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How to know the truth about the Trinity

dove
Unsplash/ferdinand feng

The only way to know the truth about God’s nature and God’s plan of salvation is to believe what our Creator has revealed in the Bible. Apart from Scripture, we could only speculate about the nature of God and the will of God. 

Jesus said, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth … All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you” (John 16:13,15). All three Persons of the Trinity are mentioned in that passage. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God, co-equal and co-eternal.

Another instance where all three persons of the Trinity are explicitly referenced is at Christ’s baptism. “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and landing on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16,17).

All three Persons of the Godhead were involved when God created human beings. “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). God consists of three distinct Persons, and man consists of three distinct aspects: “spirit, soul and body” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). 

Jesus identified all three persons of the Trinity when he told his disciples, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

The Apostle Paul wrote, “For through Christ we both have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Ephesians 2:18). “There is one body and one Spirit - just as you were called to one hope when you were called - one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

And the Apostle Peter wrote “to God’s elect, strangers in the world … who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood” (1 Peter 1:1,2).

If you belong to a religious organization that rejects the biblical doctrine of the Trinity, you would be wise to run as fast as possible from that group. You will never come to know God by listening to false prophets who reject the true nature of God (1 John 4:1-3).

Jesus said, “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things” (John 14:26). A closed mind leads some people to reject the doctrine of the Trinity.

On the other hand, if you are open-minded, you can humbly learn the truth about God’s nature as presented in Scripture: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). The three Persons of the Trinity are one in essence, nature, power, action, and will.

You will not understand the grace of God if you reject the truth about the Trinity. After all, the Holy Spirit is the One who brings people to faith in Christ (John 3:6). Rejecting the Trinity grieves the Holy Spirit and hardens man’s heart, which in turn leads people to attempt to earn salvation by their works. This is the natural way man seeks to cover his sin. But this flawed approach does nothing to facilitate forgiveness or produce faith in the heart. “And without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).

On the other hand, those who are open to accepting the biblical doctrine of the Trinity are often open to believing the truth of the Gospel (John 3:16). All three persons of the Trinity are referenced in the following passage: “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Galatians 4:6). The only way to become a son or a daughter of God is to accept by faith the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. 

Believing false doctrines about the nature of God leads to believing false doctrines about salvation, and vice versa. For example, the false prophets of the Mormon religion and the Jehovah’s Witness religion reject the Trinity, while also teaching the false doctrine that salvation is attained through man’s efforts and religious deeds. In reality, a believer is saved, redeemed, born again, forgiven, and justified through faith in Jesus Christ alone on the front end of his relationship with the triune God (Romans 3:21-26; 5:1).

There were of course false prophets who rejected the true nature of God in the early centuries of the Christian church. The Apostles’ Creed was composed to refute heresy, defend the Gospel, and present the truth about the three persons of the Trinity. Christians for centuries have confessed their faith with the words of the Apostles' creed: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth; And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit …”

The reason Christians readily accept the biblical doctrine of the Trinity is because God reveals the truth concerning his nature to everyone who receives Jesus as Savior. As the Apostle John explained to believers, “You have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth” (1 John 2:20).

You too can come to know the truth about God’s nature and His plan of salvation as you trust Jesus to forgive your sins, and as you embrace the love of the one true God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

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