Religion roundtable: “What does it mean that God is three-in-one?”
Mar 16, 2013 | 4073 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The mystery of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Scripture does not contain the term triune or trinity, but does indeed reference God as three distinct persons. An analogy that describes the deep mystery of the Trinity is that our heavenly Father is like the sun in the heavens, Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory and the Holy Spirit is the energy that lights and warms.

The mystery is that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of God. Jesus promised his disciples that he would not leave them alone and that another, just like himself, would become their helper, comforter, advocate and friend. The role of the Holy Spirit on the earth today is the same as it was when he was first manifested to the disciples in Acts 2:1-4. To understand his role we must understand the work of Father and Son. Father gives the command, Jesus performs it and the Holy Spirit is the creative power, giving form and substance to Father’s command. Our Father in heaven is the divine source from which all his work comes, the Son is the mediator by whom the work is implemented and the Holy Spirit executes the work. The Holy Spirit is the power of Father and Son in the universe. God is love, Jesus loves us so much that he died for us and the Holy Spirit continues to manifest his love for us on the earth today.

Beverly Mattox, Word Alive International Outreach

Holy Trinity: Three parts of God that exist in unity

Christianity is unique in that for centuries Christians have confessed one God who exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These are not three names for different parts of God because God cannot be separated into parts. Rather, “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” is the name for one God who exists in unity. We often call this the Holy Trinity.

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are consubstantial, which means they share in the same divine essence or nature. Their will and motives do not conflict because they are one.

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are co-eternal, which means that God has been three-in-one forever. No one person of God created or came before the others.

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are co-equal, which means that one person is not more powerful or wise than the others. The Father is not greater than the Son or the Spirit; the Son is not greater than the Spirit or the Father; and the Spirit is not greater than the Father or the Son.

If you find this confusing, you are not alone! As much as we try to describe or explain the three-in-one-ness of God, God is greater and more vast than we can understand, and the Holy Trinity is very much a mystery.

Amy DeWitte, Anniston First United Methodist Church
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