The Godhead Together
This is our beginning point. God is one God, but He is three persons — the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. In Christianese, we call this the Trinity. I know, I know. It’s hard to understand, mainly because we have little in our everyday world to compare it to. He’s not a person with split personalities; He is three persons, who are distinct from each other and yet have one essence. In other words, They think alike, are alike in Their nature, and are completely unified in heart – so unified that They are One. An egg is a fairly good, although limited, illustration: one shell, one white, one yolk = one egg, but three different parts.
The Bible never uses the word Trinity, but it does give us indications of God’s three-person nature. Genesis 1:26 tells us, “And God said, Let us make man in our image.” God, in this verse, is Elohim in the Hebrew, and it is a word indicating plural persons. It is used over 2,000 times in the Old Testament.
In Matthew 3:16, 17, we see all three persons of the Godhead appearing at the same time, but operating distinctly separately from each other: When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”
Some people think that Christians are actually worshipping three Gods, but this is not the case. Although there are a number of places in the Bible where the persons of the Godhead dialog using the terms “we” and “us” among themselves, the Bible consistently speaks of God as “He,” not “They.”
Incidentally, God speaks of Himself in the masculine sense. Yes, there are places in the Bible where He speaks of His tenderness toward us as being like a hen with her chicks (Matthew 23:37) or like a mother who would never forget her baby (Isaiah 49:15). But you will not find the Bible ever referring to God as “She.” The Son is always the Son, not the Daughter, while the Father is always the Father, never the Mother. This is important to keep in mind. There is a bestselling “Christian” novel which portrays two persons of the Godhead as feminine Beings. Many Christians heatedly argue that, because the storyline is allegorical and is heartwarming and makes them feel good, it is perfectly all right to portray God in this fashion. Be careful. There is subtle deception afoot whenever we deviate from or distort the true nature of God. We are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26, 27), not vice versa. Making Him into an image of our choosing because it makes us feel good is a form of idolatry.
Excerpted from Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God — available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications and Amazon and in e-book form from many fine ebook sellers.