Last week I wrote a blog, sharing with you about Vintage Church’s ebook, We Are Vintage. I really do believe it is an incredible resource. It’s basic yet in-depth, making the book valuable for everyone, regardless of where they are in their walk with Christ. While the length of it might scare some people, it really shouldn’t. The book is over 300 pages in length, but each chapter is five to six pages in length, making We Are Vintage a devotional type of book. This is the kind of resource you can pick up every day, read a few pages, answer a few thought-provoking questions, and get on with your day. This week I want to share a brief snip-it from the book on the Trinity. Understanding who God is is such a massive but important task. I pray this brief section is helpful.
Who Is God?: The Trinity
The Bible does not end its description of God there. In Genesis 1:26 God says, “Let us create man in our image.” Why would a single God say us? Is God, who says he is the only God, confused? No, from the beginning we see what the early church father, Tertullian, called the Trinity. In John 1:1 the apostle John writes “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Here John is referring to Jesus as the Word. So this passage shows that Jesus existed before creation, with God, and was actually God. There is also the Holy Spirit in Scripture. When Jesus gives the Great Commission to his disciples, sending them out to make disciples, he says, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19–20).
When Jesus is baptized you can see the Trinity working together. In Matthew 3:16– 17 the Bible says “and when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’.” Here we see God the Father speaking, God the Son being baptized, and God the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus.
How then is there only one God? It seems that there are three Gods. Regardless of what it might seem, the Bible teaches something entirely different. As we’ve already seen, the Bible makes it clear that there is only one God and he alone is to be worshipped. The Bible, however, also shares how God is 3–in–1; one God in three persons. Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears in their book Doctrine define the Trinity as “one God who eternally exists as three distinct persons—Father, Son, and Spirit—who are each fully and equally God.”
So the Trinity is unified yet also distinct. They are one as God but distinct in their roles. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are different in how they relate to each other and creation. member of the Trinity will submit to another. Just thinking about salvation, you can see how God the Father planned the salvation of his people, God the Son provided this salvation through his death on the cross, and God the Spirit appropriated this salvation, convicting people of sin and transforming their hearts. In this whole situation we see Jesus submit to the will of the Father by obediently going to the cross and dying for mankind. In the community of the Trinity, all are equal in value but different in function. God is one yet distinctly three persons.
- Where is there another place in Scripture that illustrates the Trinitarian nature of God?
- What does God’s Trinitarian nature teach you about God?
- Through the Trinity we see that God has been in community before creation. Knowing this, what can the relationship between the member’s of the Trinity teach us about our own relationships?
1Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears, Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2010), 13.