In the doctrine of the Trinity, we do not find three different divine roles displayed by one Person (that is modalism). Nor are there three gods in a cluster (that is tritheism orpolytheism). The one God (“He”) is also, and equally, “They,” and “They” are always together, always closely cooperating. The Holy Spirit executes the will of both Father and Son, which is also His will. This is the truth that God reveals about Himself all through the Bible.
Some people struggle with the [...]
Giving one’s life to God can be a life-or-death decision in some regions of the world. As a lay pastor and church planter working near the city of Cotonou, Benin, I saw this first hand.
When Ann and her husband became Adventist Christians, Ann’s father, a fetish priest in Benin, cursed her with death.
One day as Ann sat working under a tree, she noticed dark clouds forming. She gathered her things, but before she could leave, rain started falling. The [...]
Joe Manning, the Bible teacher, decided he would ask his tenth grade class to come up with a visible object lesson to explain the concept of the Trinity. He gave them three days to submit their contributions. Then he collected the fifteen papers and carefully studied them at home, hoping to give some recognition to the winner.[1. Jesus at His baptism Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com]
The first paper said, “It’s like a family. All the Johnsons, for example. Same family, [...]
Key Thought: The doctrine of the Trinity is a Scriptural truth that God exists in three distinct persons with different functions, yet they work together as One..
[Teaching Pan for "The Triune God" January 4, 2012]
1. Have a volunteer read Deuteronomy 6:4.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Since this text emphasizes one God, how does this text indicate the Trinitarian teaching?
(Note: The Hebrew word for “one” used [...]
The Gospel of John gives direct and conscious attention to the unique nature of God. John seems to be fully aware of the oneness, yet “threeness,” of God. 1
Read Christ’s words in John 14–16 and count the number of references to the three Persons of God. How do these passages help us understand the reality of this important truth?
This passage in the Gospel of John is the most extensive concentration of references to the coequal, three-Person God. Here the inter-dynamics among the Trinity [...]
However clear the Bible is that God is one (echad), the Bible also talks about the plurality of Persons. Scholars and Bible students through the millennia have seen in many Old Testament texts powerful evidence of the plural nature of God. This truth, as with many others, is more fully revealed in the New Testament.
Read Genesis 1:26, 27. How is God’s plurality revealed here?
This pairing of plural and singular when referring to God also occurs in Genesis 11:7, 8 at the building of the tower [...]
If God can be “one,” with the two Persons of the Father and the Son, adding a third Person to the Godhead should not particularly add more difficulty. We are talking here about the Holy Spirit.1
Read Genesis 1:2. What does this tell us about the role of the Holy Spirit, who appears so early in the biblical record?
How does Matthew 28:19 draw attention to the three members of the Godhead?
Three Persons of the Godhead are mentioned when Jesus instructs how new believers are to [...]
The deity of the Father is scarcely, if ever, in dispute. Those who question the Trinity often challenge the deity of Christ. Were Christ anything but eternal and fully divine, the plan of salvation would be seriously compromised (see Thursday’s lesson). 1
How does Paul, once a rigid Pharisee, talk about the deity of Christ? Phil. 2:6.
For a Pharisee grounded in the Old Testament teaching of the Oneness of God, this is an astonishing statement, because it reveals Paul’s deep commitment to the [...]
The belief system of the ancient Hebrews was rigorously monotheistic, “mono” expressing “one” and “theistic” from the Greek word for “God,” meaning that there is only one true God. This position is unwavering all through the Old Testament.
There is but one God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and not many gods as the nations and tribes around the Hebrews believed. In this sense, the religion of the Bible was unique.
How does God speak about Himself in Exodus 3:13–15? How do [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: Deut. 6:4; Phil. 2:6; Matt. 28:19; Gen. 1:26, 27; John 14–16.
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 20, 21, NKJV).
Key Thought: Scripture contains references and hints to the deity and unity of the divine Godhead.
Though the word Trinity itself doesn’t appear in the Bible, the teaching definitely does. The doctrine of [...]