Holy Trinity Persons
Brothers :
The Holy Spirit
and Jesus
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Holy Trinity Persons
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Three Pointed DiagramThough the idea of the three persons in the Godhead is shot through the Scriptures, the actual word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible! The word "Trinity" comes from the Latin word "Trinitas" or "Trinus" meaning "threefold."✞

First Use

In Christian theology, the first recorded use of this Greek word "Trinity" was by Theophilus of Antioch (c110-183 AD) in c170 AD although he does not use the common formula of "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" to describe the Trinity. Rather, Theophilus himself puts it as "God, his Word (Logos) and His Wisdom." The Greek word used for Trinity is "triad", meaning "a set of three" or "the number three". Theophilus writes, "In like manner also the three days which were before the luminaries, are types of the Trinity of God, and His Word, and His wisdom." It is further observed that 'Trinitarianism' contrasted with positions such as 'Binitarianism' with one deity in two persons, or two deities and 'Monarchianism' with no plurality of persons within God." The Trinity is made up of three persons who are called "God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit." In Hebrew, "Holy Spirit" is also called "the spirit of Yahweh" and comes from the Hebrew word "ruach" which meant "spirit of the holiness" or "spirit of the holy place." The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have quite different, particular qualities and personalities but are still essentially of the same essence. They are three persons in one essence.

Three Deity Parts

Trinity Tie KnotThe descriptive word "persons" in the Godhead depicts the role of one personality in their relationship to the another. The Trinity, of "God the Father," "God the Son" and "God the Holy Spirit," can be used to define the three separate and quite distinctive ways the Holy Trinity persons in the Godhead function. A good example of this occurs in 1 Peter 1.1-2. Saint Peter writes, "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God's elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood. Grace and peace be yours in abundance." The persons in the Holy Trinity here can also be regarded as family members. A man can be a father, a son and a husband at the same time. Similarly, a woman may at one time be a mother, a daughter, and a wife. Individuals in the Godhead can equally be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with different roles but all at the same time.

Colors Analogy

Infinity SignGod is always greater than the total of the three individual persons of the Trinity. The three primary colors of red, blue and yellow can be found in all of nature. All other colors like orange, purple or green are made up of these primary colors mixed in different proportions. Orange is yellow plus red. Purple is blue plus red. All the colors emanate out from the three primary ones. The complex nature of the persons of the Holy Trinity is akin to this. All the colors in the spectrum combine to form pure white light, like the three members of the Trinity combined as one God. Separately, they form three colors or mixed they make a whole spectrum of effects.

Creation Word

Jesus and Holy Spirit DoveThe Creation story contains the Holy Trinity persons of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The concept is presented in the Genesis Creation account. We read also in John 1.1-3, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made." Here Jesus as the Word (or the Logos) is at the very beginning of all things as God. As God, he had no beginning but rather this refers to the time of Creation. The Word of the Father caused matter to come into existence. The NIV Commentary explains further, "The Greeks used the phrase 'Word' not only of the spoken word but also of the 'unspoken word.' The unspoken word was still in the mind - the reason." In the Universe, the Greeks meant the rational principle that governs all things. Jews, however, use the phrase "Word" as a way of referring to God. The Apostle John is employing a term here which was familiar to both Jews and Greeks. Romans 9.5 asserts that Jesus was God in the fullest sense, "Theirs (the people of Israel) are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. Note that "Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised!" can be translated "Messiah, who is overall. God be forever praised!" or equally "Messiah. God who is over all be forever praised!" The Messiah Jesus is God over all as one of the Holy Trinity!

Come Into Existence

Beautiful Valley and MountainsAccording to John 17.24, Jesus says, "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world." The Expositor's Study Bible comments, "Jesus proclaims his pre-existence with the Father and therefore his deity." Note this last phrase where Jesus claims to have been loved and therefore existed and was present before the Creation! The Holy Spirit hovers over the waters and Jesus according to the Epistles stands in the background. Jesus is loved by the Father and present before the Creation itself as one of the Holy Trinity! Saint Paul later writes of Jesus in Ephesians 1.4, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he (Jesus) chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight." Jesus picks out those who would be his disciples before the Creation of the Universe! An amazing truth to contemplate!

Holy Ghost

GardenThe names for the Holy Trinity are often misunderstood, sometimes with amusing consequences. The little book, "Bishop's Brew" tells of a Vicar's small daughter who is seen burying a dead bird in the garden. Very piously the child announces, "In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and into the hole he goes. Amen!"

"Holy Trinity Persons"
©1990-2019
by Ron Meacock

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