Who is God #2

The Doctrine of the Trinity

Scripture provides two truth statements concerning who God is: “There is only one God” and “That one God exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”.   These two statements appear to contradict each other, but they do not contradict.  This is called a paradox.  If the teaching is expressed as God is one, but not one; God is three, but not three, then this would be contradictory teaching, because one must be one.  One cannot not be one! Three must be three.  Three cannot not be three!

There isn’t a contradiction with the Trinity because essentially it is taught that God is one “what” and three “who’s”.  The “what” is the divine substance, or essence, of God.  Substance is the deity.  There are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are one in substance.  It could be expressed as saying that God is one (one divine substance) in three persons.  The word person does not refer to being human either.  Person simply refers to someone, not something, who is distinct and recognizable with a self-conscious, able to think and act on his own.  It is with this understanding of “person” that the doctrine of the Trinity states that God is three in person and in substance.

The following video helps to illustrate this doctrine with citations to many verses from the Bible.

Who is God #1

Some people don’t believe in God.  Some people believe in many gods.  Some people believe in only one God, but they disagree on whom that God is.  Others take the stance that there’s no way to know for sure if there is a God or not.

A broad definition of “god”

Martin Luther defined a god as whoever or whatever we fear, love, and trust above all things.  According to this definition even people who claim to believe in the God revealed in the Bible probably have other gods in their life.  It can become very easy for anyone to put trust in our own abilities and provision instead of the one true God.  If people believe in the Christian God and do this, they are not rejecting their belief in God; they are placing an idol alongside God, or above God.  It can become very easy to begin to pursue money, making decisions and living for the pursuit of financial gain, or to fear and seek the approval of men above God.   Luther’s definition is good for generically defining a “god.”  The goal at hand is to show how God has revealed himself to humanity in the Bible.

God revealed in the Bible      

The God in the Bible is clearly revealed to be one.  One of the most cited verses to support this doctrine comes from the Shema, an early creed of Israel, found in Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”  At the same time God is revealed to be three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  All three of these persons are called God in the Bible.  Malachi 2:10 says, “Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us?”  Matthew 6:9, Luke 11:1-13, 2 Peter 1:17, and Colossians 1:2-3 all show that the Father is God.  Matthew 3:16-17 clearly shows the Father proclaiming Jesus to be his son, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”  In addition to numerous other verses that refer to Jesus as God, Titus 2:13 contains a clear statement by Paul that Jesus is God by saying, “while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”  The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Spirit of God or the Spirit of the Lord numerous times throughout Scripture and is referred to as a separate person with the Father and the Son such as in 2 Corinthians 13:14, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

From these verses and numerous others it can be concluded that there is only one God.  Yet the Father is God, Jesus is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.  Therefore, all three persons must be the one God.

Do Muslims and Jews worship the same God as Christians?

Christianity – One God, Three Persons

Judaism and Islam – One God, One Person

Christianity – Jesus is God.
Islam – Jesus is a prophet.
Judaism – Jesus is a false-prophet.