If God is One, how does the Trinity make sense?

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Finite people and the infinite God

About the Trinity, the theologian John Wesley once said, “Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the triune God!” The study of God is the highest subject any human can ever even attempt to comprehend. Because God defines Himself as everlasting being with infinite power, presence, and knowledge, this field of study is simply beyond man’s full understanding.

The prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). Man’s thoughts are limited by time and space, but God’s thoughts reach eternity. Therefore, finite humans will never be able to fully grasp the mysteries of the Godhead.

One God

“One” in the Bible does not always mean numerical quantity. “One” can often mean unity as seen in the following example: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). “One flesh,” here, does not mean that a married couple dissolve into one human being, but rather that they are to be united into one family.

In that sense, Jesus prayed that His disciples would be one, saying, “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:22, 23).

The Son constantly receives His glory, power, throne, and prerogatives as Judge from the Father (John 3:35; John 5:22). Yet, just because the Father seems to have supreme authority, it does not in any way diminish from the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that we approach the Father in the name of the Son (John 16:23; Colossians 3:17; John 14:6) by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:18). The Son lives to glorify the Father, and the Spirit lives to glorify the Father and Son (John 17:1, 5; John 16:14; John 13:31, 32).

Although the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One, yet they have distinct roles in the Godhead. May “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).

The Trinity

The Trinity can be resembled to one rope with three united strands – the three persons of the Godhead. “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (1 John 5:7). Each is God (2 Corinthians 13:14; Matthew 28:19; Titus 2:13; Matthew 12:32…etc.). Yet, the three are one (Ephesians 4:6). They are one in nature, character, and purpose. And they are the same in properties, attributes and equal in power and glory.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

 

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