You don’t actually find the word ‘trinity’ in scripture, which means that you won’t find it in many Bible dictionaries. But that doesn’t mean that the doctrine, the idea, the concept is not presented clearly. The problem is that “God in three persons, blessed Trinity” is easy when you’re singing a worship song, but when you try to explain it, you begin to understand the mystery of God.
Also, some people use “God” to refer to “God the Father;” which confuses things. The solution is found in the term “Godhead,” but to some people, that conjures up some weird image more suited to science fiction.
Today, I want to just look at the actual scripture verses which reinforce the doctrine; though if you do a search, you’ll see we’ve covered this here before. Having all these verses in one place will, at the very least, be helpful to me if no-one else!
Matthew 3: 16, 17 NIV
16As 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 lighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Matthew 28: 19 NLT
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
John 15: 26 ESV
[Jesus speaking] 26“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
Acts 2: 33 NIRV
33 Jesus has been given a place of honor at the right hand of God. He has received the Holy Spirit from the Father. This is what God had promised. It is Jesus who has poured out what you now see and hear.
II Cor. 13: 14 The Message
14The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.
Ephesians 2: 17 – 18 TNIV
17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
I Thess. 1: 2-5a CEV
2We thank God for you and always mention you in our prayers. Each time we pray, 3we tell God our Father about your faith and loving work and about your firm hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4My dear friends, God loves you, and we know he has chosen you to be his people. 5When we told you the good news, it was with the power and assurance that come from the Holy Spirit, and not simply with words…
I Peter 1: 1 – 2 NIV (UK)
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world … 2 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: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Also included in this list is the passage at I Cor. 12: 4-6, because of the pattern: Spirit, Lord, God at the end of each phrase.
The passage from Acts was on a poster in my bedroom when I was younger. In the Living Bible, it read, simply, “The Father gave the authority to the Son to send the Holy Spirit.”
You might also find these posts helpful:
- Tozer: Trinitarian Job Descriptions; Who Does What?
- Michael Patton: Is There a Hierarchy Within the Trinity?
- The Doctrine of the Trinity in a Nutshell
- “The Trinity is Like 3-in-1 Shampoo”. . . And Other Stupid Statements
- Being One as God is One (Athanasian Creed)
Finally, this is a good place to insert this diagram, which our pastor coincidentally used on Sunday.