: The subject of the trinity of the Godhead has to be handled with care; and it must be approached by faith. Trying to have a total understanding of the personalities of the godhead could lead to serious error, because it is impossible to understand the infinite with the finite mind. It is like trying to bind up the whole ocean in a tea cup. The one who will have a total understanding of God will be equal with God. Iam sure no man is foolish enough to claim that.
The Bible says:
There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost; and these three and one. [I John 5:7]
This with other passages of the word of God that we shall consider in the course of this study points at trinity or Three in Unity. The Bible did not teach Tritheism i.e. having three Gods or Unitheism i.e having one personality in the Godhead. Take God for who He calls Himself and believe Him; He is not an organism you can put under a microscope and examine; He is God!
The word translated God in the book of Genesis chapter one verse one (In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth) is Elohim, in Hebrew, it is the plural form of El which means the Strong One, and this plural form is used more than 2,700 times in the Old Testament. Elohim is a uniplural word suggesting more than one personality in the Godhead. When man was to be created, God used the pronoun ‘US’ and ‘OUR’ thus implying the presence of other divine personalities.
And God said; Let Us make man in OUR image after OUR likeness :……..( Gen. 1:26)
And before you say he was talking to angels, verse 27 says
So God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he Him; male and female created he them. (Gen. 1:27)
You may say man, angels and God look alike; then, in the Epistle to Hebrews the Bible says:
For verily he (Jesus) took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham (Heb. 2:16)
So you see, God was not referring to angels, when he used “US” and “WE”, he was referring to some other divine personalities like Himself. Moreover, when you consider Genesis Chapter 11 Verse 7.
Let Us go down and there confound their Language ….
Again here the Lord used the plural pronoun “Us”. This other passages considered earlier show clearly
that there is more than one personality in the Godhead.
It is obvious from the scriptures that the personality in the Godhead is more than one. The plurality is a scriptural truth. The question is; how many are they? There is a passage that gives a quick answer.
For there are THREE that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost and these three are one. (1John 5:7.)
This passage mentioned three (3) and even goes ahead to mentioned the names of the three; the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost. At the baptism of Jesus, we also see these THREE divine personalities.
And JESUS, when he was baptized, Went up straight way out of the water and Lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he saw the SPIRIT of GOD descending like a dove, and Lighting upon him; And Lo a Voice From heaven saying this is my Beloved Son in whom I am well Pleased. (Matt. 3:16,17)
In the passage, Jesus is mentioned as the Son; the Spirit of God was there and them someone from heaven calls Jesus his Son. Obviously that is the Father. So we see Trinity. The unity is in their oneness; Jesus Said;
I and my father Are one.
Again he said;
“He that hath seen me Hath seen the father” ( John. 14:9)
Then of the Holy Spirit, He said
Even the Spirit of truth Whom the world cannot Receive,because it seeth Him not, neither knowet Him; but ye know him for He dwelleth with you, and Shall be in you
Then they only knew Jesus, and he (Jesus) was the one dwelling with them, but Jesus said they already know the HOLY SPIRIT and he (the Holy Spirit) dwelt with them. Reading through chapter 14, 15, 16 and 17 of Gospel according to Saint John, you will almost see a fusion between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They are three personalities yet one inseparable God. In the great commission, people are to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Showing the Trinity involvement in the total work of man’s Salvation. (Matt.28:19).
Like the Nicene Creed stated;
We worship one God in Trinity and trinity in unity… for the person of the Father is one, of the Son another and the Holy Ghost another. But of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost there is one divinity, equal glory and co eternal majesty…
The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, the Holy Ghost Eternal. And yet there are not three eternals but one eternal …Thus the Father is God; the Son is God, The Holy Spirit is God… And yet there are not three Gods but one God…Therefore there is one Father not three Fathers; One Son not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this trinity, there is nothing first or last, nothing greater or less. But all the three co eternal persons are co equal among themselves so that through all, as is above said, both trinity in unity and unity in trinity is to be worshiped!
Thus from this creed of the universal church, three personalities are identified and yet one God.
The Person of the Father: The creed states, “Not created and not begotten”. He is the one who spoke at that baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ
“This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17)
He is also distinguishable when He spoke at the mount of transfiguration.
This is my beloved Son; Hear him (Mark 9:7)
In the Gospel according to Saint John; He is called God.
In the beginning was the word And the word was with God….. (Jn 1:1)
The Lord Jesus called and referred to Him as Father.
I am the true vine And my father is the husband man. (Jn 15:1)
He is one of the three in whose name people are to be baptized
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, Baptizing them in the name of the Father, And of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matt. 28:19)
He is the Almighty God. Many people have no problem with the deity of the FATHER.
The Person the Son: of the Son, the Nicene Creed states
We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ The Son of God born of the Father, the sole begotten, “God from God, light from Light, True God from True God, Begotten, not made, of the same substance as the father By whom all things were made Which are in the heaven and on earth.
He is the one referred to in Isaiah
For unto us a child is born Unto us a son is given and the Government shall be upon this Shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, the prince of peace. (Isaiah 9: 6)
In the Gospel according to Saint John, he is called the Word who is God.
In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God And the Word was God. (John1:1)
His disciples called him Lord” and “God” and he also accepts worship.
And Thomas answered and said Unto him my Lord and my God (John 20:28)
Baptism is to be done in his name along with the name of the Father and the Holy Ghost.
Go ye therefore and teach all Nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Matt. 28:19)
The Apostles count him to be equal with God (the Father)
Let this mind be in you Which was also in Christ Jesus; who being in the Form of God, thought it Not robbery to be equal with God (Philippians 2:5, 6)
In the book of Revelations, he referred to himself as Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.
I am Alpha and Omega the beginning and the ending….. (Rev 1:8)
He is called the Almighty
……. Saith the Lord which is And which was, and which Is to come, the Almighty. (Rev 1:8)
You will see in all the scripture the deity of the Lord Jesus cannot be denied. It is an established truth.
The person of the Holy Ghost The Nicene Creed stated of the Holy Ghost.
Not created, not begotten But proceed forth from the Father and Son, and He is co equal and co eternal in glory with the Father and the Son.
Right from Genesis Chapter one, the Holy Ghost was mentioned as involved in creation.
And the earth was without Form, and void; and darkness Was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Gen. 1:2)
The whole of the Old Testament is punctuated by the presence of the Holy Ghost.
The conception of Jesus was to be through the instrumentality of the Holy Ghost
The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest Shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called The Son of God ( Luke 1:35)
He (the Holy Ghost) is the third person that manifested at the baptism of Jesus.
And Jesus when he was baptized, Went up straightway out of the water; And lo, the heavens were opened unto Him and he saw the Spirit of God descending Like a dove, and lighting upon him, and lo a voice from Heaven saying, this is my beloved son, in whom I am Well pleased. (Matt. 3:16, 17)
He is the comforter that Jesus Said should come
And I will pray the Father And he shall give you another Comforter that he may abide With you forever; even the Spirit of truth ;….( John. 14: 16, 17)
The word “another” in that passage means; another of the same kind. So he (the Holy Ghost) is like Jesus.
The Holy Ghost is a person and not an impersonal force. He could be grieved and lied to.
But peter said Ananias why Hath Satan filled thing heart To lie to the Holy Ghost…….Thou hast not lied unto men But unto God (Act 5:3-4)
He is God. He is the third person baptism is to be done in his name along with the Father and the Son.
Go ye therefore and teach All nations baptizing them in The name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. (Matt. 28:19)
He is a person, he is Almighty God!
The unity of the Godhead is a truth that punctuates the scripture as we see each time the godhead is addressed together as GOD; not GODS. The Nicene creed also state this about the Unity of the Godhead;
We worship one God in trinity and trinity in Unity…. For the person of the Father is one, Of the Son another and the Holy Ghost another But of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost there is ONE DIVINITY…… The Father is eternal, The Son is eternal. The Holy Ghost is eternal. And yet There are not three eternals but ONE ETERNAL…. Thus the Father is God; the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet there are not three Gods but ONE God…So that through all, as is above Said, both unity in trinity and trinity in unity is to be worshiped.
The Unity of the Godhead is both an eternal truth and a mystery which may not profit the understanding. It is darkness to the intellect but light to the worshiping heart. The Bible says:
“There are three that bear record in heaven, The Father, The Word (Son) and The Holy Ghost; and these three are ONE”. (1John 5:7)
Pastor Olufemi Ayodele
President Echo Ministry