Chapter 4

Do Christians Believe in Three Gods or One?

The Bible definitely teaches that the Father is God, that the Son is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God. It also shows that each has a distinct personality. That adds up to three Gods, right? Yes, if we are working with mathematics or thinking of three separate people. But we are dealing with a God who is revealed in the Bible as one God, who has existed eternally as three distinct (not separate) Persons.

God is one Being, not three. It follows that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three separate Persons. We can distinguish between them, but we cannot separate them.

As distinct Persons, each functions in His own unique manner. The Father is the Originator, the Son is the Agent, and the Holy Spirit is the Administrator or Applicator. Each lives with the other two in an I-You relationship. Each Person is self-conscious and self-directing. Yet one Person never acts independently of the others or in opposition to them. The mind, will, and emotions of each Person is in perfect unity with the mind, will, and emotions of the other two.

All three Persons were involved in the creation of all things. It was “by Him” (Jesus Christ) that God created all things (Col. 1:16). The creation story in Genesis 1:2 portrays the Spirit of God as “hovering over the face of the waters.”

In salvation, “God [the Father] so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16). After Christ’s resurrection and ascension to heaven, both He and the Father sent the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:16; 16:7).

The distinction between the three Persons in the Godhead was clearly in evidence at the time of our Lord’s baptism. In Matthew 3:16-17 we see the Son coming up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove, and we hear the Father in an audible voice declaring, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Jesus affirmed the Trinity when He commanded His disciples to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt. 28:19).

One God in three Persons! He is the God Christians worship and serve. In this God we have a heavenly Father who loves us with parental love and at great cost sent His one and only Son to die on the cross for our salvation. In this God we have Jesus Christ, a brother who became one of us to take the punishment we deserved, who understands our pain, and who isn’t ashamed to call us His brothers and sisters even though we continue to be weak and imperfect. In this God we have the Person of the Holy Spirit as our Helper—a divine Comforter who lives in us to strengthen us and give us victory over sin.

This triune God hears us when we pray. He understands us and feels with us when we suffer. He will be with us at the time of death to see us safely home. How important and how comforting it is to believe in the triune God of the Bible!

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