Trinity

There are many attributes of God. Some are clear and easy to understand. Others are more difficult for our minds to comprehend. God, who is infinite, created us with finite minds. Because of this, we cannot fully understand everything about God. One of the more difficult attributes of God is that He is one and three at the same time. Even though many people believe God to be a Trinity, the word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible. However, the concept of Trinity is found in several passages of the Sacred Text.  Some of these include:  Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; and 1 Peter 1:2.

The word “Trinity” simply means that God is one and three at the same time. But how can this be? When I was young boy, my understanding of God being three persons was much like the size of pizzas at Pizza Hut (large, medium, and small).  And this seemed to be the way I experienced many adult Christians refer to the Godhead.  The large pizza represented the Father.  The medium pizza represented the Son.  The small pizza represented the Holy Spirit.  To add to this, a few years ago my family and I lived in a town where the Mazzio’s (for those of you are lucky enough to have experienced the goodness of the Batesville Mazzio’s buffet, you know what I’m referring to) had the empty pie pans hung on the wall so that you can see the size of their pizza pies.  I couldn’t go into that establishment without thinking of this view of God. Using this analogy, the pizza size view of God, it is easy to misunderstand the truth of the Trinity.  God is.  God has always been.  God is one.  Yet, God is three.

God is an eternal being who consists of three individual entities:  Father, Son, and Spirit. These three entities, or persons, combine to form what we call God, or the Godhead.  There is a problem though with the way some view God.  It seems as though we often speak of “God” as the Father.  It is true that the Father is God, but we’ve made it so that the Son and the Holy Spirit seem to be two separate beings.  This can get quite confusing.  They are in fact two separate entities within one encompassing essence; God.  Each individual entity (Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit) is fully God.  Some would have each person of the Godhead occupying one/third of the whole; the Father being a third God, the Son being a third God, and the Holy Spirit being a third God.  This would not give the proper explanation of the three being one.  

Each of the three persons is fully, and completely God. In regards to the Pizza Hut analogy, some believe that the Son and the Holy Spirit are subordinates to the Father.  What we must first understand is that all three persons combine to form the one, true God.  None of these persons is by themselves God.  The three are one.  And the one, true God is three.  God in His infinite wisdom sent the Son (God himself in flesh) into the world to become what He was not – human.  The Word, as spoken of in John 1, was not the Son, as we speak of Him, until the incarnation.  Acts 2:33 says that the Holy Spirit is poured out by the Father and Jesus, the Son.  This does not mean that the Holy Spirit is a subordinate to the Father and the Son.  The Holy Spirit is simply the Spirit of God which is at work within those who obey the Gospel (Acts 2:38).  Just as God came to this world in the form of Jesus the Christ, His Son, God also came through His Spirit, the Holy Spirit.  Just as the Son is fully God, the Holy Spirit is fully God.  God is one and three at the same time.  Each of these persons are equally God.  They are separate entities, yet they make up the one, true God.

While I still struggle to grasp the Trinity, I have developed a way of thinking that has greatly benefited the way I perceive and speak of God.  From what we know of the Godhead, they are three in one.  So how do I reconcile this in my mind?  I see the Father as the mind of God.  The Father is the creative, thoughtful nature of God.  I see the Son as the word of God.  God “spoke” and everything was created.  Jesus is the mouthpiece of God.  John would explain that apart from him, nothing was made that has been made (John 1:1-3).  I see the Holy Spirit as the power of God.  Jesus and the apostles performed miracles by the power of the Spirit.  The Bible teaches that we have been created in the image of God.  Just as we have minds, mouths, and muscles, God appears to be expressed in this manner throughout scripture.  Is it possible that in this manner we are created in the image of God?  Is it possible that we are created to be just like the Trinity?

Keith Harris serves as the Preaching Minister at WindSong Church of Christ in Little Rock, AR. He enjoys life in Little Rock with his wonderful wife and two great kids. Keith holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Harding University, as well as a Master of Science degree in Ministry from Lubbock Christian University. He enjoys playing golf, traveling, and the Arkansas Razorbacks.