Arminian Today

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Short Thoughts on Helping Others Understand the Doctrine of the Trinity

The doctrine of the Trinity is not an easy doctrine to grasp.  For one, we are limited as human beings to understand God.  His ways are beyond our ways and His thoughts are beyond our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).  God has made Himself known to us in His Word but even there we are limited in what we know about God.  We know enough about God to fear Him and to be saved by His grace (John 17:3) but we are still limited in what we know about God.

This should not cause fear nor doubts to arise.  If you can figure out your God, He is not the true and living God who has revealed Himself to us by His Word.  The true and living God is simply a mystery to us.  He is not a man (Numbers 23:19) nor has He ever been a man (Isaiah 43:10).  God has always been God and will always be God.  God never changes (James 1:17).  God remains the same and His years will never end (Psalm 102:27).  The immutability of God is a doctrine that we should rest in (Hebrews 13:8) knowing that God will keep His promises since He is forever faithful (1 Kings 8:56; Romans 4:21).

When it comes to understanding the doctrine of the Trinity, it helps to think this way: there is only one what (God) and yet there are three who’s (Divine Persons).  One God eternally existent in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Each of the divine persons is a person in that they are co-equal, co-eternal with the other members of the Triune God so that the Father is not the Son nor is He the Holy Spirit nor is the Son the Father nor is He the Holy Spirit nor is the Holy Spirit the Father nor is He the Son.  The Father is God.  The Son is God.  The Holy Spirit is God.  Yet again, there is not three manifestations of the one true God (modalism) nor is the Father greater than the Son and the Spirit (Arianism).  Instead, the Bible teaches us that there is one God (Deuteronomy 4:35; 6:4; 32:39; 2 Samuel 7:22; 1 Chronicles 17:20; Psalm 83:18; 86:10; Isaiah 44:6; 45:18; Mark 12:29; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:5).  Yet the New Testament is clear that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God yet there is only one God.

How then do we reconcile these facts?  Those who deny the Trinity run into error.  If you deny the doctrine of the Trinity, you must do something with the one true God.  You then must turn to answering who is God?  Is the Father then God and yet not the Son or the Spirit?  Or are there now three gods which means you must deny the fact that there is only one God?  Cults often attack the Lord Jesus and deny His full deity or they make Him less than the Father.  Oneness Pentecostals claim to exalt Jesus but they deny the full deity and persons of the Father and Spirit (though they would claim to embrace their deity while denying their personhood).  Most cults exalt the Father as above the Son in some way (although the Bible does teach the willful submission of the Son to the Father in His mediating role; see 1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

It is simply easier to come to the mystery of the Trinity and admit I don’t fully understand it but I accept it by faith because it is what the Bible teaches.  God is beyond me.  Again, I point to Isaiah 55:8-9.  God’s ways are not my ways.  He is God and I humble myself before Him.  I confess that there is only one God and yet three persons in the one Godhead.  I confess that the Father is not the Son nor is He the Spirit.  I confess that truth to all three persons.  There is only one God but three persons in the one Godhead.  I know not how this is nor does it completely make sense to me but it is what Scripture teaches and I humble myself before the one true and living God.

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

07/10/2015 at 5:45 PM

3 Responses

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  1. Thank-You brother, sometimes we can get too tangled up in trying to explain what cannot be explained in human terms, or to the satisfaction of human understanding. The Trinity and the “One True God”, is a paradox, that is a portion of our step of faith.

    J Steve Orwig

    07/11/2015 at 6:16 AM

  2. “The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of the Trinity” is a great outline of Bible verses supporting this great Biblical truth. It is available at the Blue Letter Bible website at http://blb.sc/00016F.


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