Why do people believe that God is three persons in one God?

We believe God is a trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit because that’s how he has revealed himself in scripture. Here is a way to explain the Trinity concept.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4). This verse tells us that God is one. The Hebrew word for “one” does not mean the numerical one, but a compound unity, one made up of several parts. We see this word in Numbers 13:23, where the spies brought out of Canaan one cluster of grapes. As you know, one cluster is made of several grapes. This opens the door to the idea that God is one essence, but made up of several persons. Only three persons in the Bible have deity – the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at each in turn.

God the Father
God is the Father. Here’s a verse where a prophet refers to Him as such: “But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isaiah 64:8).

God the Holy Spirit
The deity of the Spirit is seen in several verses. First, it’s important to note that the Spirit is personal, for he┬ácan speak (1 Timothy 4:1), hear (John 16:13), teach and remind (John 14:26), give and receive (John 16:14-15), have emotions and can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30), and can be lied to (Acts 5:3). All of these verses show that the Spirit is not an impersonal force.

The deity of the Spirit is seen in Acts 5:3-4. There, the Holy Spirit was blasphemed. Only God can be blasphemed. Also, in Gen. 1:1-2, we find the Spirit actively involved with the creation of the world.

The Son of God
The Scriptures proclaim the deity of Jesus in several ways. First, by granting forgiveness. Only God can forgive sins. Jesus forgave sins in Matthew 9:1-8. We only forgive people who have wronged us. Jesus, in the position of God, forgave this man’s sins.

Second, Jesus is given the same titles as the OT God. “He who is and who was and who is to come” is a title given to the Father and the Son. (See Revelation 1:4-5, 1:8.)

Also, consider the titles of Jesus in Revelation 22:13: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” All these titles are also given to God in the OT.

Third, we see Jesus’ deity through verses related to the Second Coming. Jehovah says that he will come to Israel and dwell among them. When you compare Zechariah 2:10 with Revelation 22:12, you find that Jesus will come and dwell among us. Jesus is called Jehovah, who is God!

In Zechariah 14:3-4 we find Jehovah coming to make war, then he will land on the Mount of Olives. This is Jesus, who comes to make war (see Revelation 19) and to land on the Mount of Olives (see Acts 1:9-12)!

Summary

With the above in mind, we clearly read of the Trinity in Genesis. 2:26-27, and in Isaiah 6:8. In both cases God speaks of himself as “Us.”

I’m aware that Muslims find the idea of the Father and the Son abhorrent, because it sounds like the Father had sexual relations in order to get the Son. However, this Father and Son denotes a family correlation, not a physical relationship. God, after all, is spirit, not matter, and has always existed. One of titles of the Son (“He who is and who was and who is to come”) indicates that He has existed for eternity past. He never had a beginning, so He was never “born” as regular sons are.

What Do You Think?

a. Do you find doctrines easier to believe once you see the scriptures spelling out the doctrine? Why or why not?

About Steve Husting

Steve Husting lives in Southern California with his wife and son. He enjoys encouraging others through writing, and likes reading, digital photography, the outdoors, calligraphy, making iPhone apps, and chocolate. He has written several books, iPhone apps, and hundreds of Christian devotionals. Steve is also having a great time illustrating God's Word with calligraphy.
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