The scripture reveals that there is ONE true and living God (Deut. 6:4) who exists co-equally in three persons: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost (1 Jn. 5:7). Christians have long referred to this doctrine as the “Trinity” (three in one). This is a fundamental doctrine that is clearly taught in the Bible, and yet it is rejected by some who claim to believe the Bible (not just JWs and Mormons), which is sad but not surprising in these last days of apostasy. It should also not come as a surprise that 1 John 5:7 is omitted in corrupt manuscripts and the modern versions. It is not the only verse that teaches the Trinity, but it is so plain and clear that Satan has tried to get rid of it.
Why do some professing Christians reject the Trinity?
- They do not understand it – There are many things about our infinite God that our finite minds cannot comprehend. We can only know God through His word. The Bible is the authority, not our understanding (1 Cor. 2:14).
- The Roman Catholic Church teaches it – The way they teach the Trinity sounds more like they believe in three Gods, plus they deify Mary. We get our doctrine from the word of God, not the Catholic church. Just because they use the word “Trinity” does not automatically mean that all who use it are teaching false doctrine. They also teach the virgin birth and deity of Christ.
- “Trinity” is not a Bible word – The issue is the doctrine, not the term used to refer to it. The word “incarnation” is not in the Bible, but the doctrine is (Jn. 1:14). The word “rapture” is not in the Bible, but the doctrine is (1 Thess. 4:17). The word “Bible” is not even in the Bible. It is not a sin to use a non-biblical term to refer to a biblical doctrine.
Not all who reject the Trinity also reject the deity of Christ like the Unitarians do. Some believe that the Father, Son, and Spirit are one person who is manifested at different times in three different modes. That there are passages in which all three members of the Godhead appear at the same time (e.g., Matt. 3:16-17) refutes Modalism.
The biblical word for the Trinity is “Godhead,” which is used three times in the Bible by the apostle Paul (Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:20; Col. 2:9). The sun is an illustration of the Godhead (Ps. 19:1-6; Mal. 4:2; Rom. 1:20). There is one sun that has three rays.
- Actinic – neither felt nor seen (Father)
- Light – seen but not felt (Son, Jn. 8:12)
- Heat – felt but not seen (Spirit)
The scripture was given as a progressive revelation. The Trinity is intimated in the OT (Gen. 1:26-27; 11:6-9; Isa. 6:1-8) but clearly revealed in the NT.
The Father, Son, and Spirit are called God:
- Father (Jn. 6:27, many refs.)
- Son (Jn. 1:1-3; 8:58; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Heb. 1:8)
- Spirit (Acts 5:3-4)
All three persons are mentioned together in the same passage:
- The baptism of Christ (Matt. 3:16-17)
- The promise of the Comforter (Jn. 14:16)
- The Kingdom Commission (Matt. 28:18-20)
- Paul’s apostolic benediction (2 Cor. 13:14)
- The unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:4-6)
The same divine attributes are applied to all three persons. For example:
- Eternal (Father, Deut. 33:27; Son, 1 Jn. 5:20; Spirit, Heb. 9:14)
- Omnipotent (Father, Jer. 32:17; Son, Rev. 19:6; Spirit, Rom. 15:19)
- Omniscient (Father, Jer. 17:10; Son, Rev. 2:23; Spirit, Heb. 4:12)
- Omnipresent (Father, Jer. 23:24; Son, Matt. 18:20; Spirit, Ps. 139:7)
- Holy (Father, Jn. 17:11; Son, Rev. 3:7; Spirit, Eph. 4:30)
- True (Father, Jn. 7:28; Son, 14:6; Spirit, 1 Jn. 5:6)
The Trinity working in Unity as the Godhead:
- Creation – The Spirit moved (Gen. 1:2), God spoke, Christ (the Word) created all things (Jn. 1:1-3); God said, “Let US make man in OUR image” (Gen. 1:26; 1 Thess. 5:23)
- Incarnation – The Father gave (Jn. 3:16-17), the Spirit placed the seed (Matt. 1:18; Lk. 1:35), and the Son was born of the virgin (Matt. 1:18-25)
- Resurrection (Acts 13:30) – Father (Gal. 1:1), Son (Jn. 10:17), Spirit (Rom. 8:11)
- Salvation (Eph. 1:3-14) – To the praise of HIS glory; Father (vv.3-6), Son, (vv.7-12), Spirit (vv.13-14)
- Prayer – (Eph. 3:14; 5:20; Eph. 6:18)