"I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth," John 14:16-17.
This past Sunday was Trinity Sunday on the Church Calendar. It is observed among liturgical churches around the world in order to bring light to an important historical and doctrinal understanding of God. The Trinitarian nature of God as expressed in Scripture is one of the unique facets of our faith.
Christians worship the One True God as expressed in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is expressly revealed in the Scriptures.
How can God be both one and three? We must admit that it's hard to understand and that it is in large part a mystery. Yet to deny it is to deny what is plainly written in Scripture.
Many human analogies are often employed in understanding the one and yet three nature of God. But all such analogies are imperfect and will ultimately lead you to a false belief about God.
We conclude then that the Trinitarian nature of God is one of his incommunicable attributes. In other words, there is no human or earthly analogy that can lead us to a right understanding of it. It is something that's beyond human experience.
What we may also conclude, however, is that God is One in the sense that the Father, Son, and Spirit work perfectly together in a way that no one else ever can. As A.W. Tozer says, "The Persons of the Godhead, being one, have one will. They work always together, and never one smallest act is done by one without the instant acquiescence of the other two." They never disagree about anything. Yet they are distinct. For instance, it cannot be said of the Father or the Spirit that they died upon the cross. Only the Son did that, even though all three were active in redemption.
Additionally, all three are of the same substance, as the Nicene Creed states. You cannot say, for instance, that the Son is lesser than the other two. Jesus said, "My Father is greater than I," which we are to understand, "As touching his humanity he is less than the Father."
But it cannot be said that Jesus degraded his divinity in the incarnation. He could not become less than what he was. While these things are difficult to comprehend, they are meant for us to consider. I would say to all Christians everywhere to come and behold the wondrous mystery of God with great joy.
Jarrod Belcher is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Williamson. He writes a weekly column. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.