Summary: Helping Believers to better understand the doctrine of the Holy Trinity
Understanding The Mystery Of The Trinity
Bishop David Ibeleme
The doctrine of the trinity is one of the most misunderstood in Christendom. As Christians, we believe that, there is one God. We also believe that there are three persons in this one God phenomenon. The question is; how can these beliefs coexist? Many have simply accepted this doctrine “by faith” as a mystery that cannot and needs not to be understood. However, it is important to note that God has given us the mysteries of the Kingdom. Even though we are referred to as sheep in the Scriptures, the Lord doesn’t want us to just “sheepishly” accept everything in the Bible. If He did we won’t have been told the following by Apostle Peter.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15.
You cannot be ready to answer questions regarding your faith unless you know the answers. And you cannot know the answers if you simply accept things sheepishly. Jesus told His close disciples that it’s their right to know the mystery of the Kingdom and the Apostle Paul literally echoes this in his letter to the Corinthian church.
And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God… Mark 4:10-11.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-12.
The Apostle Paul further indicates that the saints of God have the responsibility of knowing and sharing the mysteries of the kingdom to others.
Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Colossians 1:25-27.
Jesus told Peter and the rest of the Apostles that they have been given the keys of the kingdom. This is what makes it possible for us to bind (disallow) and loose (allow) things on earth.
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19.
In essence, the mysteries of the kingdom have been hid, not from us, but for us. These mysteries include the doctrine of the Trinity (that there are three persons in one God). Unfortunately many if not most believers do not understand this mystery of the Trinity. Some, simply because they do not understand the mystery, have even joined religions like the Watchtower Bible Society (popularly known as Jehovah’s Witnesses) that come against the doctrine of the Trinity. It is therefore important that we understand this mystery so we can educate others about it. I dare say that it is actually our right to understand it.
Various explanations have been offered for this; however, many of them certainly do not satisfy the curiosity of the average man. Here are the more popular explanations and their weaknesses.
The “Sun” And The “Ice-block” Analogy
Some simply say that the Trinity can be explained by likening the concept to the sun. The Father God is likened to the sun, while the Son is likened to the rays of the sun and the Holy Spirit is likened to heat of the sun. The problem with this is that the sun, its rays and heat all refer to the same primary object, the sun, which is one. The rays and the heat do not give us three suns. We must however remember that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, primarily embraces the concept of three persons and not just one.
The “ice-block” theory is very similar to “the sun” analogy. In this the Father is likened to the solid block of ice, the Word or Son to the water and the Holy Spirit to the resulting coldness. As in the “sun” analogy the “ice-block” analogy cannot explain or account for the three distinct persons of the godhead. At best, it depicts one person, manifesting in three different ways.