In Focus

‘3 Persons in the Godhead’

MunnRichard_insAs Christians, we believe the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are undivided in essence and co–equal in power and glory. As our Handbook of Doctrine pithily states, “We believe in one God who is at the same time three.”

In Scripture, the Father is revealed early as Creator, Jesus embodies the salvation revelation, and the Holy Spirit reveals God to us personally.

A combination of certainty and the unknown intertwine the Trinity. To be vague fails the orthodox litmus test; to be cocksure negates the mystery of God. Trinity is not a word found in Scripture and yet it is considered essential to an understanding of God.

“For most Christians, understanding the Trinity is one of the most sophisticated, difficult, and abstract topics of theology,” writes Christian Schwartz. Ominously, he continues, “pushing the doctrine away from life and into the scholar’s study has had terrible consequences.”

Just what might those consequences be?

To over–emphasize one member of the Trinity or to create within it a hierarchy, even unintentionally, can result in the following erroneous beliefs:

  • Pantheism (creation supersedes Christ)
  • Dogmatism (knowing about Christ supplants inter–personal relationships)
  • Spiritualism (personal experience surpasses biblical truth)

To better understand, here is a golden rule: Never separate the members of the Trinity. Quite simply, these three persons working in unity are what make possible the love, fellowship, and every action of God.

by Colonel Richard Munn