Seventh-day Adventist Christians believe there is one God. And that this one God is three co-eternal beings who work together in unity. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have always been, and always will be.
It’s impossible to wrap our finite minds around this infinite concept. How does the doctrine of the Trinity work? How can there be one God, but three persons?
We’ll dig into Scripture to find out:
- What the Bible says about the Trinity/Godhead
- Who is God the Father?
- Who is God the Son?
- Who is God the Holy Spirit?
- How the Trinity works together
Belief 2: The Trinity
There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 6:8; Matt. 28:19; John 3:16 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2.)
What does the Bible Say About the Trinity?
While the word “trinity” may not be in the Bible, the concept of this three-in-one Godhead is expressed in many places throughout the Bible.
“I and My Father are one,” Jesus said in John 10:30.
Jesus’ baptism was a time when all three members of the Trinity were involved. As Jesus came out of the water, the Holy Spirit came from Heaven. To the human eye, He looked like a dove. He hovered above Jesus, showing His approval. From the clouds, God the Father spoke, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22).
Before Jesus returned to heaven, He spoke of the Trinity. “Go…make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19, NKJV).
We have to remember that God is not confined by time, space, or matter. God is beyond our human comprehension. God is the “High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity” (Isaiah 57:15). This is one of the mysteries of the Christian faith. If we, as human beings, could explain the existence of God, He would not be God. If we could totally understand the mysteries of God, He would not be worthy of our worship.
Who is God the Father?
All throughout Scripture, God the Father is described as the overseer of all, the source of everything.
God the Father sustains our life and numbers our days.
Paul, in one of his talks, spoke about God the Father. He said that God “gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25, NKJV). Paul continues, “He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27-28, NKJV). The community of earth is dependent on the sustaining power of God for life and breath.
Do you wish for an understanding father? Perhaps you are not close to your father. Perhaps your father has died. You may not even know your father.
Even if that’s the case, God is already your perfect Father and Creator. He loves you more than any father on earth ever could.
God the Father worked through God the Son in the creation of our world.
Before the creation of man, God spoke, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26, NKJV).
God the Father loved us so much that He sent Jesus to save us.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV).
God the Father loves us with an everlasting love.
Without His protection and care, we are unable to live. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19, NKJV). And when we see God’s matchless love for us, our response is to love Him in return.
Who is God the Son?
God the Son is described as our Savior, our Advocate, and the one who became human to relate with us and teach us in order to save us from sin’s consequences.
God the Son loved us so much that He was willing to pay that penalty so we could have eternal life.
John tells us, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13, NKJV).
As a child, did you have a best friend? Perhaps one of your fellow students in school. Perhaps a neighbor in your community. A best friend is someone you can talk to about anything. Someone who always stands up for you. A best friend is a person who is on your side.
God the Son wants to be your friend.
He will always be on your side. King Solomon writes, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV). God says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, NKJV).
God the Son and God the Father worked together to create our world. In speaking of God the Son, Paul writes, “By Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth” (Colossians 1:16, NKJV).
God the Son knelt down and used His hands to form the first man and woman.
Imagine how special that is! We were carefully made by God. With His own breath, He brought them to life. Genesis 2:7 says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
God the Son was excited about the creation of this world.
The Bible tells us, “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31, NKJV). He delighted in spending time with Adam and Eve.
After Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command, the human race was doomed to death. Even though we chose to disobey, God refused to leave us without hope. Together, the Trinity worked out a plan in place for our redemption.
Jesus came to earth to give us an Example of how to live. He sympathizes with us because He “was in all points tempted as we are.” Yet, the Scriptures say, He overcame the temptations “without sin” (Hebrews 4:15, NKJV). Just as Adam and Eve chose to disobey when they were tempted, Jesus chose to obey.
Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sin. “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17, NKJV).
What an amazing gift! We have a Friend who lived a perfect life to give us an example of how to live. He died on the cross, making the ultimate sacrifice for us. God the Son, Jesus Christ, gave His life to make our eternal salvation possible.
Who is God the Holy Spirit?
God wants to give you a personal guide. The Holy Spirit is described as One who will help you stay strong in your faith and make the best decisions for your life. Jesus told His disciples, “when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13, NKJV).
Have you ever wanted to find someone to tell you the best way to live? Would you like to have a mentor to guide you through life’s important choices?
Isaiah talks about the guidance of the Holy Spirit. “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21, ESV)
The Holy Spirit works through your conscience.
Your conscience is the part of your mind that helps you to decide what the right choice would be. The Holy Spirit will guide us in the right path, if we will open our heart to His guidance. As we grow in Christian belief, the Holy Spirit will lead us into “all truth” (John 16:13, NKJV).
Jesus promised His disciples that the Holy Spirit would help them witness for Him. “When they arrest you,” Jesus said, “do not worry. … it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit” (Mark 13:11, NKJV).
The Holy Spirit works through our prayers.
As we ask God for help, the Holy Spirit works with us to understand God’s will for us. “We do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:26, NKJV).
The Holy Spirit also works in our minds as we read the Bible.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” writes King David (Psalms 119:105, NKJV). As we study Bible doctrine, the Holy Spirit will impress our minds and show us the right path.
When we give our life to God, we invite the Holy Spirit to guide us. In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul wrote about our body being a temple. “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20, NKJV).
The Holy Spirit will prepare us for Heaven.
As we open our hearts to His guidance, we will experience spiritual growth. The Bible tells us, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22, 23, NKJV). These qualities will make us a light in our community. We will have joy in our lives as we accept the Holy Spirit’s leading.The Holy Spirit’s ministry shows us God’s love. When writing to the Roman church, Paul said, “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5, NKJV).
How does the Trinity work together?
Have you ever been on a winning team? A team of students at school raising money, a team of coworkers trying to meet a sales goal, a community sports team—it’s fun to be on the winning side. A team has a common goal. While each person may fill a different role, they all work together to accomplish the mission.
The triune God may be compared to a winning team. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit work together in ways that a human team would never be able to for a common goal. While each person of the Godhead has a distinct role in the plan of salvation, they unite in their mission.
Paul writes to the church at Corinth: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14, NKJV).
Like a winning team, each person of the Godhead has a different role. They each have a special relationship to humanity. God the Father sustains and supports us. God the Son saves us from sin and shows us a better way to live. God the Holy Spirit guides us in the way of righteousness. All three work together for our salvation. In the doctrine of the Trinity, we see God’s love revealed.
The book of Jude mentions this teamwork. “Beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 20, 21, NKJV).
Like the ultimate winning team, the trinity works together for you. They will do everything possible to bring you to salvation. Like a teacher in school who gives her all to help her students succeed, the Trinity works together to make salvation understandable. They want you to experience salvation.
Paul, the apostle, tells how the Trinity works together to bring us salvation. In the third chapter of his letter to Titus, he highlights their teamwork:
God the Father, in His mercy, has offered us a way to experience salvation. Paul says, “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:4-5, NKJV).
God the Son was in agreement, so He gave His life so that we could choose salvation.
“Whom He [God the Father] poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:6-7, NKJV).
God the Holy Spirit, working to bring us salvation, offers to renew and remake us into the image of God. Paul continues:
“Through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5, NKJV).
This is God’s goal. All three members of the Trinity are working together to make it possible for you to be an heir of eternal life. There truly is a “dream team” ready to sustain you, guide you, and redeem you.
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