Summary: God’s triune nature is known through revelation. As we see Him revealed through the Word, we understand better who He is.
“God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
They come to your door in pairs. From the dark recess of a cheap briefcase, seemingly mandatory for the members of the cult, the pair will readily produce a copy of the King James Version of the Bible if you should challenge them in their practised presentation. In addition, they will have at least one other, decidedly inferior translation (known as the New World Translation) as well as other assorted printed material that they will claim to be necessary for accurate understanding of the written Word of God. If you permit them to do so, they will challenge you to produce even one instance of the occurrence of the word trinity in any translation of the Bible.
Don’t allow yourself to be confused by their challenge. Because a word does not occur in a given translation of the Word of God is not evidence that the truth in question is absent from the teachings of the Word. For example, the word rapture will not be found in any translation of the Holy Scriptures, but the teaching is nevertheless valid since the truth is evident. The word millennium doesn’t occur in the Scriptures, but its absence does not otherwise negate this comforting truth of Christ’s reign on earth. Natural depravity and eternal security are self-evident and are clearly presented as God’s truth, though the terms are not found in the Word He has given. Doctrine, the teachings of the Word of God, is but the truth of God that He has chosen to reveal in His written Word. The descriptive words employed to identify the focus of our conversation should never cause us consternation and confusion.
The Trinity (or more properly the Triunity) is sadly misunderstood and is therefore subject to misrepresentation. Consequently, the word lends itself to grave distortion. The nature of God is revealed and not assumed; no mortal could discover God through his own effort or considerations. God must reveal Himself to us. As God reveals Himself through His Word, we are amazed to meet one God, but in three expressions. We do not meet three gods; that is sheer paganism. However, we do meet God in three Persons, comprising the Godhead.
The passage under consideration does not conclusively teach the truth of the Triunity, for our understanding is retrospective. We have the advantage of looking back with knowledge and with understanding. Were we to have only this passage by itself we would no doubt draw some of the conclusions that others have drawn in times past. Looking back, the full revelation of God has been accomplished and we are able to see the nature of God in the degree He has chosen to reveal His nature to mankind.
GOD’S METHOD OF REVELATION — In the Bible, the word mystery appears frequently, especially in the New Testament. A mystery, in theological terms, is not an enigma, a puzzle or something unknown that demands that it be ferreted out. A mystery is a truth which was at one time unknown or unrecognised, but which God has now revealed. Mankind can recognise a mystery following divine revelation; but without the teaching of God, it could not be otherwise imagined.