what exactly is the 'trinity'?
The doctrine of the Trinity is seemingly simple: One
God is three persons (tri-unity; or three-in-oneness). As
Christians we believe this because of the way the Bible presents God to
us. The Bible presents God as the Father, it presents God as
the Son, and it presents God as a Spirit. Each of these are
referred to as a person in the Bible, and each of the persons of the
'Godhead' speaks to and references the others as a separate
person. Yet the Bible also clearly tells us that there is
only ONE God! In this short study, we will confirm this with
the Biblical evidence. The difficulties will be worked out on
a separate page.
God the Father - The Father is the person who is above all things. The Creator, beyond time and space, Transcendent (different) from our reality yet with us in Spirit through the other persons of the Trinity.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
God the Son - Jesus is the begotten (not made from) of the Father. He is the God that we can see and understand in human terms (the Word). He lived among us, yet He was with the Father at the creation of all things. We can understand the non-understandable aspects of God through the personable-ness of Jesus. He lived as we do, suffered, died and rose again to prove His credentials as God, and to pay the debt we owe for our separation from God. He is the Savior, and our Lord.
I and the Father are one."
God the Holy Spirit - The Holy Spirit is the person of God that comes to dwell within us when we believe. Inside us, He gives witness to the Father and the Son, He convicts us of sin and draws us to God, and guides the Christian in his life toward sanctification (cleansing of the spirit) to be prepared to meet with God.
May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones." 1 Thessalonians 3:13
All Three Mentioned - There are many instances in the Bible when all three persons are mentioned together:
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all." 2 Corinthians 13:14
But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, buy the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior." Titus 3:4-6
But clearly there is only one God!
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one."
Clearly a biblical concept? YES! Difficult if not impossible to understand? YES! But we should not be surprised at our lack of ability to understand the nature of an omnipotent, infinite God!
Now we see as but a poor reflection in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12
"Surely I spoke of thins I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know." Job 42:3b
"Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom an knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord?"