• In the ‘liturgical’ calendar, today is ‘Trinity Sunday’. That the Bible teaches all three of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are fully divine is easy to see e.g. —

1 Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 4:6 (re the Father); John 20:28, Hebrews 1:8 (re the Son); and Hebrews 9:14, Acts 5:3-4 (re the Spirit).

  • That these three ‘persons’ are one God not three Gods is also clearly shown e.g.— John 10:30, Matthew 28:19, 1 John 5:7. So, God is one in ‘essence’ but three in ‘persons’. This can seem contradictory; it isn’t; the Bible clearly and repeatedly affirms that there is one God, in three fully divine persons.
  • Even if the Trinity is hard to understand, we must ultimately accept what God reveals to us about himself. If we don’t, we are ultimately placing our own understanding, experience etc. above God. This is ignorant and foolish arrogant; it is sin to not accept God’s self-revelation. Of course the immortal, eternal, all-glorious God will not be just as ‘simple’ as we are. We should expect God to be profound and ‘complex’.
  • To try and help us understand how God is Trinity, there are many illustrations used e.g. a three-leaf clover; water can be: solid, liquid and gas; I am simultaneously a son, brother and father etc. There can be some usefulness to these illustrations, however each of them is limited: they only illustrate certain aspects of the Trinity but not others. So, ensure you appreciate the way(s) something illustrates the Trinity, while being aware also of how it does not e.g. water can only be one of water, steam or gas at the one time but God is always Father and Son and Spirit simultaneously.
  • Whilst all three persons are fully divine, they have some different roles. Thus, theologians talk about the ontological Trinity (who the 3 persons are in their being, nature) and the economic Trinity (re roles; economics originally means the ordering of a household). Generally, the Father initiates (Source), the Son accomplishes (Agent) and the Spirit applies (Instrument) e.g. John 3:16 (the Father sends and the Son is willingly sent) and both the Father and Son send the Spirit (John 15:26) after the Son had died, risen and ascended.
  • All three persons work together e.g. Mark 1:10-12; 1 Cor. 12:3-6; 2 Cor. 13:14, and all three persons are to be glorified by you and us e.g. John 14:26, Acts 2:33, Romans 1:4, 1 Peter 1:2.

So, happy Trinity Sunday!