Summary: The doctrine of the Godhead (or the Trinity) is often ignored or neglected because it seems so complicated. But Scripture reveals plenty and we find it fits perfectly with what we know about God’s covenant of grace for the salvation of His elect.
We’ve reached some wonderful chapters in Genesis that deserve appreciation and I’m excited to preach them, but the theme of Genesis is fairly consistent all the way through. What that means is we might start to get a little numb to what we’re reading, and I don’t want that, so we’re going to take a little break to study something different.
The doctrine of the Godhead (or the Trinity) has been on my mind lately and I’d like to spend a while telling you some of my thoughts on it.
Before we begin, I think it’s important to address a popular error. No man can ever truly understand the depths of God, but a lot of people use this as an excuse: “Since we can’t understand the Godhead, we might as well not even try.” And because of this we’ve ended up with all kinds of unbiblical views of God.
Is the Holy Spirit an individual being or is He only a force? Does He have a beginning? Is He on the same level as the Father and the Word?
Moreover, who is Jesus? Why is He also called the Word? Did God die on the cross? If Jesus is God did He really die? Does He have a beginning? How could He be born?
What about the Father? Why is He called that? Is He the greatest God of the three?
And what about the nature of the Godhead? Is it one being wearing many faces? Is it three separate Gods?
So you can see why people just sort of shrug and give up, can’t you? But I hope to show you that it’s all written for us and not as difficult as some say. Perhaps the reason some things are so hard to understand is because we aren’t willing to adjust what we think we already know. We hear something that sounds new and so we instantly just write it off because it doesn’t fit with what we’ve been taught. And so my challenge to you is just to listen and read and think for yourself. Don’t try to think deep thoughts; just read what it says and accept it.
Now, why is this important? What difference does it make if we understand this stuff? Well, there’s no more basic and fundamental question than “who is God?” Jesus asked Peter, “Who do men say that I am?” If we don’t take the time to understand the Godhead, we’ll never accurately understand Christ. And so, we’re going to start this study. Let’s begin in First John:
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one (1 Jn. 5:7).
There are three witnesses in heaven and we see they have three different names. But how can there be three and one? The most helpful illustration I can find is the one of marriage. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh (Eph. 5:31). Paul goes on in that passage to say that he’s actually talking about Christ and the church. When two people are married they are cut off from their blood family and united together as one person in the eyes of God. Of course they are still two separate people, but they share a spiritual union that makes them one.