"Do you teach the trinity?"
I do not know what your perspective of trinity is, so I must tell you what God's Word teaches us in order to answer your question. It is amazing the amount of Scripture that can be found on this matter, so it will be impossible to give you all the references in this message. You can open the New Testament at almost any page and find out something about God and the Godhead, where God is truly revealed as having three persons in one, therefore I will only give you some of these verses and passages so that you will have a basis for my answer to your question. If you are not familiar with the verses I will be quoting here, you will be rewarded if you will read them carefully, along with the many other passages that can be found in the Bible relating to this study. To really know and love God we must spend time with Him, and we do that by reading His Word, the Bible. The more we know about God the more we love and serve Him, and if we obey His commands our reward will be a home of love, joy and peace in heaven with God for eternity.
Though it is used in describing God, the word "trinity" is not found in the Bible, it is a word used by man meaning: 1) the unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead, 2) a group of three closely related persons or things, or 3) a Sunday observed by some as a feast. I am telling you this because if you use a Bible concordance you will not find the word trinity there. We do however find the word Godhead which has a much deeper spiritual meaning. Godhead means three distinct Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in one distinct God.
We must not view the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as "attributes" of God, for each of these three Persons in the Godhead "are called God." So you see the three Personages in the Godhead are not attributes of God, but they each have all the attributes of God. The Bible tells us there is only one God, and yet there is distinctly God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. Is this confusing? Yes, because we cannot understand what we have never seen. I like to use the story of Flatland to explain why we can't understand. In Flatland there is only two dimensions, think of it as a flat piece of paper. When a sphere with three dimensions, think of it as a ball, passes through Flatland, it's inhabitants don't understand who is in their town. The sphere tries to explain that he has a third dimension which is height and depth, but Flatland has never seen this dimension so they cannot understand what he is trying to tell them. As hard as the sphere tries to explain himself to the Flatlanders, they just can't understand what he is. They can only understand the side to side dimension of Flatland, they simply cannot understand the height to depth and side to side dimensions of the sphere. And that is why we cannot understand God, we can understand one person in one body as we are, but we cannot understand three distinct Persons in one Godhead that is the one and only true God. We cannot fully understand God, we can only know what He reveals to us in His Word, the Bible. If we could fully understand God He would not be God.
In the Bible the word Godhead is used three times in the KJV and twice in the NKJV, see Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, Colossians 2:9. The others, NIV, NASB, NRSV, NKJV (once), etc., substitute the words Deity, Divine, Divine Being, Nature or Divine Nature for Godhead in these verses. Nearly all versions including KJV use Divine Nature in II Peter 1:4.
Those peoples living in the Patriarchal and Mosaic dispensations did not understand about the Godhead. There are many places in the Old Testament were the prophets wrote about the Father, the Spirit, and the Son, but they thought this was just other names for the one true God. Prophets also wrote about the coming of the Messiah/Savior/Son, but the people did not understand this either. They had not seen the Son, nor did they recognize what the prophets were saying about His coming because they were looking for an earthly Messiah and King like Moses or David. Even after Jesus began to teach and do miracles they still thought He was going to be an earthly King, and it was not until after Christ's death and resurrection that some finally came to understand what the prophets of old had tried to tell them. The word Godhead is not found in the Old Testament.
Now I will give you some of the Scriptures to read and study:
Scripture verses where we see there is one God, one Father, one Son, one Spirit: Romans 3:30, there is one God; Ephesians 4:4-6, there is one body and one Spirit; one Son (Lord), one faith, one baptism; and one God and Father of all; I Timothy 1:17, the only God, eternal, immortal, invisible; I Timothy 2:5, there is one God, one Mediator (the Son); Genesis 1:1/ John 1:1/ Hebrews 3:4, there is one Maker, the Word (the Son), God; and I John 5:20, He is the true God and eternal life.
Scripture verses where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all mentioned in one passage: Matthew 28:19, John 6:62-65, Philippians 2:5-11, I Peter 1:2. In others two but not all three are mentioned, such as in Acts 1:4-5,7-8, where we see the Father and Holy Spirit, in I Corinthians 12:3-11, where we see the Holy Spirit and God, and in I Timothy 2:3, where we see God our Savior. And there are many, many verses that mention only one Personage in the message, I have listed some of them below.
Scripture verses where we are told about God, the Father: Acts 1:7, Matthew 3:16-17, John 1:14, John 4:23, John 5:26, John 6:37,40,44-46,65, John 8:18-19,38,42,54, John 14:16,26, John 15:26, John 16:15,17, John 20:17,21-22, Acts 13:33/Psalm 2:7, Philippians 2:11, Hebrews 2:18, I Peter 1:2, Isaiah 63:16, 64:8.
Scripture verses where we are told about God, the Son, Jesus the Christ: Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 4:1-4, Matthew 12:32, John 1:1-2,14, John 3:16-18, John 5:26-27, John 6:37,40,44,46,62, John 8:36,58, John 14:20, John 16:13,16, John 20:17,21-22,28,31, Acts 1:2,7-8, Acts 7:55-56, Acts 13:33/Psalm 2:7, Acts 17:24,31, I Corinthians 1:9, Philippians 2:11, I John 5:1-12,20.
Scripture verses where we are told about God, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter: Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 4:1-4, Matthew 12:32, Matthew 22:43, John 3:5-8, John 4:24, John 6:63, John 14:16-17,26, John 15:26, John 16:7,13,15, John 20:21-22, Acts 1:2,8, Acts 2:38, Acts 7:55-56, Acts 10:38, Acts 20:28, I Corinthians 2:10-14, II Corinthians 13:14, Ephesians 2:18, Hebrews 4:14, Hebrews 9:8,14, I Peter 1:2, I John 4:2-3, I John 5:1-12.
Scripture verses where we are told about the one and only true God: Matthew 4:1-4,7,10, Matthew 22:29,31-32, John 1:1-2,14, John 3:3,16-18, John 4:24, John 6:45-46, John 7:17, John 8:40,42,54, John 20:17,30, John 14:1, Acts 1:3, Acts 2:39, Acts 7:55-56, Acts 10:38, Acts 13:32/Psalm 2:7, Acts 17:24,27,29, Romans 1:16,20,25, I Corinthians 1:9, I Corinthians 2:10-14, II Corinthians 5:21, II Corinthians 13:14, Philippians 2:9, Colossians 2:9, Hebrews 4:12, Hebrews 7:19, Hebrews 9:14, I John 4:2-3, I John 5:20.
In closing I will comment on Genesis 1:27 and 2:7b, where we are told mankind was made in the image of God and became a living soul. People have always been confused as to what this means, since God is spirit and man is matter. Many believe it is because our spirit will leave our earthly body at death and go to eternity, whether heaven or hell, and this may very well be true. Or in trying to understand the Godhead some think it may be as simple as the fact that human beings have a body, soul and spirit, Hebrews 4:12, three attributes in one person. The spirit is what separates man from animal. Man and animal both have a physical body and that invisible `thing' that operates the body, but only man has a spirit with which to seek, love and serve God, Genesis 2:7b, "and man became a living soul." KJV. This element was not a part of the creation of animal life, Genesis 1:20-25. When an animal dies it is just dead, it is no more, no matter how hard some new age groups and some environmentalists try to tell it differently. But when the human being dies their spirit will go to another place for eternity, to heaven with God if they are His child, or to hell with Satan if they refuse God's grace.
The above comments and answers are my own understanding of the Scriptures.
II Timothy 2:15
Gene E. LittleJohns
9 April 1997 Copyright © 1997, by Gene E. LittleJohns, all rights reserved. The copyright owner reserves all rights to any profits from this writing. Otherwise, reproduction and distribution of this writing is encouraged, it may be freely distributed as long as nothing is added to or removed from the original writing and this notice remains intact. Any and all modifications are strictly prohibited, without exception.
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