By Travis L. Quertermous
Frederick Power once said of the Trinity, “The arithmetic of heaven is beyond us.” Many people fell the same way about the doctrine of the Trinity and thus reject it or attempt to redefine it because they do not fully understand it. Our English word “Trinity” comes from a Latin word meaning “three.” This word has been used to describe the Godhead because the Bible teaches that there is one God, i.e., one divine nature, shared by three distinct persons known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Even though the word Trinity is not in the Bible, the concept is definitely there. Scripture teaches that the Father is God (1 Cor. 8:5), the Son is God (Heb. 1:8), and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). Yet the Bible also teaches there is but one God. In Deuteronomy 6:4, Moses said, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one.” How can God be one and yet three at the same time? One ancient illustration to help us understand the Trinity is the clover. If you hold a clover in your hand, how many flowers do you have? Just one. Yet how many petals does it have? It has three petals. So we have one flower with three separate petals yet all related to one another inseparably. Even so with God – there is one divine nature shared by three inseparable but distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- Travis L. Quertermous preaches for the church of Christ in Dexter, MO. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.dexterchurchofchrist.com/