The Bible teaches there is but one God. This is called monotheism. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4 niv). Jesus quoted this scripture in Mark 12:29, confirming that there is just one God. So how is it that people call God a Trinity—how, some people ask, can there be three Gods, yet one?
God being a Trinity does not mean there are three Gods. God exists as three persons, yet he is one being. Each person of the Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—has a separate identity while yet possessing the full nature of God.
Jesus is the divine Son of God. This does not mean that Jesus was created by God. In fact, Scripture tells us plainly that he has always co-existed with God (see John 1:1-3). Jesus himself declared he had eternally co-existed with his Father. And on the basis of that declaration the Jewish leaders plotted to kill him, saying, “He called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God” ( John 5:18). Paul the apostle declared Jesus to be deity. “Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise!” (Romans 9:5). The writer of Hebrews says, “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God” (Hebrews 1:3).
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth…He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together (Colossians 1:15-17 nlt).
Paul refers to both the Father and Jesus as God. “It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been entrusted with this work for him…May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior give you grace and peace” (Titus 1:3-4). God the Father is deity. God the Son is deity.
God the Holy Spirit is also deity. The apostle Peter recognized this when he pointed out the wrongdoing of a man in the Jerusalem church (Acts 5:3-4). The Spirit has eternally co-existed with the Father and the Son and was present at creation (see Genesis 1:2). Jesus said of him, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate…He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth…When the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything I have told you” ( John 14:16, 26). Paul said, “When you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago” (Ephesians 1:13). Jesus called the co-existing Spirit holy because he is the Spirit of the Holy God. He is the third person of the triune Godhead.In conclusion, the doctrine of the Trinity was formulated in faithfulness to the teachings of the Bible about the nature of God, in an effort to express his truth.
>This chapter originally appeared in 77 FAQs About God and the Bible by Sean McDowell and Josh McDowell (2012). Used by permission from Harvest House Publishers.