Recently I was asked about the Trinity, and this was my response. While I have written other articles on the subject, this discussion may add further detail.
“I agree that, ‘There is one God who exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are all equally God and are somehow one yet can exist distinctly.’
They are of one essence and one substance. They are one in relationship, one in will, one in every aspect yet they have distinctness as three persons. A perfect example of this is when Yahuwah (God) appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18.
‘Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground’ (Gen 18:1-2).
Notice the Lord appeared to Abraham and He was three men. If you look closely at the passage these three men act and speak as one. Traditionally folks interpret this as God and two ‘angels’. Then two leave going on to Sodom to carry out the Lord’s judgement. We have to remember angels is the English translation of the Hebrew word for messengers. Th concept of an angel can be members of the Trinity, a spiritual being such as Gabriel, or even men who bring the message of the Gospel. Notice what is said in Genesis 19 when these two ‘angels’ bring judgement.
‘Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens’ (Gen 19:24).
The Lord rained fire down from the Lord. A very interesting distinction from the two men who walked with a third when they met with Abraham. Who acted and spoke as one when talking to Abraham in Genesis 18.
Then of course you have John 1:1-2.
‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God’ (John 1:1-2).
Jesus is God and He was with God in the beginning. There is a clear distinction in person, yet we know they are one God.
God did not have sex with Mary. God created the body of Christ and placed it in the womb of Mary. Jesus’ sinless body was a special creation. From a biological perspective, His body’s genetics were newly created just like Adam.
“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me ‘” (Hebrews 10:5).
When it comes to Jesus’ title as Son of God, His body being a special creation mirrors the creation of Adam who is also called a son of God (Luke 3:38). Even more so as God incarnated the body of Christ He would be the only begotten Son of God. Adam’s living spirit was breathed into Him by God, but Jesus was God dwelling in sinless, perfect human flesh.
Jesus’ title of Son of God goes back to the covenant God made with David as well. In 1 Chronicles 17, God tells David that the kings of his line beginning with Solomon would be His son and He would be his father. Jesus’ appointed father on Earth was Joseph who was descended from David. Jesus appointed mother who carried Him was descended from David as well (Matthew and Luke genealogies). Jesus was the fulfilment of that promise to David and also why Jesus is called a son of David.
Jesus is a distinct person, the Father is a distinct person, and the Holy Spirit is a distinct person. They all three make up the one true God. Elohim, the Hebrew word for God used in Genesis 1, has a clear plurality inherent to the word.
We see the plurality and oneness in Deuteronomy 6:4. Called the Shema.
‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!’ (Deuteronomy 6:4 NKJV)
I prefer this translation… ‘Hear , O Yisrael: Yahuwah our Elohim, Yahuwah is one!’
Yahuwah is the Hebrew name ‘I am’ (the one who exists) given to Moses when God revealed His name to Moses at the burning bush event in Exodus 3. Back to Deut 6, the one who exists, that exists in a plurality of mighty ones (Elohim) is One. God is one and there is a plurality of three distinct persons.
I don’t pretend to understand the Trinity completely, but I believe what the scriptures reveal concerning the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. They are the one God who exists as one and can act distinctly as persons. So Jesus could pray to the Father, the Father could speak to the Son as well as sending Him, and that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. And they are fully present in each person.”