I recently read a letter a columnist got from a man claiming he was Lutheran with “sound religious faith.” But there was one problem the letter writer just couldn’t reconcile or understand. How is it possible, he wondered, that God is a Trinity? So he drew the conclusion that he would only pray to God since he couldn’t understand all the talk about “the other two” and figured that was the way to go since we were to only have one God.
So how important is the concept of the Trinity to the Christian faith? Is it necessary to understand everything about the Trinity to accept that there is a Trinity? Firstly, I have to say that not fully understanding a concept does not mean that one has to completely dismiss it. We humans are finite in our knowledge and can’t possibly know everything there is to know about our world or the universe, much less an infinite God, yet there are many things we accept without fully understanding them. For example, we know there are black holes out in space but we don’t understand fully how they are formed or all of their properties and abilities. But we surmise, from what scientists have told us, that they are massive and powerful and we assume many of them were formed by the gravitational collapse of enormous stars, although this has never been proven. Despite the fact we only know a fraction of what there is to know about black holes, and add to that the fact what we do know about them most of us don’t understand it all, do we completely dismiss the fact that the holes in space are black? Of course not.
Then why is it that people use such bad logic to dismiss the fact that God is a Trinity? We don’t accept it in other areas of life, but for some reason it’s okay to accept such a weak argument pertaining to God, who is more powerful and complex than anything that exists on Earth or in the universe. In the same way we can grasp the importance or significance of holes that are black in outer space, but we may not grasp the complete nature of those holes, we ought to be able to grasp the importance or significance of one God who is a Trinity even if we may not totally grasp the entire nature of the Trinity. Now if you substitute the term oceans, or plate tectonics, or stars in the previous sentence wherever I make reference to black holes, you can see the full effect of what I’m saying.
The Trinity is a package deal. If you call yourself a Christian, you have to accept the fact God has always been and will always be a Trinity. We see all of them throughout the whole Bible. The Trinity is even included in the first mention of God in Genesis–“In the beginning God created…” The Hebrew word for God being Elohim, which is both plural and singular at the same time. In Genesis 1:2, God the Spirit moved on the face of the waters. And in Colossians 1:15-16, we are told that Jesus
is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
So Jesus is the Creator, just like God the Father and God the Spirit are.
God even refers to himself in the plural when he said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” Genesis 1:26. God the Father and God the Son show up in Psalm 110 where David was prophetically shown “The LORD [Jehovah] said unto my Lord [Adonai], Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” In the New Testament we see that God the Son sits at the right hand of God the Father.
Here are the scriptures that tell us the Trinity is a package deal:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
…all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. John 5:23
22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 1 John 2
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 John 5:7
And finally, the scriptures say that the Father raised Jesus from the dead, Jesus raised himself from the dead, and the Spirit raised Jesus from the dead [Galatians 1:1, John 10:17-18, Romans 8:11]. Bottom line–those who won’t accept the Trinity cannot be true believers.