Trinity Worksheet #1: Three in One, One in Three

Though the word ‘Trinity’ is not found in the Bible, the concept behind it is deeply biblical. This concept is based on three basic, clear biblical facts.

They are these:

1) God is one

2) There are three Persons in this One God, who are unified in essence and all equally divine

3) Each Person of the Trinity is distinct in His work

Here are some Scriptures that illustrate these glorious truths:

1) God is one

– Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!”[1]

– Deuteronomy 4:39 “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.”

– Isaiah 43:10 “‘You are My witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.'”

– Isaiah 45:18 “For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), ‘I am the LORD, and there is none else.'”

– Exodus 20:2–6 sets forth our proper reaction to the one God: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

– In Mark 12:28–30, Jesus confirms that God is one: “One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, ‘What commandment is the foremost of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The foremost is, Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'”

2) There are three distinct Persons who share the same divine essence, a singular divine nature; the following passages exhibit the one, unified essence of the persons of the Trinity

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

– Romans 8:9: “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”

– 2 Corinthians 13:14: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”

– 1 Corinthians 12:4–6: “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.”

– Ephesians 4:4–6: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

– 1 Peter 1:2: “…according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”

3) Passages that exhibit the distinct nature of each Person of the Trinity

– In Mark 1:10–11, the Son is baptized, the Spirit descends, and the Father speaks from heaven: “Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens: ‘You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.'”

– In John 14:16–17, the Son prays to the Father, the Father gives the Spirit, and the Spirit lives in the Christian: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”

[1] The word for ‘one,’ echad, in this Scripture also means ‘unified.’ The use of the word ‘one,’ echad, as ‘unified’ is shown in these texts: Genesis 2:24: ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh’; Ezra 3:1: ‘Now when the seventh month came, and the sons of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered together as one man to Jerusalem.’

[NOTE: References and categories of thought have been borrowed liberally from Paul Washer’s Knowing the Living God, Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, and Robert Raymond’s A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith. These blog entries are merely “worksheets,” hopefully enabling the reader to peruse a multitude of relevant texts at once. Little original thought is added by Sam Caldwell, no credit is due to these blog entries, and no plagiarism at all is meant.]

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