How many persons are there in God?
There are three persons in the one true and living God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
There are three persons in one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)
There may be no doctrine more difficult to comprehend than the doctrine of the Trinity. The concept of the Trinity is humanly illogical, and yet, with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). The core beliefs of the Trinity can be summarized in three statements: (1) God is three persons, (2) Each person is fully God, and (3) There is one God. For those who grew up in church, the doctrine is accepted as true; but, either ignored or drastically simplified in inadequate analogies. Analogies such as the three phases of water, three functions of a person, or the three tenses of time; however, each analogy falls short of explaining the Trinity. The best explanation may not be one in which the Trinity is understood, but one that allows the mystery of Trinity to prevail. This is not to say that the Trinity should not be contemplated or reasoned, but it is to say that at the end of the day the Trinity is taken on faith, not logic. As the Apostle’s Creed testifies, “We believe in God the Father…We believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son…We believe in the Holy Spirit.” We believe each of these persons are fully and equally God, each sharing all of the characteristics of the other. We believe each of these persons are fully and equally unique, each existing distinctly, yet in unity with the others. May God grant us to the faith to believe, the passion to keep exploring, and the peace to be okay believing the unexplainable.
Additional Scripture References
- Deuteronomy 6:4. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
- Matthew 28:19. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
- John 10:30. I and the Father are one.
- 1 Corinthians 8:6. Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
- Matthew 3:16-17. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
- John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
- John 17:5. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
- Acts 5:3-4. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.”
- Romans 9:5. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
- Colossians 2:9. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.
- Read Scripture. Read one or two Scripture passages each day and discuss how each passage displays the one-ness or three-ness of God.
- Create a Flashcard. Write the question on one side of an index card and the answer on the other. Also write the Scripture reference on one side of another index card and the Scripture on the other side. Use these as flash cards throughout the week.
- Read the Commentary. Available on the NCC website or App.
- Scripture Study. Use a concordance or web-search to look up passages about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Make a list of similarities and differences for each member of the Trinity.
- Listen to a Song. Listen or read the lyrics to Holy, Holy, Holy.
- Memorize the Question and Answer. Write the question and answer on a whiteboard or piece of paper. Each day erase three or four words and put blanks in their place. Read the question and answer replacing the blanks with the correct missing words.
- Why is the Trinity an important Christian belief?
- What can we learn about God from the fact that He exists in relationships?
- How would you respond to someone who says that Christians believe in three Gods?