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Catechism Study – Question #4

Catechism Study – Question #4

How many persons are in the Godhead? Are there more God’s than one?

There are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

“…There is no God but one.”
-1Cor. 8:4

“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”
-Matt. 28:19

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
-2Cor 13:14

What do you know about the doctrine of the Trinity? Do you understand it? Can you explain it to someone else? This question should help us to have a better understanding of what we mean when we talk about the Trinity.

We can explain the Trinity with 3 things:

1. There is one God.
2. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.
3. Each of these three persons is distinct from the others.

Some false teaching has said that this cannot be true. That one God cannot exist as three persons. We call these people “unitarians”. As Christians, we do believe that there is one God but that there are three persons in the Godhead. That’s why Christians can be known as “trinitarians”.

Some people believe in a “unitarian” understanding of God, simply because it is easier to understand. Our human minds can’t grasp the fact that there could be one God yet three distinct persons. We must remember that we don’t get our doctrine of the Trinity because it seems “understandable” but rather we get this doctrine because scripture doesn’t give us any other view but this one.

Lets look at some verses to see where this doctrine comes from.

There is one living and true God

There is no doubt that scripture speaks of only one true and living God. These verses should help to show that there is no other God but one God.

“…that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other.”
-1Kings 8:60

“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…”
-1Cor 8:5-6

“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.”
-Isa. 44:6

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are God

Now that we see from scripture there is only one God, let’s look at some verses that show that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is God.

The Father is God:

“No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he had made him known.”
(John 1:18)

The Son is God:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
-John 1:1

“Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!””
-John 20:28

The Holy Spirit is God:

“But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
-Acts 5:3-4

Scripture teaches that these three persons are distinct yet equal in power and Glory.

In early Christianity, there were many misunderstanding of the Trinity and many errors that people fell into. The most common error was the view that there was one God, but that God played different “parts”, sort of like an actor. They believed that while God could play the part of Father, there was no Son. And when he played the part of Son, there was no Father. We call this view – “modalism”.

The best scripture verse to refute “modalism” is Matthew 3:16-17, where we read about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit being present all at the same moment.

“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

So we see in scripture that although there are three persons in the Godhead, they are distinct from each other. As Paul says in Philippians 2:6:

“…who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped…”


We must remember that when we are talking about the Trinity, we must look at many verses in scripture to get our doctrine. Just as we’ve said in other catechism questions, scripture is inerrant which means there are no errors. So if we see verses that seem to contradict each other, we must find out how they relate, rather than how they disprove each other.

Once we take on that approach of scripture reading, we will avoid many of the errors that people fall into when they try to describe the Trinity.

Study Questions:
1. Why is the Trinity such a difficult doctrine to understand?

2. What do we mean by “unitarian”?

3. What do we mean by “trinitarian”?

4. As Christians, which view do we believe? Why?

5. What is “modalism”? Why do we believe it to be wrong?

6. How would you describe the Trinity to another person? What objections would they raise? How would you answer them?


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All Comments 5

good heat!

– Sep 26 2007

Hello and GOD BLESS you all. To believe that Yeshua is YHWH and the Spirit is YHWH does not mean that we are 'Trinitarians' any more than having a body, soul and spirit makes us 3 persons. We don't have to makie YHWH 3 just to satisfy our understanding. To DIG IN means to really study HIS true word even if that means abandoning some of these Translations. To deny the KJV, NKJV, NIV ect. does not mean you are denying YHWH. Just like we shouldn't just take the pastors' word without studying for ourselves, we shouldn't just accept a translation as being without error. YESHUA, GOD, JESUS, HOLY SPIRIT knows our heart and if our desire is to truly know HIM; HE will show us.

116, Lecrae, Trip Lee, I LOVE the Word y'all put out. You all are true Soldiers for Yeshua the King!


Danny Bell
– Sep 29 2007

John 10:30 - I and my father are one

Deacon Harvey Bowden II
– Jul 20 2008

In recent years, a phrase in
Jesus prayer to the Father in John 17 has powerfully gripped my attention:
This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and
Jesus Christ whom you have sent. Since the most obvious meaning of
these words did not fit my theology, I wrestled for some time on how
to interpret what Jesus might have meant. As I meditated one day on
Pauls words to the Colossians in chapter 2, verse 9, In him (Christ)
dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, I suddenly realized
that the deity in Jesus is the presence of the Father by his Spirit.
Yet Jesus was not the Father. I later discovered that Paul prays for
us also to be filled with this same fullness. (Ephesians 3:19 And to
know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be
filled with all the fullness of God.)

As I continued to search the
Scriptures, a number of verses that I had evidently read without
grasping their real meaning began to speak to me, phrases such as:
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in 2 Corinthians 11:31,
Ephesians 1: 3, 1 Peter 1:3 and the God of our Lord Jesus Christ in
Ephesians 1:17. Then I noticed that Jesus himself spoke of my God
both before and after his ascension to the Father in places like Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34, John 20:17 and Revelation 3:12.

I began weighing what these
verses seemed to indicate along side of proof texts I had used over
the years to demonstrate that Jesus himself was the true God. Isaiah
9:6, John 20:28, Romans 9:5, 1 Timothy 3:16, Titus 2:13, Hebrews
1:8-12 and 1 John 5:20. I found that even among orthodox commentators,
there was not agreement as to whether all these verses really meant
that Jesus was God. None of them stated that so forcefully and
directly as Jesus words concerning the Father as the only true God.

Then I began to find many
verses such as the following that strongly supported these words of
Jesus: 1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father,
of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by
whom are all things, and we by him.
Ephesians 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and
through all, and in you all. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and
one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Not only in
the New Testament did I find verses such as these. The Old Testament
was full of verses that pointed to Jehovah (Jahweh) as the one true
God: Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God
created us? Why do we deal treacherously every man against his
brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

I began to realize that for
years my life had been so centered in Jesus as my God, that I had
marginalized the Father and given his son the glory that belonged to
the Father alone. The Father says, Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is
my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to
graven images.
Jesus, of course, has wonderful glory, of which he speaks, John 17:24
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.
This wonderful glory, Jesus gives to his disciples: John 17:22 And the
glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one,
even as we are one:

Naturally there is no
jealousy between Father and son, but Jesus said he is the way, the
truth and the life to bring us to the Father. The Father is the final
goal. Paul puts it this way, 1 Corinthians 15:28 And when all things
shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject
unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

This all brought me to realize how important the exchange between
Jesus and one of the scribes really is: Mark 12: 28 And one of the
scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving
that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first
commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the
commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And
thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the
first commandment. This is the first and greatest commandment of all.
We must know who the Father is and love him completely.

So I have come to the firm conviction that Jesus definition of
eternal life in John 17:3 is the great central teaching of the Bible.
It is the heart of the Gospel. To miss and to misunderstand this word,
This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and
Jesus Christ whom you have sent, is to miss everything. The plain,
obvious meaning of this word is true. The early church proclaimed
again and again that the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob had anointed Jesus, a man approved of God by miracles and
wonders and signs, to sit on the throne of David forever. Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said it like this:

22Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man
approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God
did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also
know: 23Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and
foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have
crucified and slain: 24Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the
pains of
death: because
it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

25For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before
my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover
also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27Because thou wilt not leave my
soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see
corruption. 28Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt
make me full of joy with thy countenance. 29Men and brethren, let me
freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and
buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day.

30Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an
oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh,
he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31He seeing this
before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left
in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32This Jesus hath God
raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33Therefore being by the
right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the
promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see
and hear. 34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on
my right hand, 35Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36Therefore let
all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same
Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

The result was: 37Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their
heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and
brethren, what shall we do?

38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For the promise is unto you,
and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as
the LORD our God shall call. 40And with many other words did he
testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward
generation. 41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:
and the same day
there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

We are called to preach to all that will hear that the only true God
sent his son into the world, that the world through him might be
saved. Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed one, the son of the living
God. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and the
one who baptizes in the Holy Ghost and fire. All who receive this word
must repent, be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah,
for the forgiveness of sins and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

While recognizing that the Father, and the Father alone is the only true God, we do not focus on who Jesus is not. We focus on proclaiming who he is. That we have done for many years.

In 1995 I wrote an article entitled, Who is God?
The following is a translation of the conclusion of that article:

Notice what is reported here. Jesus asks, Who am I?
Simon Peter answers, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
Jesus affirms that this is a revelation from the heavenly Father and
that he will build his Church on this foundation. Pauls testimony is
as follows: No other foundation can one lay, but the one that is
laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11).
John also says in his first letter: Whoever confesses that Jesus is
the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God and Whoever
believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God (1 John 4:15; 5:1).

The biblical confession of a Christian is simple and
clear: Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. With these
words we recognize that:

1. God is living.

2. He is the God who promised to send the Messiah.

3. This God is the Father of Jesus.

4. Jesus is the Messiah.

5. Jesus is the Son of God.

This biblical confession of faith represents the central biblical
Message. John puts it like this: God so loved the world that He gave
His uniquely begotten Son so that everyone who believes in him should
not perish but gain eternal life (John 3:16). Jesus expressed the
same teaching in his prayer to the Father: This is eternal life: That
they should come to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent
(John 17:3).

In summary: The true God is the Father of Jesus. Jesus is the Messiah,
the Son of God. To recognize this means Eternal life. Hallelujah!

– Sep 30 2008

Ok so all of these Father Son and Holy Ghost are just roles that God played to redeem mankind to himself. They are not separate of themselves but just as a man may be a father, a businessman and a minister, he is still one person. So the same applies for God. The Father in Creation, Son in redemption, Holy Ghost dwelling in the hearts of men.

Megan Fields
– Dec 25 2010

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