Article by Kim Riddlebarger – The Biblical Witness to the Holy Trinity (original source here)
It is common to hear claims that Christians, Jews, and Muslims worship the same God. The God of Abraham is often claimed as the father of the three great monotheistic faiths. A survey of the Bible, however, reveals a Triune God completely unlike the god of the Qur’an or even the God of contemporary Judaism. The doctrine of the Trinity is Christianity’s most distinctive doctrine, despite the fact that this doctrine stretches the limits of human language and logic. Admittedly, in many ways the Trinity is beyond our comprehension, yet we confess it because this is how God reveals himself to us in his word.
The biblical witness to the doctrine of the Trinity is extensive and can be set forth in any number of ways. We begin by noting that the Scriptures are absolutely clear that there is only one God. In Deuteronomy 6:4 Moses declares, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” In Isaiah 44:6 we read, “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” In 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 Paul proclaims, “There is no God but one. For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth’as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords”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.” James writes, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe’and shudder!” (2:19). The Scriptures of both testaments teach there is but one God.
One God in Three Persons
Yet the Bible also teaches that, although there is one God, he is revealed in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When John the Baptist baptizes Jesus, the Father declares, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” even as the Spirit of God descends upon Jesus as a dove (Matt. 3:16-17). In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands his disciples to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The mission of the church is to go and make disciples by baptizing them in the name (singular) of the three persons of the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
In the benediction concluding his second letter to the church at Corinth, Paul blesses his readers with, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14). In John 14:26, Jesus informs the disciples that “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things.” As God in human flesh (cf. John 1:14), Jesus speaks of both the Holy Spirit and the Father as equals.
Another line of biblical evidence for the Trinity is that the same divine attributes of glory and majesty are assigned to each of the three persons of the Godhead. The Scriptures teach that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are eternal. According to Isaiah, God says, “I am the first and the last” (44:6), and Paul adds that God is “eternal” (Rom. 16:26), without beginning or end. John records the Son saying, “I am the first and the last” (Rev. 22:13), and Micah notes that God’s “coming and going are from everlasting” (5:2). In Hebrews we read of the Holy Spirit as “the eternal Spirit” (9:14). All three’Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’are eternal, without beginning or end. Continue reading