Other than the teaching of salvation by grace thru faith, the doctrine of the Trinity may be the most important doctrine of the Christian faith. Some theologians would say that it is the primordial doctrine of Christianity. Wayne Grudem defines it in his Systematic Theology as follows: “God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God.”
Well known passages in the Old Testament (OT) as well as obscure ones reveal the plurality of the Trinity.
Psalm 110:1 is the most frequently quoted passage from the OT in the New Testament (NT). Here David receives a tremendous revelation from God to be able to write a glimpse of this amazing intra-Trinitarian conversation: “The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” Jesus challenges the Pharisees in Matthew 22:41-46 to understand that David is referring to two separate persons as “Lord” in Psalm 110. God the Father says to God the Son, “sit at my right hand.”
David’s revelation continues when he writes in Psalm 45:7 “Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” Jesus is the anointed One by the Father when David again reveals the Father and the Son Jesus as God.
The Trinity is also revealed in a less known passage found in Hosea 1:7 “But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the Lord their God.” God (Elohim) here is speaking about the Lord (Yahweh) who will save Judah. The Scripture clearly indicates here that two separate persons can be called God and Lord, that is Father and Son.
In the context of God’s plan of redemption, Isaiah 48:16 has amazing trinitarian implications: “And now the Lord God has sent me, and his Spirit.” In NT perspective Jesus is the Messiah the One send by the Father. It follows that in the redemption context of Isaiah 48, the person “me” in verse 16 send by God is Jesus. If this verse is spoken by Jesus, and I believe it is given its context, we now have all three persons of the Trinity, the Father, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit mentioned in this verse. Amazing!
The doctrine of the Trinity is a blessing for us because by understanding it we understand God’s plan of redemption and how each person of the Trinity is involved in each aspect of salvation. We will never grasp how God can co-exist in three persons and be One God, but if we are to believe the Bible, we must accept this doctrine. CS Lewis attested its validity when he said that such a doctrine could never be made up by a human mind. No one could have come up with this type of idea if it wasn’t for the revelation given in the Bible.
to be continued…