I was reading in the book of John today and was reminded of the beauty and yet complexity of the Trinity. As I type this post, I realize that I could never fully explain the doctrine of the Trinity (entire books are written to merely scratch the surface). Nor is it even possible for my finite brain to wrap itself entirely around an infinite God. It is in this revelation, however, that I am all the more convinced of the reality of the Trinity – no one would ever even consider such a relationship, in a man-made religion.
So how do we best understand the Trinity? Let me give you several things to consider.
First, there are the practical illustrations:
The H2O analogy
In the winter, H2O falls the earth in the form of snow. As the days get warmer, the H2O melts and becomes water. As the days get even warmer, the H2O evaporates and becomes vapor. Snow – Water – Vapor are all merely different forms of water. They use this illustration to say that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all different forms of God.
The US Government analogy
In the United States, we have three branches of “one” government. We have the Legislative Branch, which makes laws. We have the Executive Branch, which carries out the laws. Finally, we have the Judicial Branch, which interprets the laws. Each branch is necessary and unique in its role, but all part of the same, single government. Just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all God, but with unique characteristics.
While both of these illustrations are often used, and easy to understand, they merely teach that trichotomies exist and don’t really offer any explanation of the Holy Trinity.
Things to consider:
Christians are monotheistic, which means we believe in One God.
Christianity also teaches a Trinitarian Doctrine, which states that while God is One (Deut. 6:4-9; 1 Tim. 2:5); the Father is God (Jn. 6.27; 1 Peter 1:2), the Son is God (John 1:1-18, 5:18, 10:30; Col. 1:15-20; Phil. 5-11), and the Holy Spirit is God (1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Thes. 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21). God is One and God is Three, and all Three were in the beginning (“Let us make man in our image” Gen. 1:26).
So what is the necessity of the Trinity? Why and not just one?
It’s all about God’s indescribable love for you and me (1 Jn. 4:7-21), which is completely underserved! The Bible teaches us that God the Father loved us so much, that He sent His Son to live and die for us (Jn. 3:16). In fact, God’s love is so great for us, that His Son ascended to heaven in order to prepare a place for those who would believe in Him (Jn. 14:3). My friend, it gets even better – God loves us so much, that He gave us the Holy Spirit to be in us, to empower and guide us in His indescribable love (Jn. 14:26).