The Name of God - Three in One

Posted by Nathan Warner on

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

Jesus declared the doctrine of the “Trinity” as the “name” of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—three distinct “persons,” yet united in one name.

We know from Scripture that there is only one true God.  Paul explains that “indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and we exist through Him” (1 Cor. 8:5b-6a).  However, in the mystery of His nature, God speaks in the plural about Himself from the beginning: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’” (Gen. 1:26a).  After the rebellion in Eden, “the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:22a).  Thousands of years later, Isaiah “heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” (Isa. 6:8)  This “us” does not refer to the angelic realm as the angels are not equal to God, for God “puts no trust even in His servants; And against His angels He charges error” (Job 4:18).  “Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or as His counselor has informed Him?” (Isaiah 40:13)  God only takes His own counsel.

Jesus (the Word) clarified God’s nature, for “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...And the Word became flesh...the only begotten from the Father...No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (John 1:1-18).  Jesus explained Himself, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), “making Himself equal to God” (John 5:18).  Paul tells us that in Jesus “all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 2:8-9), for God “has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:1-3a).

Likewise, the Holy Spirit is the very Spirit of God, clearly part of Himself.  When Peter confronted Ananias, he asked, “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?...You have not lied to men but to God’” (Acts 5:3-4), and Job declared, “The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).  At the same time, Paul says the Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of Jesus: “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba Father!’” (Gal. 4:6)  Jesus said the Holy Spirit would abide in the Believer, and “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him(John 14:23) —the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit abide with us!

While God’s nature as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can be difficult for mortal flesh to comprehend, perhaps it is no more of a mystery than how God can also have no beginning or end, and be eternal, Holy, and righteous.  And yet, concerning this mystery, Jesus prayed that Believers would be given the same kind of unity He had with the Father: “that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity” (John 17:22b-23a).  “Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are” (John 17:11b).  Even so, Amen.

Tags: father, god, holy spirit, jesus, son, trinity, triune, unity

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