Many things can be said about this argument. The first one is it has always been quite difficult for people to understand it with their intellect and mind. My opinion is that some people probably don’t have an answer for it or struggle to accept or understand it, but they are still believers anyway.
Most people however take it by faith. The most important is that we give our heart to God and believe Him. Some other people stand firmly behind the doctrine of the Trinity (which is true), defend it, meaning that doctrinally they are on the right side, but still their life shows something else, and we come aware that they actually haven’t really repented and believed in God.
So, the most important is that we believe and accept Jesus with our hearts. What we need to know about the Trinity however is that cannot be comprehended with logic. Obviously, our logic will wonder, “How can one person be divided in three?”, but this is exactly what can happen, because here we are not speaking about a person, but for the God almighty. And He is great and all-knowing and powerful, and for Him everything is possible. If this is the way He needs to perform His work, He will do it then.
One of the reasons for which He needed to do it in this way, is that He had to come here on earth in a human form to die for people’s sins. Jesus is the Son of God and is also a part of the Trinity, because is God Himself. Of course, people may ask and wonder why Jesus was praying to His Father if He (Jesus) is God Himself. But obviously, He came to accomplish this plan through which we can be saved. He had to be a man, and of course, God is powerful enough to be down here on the earth in the form of a man and up there in heaven in the same time, because He is omnipresent. And today, He is still here amongst us and in the believers, living in them through His Spirit.
We are speaking about one God in three persons with three different purposes. God the Father governs above all and holds everything in His hand. The Son came to die for our sins and give all of us the opportunity to believe and be saved. He represents the mercy of God. One day He will judge the nations as well, but not before everyone has had the opportunity to accept Him. The Holy Spirit communicates to us the revelations and visions from God. This is the way He wants to communicate with us. These three persons, with apparently different and specific functions, have the same character and vision because they are one God and are perfectly united. John 1:18 states that Jesus is in the bosom of the Father.
We are speaking about the Father, the Son and the Spirit.
“For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Spirit, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” (1 John 5:7, emphasis added).
Obviously speaking about “the Word” we mean Jesus, because He is the Word as it is said in the gospel of John 1:1-14.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Each one would react and do as God Himself will because they are one. They all are one God, but just called with different names because of the different functions and purposes they have to perform. That’s why we say they are three different persons, because of the role each one is having and the part they accomplish. They all participate in the salvation of the believer, but they altogether form one God, and their works are His work, and this is how He performs it. We need to notice that people are more inclined to believe the Holy Spirit is part of God and accomplishes His functions rather than believing Jesus is that part as well, and He is God as well. It is like this, because He was a man and for people is difficult to believe God made Himself a man, and not only that, but it is hard for them to believe God wants to have a relationship with a man. That was also the struggle the Jewish were having with Jesus, even though they were waiting for a messiah, but in their eyes, He was not the one, probably because of the way and the form in which He came.
“The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” (John 10:33)
Exactly for this reason, they wanted to stone Him. People today still struggle to believe that God dwells in the hearts of believers. For them, they are just persons like all the rest following some other kind of idea or way of life. Often you can hear someone saying to a believer: “But how can you know what does God think exactly about this situation or how can you know the will of God?” But this is exactly what Jesus promised to those who have believed in His name. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (John 16:13)
And of course, the believers are just persons with their weaknesses, but it is in this way with a purpose, so that the power of God can be seen in them, and it can be known that this power comes from God.
We can see the idea that God cannot live in a person has been around for some time, and the devil is also there trying to set these thoughts in the hearts of people. From this, we can see how important is for us to believe and stand behind this doctrine. First, because it is biblical and second because it shows the entity of God, that He is interested in us and came to die for us and sent His Spirit to guide us into all the truth.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
The other truth is that believing in the Trinity exalts the person of Jesus, because represents Him as God. Of course, He came as a simple man, but was something much greater at the same time – much more than any prophet or godly man before or after Him. And this is what the whole Bible is doing – exalting the person of Jesus. Do you think God will share His glory with someone else? Of course not.
“For my own sake, for my own sake, I will do it; for how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another.” (Isaiah 48:11)
This confirms that Jesus is God. We know this because how else was God going to glorify Him and exalt Him so much, if He cannot share and give His glory to anyone else as this verse says? He did it because by exalting and giving His glory to Jesus, He gave it to Himself. Jesus is in the Father, and the Father is in Jesus. Glorifying Jesus is actually glorifying God, because in Him is what God represents, and in Him is the essence of God. John 1:18 tells us that He was in the bosom of the Father.
From the way we see how Jesus is exalted in the Bible, we conclude that this all makes Him the same as God, as Isaiah 48:11 says that God will not share His glory with anyone else. For Jesus we cannot say that He is another God or even in the same status as God, but God Himself. Because God is one. And the Father, the Son and the Spirit are one. Therefore, we conclude that not believing in the Trinity, diminishes the importance of Jesus. It places Him just there, as another extraordinary man.
There have been many extraordinary men throughout the history, amongst the Christian and non-Christian world. Some were right in the eyes of some people, some other not.
But we need to know that here we are speaking about the author of our salvation—Jesus Christ—the one through whom everything was created and will judge everyone in the final day. That’s why we cannot say He was just an extraordinary man, or just a good example for all (and He indeed was), or that we can measure up with Him. Of course, He left us an example, so that we can follow His steps and overcome struggles and battles in His name.But He will always be much more than us. Here we are speaking about Jesus, part of the Holy Trinity, equal to God, not being another God, but God Himself – YHWH. Why else do you think that His blood is sufficient for salvation, and He was so pure and blameless? Why was this sacrifice so great and capable of redeeming? Exactly because Jesus did it and only He could have done it.
We can see the Trinity’s presence in many parts of the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testament. One is in Genesis 18 where we see three messengers sent by God to Abraham. He receives them as his guests and after that; they depart to destroy the city of Sodom and Gomorra. We see that two of them go, and one still remains with Abraham. I personally always thought all of them went to Sodom, but I noticed only two went there. The other one remains, and He is the one Abraham calls Lord in the same way as he speaks with God Himself, imploring Him to have mercy on Sodom. (Genesis 18:22-33)
We see here the way, the idea of God already to incarnate Himself in someone and to come down to us on the earth. Why? Because probably we will understand Him better. Why did He choose to come down here to dwell amongst us, suffer like us and feel like us in what we go through? I personally see Jesus in that messenger. We see Him as well in Genesis 1 when God speaks in plural while He creates the world saying, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness….”
There is the parable of the barren fig tree in Luke 13:6-9
He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”
We see a man having a fig tree planted in his vineyard. Definitely, we are that tree, and the man is God. We haven’t been bearing fruit for all the time of our life and we deserve to be cut down. To the tree can be compared the whole humanity in general and us as well, speaking in a personal way. What happened and what actually saved the tree was the vineyard’s keeper. He interfered and asked the vineyard owner to give the tree another chance to bear fruit. He gave it some more time and a special treatment which would help the tree to bear fruit. If the tree wouldn’t bring any fruit in the next year, was still going to be cut. In this case, we see Jesus giving this opportunity to all of us through His sacrifice. He gave us not only another opportunity, but also a special care and help through His blood. All this through faith in what He has done. We see the other side of God. The one that represents mercy. We all know God is extremely just, and He cannot bear with any sin, but in the same time, He has provided a solution. Knowing that He cannot bear with it, that by His nature He cannot stand at this sin and whoever commits something wrong needs to pay for it, He found a way for people not to pay what they deserve. And as justice needs to be served, He decided to pay instead of us. Here we see the mercy part of God. He knows that justice needs to be served, but He also had a pity on us. He didn’t want to see us suffering and He decided to give us an opportunity. God is merciful and He expresses this mercy through Jesus. In Him He expressed the whole mercy He was having when He sent Him on the earth and in Him He will express the whole judgment one day, since He told Him to cut the fig tree if it doesn’t bear fruit after the opportunity given to it. (Luke 13:7)
Those who believe obviously will bear fruit and who don’t, will not enter into this promise.
This parable shows how the vineyard keeper advises the owner to keep the tree. Just think, would God receive an advice from someone lower than Him, since He is all powerful and all-knowing God? Of course not. But here we see the same person, but with different sides represented from Himself. I know that is difficult to understand or comprehend logically, but this is how it happened. For us, it is difficult to understand that He was there in the Son and in heaven, at the same time, and that He came in the form of a man. As we said before, this is a common thought today and it was before as well, that God cannot just be present here as a man, but He did. And still today, He abides in men, living in them by His Holy Spirit. Obviously, they are not equal to Jesus, but when the Spirit is in them, then yes, they understand and perceive the truth that comes from God. By this, we see that God wants to come closer to men; He wants to have a relationship with them. And this is the way He uses.
If a person cannot receive from Him directly through His Spirit, then He might send another person to him to warn him, to give him the message. Same as He sent Jesus in the form of a man, so that His message can reach people. And also today He sends people inspired by His Holy Spirit to other people. The difference between them and Jesus obviously is that He was always and nonstop a perfect incarnation of the Father. Something that we cannot do, but the Holy Spirit can still fulfil His purposes through us if we allow Him.
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. (John 14:9, 10)
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. (John 16:7)
And by all this we see that all leads to the Father. The work of both Spirit and the Son leads to the Father because all of them are one. And the work of the Son and the Spirit is to glorify the Father.
“He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:14, 15)
Here we also see how the three of them work perfectly together as one because they are. We see the Holy Spirit will take of what is Jesus’ and we see also that all the things that the Father has are His. And the work of the Spirit is to glorify God. By this we can see, if someone is a Christian and the Spirit of God dwells in him. If he glorifies the Father, if this is his desire. The believer will desire to glorify God, because the Holy Spirit will dwell in Him. No one is capable by his own strength and desire to really glorify God, but the Holy Spirit helps Him. Only what we receive from Him is worthy enough to be given and received by Him.
Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in your hand is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. (1 Chronicles 29:12–14, emphasis added).
So, from all these Scriptures we see all three of them—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Three, but one. Divided in three, probably because of how God wants and has to reach us. Still difficult to understand, but the fact is that Jesus couldn’t be just a normal person, a prophet, or a godly man because at the end, He died for the sins of the humanity. Any other person couldn’t have done that. I am not referring just to the fact He died, but that He loaded all those sins on Himself, and His blood being innocent was capable of forgiving the sins of those who believe. There was something much more to that than a good intention or a good deed. Where did the strength and power of Jesus to perform all that had come from? It was God’s power.
Jesus represented the merciful part of God, while He came here in earth. Obviously, we need to know that God is not divided in parts. He is complete love, complete justice and complete mercy, but in that moment, while Jesus came amongst us, He represented the mercy. Jesus is God, so He is also complete, and we can see this by the fact that He will perform God’s judgment at the end as it is written in the book of Revelation (Revelation 19:11-16). He is the one sited on the right hand of the Power. We can say He is the right hand of God, through which He created everything. He is the one performing the action of God, He is that action Himself, since that everything was created by Him.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1)
Everything visible and invisible comes from Him. He is the word spoken by God.
One day Jesus will return, not to show mercy anymore, but for a judgment. It was pleased to God however to give first opportunity to everyone and then to judge, so that no one would be without a chance to be saved. Obviously, we know that not everyone will accept the gift of God.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” (Revelation 19:11)
We see the authority of Jesus here. He is the one through whom God works. He is the one through whom God reveals Himself to the humanity. He is the way God reveals Himself to us, but always being God at the same time. They all—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—represent God, who is one.