Verses of the Scripture supporting the concept of the Trinity
According to the Scripture, the Godhead consists of Three Divine Persons, that is, God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. So God is one, but He exists in Three Persons. This doctrine is commonly called the doctrine of the Trinity: it is a very important doctrine, which was attacked in the past and is still attacked by many people across the world, and it is one of the doctrinal basis of our faith.
Before I show you the Trinity from the Scriptures, I want to say something about the word ‘Trinity,’ which does not occur in the Holy Scriptures. The word ‘Trinity’ comes from the Latin word Trinitas, which means ‘triad’ or ‘state of being three-fold’, which was coined by Tertullian of Carthage (one of the so called Church Fathers), toward the end of the second century after Christ, to explain the scriptural concept that the Godhead consists of Three Divine Persons, that is, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Therefore the fact that the word ‘Trinity’ does not occur in the Scriptures is relative because the concept of a Triune God is abundantly present within the Scriptures. Just as the expression ‘the immortality of the soul’ does not occur in the Bible, yet in the Bible is present the concept of the immortality of the human soul, so even though the word ‘trinity’ does not occur in the Bible, in it is present the concept of the Trinity.
● Matthew wrote: “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:13-17). In this event, which occurred at the Jordan river, we see the Father who spoke from heaven, the Son who was on earth who was baptized by John, and the Holy Spirit who descended like a dove and alighted upon Him. This was a clear manifestation of the Trinity, all of the Three Persons of the Godhead being referred to.
● Jesus said to His disciples: “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:15-17). Jesus, while He was still on earth with His disciples, was the Comforter, whom God had sent to comfort those who mourned, but since He had to go back to the Father, who had sent Him, He prayed the Father that He might give them another Comforter, that is, the Holy Spirit, who would be with them forever. And at the appointed time His prayer was heard, for the Father, in answer to the prayer of His Son, sent the Spirit of truth to meet the needs which arose after the departure of His Son. The concept of the Trinity is present in the words of Jesus.
● Jesus, before He was taken up into heaven, said to His disciples: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…” (Matthew 28:19). Water baptism, which I remind you does not purge a man from his sins because it is just ‘an appeal to God for a good conscience’, must be administered in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus would never have commanded to do such a thing if He and the Father and the Holy Spirit were not one, that is to say, a Trinity in Unity.
● Paul says to the Romans: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:11). In these words we find God the Father who raised up Jesus; the Son who was raised up by Him; and the Holy Spirit whom He sent forth into our hearts and by whom He will quicken our mortal bodies. Here also the concept of the Trinity is expressed very clearly.
● Paul, at the end of one of his epistles to the Corinthians, wrote: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (2 Corinthians 13:14). As you can see, here also the Three Persons are mentioned separately; however, notwithstanding this, they are one.
● Paul said to the Ephesians: “There is …. One Spirit …. One Lord, …. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4,5,6). Also from these words we learn that the Three Persons of whom the Godhead consists, are distinct from one another yet in perfect unity with one another.
● Paul said to the Corinthians: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). Please note that Paul first of all mentions the Spirit, secondly the Lord Jesus Christ and then God. Also these words make it clear that the Three Divine Persons, even though they are distinct from one another, are one God.
● The Scripture condemns the three blasphemies against the Three Persons of the Godhead. Those who blaspheme the name of God commit a sin (for it is written: “Do not blaspheme God” Exodus 22:28 – NIV), as well as those who blaspheme against the Son of Man and the Holy Spirit. However, while those who blaspheme against God and the Son of Man can be forgiven, those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit cannot obtain the remission of their sin for Jesus said: “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation” (Mark 3:28-29 – The NIV reads in verse 29: “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin”). These words of Jesus make it clear that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person distinct from the Son of God and from the Father. That’s why when we speak about the Son we don’t refer to the Holy Spirit and vice versa, and that’s why when we speak about the Father we don’t refer to the Son nor to the Holy Spirit, because the Three are distinct from one another. In order that you might understand this concept, I tell you this: we can’t affirm that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins because this is not true, for the Scripture says that it was Christ, the Son of God, who died on the cross and not the Father. Neither can we affirm that the Holy Spirit died for our sins because this is not true either. Nor can we affirm that the Holy Spirit baptizes believers with the Holy Spirit, because the Scripture states that it is Christ who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire. However, even though we must mention separately the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and their characteristics, we know that the Three are one. Brothers in the Lord, that’s a mystery, that’s why our words cannot explain it fully.
As for the Trinity, which is not fully understandable, some say, ‘God cannot be honoured through a concept that ‘nobody fully understands.’ Christians must know the God whom they worship. There is no room for mysteries concerning God!’ These are vain words spoken by people who wilfully forget or do not know that Zophar the Naamathite said: “Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than heaven – what can you do? Deeper than Sheol – what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 – NKJV). Know this, it is not true that there is no room for mysteries, because there are many mysteries concerning God, His nature and His way of working things. However, although there are divine mysteries which have not been revealed to us or we cannot fully comprehend, we are fully persuaded that we have known God, for John says: “I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father” (1 John 2:13) and also: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God” (1 John 4:7). However, it is evident that this does not mean that to us all is clear and there are no more mysteries concerning God, because it is also written: “For we know in part” (1 Corinthians 13:9) and also: “For now we see through a glass, darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12). But one day we will know just as we also are known.
To God be the glory forever. Amen.