Doctrine of Trinity (Triunity)
Study provided by David Niednagel, Pastor/Teacher, Evansville, IN. David uses the S.O.A.P method of study in his morning devotional time (study, observe, apply, pray)
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all equally and eternally God, and they are all “persons”. They are “equal in being, but subordinate in role”, though this subordination implies no inferiority at all. Many people refer to the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost) not as a person, but as a force, or an “it”. But when Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit He said, “HE will be with you forever”. A force cannot love or comfort us, but a person can. (We will look at this more when we study the Holy Spirit). Some mainline protestants teach that Jesus is a good teacher, or prophet, or even “the son of God” but they deny that He is God the Son. Jehovah’s Witnesses say He is “a mighty God” but not Jehovah/Yahweh. Mormons say Jesus is God, but He was a man who became a God, and we can too. One key element of all cults, is that they in some way deny or distort the Triunity.
Islam denies the Trinity, thinking it means three gods, so their concept of God is not one of relationships as much as it is a concept of power. If “God wills it” anything can happen and He can do anything He wants, without being bound by His character. Power and will are God’s most significant attributes.
But the Bible teaches that in the Triunity all three persons love one another. They had a perfect relationship for all eternity and had no needs for anything else. When God created humans in His image, it was not because He was lonely or that we could give Him anything that He didn’t have. (So there is no reason to bargain with God – “If You do such and such, I will promise You ……) He created us so He could share Himself with us, so we could share in the relationship the members of the Triunity have with one another. In John 14:20 Jesus said when the Holy Spirit came to live in us we would “realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” We are included in the same relationship Jesus and the Father have with one another!!!
Triune God, I praise You for the perfect relationship You have with Yourself, and that You have created us and redeemed us so we could join in that amazing relationship. You not only teach, but You demonstrate what we are made for. Thank You so much that You desire to share Your relationship and glory with us, even though you don’t need to at all. Help us relate to one another the way You relate to One Another! Help me consciously love all three of You, and out of the overflow of that relationship, help me love people better than ever before. Amen