The doctrine of the Trinity states that God is One being in three distinct persons. God the Father is not God the Son and not God the Holy Spirit. The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are each fully God, yet there is only one God. God doesn’t change from Father, to Son, to Holy Spirit as the need might be, for all three persons are always in full existence. To say “Jesus is God” is true, but to say “God is Jesus” is potentially incorrect for it might imply that the Father or the Holy Spirit is then not God. There are not three Gods, only one, but each one of the three persons of the Godhead are distinct, each with their own separate roles and functions, but each in essence fully God as much as any other one.
Statements like the above emphasising the one-ness of God, but qualifying it with the three-ness of the Trinity and visa versa are endless. Perhaps the best definition of the Trinity is the following short statements all taken together.
- God is one being
- God exists in three distinct person
- Each person of the Trinity is fully God in essence
- Each person of the Trinity is not the other person of the Trinity
Although we might not fully grasp the possibility of such a God, it is true, and as Christians it forms a foundational part of our faith. Although we are keenly aware of the various works of each different person in the Trinity, and we have no problem attributing each work to that person as God, we still speak of God in the singular, not the plural.
The case for the Trinity is never made in Scripture, but the evidence for the Trinity is clear and has been settled as Christian doctrine ever since the Church Council of Nicea of AD 325 with the ministry of(something to research for further personal study).
One of my favourite verses that mention the Trinity is 1 Peter 1:1-2
To those who are elect exiles … according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
God set His love upon us before the world began, the Spirit is making us more holy each day, and we obey Jesus. What a wonderful God we have!