesis – “…the LORD who spoke to her” Gen16:13
• By the author of Judges – “And the LORD looked at him and said…” Judg6:14 and “But the LORD said to him…” Judg6:16
• By Gideon – “O LORD, how shall I deliver Israel?” Judg6:15
• By Samson’s parents – “…we have seen God” Judg13:22
(3) The Angel of the LORD claims to be God (Gen22:11-12)
I am the God of Bethel…Gen31:13
”…I am the God of your Father…” Ex3:6
”Now the angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you’ ” Judg2:1
The Angel of the LORD is God, yet, He is separate from God. There can be two possible conclusions: either there are two gods (which Scripture will not allow), or the Old Testament hints that there is more than one person in the Godhead.
f. The Messiah is sent by God, however, He is God (Ps110:1; Jer23:5-6; Is7:14;9:6)
(1) Messiah is separate from God: He is God’s servant.
”Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations” Is42:1
(2) Messiah is God.
”For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” Is9:6
g. There are a number of plurals used in reference to God (e.g., verbs in Gen20:13 and 35:7 and nouns in Eccl12:1 and Is54:5). These would not by themselves prove the Trinity. They could be dismissed as grammatical oddities by anyone wishing to object to the Trinitarian doctrine. Since the Trinity can be established by other texts, it is possible by hindsight to view these plurals as intentional hints to the Trinity.
”Remember also your Creator Hebrew: Creators in the days of your youth” Eccl12:1
”For your husband is your Maker” He-brew: “Makers”Is54:5
*2.The Trinity in the New Testament*
*a.Each person of the Trinity is called God or claims deity*
*(1)The Father* (Rom1:7; Gal.1:3; Eph1:2; Phil1:2)
*(2)The Son* (John1:1,18;5:18; 8:58; 10:30; 14:9; 20:28; Acts20:28; Rom9:5; Phil2:6; Col1:15-16; 2:9; Tit2:13; Heb1:8; 2Pet1:1; 1Jn5:20;Jn1:1 (ask me for a more complete study)
*(3)The Holy Spirit*
”But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God” Acts5:3-4
”Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” 2Cor3:17
(ask me for a more detailed study on the fact that the Holy Spirit is God)
*b.Two persons are associated in the God-head*
…“This is My beloved Son…” Matt17:5
”I and my Father are one” Jn10:30
“…He who has seen me has seen the Father…” Jn14:9
*c.Three persons may be associated together as God*
There are a number of passages that make reference to all three persons of the Trinity (Matt.3:16-17; 28:19; Jn14:16-17; 15:26; 16:7-15; Rom8:14-17; Gal4:4-6; Eph1:3-14;4:4-6; 1Cor12:4-6; 2Cor1:21-22; 13:14; Heb9:14; 1Pet1:2).
”And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him, and behold, a voice the Father out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” Matt3:16-17
”…baptizing them in the name note the singular of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” Matt28:19
”And I God the Son will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper…that is the Spirit of Truth” Jn14:16-17
”But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law…And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”’ Gal4:4,6
”The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all” 2Cor13:14
”…according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood; may grace and peace be yours in fullest measure” 1Pet1:2