Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

The Doctrine of the Trinity
in Everyday Language

Summary: Scholarly theological definitions of the “Holy Trinity” (or “Blessed Trinity”) sometimes, unfortunately, leave Christians more bewildered than enlightened. In this sermon, Pastor Jim Feeney's aim is to demystify the doctrine of the Holy Trinity in simple bible language.

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Right at the outset let's ask the question: "What does 'the trinity' mean?" One brief, time-tested definition of the Trinity reads like this: There is one God, eternally existent in three Persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This short statement summarizes the biblical concept of the triunity, or three-in-oneness, of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14  The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

•• The mind alone cannot fathom the deep mystery of the Trinity. It must be “spiritually discerned”.

1 John 5:7, King James Version (KJV)  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

•• “Three are one.” Three divine Persons — the Father, the Word [Jesus], and the Holy Ghost. Yet they are said to be “one”.
• Note: “Holy Ghost” in the King James Version and “Holy Spirit” in most modern translations mean one and the same thing, being translated from the same Greek words.
•• Admittedly, some manuscripts and translations do not agree that the full verse 7 as contained in the King James Version is in the original. We cannot definitively resolve that divided opinion, but we will see that many other verses in the bible clearly indicate that God is indeed a Trinityone God, eternally existent in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. To those Scriptures revealing the trinity in the bible we will now turn.

1. IS THERE ONE GOD? YES.

Romans 3:30  ...there is only one God...

Mark 12:29, KJV  ...Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.

Galatians 3:20  ...God is one.

2. CAN GOD BE PLURAL, EVEN THOUGH HE IS ONE? AGAIN, YES.

Genesis 1:26-27  Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness...” [27] So God created man in his own image...

•• The very word for “God” is plural in the Hebrew of these and many other verses.

•• Note the easy interaction of the plural (“us...our”, vs. 26) and the singular (“his”, vs. 27) in speaking of the same “God”.

Genesis 3:22a  And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.”

•• Plurality (“us”) again in God's self-revelation.

Genesis 18:1-2  The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. [2] Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

•• In this great theophany, the Lord God appeared to Abraham in the visible form of three men”.

•• In the rest of this chapter and its dialogue, the “three men” were frequently identified by the divine names “Jehovah” and “Adonay”. Deity was revealed on earth in a theophany of three men.

3. IS THE FATHER GOD? YES.

2 Peter 1:17  For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Ephesians 5:20  ...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything...

4. IS JESUS GOD? YES.

John 20:28  Thomas said to him [the resurrected Jesus], “My Lord and my God!

Hebrews 1:8  But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever...

•• God the Father calls the Son Jesus “God”.

1 Timothy 3:16, KJV  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

•• This refers unmistakably to Jesus, who is called “God ... manifest in the flesh”.

Philippians 2:5-6  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in very nature God...

•• Jesus was and is “in very nature God”!

Matthew 1:23  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” — which means, “God with us.”

•• The virgin-born Son “Jesus” (vs. 21) would be known as “God with us”.

A more extensive biblical proof of the Deity of Jesus can be found elsewhere on this website at The Deity of Jesus Christ.

5. IS THE HOLY SPIRIT GOD? YES.

Acts 5:3-4  Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit ...[4]... You have not lied to men but to God.”

•• To lie to the Holy Spirit is to lie to God.

Acts 13:2  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

•• The Holy Spirit was exercising the divine prerogative to call and set apart ministries.

Genesis 1:1-2  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

•• The Holy Spirit was the Divine Co-Creator.

6. THE ONENESS OF THE HOLY TRINITY.

John 10:30  “I [Jesus] and the Father are one.”

•• Here two (that is, plural Persons) of the Holy Trinity — Jesus and the Father — are said to be one.

1 John 5:7, KJV  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

•• Three and yet one. Tri-unity!

•• Some skeptics have said, “How can 1 + 1 + 1 = 1 ?” To them I reply, “How about 1 X 1 X 1 = 1 ?” There we have three ones equaling one! If God can make three ones equal one in His created realm (here, the realm of mathematics), then certainly the Creator God can exist as one God in three Divine Persons!

7. MANY SCRIPTURES REVEAL THE FULL TRINITY.

(From the King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Matthew 3:16-17  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven [God the Father's], saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

John 14:16-17  And I [Jesus] will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth...

1 Corinthians 12:4-6  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God [the Father] which worketh all in all.

2 Corinthians 13:14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God [the Father], and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Ephesians 2:18  For through him [Jesus] we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Ephesians 4:4-6 (NIV)  There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope when you were called — one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

1 John 5:7, KJV  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

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Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.