We continue from where we left off https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/the-biblical-basis-for-the-trinity-pt-1/.
B. The one true God Jehovah exists as three eternally distinct Persons, namely, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
1. Biblical evidence that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons.
That the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are different Persons can be readily seen from the operations and roles which they assume, especially in regards to the work of redemption.
For instance, God causes Mary to conceive and give birth to his Son by the power of his Holy Spirit:
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 1:18-20
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:26-35
And at Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form that resembled a dove, as God then spoke from heaven in order to bear witness concerning his beloved Son:
“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, saying, THIS is MY beloved Son, in WHOM I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17
“And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon HIM. And I knew him not: but HE that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon WHOM thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on HIM, the SAME is he which baptizeth WITH THE HOLY GHOST. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” John 1:32-34
This isn’t the only time that God testified concerning his Son:
“While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is MY beloved Son, in WHOM I am well pleased; hear ye HIM.” Matthew 17:5
Moreover, because they are personally distinct, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit love one another and speak to one another, just as we find in the following examples:
“Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.” John 12:28-30
“But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.” John 14:31
“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” John 15:9-10
“And now, O Father, glorify THOU ME with THINE OWN SELF with the glory which I had with THEE before the world was… Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:5, 24
And being personally distinct further explains why one Person can send the Other(s), and why they can speak of glorifying and/or doing the will of the Other(s):
“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt… He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.” Matthew 26:39, 42-44
“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will OF HIM that SENT ME.” John 6:38
“Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.” John 13:31-32
“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” John 17:1-2
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you… But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:16-17, 26
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.” John 15:26-27
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” John 16:12-15
“but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Galatians 4:4-7
This explains why the Lord could say that the witness given by both himself and his Father fulfills the Law’s requirement for the testimony of two distinct men or individuals in order for a matter to be settled or established:
“It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.” John 8:17-18
Since the Father and the Son are two distinct Persons, their joint testimony satisfies the Law’s demand for two independent witnesses.
2. Even though they are personally distinct from one another, these three Divine Persons are said to be one.
The Holy Bible teaches the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bear the same divine name, obviously because they are not three gods but three divine Persons who eternally and simultaneously exist as one God:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the NAME of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Matthew 28:19
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30
“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
3. Biblical evidence that all three are identified as the one true God Jehovah.
For the sake of trying to keep these articles as short as possible, I will only list the biblical passages without quoting them.
A. All Three are called Lord (meaning Jehovah) and God.
- The Father: John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; Jude 1:25; Revelation 1:4; 21:6-7.
- The Son: Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 1:22-23; Luke 3:3-6, 15-17; John 1:1, 14-15, 23; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Romans 9:5; 10:9-13; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:5, 7-10; Hebrews 1:8-10; 1 John 1:2; 5:20; Revelation 1:7-8, 17-18; 2:8; 22:12-13, 16, 20.
- The Holy Spirit: 2 Samuel 23:2-3; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Hebrews 10:15-17 (Cf. Jeremiah 31:33-34).
B. All Three are identified as the one Creator and Sustainer of all things.
- The Father: Matthew 10:29-31; 19:4-6; John 5:21, 26; 10:29; Acts 17:24-28; Ephesians 3:9; 1 Timothy 6:13; Hebrews 3:4; Revelation 4:11.
- The Son: John 1:3-4, 10; 5:21, 25-29; 20:27-28; 11:25-27; 14:6; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:2-3, 10-12.
- The Holy Spirit: Genesis 1:1-2; Job 26:13; 33:4; Psalm 33:6; 104:30; Isaiah 32:14-15; Ezekiel 37:12-14; John 6:63; 7:38-39; 2 Corinthians 3:6.
C. All Three are said to be Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent.
- The Father: Matthew 6:6, 8, 18; 19:26; Mark 14:36; John 14:23; Acts 15:8, 18; Romans 8:27; 11:33-36; 1 John 3:20; Revelation 4:8.
- The Son: Matthew 16:27; 28:18; Mark 2:8; John 6:37-40, 44; 10:28; 14:20-23; 16:29-31; 21:17; Romans 8:10, 35-39; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Ephesians 1:23; 3:8, 17-19; 4:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:17, 27; Revelation 1:9-13, 17-20; 2:1, 18-19, 23; 3:1; 5:6; 22:12-13, 16, 20-21.
- The Holy Spirit: Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29; Psalm 139:7; Isaiah 63:10-11, 14; Ezekiel 36:27; 39:29; Matthew 10:19-20; Mark 13:11; John 7:38-39; 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-15; Acts 1:5, 8; 2:1-4, 17, 19, 33; Romans 8:9, 11-16, 26-27; 15:18-19; 1 Corinthians 2:10-12; 3:16; 6:19; 12:3, 7-13; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14, 17-18; 3:16; 4:3, 30; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14.
D. All Three are described as Objects of prayers, invocations and/or worship.
- The Father: Matthew 4:10; 6:9-13; John 4:21-24; 15:16; 16:23; Acts 24:14; Romans 1:25; 1 Corinthians 14:25; Ephesians 3:14; Philippians 3:3; 4:6; Revelation 4:8-11; 5:13-14; 7:11; 11:1, 16; 14:6-7.
- The Son: Matthew 2:2, 11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; 21:15-16; 28:9, 17; Mark 5:6; Luke 24:52; John 9:38; 14:13-14; Acts 1:24; 7:59-60; 9:14, 21; 22:16-21; 1 Corinthians 1:2-3; 16:22-23; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; 1 Timothy 1:12-16; 2 Timothy 4:18; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 John 1:3; 2 John 1:3; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 1:5-6; 5:8-14; 20:6; 22:3, 20-21.
- The Holy Spirit: 2 Corinthians 13:14; Revelation 1:4-5.
It should be noted that the reason why we do not find much in respect to praying to and/or worshiping the Holy Spirit is because of the NT teaching that the Spirit is sent to indwell believers in order to instruct and empower them to serve God and to bring him glory. Thus, the work of the Holy Spirit is to teach us how to pray in a manner pleasing to God since the Spirit perfectly knows the mind of God as he is perfectly known by God. The Holy Spirit therefore knows how to guide Christians to pray in accord with God’s perfect will:
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-16
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jude 1:20-21