Today we will dig deeper into the teaching of the Trinity. Even though the Nicene Creed does not mention the Trinity specifically, the concept of the Trinity is there at its core. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are the focus of the Creed.
The concept of the Trinity is a difficult one to grasp, as nothing in our world is similar. Therefore, we won’t fully understand the Trinity until we are with God in heaven. Even still, the Scriptures teach us about the Trinity. The Scriptures teach that the eternal God exists as three distinct persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each of these persons are entirely God and as we discussed yesterday, these three distinct persons are ONE God. Today, we will explore the following concepts: God as three distinct persons and that each person is entirely God.
What does it mean that God exists as three distinct persons? God the Father is different from God the Son, and the Father and Son are different from the Holy Spirit. Even though God is one, each distinct person has a specific role.
Even though God is one, each distinct person has a specific role. At Jesus’ baptism all three distinct persons were present, each playing a different role. Matthew 3:16–17 says, “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’ ” Here we see the triune God in action. From heaven, the Father spoke over His Son with affirmation, Jesus was being baptized, and the Holy Spirit descended from heaven as a dove, highlighting Jesus. What a beautiful picture!
Jude v. 20–21 says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” In these verses, each person of the Trinity is mentioned separately with distinct roles: praying (Holy Spirit), loving (Father God), and mercy (Jesus). Scripture reveals that God is three distinct persons, yet one God. Oh the wonderful mystery!
Not only is God three distinct persons; each person is also fully God. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are wholly God. How do we know this to be true? Scripture reveals it to us.
God, the Father is wholly God because He created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). All throughout the Scriptures, God is declared as the sovereign Lord who is over all.
Jesus, the Son, is also wholly God. John begins his gospel with this statement: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In this verse, John refers to Jesus as “the Word” and proclaims that Jesus was with God from the beginning—and that He is God.
Finally, the Holy Spirit is wholly God. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus called us to make disciples by baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. By referencing all three parts of God in the same command, on the same level, Jesus references the Holy Spirit as an equal with all parts of God, not as a “lesser” or inferior part. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is entirely God.