The Trinity

Awake, O Sleeper, this blog arrives at 6 a.m. Just the time of day to discuss the Trinity! Drink a few cups of coffee and stay alert.

My favorite verses about the Trinity are found in 1 Peter 1:1-2 . . . 

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 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 (NASB1995).

I realize 1 Peter is written to those living in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, but what the Apostle Peter says about God in verses one and two of 1 Peter is just as relevant to those now living in Springfield, Nashville, Manila, Kyiv, and Munich.

1 Peter 1:1-2, in my opinion, gives the Bible’s best explanation of the Trinity.  

A quick study on the topic of the Trinity reveals that the word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible. We do find the word “Godhead” in Colossians 2:9 of the King James Version. But this word is translated as “fullness of God” in many other versions.

Where did we get the word “Trinity,” and what does the word mean? It comes from a Latin word meaning “three,” first used by the ancient church father Tertullian (155-220 A.D.) as he described God.

Trinity has come to mean “three in one” – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  

Confusing to some, but not to me. Yes, I can’t completely explain the Trinity, but I believe it’s the best explanation for the 1 Peter 1:1-2 verses. Let’s examine this passage.  

Foreknowledge of God the Father . . . 

Only God can have a prescient understanding and knowledge of the future. We find comfort in knowing our God sees our past, present, and future and has already worked out every event in our lives for His good.

Sanctifying work of the Spirit . . . 

Only God can sanctify or make us holy. As a pastor, I can’t make you holy, and to be honest, I can’t even make myself holy. But I’m encouraged that the ultimate responsibility for our holiness (becoming like God) rests in the hands of God.

To obey Jesus and be sprinkled by His blood . . .

Only God can give us righteousness through the shedding of His blood. From Jesus, we receive grace (what we don’t deserve) and mercy (withholding what we do deserve). We have peace knowing we are saved.

The Trinity is proven by the job descriptions of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in 1 Peter 1:1-2 as only God can do the works described. Now we just have to understand how three distinct beings can be one God.

Here’s the formula:  Father as God + Jesus as God + Spirit as God = One God!

How do we explain this? (Perhaps we should get another cup of coffee.)

I’ve heard people say things like, “Consider water as ice, liquid, and mist – three forms but all water.” Helpful but lacking. The Bible describes us as spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23), again, insightful but falling short.

Okay, it can’t be completely described and defined.

But when we first see God on His throne as Father, Son, and Spirit, we will understand.  Like someone asking us to imagine a color that we have never seen before and realizing that we can’t.

We will see God someday. We will then understand what we can’t on earth, and we will praise the Father, Son, and Spirit for eternity.

As the Apostle Paul writes . . . 

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12).

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