The Mystery

The Mystery

Featured in the February, 2004 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News

The grand and glorious mystery of the Christian faith is the tri-personality of the Godhead.

By “Trinity” is meant that there is one God eternally existing in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who are all equally God. We can know the fact that God exists in three persons, but to comprehend this is beyond the reach of the human mind. There is no illustration because there is no one else who is like God.

The Trinity is not to be understood as three different aspects of God or God showing Himself at different times in different ways, nor is the Trinity just a matter of our looking at God in three different ways.

God exists as three distinct persons. Each person – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – is fully God; yet, there is only one God, not three gods. The unity of God is clearly stated in Deuteronomy 6:4 and I Corinthians 8:4.

The Trinity is intimated in the Old Testament by the use of plurals (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 11:7; Isaiah 6:8). The true God exists in a Triunity.

Present-day Jews would deny the existence of the Triune God, yet it is a matter of fact that Jesus Christ was a Jew born of a Jewish mother.

All the apostles were Jews. All the New Testament books except two were written by Jews. Three thousand who came into the Christian church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) were Jews. The leading apostle Peter was a Jew. The foremost missionary of all time, Paul was a Jew. All of these clearly accepted the fact that Jesus was true God and that God existed in a Trinity of persons.

It has been carelessly said that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Any informed Muslim would deny this. The Allah of the Quran is not the Triune God of the Christian Scriptures. The Quran says, “They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a trinity: for there is no god except One god” (5:73).

The Trinity is listed in one hundred twenty New Testament verses. John Wesley said, “Tell me how in this room there are three candles, but only one light and I will explain to you the Trinity”.

The Biblical teaching on the Trinity is clearly set forth at the time of Christ’s baptism (Matthew 3:13-17).The distinction of the three persons of the Godhead is indisputable. It is Jesus who was baptized by John. The Father was not baptized. The Holy Spirit was not baptized.

It was the Spirit of God who descended like a dove, not Jesus nor the Father.

Then there was the voice from heaven saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with whom I am well pleased.” This is not the voice of the Son, nor is it the voice of the Spirit. It is clearly the voice of the Father. Each person of the Triune God is obviously present, and each is doing something that the other two are not doing.
Reginald Heber’s great hymn sets forth this Biblical truth:

Holy, Holy, Holy,
Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning
our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy,
merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons,
blessed Trinity!

Or the line from the ancient hymn “To Thee, great One in three, eternal praises be…”.

These are not the songs of the synagogue or the mosque. Only Christians sing such songs.