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Believing The Trinity
How Do We Know God is Triune?
In Defining The Trinity, God is defined as one being composed of three persons- The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But now that we have an idea of what it means for God to be Triune, the question “How do we KNOW that God is Triune?” arises.
To answer this question, we inevitably have to establish that all three persons of the Trinity, The Father, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit are God.
The Father is God
Scripture is extremely clear that the Father is God. Of the many verses that establish Him as God, 1 Corinthians 8:6 can be referenced.
yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
Jesus is God:
In scripture, the death of Jesus on the cross is known as the means by which salvation is attained, and through Him all sins are washed away.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3: 23-24).
However, the Bible is also clear that salvation ONLY comes from God.
Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people! (Psalm 3:8)
So if salvation belongs to the Lord only, then it can only be given by Him. And we see in scripture that Jesus has given humanity the gift of salvation and deliverance from sin. Therefore, Jesus MUST be God because He gives the gift of salvation. For one to deny the deity of Christ, and therefore deny the Trinity, they must also deny the salvation which is offered to all of humanity. Additionally, to deny that Jesus is God is to deny God's true Goodness and Genuine nature. If God has stated to be the only way to salvation, to send someone other than Himself to atone for sin would be going against His own word. This train of thought is clearly compromising to the Perfect nature of God.
The Holy Spirit is God:
Like Jesus and the Father, The Holy Spirit is also fully God. To prove this, first understand that scripture says that it is the Holy Spirit that sanctifies believers:
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:16)
And for the Spirit to be able to sanctify believers, He must also be Perfect Himself. Also, remember that Jesus says “Only God is Good” in Mark 10:18. So once again, by deduction, it would make no sense that a being other than The perfect and Good God can sanctify believers. Therefore, the scriptures are clearly establishing that the Holy Spirit is God.
So now that we can clearly see the scriptural evidence of the deity of all three Persons in the Trinity, we can conclude that they are in fact all God.
But the Bible is clear that God is one:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one (Deuteronomy 6:4)
Firstly, it is very interesting that the Hebrew word used for “one” in the original texts does not refer to “one” as an absolute singularity but rather, refers to something that is UNITED as one while being made up of more than one components. So when the Bible speaks of God as one, it does not refer to Him as an absolute singularity but rather as one being that is composed of united Persons. This is the very thing that the Trinity is. Look at the word “Trinity” for yourself, the first part of the word “Tri” refers to 3 while the latter portion of the word points to unity. Funny enough, the scripture above further points us to the Trinity itself.
Through scripture, we can deduce that the Trinity is essential to salvation through Christ and sanctification through the Holy Spirit. By establishing each Person of the Trinity as God, while taking into account that the Biblical texts in their original language always refer to God as one Union, we see that the Triune God has always been present throughout the Bible. And because God has been consistent in essence through the ages, we can surely know and appreciate His essence and embrace Him as He pursues us every moment of our lives.
This was the second part of the “Triune” series here at Chasing Truth where we will be unraveling the doctrine of the Trinity. Keep your eyes out for the third and final part coming out next week! God Bless you all.
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Michael Jones, InspiringPhilosophy Ministry
C.S Lewis, Mere Christianity
The Forgotten Trinity by James R. White