The Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit are coeternal and consubstantial persons. They are distinct, yet are one “substance, essence or nature” (homoousios) 1John 5:7.
The subset of Christianity that accepts this doctrine is collectively known as Trinitarianism, while the subset that does not is referred to as Nontrinitarianism (see also Arianism). Trinitarianism contrasts with positions such as Binitarianism (one deity in two persons) and Monarchianism (no plurality of persons within God), of which Modalistic Monarchianism (one deity revealed in three modes) and Unitarianism (one deity in one person) are subsets.
While the developed doctrine of the Trinity is not explicit in the books that constitute the New Testament, the New Testament possesses a “triadic” understanding of God and contains a number of Trinitarian formulas. The doctrine of the Trinity was first formulated among the early Christians and fathers of the Church as early Christians attempted to understand the relationship between Jesus and God in their scriptural documents and prior traditions.
EXPLAINING THE TRINITY THROUGH THE SUN
— I see the visible circular part of the sun as GOD THE FATHER.
— The light from the sun as GOD THE SON.
— The heat from the sun as GOD THE HOLY GHOST.
These three are one for non can be separated from the other according to 1john 5:7 KJV.
Baptism is generally conferred with the Trinitarian formula, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.[Mt 28:19] Trinitarians identify this name with the Christian faith into which baptism is an initiation, as seen for example in the statement of Basil the Great (330–379): “We are bound to be baptized in the terms we have received, and to profess faith in the terms in which we have been baptized. The First Council of Constantinople (381) also says, “This is the Faith of our baptism that teaches us to believe in the Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. According to this Faith, there is one Godhead, Power, and Being of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 may be taken to indicate that baptism was associated with this formula from the earliest decades of the Church’s existence. Other Trinitarian formulas found in the New Testament include 2Corinthians 13:14, 1 Corinthians 12:4–6, Ephesians 4:4–6, 1 Peter 1:2, and Revelation 1:4–5.
Oneness Pentecostals demur from the Trinitarian view of baptism and emphasize baptism ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ the original apostolic formula. For this reason, they often focus on the baptisms in Acts. Those who place great emphasis on the baptisms in Acts often likewise question the authenticity of Matthew 28:19 in its present form. Most scholars of New Testament textual criticism accept the authenticity of the passage since there are no variant manuscripts regarding the formula, and the extant form of the passage is attested in the Didacheand other patristic works of the 1st and 2nd centuries: Ignatius, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyprian, and Gregory Thaumaturgus.
In Trinitarian doctrine, God exists as three persons but is one being, having a single divine nature. The members of the Trinity are co-equal and co-eternal, one in essence, nature, power, action, and will. As stated in the Athanasian Creed, the Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated, and all three are eternal without beginning. “The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” do not name for different parts of God, but one name for God because three persons exist in God as one entity. They cannot be separate from one another. Each person is understood as having an identical essence or nature, not merely similar natures.
According to the Eleventh Council of Toledo (675) “For, when we say: He who is the Father is not the Son, we refer to the distinction of persons; but when we say: the Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, and the Holy Spirit that which the Father is and the Son is, this clearly refers to nature or substance”
The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) adds: “In God, there is only a Trinity since each of the three persons is that reality — that is to say substance, essence or divine nature. This reality neither begets nor is begotten nor proceeds; the Father begets, the Son is begotten, and the Holy Spirit proceeds. Thus there is a distinction between persons but a unity of nature. Although therefore the Father is one person, the Son another person and the holy Spirit another person, they are not different realities, but rather that which is the Father is the Son and the Holy Spirit, altogether the same; thus according to the orthodox and catholic faith they are believed to be consubstantial.
Clarification of the relationships among the three Trinitarian Persons (divine persons, different from the sense of a “human self”, much advances because of the pertaining Magisterial statement promulgated by the Council of Florence (1431-1449), though its formulation much precedes the Council: “These three Persons are one God and not three gods, for the three are one substance, one essence, one nature, one opposition of relationship [relationis opposition]. Robert Magliola explains that most theologians have taken relations opposition in the “Thomist” sense, namely, the “opposition of relationship” [in English we would say “oppositional relationship”] is one of contrariety rather than contradiction. The only “functions” that are applied uniquely to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit respectively in Scripture are the following: “Paternity” to the Father, “Filiation” (Sonship) to the Son, and “Passive Spiration” or that which is “breathed out, to the Holy Spirit.
THE POST-REFORMATION PERIOD.
The Jews of Jesus’ day trinity emphasized the unity of God this emphasis was carried over into the Christian church. The result was that some ruled but the personal distinction in the Godhead altogether and that others failed to do full justice, to the essential deity of the second and third persons of the Holy Trinity. “Tertullian was the first person to use the Trinity and to formulate the doctrine, but his formulation was deficient since it involved an unwarranted subordination.
to the father. Origen went even further in his doctrine by teaching explicitly that the Son is subordinate to the father in respect to essence, and that the Holy Spirit is subordinate even to the son. He detracted from the essential deity of these two persons in the Godhead and furnished a stepping stone to the Arians; who denied the deity of the Son and the Holy Spirit by representing the Son as the first creation of the father and the Holy Spirit as the first creature of the Son. Thus the consubstantiality of the Son and the Holy Spirit with the Father was sacrificed in order to preserve the unity of God, and the three persons of the Godhead were made to differ in rank. The Arians still retained a semblance of the doctrine of the three persons in the Godhead, but this was sacrificed entirely by Monarchiranism, part in the interest of the unity of God and partly to maintain the deity of the Son.
Dynamic Monarchianism in Jesus but a man and in the Holy Spirit a divine
influence, while moralistic Monarchianism regarded the father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit, merely as three modes of manifestation successively assumed by the
On the other hand, there were also some who lost sight of the unity of God to such an; extent that they landed in Trinitheism. Some of the later monophysites, such as John Ascuriages and John Philoponus fell into this error. During the middle ages the Nominalist, Roeseeiinus, was accused of the same error. The church began to formulate its doctrine of the Trinity in the fourth century the Council of Nic declared the son to be co-essential with the father (325 A.D), while the council of Constantinople (381 A.D) asserted the deity of the Holy Spirit, though not with the same precision.
THE THEOLOGY OF THE HOLY TRINITY
As to the interrelation of the three, it was officially professed that the son is generated by the Father and that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. In the East, the doctrine of Trinity found its fullest statement in the work of John of Damascus, and in the west, in Augustine’s great work De Trinities. The former still retains an element of subordination, which is entirely eliminated by the latter.
THE POST-REFORMATION PERIOD
We have no further development of the doctrine of the Trinity,
but only encounter repeatedly some of the earlier erroneous constructions of it after the reformation.
The Armenians, Episcopias, Courcelles, and Limbaugh, revived the doctrine of subordination chiefly again, so it seems to maintain the unity of the Godhead. They ascribed to the Father a certain preeminence over the other person in order, dignity, and power. A somewhat similar position was taken by Samuel Clarke.
in England d and by the Lutheran theologians, Kahmis and others followed the way pointed out by Sabellius by teaching a species of Modalism, for instance, Emanuel Sweden Borg who held that the eternal God-man became a flash in the sun and operated through the Holy Spirit. Hegel speaks of the Father as God in Himself and the Holy Spirit as God objectifying Himself and the Holy Spirit as God returning unto Himself and Schleiermacher regard the three persons simply as three aspects of God, the Father is God as the underlying unity of all things, the Son is God as coming to conscious personality in man and the Holy Spirit is God as living in the Church. The Socinians of the days of their formation moved along Arian lines but even went beyond Arian by making Christ merely a man and the Holy Spirit but a power of influence. They were the forerunners of the Urtitafians and, also; of the liberal theologians, who; speak of Jesus as a divine teacher) and identify the Holy Spirit with the immanent of the doctrine of an ontological Trinity as unintelligible, wanted to stop short of it and rest satisfied with the doctrine of an economic Trinity, a Trinity as revealed in the work of Redemption and in human experience as Moses Stark, W.L. Alexander, and W.A. Brown. For a considerable time interest in the doctrine of the Trinity waned, and theological discussion centred more particularly on the personality of God. Brunner and Barth have again called attention to its importance. The Latte places it very much in the ground, discussing it in connection with the doctrine of revelation, and devotes 220 pages of his dogmatic to it.
Materially he derives the doctrine from scripture, but formally and logically he finds that it involves d in the simple sentence “God speaks” He is Revealer
(Father) Revelation (Son) and Revel elatedness (Holy Spirit). He reveals Himself.
Ha is the Revelations, and He absolutely free and sovereign.
This view of Barth is not a species of Sabellianism for he recognizes three persons in the Godhead. Moreover r, he does not allow for any subordination says he “thus to the same God who in unimpaired unity is Revealer, Revelation, and Revealdness is also ascribed in unimpaired variety in Himself precisely this threefold mode of beings.
GOD AS TRINITY IN UNITY
The word “Trinity is not quite as expressive as the Holland word “Diiecenheid” for it may simply denote the state of being three without any implication as to the unity of the three, it is generally understood, however, that as a technical term in theology. It includes that idea. It goes without saying that, when we speak of the Trinity of God, we refer to a Trinity of God as a Trinity in unity, and; a unity that is inseparable.
THE PERSONALITY OF GOD AND THE TRINITY
As stated in the preceding, the communicable attributes of God stress His personality, since they reveal Him as a rational and moral being. His life stands s out clearly before us in scripture as personal life and it is, of course of the greatest importance to maintain the personality of God, for without it there can be no religions in the real sense of the word, no prayer no personal communion, no trustful reliance, and no confidence hope. Since man, is created in the image of God, we learn to understand something of the personal life of God from the
contemplation of personality as we know it in man. We should be careful, however, not to set up man’s personality as a standard by which the personality of God must be measured. The original form of personality is not in man but in God: His archetypal, while men are ectypal. The latter is not identical with the former but does contain faint traces of similarity with it, we should not say that man is personal while God is super-natural (a ver. unfortunate term) for what is super-natural is not personals but rather that what appears as imperfect in man exists infinite perfection in, God. The one outstanding difference between the two is that man is Uni-personal, while God is -Trl-personal
And this Tri-personal existence is a necessity in the Divine Being and not in any sense the result of a choice of God. He could not exist in any other than the tri-personal form.
This has been argued in various ways, it is very common to argue it from the idea of his personality of him. Shedd bases his argument on the general self-consciousness of the doctrine of God, as distinguished from the particular individual self-consciousness of each person in the Godhead, for in self-consciousness the subject must know itself as an object and also perceive that it does.
this is possible in God because of His trinal existence, He says that God could not be self; counter plating, Self cognitive, and self-communing if He were not trinal in His constitution.
Bartlett presents in an interesting way a variety of considerations to prove that God is necessary tri-personal. The argument from per-sodality to prove at least a plurality in God can be put in some such form like this: Among men, the ego awakens to consciousness only by contact with the non-ego.
Personality does not develop nor exist in isolation by only in association with other, persons, Hence it is not possible to conceive of personality in God apart from an association of equal personas in Him. His contact with His creatures would not account for his personality any more than man’s contact with animals would explain his personality.
2. SCRIPTURAL PROOF FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY
The doctrine of the Trinity is very decidedly a doctrine of revelation. It is true that Human reason may suggest some thoughts to substantiate the doctrine and that
man have sometimes on purely philosophical grounds abandoned the idea of a bare unity in God, and introduced the idea of living movement and self distinction. And it is also true that the Christian experience would seem to demand
some such construction of the doctrine of God, At the same time, it! is the
doctrine which would not have known, nor have been able to maintain with any
degree of confidence, on the basis of experience, alone; and which is bought to our knowledge only by God’s special self-revelation. Therefore it is of almost importance that we gather the scriptural proof s for it.
(a) OLD TESTAMENT PROOFS
Some of the early Church Fathers and even some later theologians disregarded the progressive- character of God’s revelation, giving the impression that the
the doctrine of the Trinity was completely revealed in the Old Testament.
On the other hand, Socinians and Arminians were of the opinion that it was not
found there at all. Both were mistaken. The old Testament does not contain a full revelation
of the Trinitarian existence of God but does contain several indications of it. And this is exactly what might be expected. The Bible never deals with the doctrine of the Trinity as abstract truth but reveals the Trinitarian life in its various relations as a living reality, to a certain extent in connection with the work of redemption.
Its most fundamental revelation is a revelation given in facts rather than in words. And this revelation increases in clearly the measure in which the redemptive work of God is more clearly revealed, as in the incarnation of the Son and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
And the more the glorious reality of the Trinity stands out in the facts of history, the clearer the statement of the doctrine becomes, The fuller revelation of the Trinity in the New Testament is due to the fact that the Word became flesh, and
In that, the Holy Spirit took up His abode in the Church. Proof for the Trinity has sometimes been found in the distinction of Jehovah and Elohim, and also in the
plural, but the former is entirely unwanted, and the latter is, to say the least,
It is more plausible that the passages in which God speaks of Himself in plural Gen. 1:26,7. Contain an indication of personal distinctions in God. Though even these do not point to a trinity but only to a plurality of persons, still clearer indications of such personal distinctions are found in those passages which refer to
the angel of Jehovah. Who is on the other hand identified with Jehovah and on other hand distinguished from Him, Gen. 16:7-13, 18:1-21, 19:1-28, Mal. 3:1, and also in passages in which the word or wisdom of God is personified, Ps. 33:6, 45:6-7, (Heb. 1:8-9) and in other God is the speaker who mentions both God
and the Spirit See 1 Sa. 48:16, 61:1, 63:9-10; Thus the Old Testament contains a clear anticipation of the fuller revelation of the Trinity in the New Testament.
B. NEW TESTAMENT PROOFS
The New Testament carries with it a clear revelation of the distinction in the Godhead. If in the O.T. Jehovah is represented as the redeemer and saviour of his people, Job. 19:25, Ps. 19:28—35, 106:21, 1 Sa. 41:14; 43:3,11,14, 47:4,497,26,60:16, Jere. 14:3, 50:14, Hos. 13:3, In the NT. the son of God clearly stands out in the capacity, Matt. 1:21, Lk. 1:76, 79, 2:19, Jn. 4:42, Acts 5^3, Gal. 3:13, 4:5, Phil. 3:30, Tit. 2:13-14.
And if in the O.T. Tl IS Jehovah that dwells among Israel and In the hearts of those that fear Him, Ps. 74:2, 135:21, Isa. 8:18, 57:15, Ezk.43:79, Joel. 3:17,21, Zech. 2:10-11, and also that dwells in the Church, Acts 2:4, Rom. 8:9,11, 1 Cor. 3:16, Gal. 4:6, Eph. 2:22, James. 4:5. The New Testament offers the clear revelation of God sending His Son into the world, Jn. 3:16, Gal. 4:4, Heb. 1:6, 1 Jn. 4:9, and both
the Father and the Son, sending the Spirit, Jn. 14:26, 15:26, 16:7, Gal. 4:6, the father addressing the son, Mk. 1:11, Lk.3:22. we find
The son communing with the father Matt, 11:25-26, 26:39, Jn. 11:41, 12:27-28 and Holy Spirit praying to God in the hearts of believers, Rom. 8:26 of the fact that in the Latian Church “substations” was used as a rendering of ”hypostasis as well as of Onsia and was therefore ambiguous.
At present the two terms, “substance and essence are often interchangeable. There is no objection to this provided we bear in mind t.hat they have slightly
difference connotations shed distinguished them as follows Essence is from less to be and denotes energetic being.
The substance is from substance and denotes the latent possibility of being………….
The term essence describes God as a sum- a total of infinite perfections.
The term substance describes God as the underlying ground of infinite activities. The
first is comparatively, an active word, the last a passive. The first. Comparatively a spiritual, the last a material term. We speak material substance rather than of material essence” Since the unity of God was already discussed in the preceding, it is not necessary to: dwell on it in detail in the present connection. This
proposition respecting the Unity of; God is based on such passages as Deut. 6:4,
Jms. 2:19, on the self-existence and immutability of God, and on the fact that He is identified with His perfections as when He is called life, light, truth,
righteousness, and so on.
IN HIS DIVINE BEING THERE ARE THREE PERSONS
INDIVIDUAL EXISTENCES; FATHER, SON & HOLY GHOST
This is proved by the various passages referred to as substantiating the doctrine of infinity. To denote this distinction in the Godhead.
Greek writers generally; employed the term hypostasis, while Latin authors used the term persona, and sometimes substantial, because the former was apt to be misleading and the latter was ambiguous, the schoolmen coined the word substantial.
The variety of the terms used points to the fact that their inadequacy was always felt It is generally admitted that the word “person” is but an imperfect expression of the idea. In common parlance, it denotes a separate rational and moral individual possessed of self-consciousness and consciousness of his identity amid all changes.
Experience teaches that where you have a person, you also have a distinct individual essence. Every person is distinct and separate individualized.
But in God, there are no three individuals alongside, and separate from, one another, but only, generically but also numerically one, consequently many preferred to speak of three hypostases in God, three deferent modes, not or manifestation as Sabellious thought but of existence or subsistence.
Thus Calvin says: By person, then I mean s subsistence in. the Divine essence, a
subsistence which, while related to the other two distinguished from them by incommunicable properties.
This is perfectly permissible and may ward off misunderstanding, but should not cause us to lose sight of the fact that the self- distinguished in the Divine Being imply a “1” and “Thou” and “H” In the being of God, which assumes personal relations to one another, Mtt.3:16, 4:1, Jn. 1:18, 3:16, 5:20-22, 14:26, 15:26, 16:13-15.
THE WHOLE INDIVIDUAL ESSENCE OF GOD BELONGS
EQUALLY TO EACH OF THE PERSONS
This means that the divine essence is not divided among the three persons but is whole with its perfection in each one of the persons so that they have a numerical unity of essence.
The divine nature is distinguished from human nature in that it can subsist wholly indivisibly in more than one person, while three persons among men have only a specific unit of nature or essence that has a numerical unity of essence that possesses the identical essence.
Human nature or essence may be regarded as a species of which each man has an individual part so that there is a specific (from species) person of the Godhead.
It is numerically one and the same and therefore the unity of essence in the persons is a numerical unity from this it follows that the divine essence is not an independent existence alongside the three persons. It had no existence outside of and apart from the three persons. If it did there would be no true unity but a division that would lead to tetratheism. The personal distinction is one within the divine essence. This has as is usually termed three modes of subsistence. Another conclusion that follows from the preceding is that there can be no subordination as to essential being, of the one person of the Godhead to the other, and therefore no difference in personal dignity. This must be maintained against the subordinationism of origin and other early church fathers, and the Arminians and Clarke and other Anglican theologians. The only subordination of which we can speak is a subordination with respect to order and relationship
It is especially when we reflect on the divine essence that all analogies fail us and we become deeply conscious of the fact that the trinity is a mystery Far beyond our comprehension. It is the incomprehensible glory of the Godhead just as human nature is too rich and too full to be embodied in a single individual, and comes to its adequate expression only in humanity as a whole so the divine Being unfolds itself in its fullness only in its three fold subsistence of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
THE SUBSISTENCE AND OPERATION OF THE THREE
PERSONS IN THE DIVINE BEING IS MARKED BY A CERTAIN DIVINE ORDER
There is a certain order in the ontological Trinity. In Personal subsistence, the father is first, the Son second, and the Holy Spirit third. It needs hard he said that this order does not pertain to any priority of time or of essential dignity, but only to the logical order of derivation. The father is neither begotten by. Nor proceeds from any other person, the Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and the Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son from all eternity.
Generation and procession take place within the Divine Being and imply a certain subordination as to the manner of personal subsistence but no subordination as far as the possession of the divine essence is concerned. This ontological Trinity and its inherent order is the metaphysical basis of the economical Trinity. It is but nature therefore that the order existing in the essential Trinity should be reflected in the Opera and extra that are more particularly ascribed to each one of the persons. Scripture clearly indicated this order in the so-called prepositions distinction ales, ek, dio, and en, which
are used in expressing the idea that all things are of the father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit.
THERE ARE CERTAIN PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES BY WHICH THE THERE PERSONS DISTINGUISHED
These are also called Opera, ad, intra because they are works within the Divine Being, which do not terminate on the creature. They are personal operations, which are not performed by the three persons jointly and which are incommunicable, Generation is an act of the father only, filiations belongs to the son exclusively, and procession can only be as cribbed to the Holy Spirit. As Opera ad intra, these works are distinguished from the opera ad extra, or those activities and effects by which the Trinity is manifested outwardly. These are never works of one person but all ways works of the Divine being as a whole. At the same time, it is true that in the economical order of God’s works some of the opera ad extra are ascribed more particularly to one person and some more especially to another. Though they are all works of the three persons jointly creation is ascribed primarily to the father, redemption to the Son, and sanctification to the holy spirit.
This order in the divine operation points back to the essential order in God and forms the basis for what is generally known as the economic trinity.
THE CHURCH CONFESS THE TRINITY TO BE A MYSTERY BEYOND THE COMPREHENSION OF MAN
The Trinity is a mystery, not merely in the Biblical sense that it is a truth, which was formerly hidden but is now revealed, but in the sense, that man cannot comprehend it and make it intelligibly
It is intelligible in some of its relations and modes of manifestation but unintelligible in its essential nature. The May efforts that explained the mystery were speculative rather than theological
They invariable resulted in the development of tritheistic or modalistic conceptions of God, in the denial of either the unity of the divine essence or the reality of the personal distinctions within the essence
‘The real difficulty lies in the relation in which the persons in the Godhead stand to the divine essence and to one another, and this is the proper proportion by a proper definition of terms, it has never tried to explain the mystery of the Trinity, but only sought to formulate the doctrine of the Trinity in such a manner that the errors which endangered it were warded off.
1. THE THREE PERSONS CQNSIDERE SEPARATELY THE
FIRST-PERSON THE TRINITY.
(a) | ‘The name “father” ad applied to God. This name is not always used by God in the same sense in scripture (1) sometimes it is applied to the Triune God) as the origin of all created things, 1Cor. 8.6 Eph. 3:15 Heb. 12:9, Jas. 1:17, while in these cases the name applied to the triune God, it does refer more particularly to the first person to whom the work of creation is more especially ascribed in scripture.
2. The name is also ascribed to the triune God to express the theocratic relation in which He stands to Israel as his old testament people, Duet 32:6 Isa. 63:16, 64:8. Jere. 3:4 Mai. 1:6, 2:10.
3. In the NT. the name is generally used to designate the triune God as the Father in an ethical sense of all His spiritual children. Mt 5:45, 6:6-15 Rom. 8:16, Un. 3:1.
4. In an entirely different sense, however, the name is applied to the first person of the trinity in His relation to the second person, Jn. 1″14, 18, 5:17-26, 8:54, 14:12-13. the first person is the father of the second in a metaphysical sense. This is the original fatherhood: of God of which all earthly fatherhood is but a faint reflection.
Therefore the distinctive characteristic of the father is that He
generates the Son from all eternity. The works – particularly ascribed to
He is those of planning the work of redemption, creating End
providence, and representing the Trinity in the Counsel of redemption.
2. THE SON OR THE SECOND PERSON IN THE TRINITY
The name “Son” as applied to the second person in the Trinity is called “Son” or son of God” in more than one sense of the word. 1. In a metaphysical sense, this must be maintained against Sicilians and Unitarians, who rejected the idea of a Tri-Personal to see in Jesus a mere man, and regard the name “son of God” as applied to Him primarily as an honorary title conferred upon Him. It is quite evident that Jesus Christ is represented as the Son of God in scripture, irrespective of His position and work as mediator:-
(a) He is spoken of as the son of god from a pre-incarnation
standpoint for instance in Jn. 1:14, 18, ;Gal. 4:4J
(b) He is called the “only-begotten: Son of God-pr of the father, a
term that would not apply to Him, if He were the son of God Only in an
official or in an ethical sense -Jn. 1:14, 18, 3:16,18, Un, 4:9, Compare-II Sam. 7:14, Job 2:1, Ps. 2:7, Lk. 3:38, Jn. 1:12.
(c) In some passages, it is abundantly evident from the context that the home is indicative of the deity of Christ, Jn. 5:18, 25, Heb, 1.
(d) While Jesus teaches His Disciples to speak of God, and to address Him as “our father”, He Himself speaks of him and addresses Him simply as “father” or my father, thereby showing that He was conscious of a unique relationship to the father. Mt. 6:9, 7:21, Jn. 20:17.
(e) According to Matt. 11:27 Jesus as the Son of God claims unique knowledge of God, a knowledge such as no one else can possess.
(f) the Jews certainly understood Jesus to claim that He was the
son of;(God in a metaphysical sense for they regarded the manner in
He spoke of Himself as the Son of God as blasphemy – Matt. Jn. 5:18, 10:36.
It was only because He was the essential and eternal son of God that he could be called the son of God as Messiah.
the name “Son of God” is given to Jesus also in view of the fact that He owed his birth to the Paternity of God. He was begotten, according to His human nature by the supernatural operation of the Holy Spirit. Lk. 1:32-35
(B) THE PERSONAL SUBSISTENCE OF THE SON
The personal subsistence of the son must be maintained against all modalists, Who is one way or another deny the personal distinctions in the Godhead. The personality of the Son may be substantiated as follows:
(1) The way in which the Bible speaks of the father and the son alongside each other implies that the one is first as personal as the other, and is also indicative of a personal relationship existing between the two.
(2) The use of the appellatives “Only-begotten” and “Firstborn” imply that the relation between the father and the Son, while unique can nevertheless be represented approximately as one of generation and birth. The name “firstborn” is found in Col. 1:15 Heb 1:6 and emphasizes the fact of the eternal generation of the son. It simply means that he was before all creation.
(3) the distinctive use of the term Lagos” in scripture points in the same direction. This term is applied to the Son, not in the first place to express His relation to the world (which is quite secondary but to indicate the intimate relation in which He stands to the father the relation like that of a word to the speaker.
In distinction from philosophy, the Bible represents the Lagos as personal and identifies Him with the son of God, Jn. 1:1-14, 1Jn. 1:1-3.
(4) The description of the Son as the image or even as the very image of God in 11Cor. 4:4, Col, 1:15, Heb. 1:3 God clearly stands out in scripture as a personal Being if the Son of God is the very image of God.
(c) The Eternal Generation of the Son
The personal property of the son is that He is eternally begotten of the father (briefly called “fillition”) and shares with the father inspiration of the Spirit. The doctrine of the generation of the Son is suggested by the Biblical representation of the first and second persons of the Trinity as standing in the relation of father and son to each other. Not only do the names “father and son” suggest the
generation of the latter by the former, but the son is also repeatedly called “the only begotten”, Jn. 1:14,18, 3:16,18, Heb. 11:17, 1jn. 4:9. ; !t is that eternal and necessary act of the first person in the trinity, whereby He, within the divine Being, is the ground of a second personal subsistence like his own and puts this second person in possession of the whole divine essence, without any division, alienation or change.
D. The Deity of the Son
The deity of the son was denied in the early church by the Ebionites and the early along, and also by the dynamic
monarchians and the Arians.
In the days of reformation, the Socinians followed their example and spoke of Jesus as a merman. The same position scholars, particularly in Germany, by the unitarians, and by the modernists and Humanists of the present day. This denial is possible only for those who disregard the teachings of scripture, for the Bible contains an abundance of evidence for the deity of Christ, we find that scripture-
(1) Explicitly asserts the deity of the son -Jn. 1:1, 20:28. Rom. 9:5, Phil. 2:6, Tit. 2:13, 1Jn. 5:20.
(2) Applies divine names to Him – Isa. 9:6 40:3, Jere 23:5-6 Joel 2:32 (comp. acts 2:21. 1Tim. 3:16.
Ascribe to Him divine attributes such as eternal existence Isa. 9:6, Jn. 1:1-2, rev. 1:8,22:13.
Omnipresence. Matt. 18:20, Matt. 28:20, Jn. 3:13.
Omniscience. Jn. 2:24-25, 21:17, Rev. 2:23
Omnipotence. – Isa 9:6, Phil. 321, Rev. 1:8.
Immutability Heb, 1:10-12, 13:8 and in general every
attribute belonging to the father, col. 2:9.
He did divine works, as creation Jn. 1:3, 10, Col. 1:16. Heb. 1:2, 10 providence – Lk. 10:22, Jn. 3:35, 17:2, Eph, 1:22, Col. 1:17, Heb. 1:3.
Forgiveness of Sins-Matt. 9:2-7, Mk. 2:7-10, Col. 3:13. Resurrection and Judgment – Matt. 25:31-32, Jn. 5:19-29: acts 10:42, 17:31, Phil. 3:21, IITim. 4:1.
The final dissolution and renewal of all things – Heb. 1:10-12, Phil. 3:21, rev. 21:5
According Him divine honor – Jn. 5:22, 23, 14,:1, ICor. 15:19, 1Cor. 13:13 Heb. 1:6, Mtt. 28:19.
E. The place of the son in the economic trinity
It should be noted that the order of existence in the essential or ontological Trinity is reflected in the economic – trinity. The son occupied the send place in the opera ad extra. If all things are out of the father, they are through the son, I Cor. 8:6. If the former is repented as the absolute cause. This applies in the natural sphere, w where all things are created and maintained through the son, Jn. 1:3 10, Heb. 1:2,3.
He is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, Jn. 1:9, It applies also to the work of redemption. In the counsel of redemption, he takes upon Himself to be surety for His people, and to execute the father’s plan of redemption Ps. 40:7-8
He works this out more particularly in His incarnation, sufferings, and death, Eph. 1:3-14, In connection with His function the attributes
of wisdom and power. I Cor. 1:24, Heb. 1:3, and of mercy and grace are especially ascribed to him, 11Cor. 13:13. Eph. 5:2, 25.
His special characteristic as the second person of the Trinity is that He is eternally begotten of the father Ps. 2:7, Acts. 13:13, Heb. 1:5, the existence of the son within the divine Being.
The Holy Spirit is the third person in the trinity
a. The name applied to the third person of the Trinity. While we are told in Jn. 4:24 that God is a spirit, the name is applied more particularly to the third person in the Trinity, the Hebrew term by which he is designated is ruah, and the Greek pneuma, both of which are like the Latin “Spriitus” derived from roots which mean “To breath Hence they can also rendered “breathe” Gen. 2:7, 6:17 Ezk. 37:5,6, or :wind Gen. 8:1 Ikgs 19:11. Jn. 3:8.
The old Testament generally uses the term “Spirit” without any qualification or speaks of the Spirit of God” Only in ps.51:11, Isa. 63:10-11, while in the NT, this becomes a far more common designation of the third person in Trinity. It is a striking fact that, while the old Testament repeatedly calls God: the Holy One of Israel”, Ps. 71:22, 89:18 Isa. 10:20, 41:14, 43:3, 48:17, the New testament seldom applies the adjective “Holy” to God in genera! but uses it frequently to characterize the spirit. This is in all probability due to the fact that it was especially in the Spirit and The sanctifying work that God revealed Himself as the Holy One. It is the Holy Spirit that takes up his abode in the hearts of believers, that separates them unto God, and that cleanses them from sin.
b. The personality of the Holy spirit
the term “Spirit of God” or Holy Spirit” to not suggest personality as much as the term “Son” does. Moreover, the person of the Holy Spirit did not appear in a clearly discernible personal from among men, as the person of the son of God did.
As a result, the personality of the Holy Spirit was often called into question and therefore deserves special attention. The personality of the Spirit was denied in the early church by the monarchies and the Pneunatomachians.
In this denial, they were followed by the Socinians in the days of the reformation. Still, later Schleiermacher Ritsch, the Unitarians, present-day modernists, and all modern Sabellians reject the personality of the Holy Spirit.
It is often said in the present day that those passages which seem to imply the personality of the Holy spirit simply contain personifications. But the personification is certainly rare in the prose writings of the NT. and can easily be recognized.
Moreover, such an explanation clearly destroys the sense of some of these passages, e.g. Jn. 1:26, 16:7-11, Rom 8:26 Scripture proof for the personality of the Holy Spirit is quite sufficient.
(1) Designations that are proper to personality are given to Him.
Though pneuma is neuter, the masculine pronoun ekeinos is used of the Spirit in Jn. 16:14, and in Eph. 1:14, some of the best authorities have the masculine relative pronoun hos. Moreover, the name, “Parakletos” is applied to Him, Jn. 14:26, 15:26, 16:7 which cannot be translated as “comfort” or be regarded as the name of an abstract influence. That a person is meant is indicated by the fact that the Holy Spirit as comforter is placed in Juxtaposition with Christ as
the comforter about to depart, to whom the same term is applied in Un. 2:1.
It is true that this term is followed by the neuters ho and auto in Jn. 14:16-18, but this is due to the fact that pneuma intervenes. (2) The characteristics of a person are ascribed to Him. Such as intelligence, Jn. 4:26, 15:26, Rom. 8:16. will, acts 16: 1Cor. 12:11, and affections, isa. 63:10, Eph. 430.
Moreover, he performs acts proper to his personality, He searches, speaks testifies, commands, reveals, thrives, creates: makes intercession, raises the Dead, etc. Gen. 1:2, 6:3, Lk. 12:12, Jn. 14:26, 15:16, 16:18, Acts 8:29, 13:2, Rom. 8:11, 1Cot. 2:10,11. what do all these things cannot be a mere power or influence, but must be a person?
3. He is represented as standing in such relations to other persons as implying His own personality.
He is placed in juxtaposition with the apostles in Acts 15:28, with Christ in Jn: 1614, and with the Father and the son in Mt. 28:19 11Cor. 13:13, I Pt. 1:1-2, Jude vs 20-21 sounds exegesis requires that in these passages the Holy Spirit be regarded as a person.
4. There are also passages in which the Holy Spirit is distinguished from His own power, Lk. 1:35, 4:14, Acts 10:38, Romans. 15:13, I Cor, 2:4 such passages would become tautological meaningless, and even absurd if they were interpreted on the principle that the Holy Spirit is merely a power. This can be shown by substituting for the name Holy spirit” such a word as “Power” or influence”.
(c) The relation of the Holy spirit to other Persons in the trinity The early trinitarian controversies led to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit, as well as the son, is of the same essence as the father, and is therefore consubstantial with Him, and the long draw dispute about the question, whether the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Toledo in 589BC by adding the word “Filioque” to the Latin version of the Constantinopolitan creed.
Credemus un Spiritum sanctum qui a patre filioque procedit” (ie we believe in the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the father and the sons) this procession of the Holy Spirit briefly called spirition is his personal property. Much of what was said resaapectingetie the generation of the son also applies to the aspiration of the Holy Spirit and needs not to repeat.
The following points of distinction between the two may be noted, however;
(1) Generation is the work of the father only, spiration is the work of both the father and the son.
(2) By generation, the son is enabled to take part in the work of separation but the Holy Spirit acquires no such power.
(3) In logical order generation proceeds aspiration. It should be remembered, however, that all this implies no essential subordination of the Holy Spirit to the son. Inspiration as well as in generation there is a communication of the whole of the divine essence so that the Holy Spirit is no an equality with the father and the son. The doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit from the father and the son.
The doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit from the father and the son is based on Jn. 15:26 and on the fact that the Spirit is called the spirit of Christ and the son, Rom, 8:9, Gal. 4:6, and is sent by Christ into the world “Separation” may be defined as – that
the eternal and necessary act of a first and second person in the Trinity whereby they, within the divine being, become the ground of the personal subsistence of the Holy Spirit, and put the third person in possession of the whole divine essence, without division, alienation, or change.
THE HOLY STANDS IN THE CLOSEST POSSIBLE RELATION TO THE OTHER PERSONS
in virtue of His procession from the father and the son the Spirit is represented as standing in the closest possible relation to both of the other persons. From 1Cor. 2:10,11? We may inter, not that the Spirit is the same as the self-consciousness of God, but that he is as closely connected with God the Father as the soul of man.
In 11Cor. 3:17, we read, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”, Here the Lord (Christ) is identified with the spirit, not concerning personality, but as to the manner of working. In the same passage, the spirit is called “the Spirit of the Lord”, The work for which the Holy Spirit was sent into the church on the day of Pentecost was based on His unity with the father and the son.
He came a the Parakletos to take place of Christ and to do His work on earth is to teach proclaim, testify, bear witness, etc. as the son has done.
Now in the case of the Son, this revelational work rested on His unity with the father, just so the work of the Spirit is based on his Unity with the father and the Son, Jn. 16:14-15. Notice the words of Jesus in this passage “He shall glorify me” for He shall take of Mine and shall declare it unto you.
(d) The Deity of the Holy Spirit
The deity of the Holy spirit may be established from scripture by a line of proof quite similar to that employed in connection with a son.
(1) Divine names a given to Him Ex. 17:7 Com,? Heb. 3:7-9); Acts 5:3-4cor. 3:6, 2 Timo 3:16, (comp. 11Pet. 1:21).
(2) Divine perfections ascribed to Him, such as Omnipresence, Ps. 139: 7-1, Omniscience, sa. 40:13-14, Rom. 11:34, I Cor, 2:10-11, Omnipotence I Cor, 12:11, Rom. 15:39, and Eternity-Heb 9:14.
(3) Divine works performed by Him such as creation – Gen. 1;2, Job 26:13,33:4 providential renovation, Ps. 104:30 regeneration – Jn. 3:5-6 Tit. 3:5, and the resurrection of the dead – Rom. 8:11.
THE SPIRIT IN THE DIVINE ECONOMY
There are certain words that are more particularly ascribed to the Holy Spirit, not only in the general economy of God But also in the special economy of redemption, in general, it may be said that is the special task of the Holy Spirit to bring things to completion by acting immediately upon and in the person who completes the Trinity as His works is the completion of God’s contact with His creatures and the consummation of the work of God in every sphere.
It follows the work of the son, just as the work of the son follows that of the father, it is important to bear this in mind, for if the work of the Holy Spirit is divorced from the objective work of the son. false mysticism is bound to result.
The work of the Holy spirit includes the following in the natural sphere.
(1) The generation of life – As being is out of the father, and thought through the son, so life mediated by the spirit, Gen. 1:3, Job.
26:13 ps. 33:6, Ps. 104:30. in that respect, He puts the finishing touch
to the work of creation.
(2) The general inspiration and qualification of men: the Holy Spirit inspires and qualifies men for their official tasks for work in science and art. etc. Ex. 28:3, 31:2, 3,6,35:35, 1sam. 11:6, 16:13-14.
HIS WORK IN THE SPHERE OF REDEMPTION
(1) the preparation and qualification of Christ for His mediatorial work.
He prepared Christ a body and thus enabled Him to become a sacrifice
for sin-Lk. 1:35, Heb. 105-7………… the writer of the Hebrews follows
the LXX. The meaning is “Thou has enabled me by the preparation of a body to become a real sacrifice. At his baptism, Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit – Lk. 3:22, and also received the qualifying grits of the Holy Spirit without measure – Jn.3:24.
(2) The Inspiration of Scripture – The Holy Spirit inspired scripture and thus brought to men the special revelation of God, 1Cor. 213, 1Pet: 1:21, the knowledge of the work of redemption which is in Christ Jesus.
(3) The formation and argumentation of the Church
The Holy Spirit forms and increases the church, the mystical body of Jesus Christ, by regeneration and sanctification, and dwells in it a principle of the pew life-Eph. 1:22-23, 2:22, I cor. 3:16, 12:4.
(4) Teaching and Guiding the Church
The Holy Spirit testifies to Christ and leads the Church in all truth. By doing this He manifests the glory of God and Christ increase the knowledge of the saviour, keeps the Church from error, and prepares her for her eternal destiny, Jn. 14:26; 15:26, 16:13 14, Acts 5:32, Heb. 10:15, Un. 2:27.
From this part of the world, It is all thanks and be rupturable, from pastor Godstrong.
6 thoughts on “THE DOCTRINE OF TRINITY.”
That certainly is a very deep explanation big the trinity.
Even with all the teaching, there are many who cannot grasp the concept and therefore will not accept it. But the thing is, when it comes to the Bible, if we believe it to be the word of God, then we don’t have to understand it to believe it. We just have to believe it in faith. Then one day we will be with God and will understand all things.
Thanks for taking the time to research this and bring it to our attention.
I love the way you put it when you said that we don’t have to understand Gods word to believe it.
That was why the Bible told us that without faith, it becomes difficult for man to please God. We need to apply faith to our walking with God. Thanks so much Geoff.
Thank you for such balanced insight into the trinity. I love the way you explained using both scriptures and natural illustrations. Although this is the first time I am reading of the sun’s illustration but I very well agree with you. The concept of the oneness of God the father, the Holy spirit and the son is one we must accept and believe in
Nice to read of your post. It has been a while that I haven’t heard of doctrines being preach until the onset of pandemic, that I got connected again with my first church. A Reformed Church where I got my foundations as a believer of God.
So allow me to say that I am a Christian , a believer of Christ and the Holy Trinity. The Doctrine of Trinity is something difficult to understand by the human mind except with the intervention of the Holy Spirit.
Thanks for the historical facts you presented to help your readers understand more of the Divine Trinity.
Thanks for your comment Rose. I quite agree with you that one can only understand the doctrine of the holy Trinity by the inspiration of the holy Spirit. Mere human brain can never understand it. Thanks so much for being there.
Thanks dear, for the brief comment. I believe you got this article helpful. We are here to dig deep d Scripture for exegetical interpretation. Thanks once more and feel free to visit any time.