The trinity, the God-head, the three-in-one. These are the names people often refer to when talking about God. Some believe that God can be three beings in one, others believe that God is just one being. But what does the Bible say? Does the Bible say God is actually one being or somehow a three-in-one being? Let’s find out.
One of the clearest passages on this issue is known as the great commission. When Jesus gives his disciples instructions to go out into the world after he ascends and baptize other disciples. He tells them these specific instructions, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Jesus makes an explicit distinction here. He makes known to his disciples that there are at the very least, three names for God. A Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus would not make up names for something that doesn’t exist, so there are obviously three distinct names here that Jesus feels is important enough to include.
We see elsewhere in Scripture with the apostle Paul this distinction. As he concludes his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul states, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Paul clearly identifies that there is Jesus, God, and a Holy Spirit. (Usually “God” can refer to all three beings unified together or just the “Father”.) The grace of Jesus, the love of the Father, and the fellowship of the Spirit is what unifies us and brings us together. It is the trinity, the triune nature of God that is so prevalent in our lives and throughout Scripture that unifies all things.
There are also different distinctions in Scripture as to why there are different forms of God mentioned in the Bible. As Paul is talking about food being sacrificed to idols and the idea of there being many “gods”, Paul says that we have one God, the Father and one Lord, Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 8:6 says, “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”. Paul writes that the Father created all things and we were created for Him. Then he writes about Jesus, who is the Son, through which all things were created and that we exist through him. The Father and the Son both have different roles according to Paul’s view and this was Jesus’ view as well as he often referred to His “father” in heaven.
Jesus even gives us a description of what the Holy Spirit does for us. In John 14:26 Jesus says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit will be a helper to us and Jesus even makes a distinction between himself and his Father which will send the Spirit to the disciples. All of these distinctions prove that there are three forms of our God, Yahweh.
We have to be aware of the fact that the Bible makes a clear reference to God as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, while also being unified. Even with Jesus, where he tells us that him and the father are one, gives us a murky view into this triune nature. God being one and three is something that the human mind cannot comprehend and I believe perhaps, we are not meant to. We must simply believe that God is one but also three as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.