Declaration of Faith: The Trinity

This is the second in a progression of discussion starters.  Thanks to all who discussed verbal inspiration!

We believe In one God eternally existing in three persons; namely, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Item Two of the Declaration of Faith speaks directly to the Biblical concept of the Trinity.  Biblically, there are numerous Scriptures that speak of the three members of the Trinity in the same place at the same time, such as the story of Jesus’ baptism(Matthew 3:16-17).  However, the Trinity is one of the most contentious and confusing concepts of theology ever proposed.  The finite human mind struggles to see three, yet one, as a viable concept within the Godhead.  While many models have been trotted out as potential ways to understand the concept, there is no model that completely describes or explains the concept of three, yet one.  This is one of those ideas that simply must be believed, not completely understood.  While this chafes against the intellect, it is a concept that is Biblical and necessary to describe the Biblical record of the Godhead.  Numerous Scriptures discuss the Trinity in general terms.  First, Matthew 28:19, the Great Commission passage, instructs ministers to baptize, “in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”  Were there not three persons in the Trinity, then there would be no need for this baptismal formula recognizing the Godhead.  Paul offers the following blessing in 2 Corinthians 13:14 (NKJV), “14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”  He equates the work of each of the members of the Godhead in invoking the blessings of each upon the life of believers.  John 10:30 speaks of the unity of the Trinity when Jesus states, “I and My Father are one.”  And as far back as the Creation story in Genesis 1:1–2 (NKJV), the Bible speaks of the work of the Trinity, “1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”  One final note that speaks of unity and diversity within the Godhead is found in Genesis 1:26 (NKJV) concerning the creation of man:  “26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.””  The use of the plural, “let us…” signifies the persons of the Godhead.  This is a brief reflection on the doctrine of the Trinity, but one that I hope will elicit responses.  Tell me your thoughts, share analogies for the Trinity that you may have heard (three phases of HSO, etc.).  Discuss the unity/diversity issue if you like.  Debate persons v. manifestations.  This is an open forum for discussion.


Just for clarity:  I believe the statement as written, and that the Godhead is three in one.  The Nicene Creed, the Creed of Chalcedon, and the Creed of Athanasius provide us with a progression of thought related to the Trinity that eventually shows that the church supports the idea of a Trinity that share the same essence, but different existences. You can discuss the intermediary theory or modalism. You can discuss the social trinity, the economic trinity, and many other aspects of the trinity, but just feel free to discuss here.   Thanks for your reading of this and your responses.

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