Christian Essentials, The Trinity Doctrine

What does the word Trinity mean?

Its a good question and the answer that you receive depends upon the person you ask.  The word Trinity is not found in the Bible, but neither is the word monotheism, theocracy, or the English word Bible.

The word Trinity from the online dictionary means:  “a word not found in Scripture, but used to express the doctrine of the unity of God as subsisting in three distinct Persons. This word is derived from the Gr. trias, first used by Theophilus (A.D. 168-183), or from the Lat. trinitas, first used by Tertullian (A.D. 220), to express this doctrine. The propositions involved in the doctrine are these: 1. That God is one, and that there is but one God (Deut. 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60; Isa. 44:6; Mark 12:29, 32; John 10:30). 2. That the Father is a distinct divine Person (hypostasis, subsistentia, persona, suppositum intellectuale), distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit. 3. That Jesus Christ was truly God, and yet was a Person distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. 4. That the Holy Spirit is also a distinct divine Person.” (Click Here to see)

What certain groups say the word Trinity means

  1. Christians explain the Trinity as being one God revealed through the Scriptures as the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  The Trinity is not three Gods but one God by nature and unity.  The  Bible teaches there is one Church but many members and the husband and wife are one flesh, and we don’t have any problems with that.  We also see that the Bible teaches that there is one God, but revealed as the Father, (Jude 1:1) Jesus, (John 1:1, John 20:28, 1 John 5:20) and the Holy Spirit. (Acts 5:3-4, 1 Corinthians 12:4-18, Hebrews 10:15-18)
  2. Jehovah’s Witnesses explain the Trinity as being three gods (Watchtower book called Let God Be True, page 101, 1946) and believe it is not Biblical.  Jehovah’s Witnesses have a different understanding concerning the doctrine of the Trinity and have twisted what Christians believe.  Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only the Father is God and that Jesus is the first creation of the Father (known as Michael the archangel), and that the Holy Spirit is not God nor a personage.  According to Jehovah’s Witnesses Jesus is a created god and the Holy Spirit is God’s energy or power. (Like the force in the Star Wars movies)
  3. Mormons explain the Trinity as being three Gods, but their meaning is different than the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Mormons believe in many Gods and that men can become Gods.  Mormons believe that God the Father was once a man who became a God, that Jesus at one time was not God and He became a God, and that the Holy Spirit has always been God. (Strange theology!)  Mormon leaders describe the Trinity as being three Gods: “I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods.” (Teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith p. 370, also from Encyclopedia of Mormonism)
  4. Oneness Pentecostals (United Pentecostal Church International) explain the Trinity as being three gods and unbiblical.  They, just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses have twisted what Christians believe concerning the doctrine of the Trinity.  The Oneness Pentecostals believe that there is only one God and that He has revealed Himself in three different manifestations.  They explain their doctrine of God as:  “In distinction to the doctrine of the Trinity, the UPCI holds to a oneness view of God. It views the Trinitarian concept of God, that of God eternally existing as three distinctive persons, as inadequate and a departure from the consistent and emphatic biblical revelation of God being one…God is manifested as Father in creation and as the Father of the Son, in the Son for our redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in our regeneration.” (Click Here to see)

We believe that Trinity is the one God revealed in three eternal personages as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  We believe that Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and the Oneness Pentecostals have a wrong view of the Trinity.  There are other groups that have explanations on what the Trinity is, but this information was a basic overview of what different groups of people believe concerning the word Trinity.

We believe that it is of the up-most importance to know the Biblical identity of God.  We believe that if a person is wrong on the identity of who God is, than that person will die in their sins unless they change their views before they die.  Please let us know if you have any questions concerning the doctrine of the Trinity.

Discussion

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