Although the Bible never uses the term, and never sets aside any passage to explain it, the idea of the “Trinity” has been a pretty key doctrine for Christianity for a long time. It can be found in various early creeds and teachings, and basically explains that God is one God, but revealed to mankind as three: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit.
Arguments are made by some that Jesus never claimed to be God, but in fact, according to the Bible He did several times and did so in unmistakable ways. He took the name of God for Himself, He claimed the power of God for Himself, He claimed the authority of God for Himself, and flat out said He was equal with God in clear enough terms that many of those present tried to kill Him for blasphemy. So clear is the teaching in the Bible that Jesus is God, the Jehovah Witnesses -who do not believe in the Trinity- went to the trouble to develop their own Bible, which specifically has changed the passages of the New Testament dealing with Jesus as God. It is accurate to say then, that the Bible presents Jesus as God, with the lone exception being the version of the Bible printed by the Jehovah Witnesses in 1961.
Muslims and Jews would simply claim this is a heresy to the truth. Both the Jewish Scriptures (the Old Testament), and the Qur’an teach that God is one God. So does Christianity of course, but Christians believe in the Trinity, which adds that God is also three. On the surface it is contradictory, but in the expression and understanding of God, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wouldn’t believe in any other way.
Of course, I want God to be difficult to comprehend, and difficult for my mind to wrap around. Any Being that can speak galaxies into existence, form the laws of physics with the breath of His mouth, design the intricacies of a DNA strand, or the incredible complexities of a living cell… SHOULD be a Being I find a little beyond me.
God seems less of a fairy tale, and seems far more real, when I have to struggle to figure Him out sometimes. Fairy tales are simple. Quantum Physics is not. If God exists, then why would I expect a college Physics course to be difficult to grasp, but God to be like a children’s book? After all, He invented the physics.
Oh, I know and agree that God IS easy to grasp in many ways, but not EVERYTHING should be easy. Not if He’s capable of creating things it takes an Einstein to figure out.
I find the versions of God put forth by other religions to be too simple. Too unbelievable for me. A God who is out there somewhere, who is often angry, who must only be feared and can never be approached… I don’t buy it. Why should I obey Him if He’s never lowered Himself enough to see what I’m going through? What does He know of mankind’s suffering? The ideas of a Greek God or the God of Islam looking down in perpetual judgment. Call me an atheist. I don’t believe it.
What about a God who doesn’t care what I do, or who I hurt, but just loves me all the time, and created me to make my own truth? I don’t buy that one either. I can’t reconcile the Hitlers, or the serial killers or the child molesters with a God who “made me this way.” Really? Did that God also make evil then? Must have. Look at the animal kingdom or the insect kingdom. Brutality everywhere. A loving God made this on purpose? Again, I’m an atheist with that sort of God. He doesn’t exist.
But then there’s the Trinity. I need that to believe. Far from being a stumbling block, it actually starts to make sense of things for me. Oh I know, it’s difficult to understand, but again, so is the behavior of light which acts as a particle AND a wave. Life is full of things that are difficult to understand and yet are real. Chemistry is real. Go try and pass THAT test without studying.
In the end you see, that’s what the Trinity is. It’s a method trying to describe in simple terms how God (who is difficult to wrap a brain around) expresses Himself and works in our world. The Trinity is a concept right on the surface of the deep things of God, His essence, His qualities, and especially the ways He interacts with the physical universe.
You see it throughout the Christian message in the New Testament of the Bible. God the Father who lives in “unapproachable light” sent His “Son” to provide a way for mankind to be restored to fellowship with Him -fellowship received through His Holy Spirit. Three expressions. Three roles. All complimentary and working together to achieve divine purpose.
It’s why God can create the vastness of the universe, and yet still care about my feelings and what I’ve got going today. Otherwise, that makes no sense. You can’t even see a person from 31,000 feet in an airplane, and expect me to believe that I matter to a God living outside of space and time? A God who created stars a billion times larger than this entire planet? If there is just one angry God billions of miles away, I wouldn’t expect Him to care about me. Maybe He’d care about a nation, or the whole planet, maybe. But not me.
The message of Christianity is that God cares about every single person, the greatest and the least. It’s understandable through the Trinity.
With the Trinity, He is not just God the Father, but He is God the Son who became flesh and God the Spirit who lives in me. The infinite become finite. The infinite word of God, becoming the 26-letter alphabet. God dwelling alongside man, crucified between two thieves, taking one of them with Him to Heaven. Jesus explains God’s judgment AND mercy. He makes sense of both, and the Holy Spirit makes sense of God’s attention to the smallest detail, like me and my life. He creates the universe, and in Him I live and move as well. He’s both. He’s this, and that. He’s one, and yet three.
In Creation, God willed and purposed the existence of everything that is, Jesus spoke the word that commanded it be brought into existence, and the Holy Spirit performed the miracle and did the work. God looked upon the darkness covering the earth, but the Holy Spirit was hovering directly over the waters in the midst of that darkness. The Father, speaking through His Son, working through His Spirit.
It’s the same as the message in the New Testament. Hebrews 1 saying that in the past God spoke at various time and in various ways but in these last days He has spoken by His Son, the very image of Him, the radiance of His glory. The Father, speaking through His Son, working in me through His Spirit.
The Trinity is the deep things of the working of God. It expresses how He works, and how He has worked in the past. Is it an incomplete description? Does it fall short as an expression expressing an incredible God? Of course. It should.
It’s a big reason why I believe it’s true.