Thursday, October 21, 2021

Theology 101 - God is Three Persons, One Being

God is Three Persons, One Being

Apostles’ Creed

We believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

We believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day He rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal Church,
the communion of the saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.




The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through Him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
He came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake, He was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered death and was buried.
On the third day, He rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and His kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son, He is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy universal and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Notice that the paragraphs of the Creeds are structured to speak first about the Father, second about Son, and third about the Holy Spirit.



God is One, and There is Only One God

Deuteronomy 6:4 - Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.


James 2:19 - You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.


1 Corinthians 8:4 - So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.”


God is Three

God the Father is God. The Old Testament reveals His deity clearly.



God the Son is God.

Philippians 2:5-7 - …Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.


John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.



God the Holy Spirit is God.

Matthew 28:19 – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”


1 Corinthians 12:4-6 - There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.


2 Corinthians 13:14 - May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.



God is One Being

The Hebrew language uses both plural words and singular words to talk about God.


Genesis 1:26, 27 – God (Elohim – plural of “God”) said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…

So God (Elohim) created mankind in his (singular) own image,
    in the image of God (Elohim) he (singular) created them;
    male and female he (singular) created them.



Early Christians said the Three Persons of the Trinity were like water or fire. You can have different streams, but it’s all water. You can have different flames, but it’s all fire.


Later, they saw that since we are created in God’s image, we can work backward from ourselves to think about God’s Being. Humans have three parts – body, mind, and spirit. Each one, though very different, is one person.


God is Three Persons

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


John 14:26 – “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”


John 15:26 - “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.”


Each member of the Trinity takes action as a separate Person. They function separately, yet are unified as one, just as the Church is composed of many members yet all work together.



What Does the Trinity Reveal about God?

  • God is love – Each Members loves Each Other
  • God is relationship – He is in relationship with Himself
  • God is freedom – Each Person is free to think and act independently of the Others
  • God is unity – The Members are in perfect agreement
  • God is authority – The Father sends the Son; the Father and Son send the Spirit
  • God is humility – The Son submits to the Father, the Spirit to the Father and the Son




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