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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 1511 Trinity, relationships between the persons
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1511 Trinity, relationships between the persons

1511 Trinity, relationships between the persons

The actual term “the Trinity” is not found in Scripture, but the truths implied in a trinitarian understanding of God are clearly set out. The OT hints at a plurality of persons in the Godhead. The NT affirms that the Son and the Holy Spirit are divine.

There is only one God

Dt 6:4 See also Isa 43:10-11; Isa 44:8; 1Ti 1:17; 1Ti 2:5; Jas 2:19

OT indications of plurality in the Godhead

God refers to himself in the plural Ge 1:26 See also Ge 3:22; Ge 11:7; Isa 6:8

The angel of the Lord Ge 16:11-13 The “angel of the Lord” is identified with, yet distinct from, God. See also Ge 18:1-33; Ex 3:2-6; Jdg 13:3-22

The word of God The “word of the Lord” or “wisdom of God” is personified and identified with, yet distinct from, God: Ps 33:4; Pr 8:22-31

The Spirit of God The Spirit of God is God’s personal agent: Ge 1:2; Ne 9:20; Job 33:4; Isa 40:13 fn

The Messiah The Messiah’s divine nature is emphasised: Ps 110:1; Isa 9:6; Jer 23:5-6

Interchangeable expressions Word, Spirit (or breath) and Lord are used interchangeably for God: Ps 33:6; Isa 48:16; Isa 61:1

NT trinitarian references

Mt 28:19 The unity of the three persons is reflected in the singular name. See also 2Co 13:14; Eph 4:4-6; Rev 1:4-5

The unity of the three persons

The Son is fully united with the Father Jn 10:30 See also Mk 9:37 pp Lk 9:48; Lk 10:16; Jn 10:38; Jn 12:44-45; Jn 13:20; Jn 14:7,9-11; Jn 15:23

The Spirit is identified with God 2Sa 23:2-3 See also Ps 51:11; Mt 28:19; 1Co 3:16

The three persons are distinct from one another

Jesus Christ addresses the Father directly Mt 11:25-26 pp Lk 10:21; Mt 26:39 pp Mk 14:36 pp Lk 22:42; Mt 26:42; Mt 27:46 pp Mk 15:34; Lk 23:46; Jn 11:41-42; Jn 17:1

The Father speaks to the Son from heaven Mt 3:17 pp Mk 1:11 pp Lk 3:22; Mt 17:5 pp Mk 9:7 pp Lk 9:35; Jn 12:27-28

The Spirit speaks to the Father on behalf of believers Ro 8:26-27

Other examples of the difference between the persons Mt 12:32; Mt 24:36; Jn 7:39; Jn 16:7; 1Ti 2:5; 1Jn 2:1

The relationship between the Father and the Son

Jesus Christ is God’s unique Son Jn 1:14 The Greek word for “One and Only”, traditionally rendered “only begotten”, is actually used to signify “the only one of its kind”; “unique”. See also Jn 1:18; Jn 3:16,18; Ac 13:33; Heb 1:5; Ps 2:7; 1Jn 4:9

The relationship of Father and Son is unique Mt 11:27 pp Lk 10:22 See also Jn 6:46; Jn 7:28-29; Jn 8:55; Jn 10:15; Jn 17:25

The Father loves the Son Jn 3:35 See also Jn 5:20; Jn 10:17; Jn 15:9; Jn 17:24

The Father shares his divine life with the Son Col 2:9 See also Jn 5:26; Jn 6:57; Col 1:19

The Father delegates his authority to the Son Jn 5:27 See also Mt 28:18; Jn 3:35; Jn 5:21-22; Jn 16:15; Rev 2:26-27

Father and Son indwell each other Jn 14:10-11 See also Jn 10:38; Jn 14:20; Jn 17:21-23

The relationship between the Holy Spirit and the other two persons

The Spirit is “the Spirit of God” and “the Spirit of Christ” Ro 8:9 “the Spirit of God”: Ps 106:33; 1Co 2:14; Php 3:3; 1Jn 4:2 “the Spirit of Christ”: Ac 16:7; Gal 4:6; Php 1:19; 1Pe 1:11

The Spirit’s unique relationship with God Mt 10:20 See also 1Co 2:10-11

The Spirit’s unique relationship with the Son Jn 1:33 See also Isa 61:1; Jn 14:16-17,26; Ac 10:38

See also

1165God, unique
1170God, unity of
1652numbers, 3-5
1690word of God
2006God, the Son
2012Christ, authority
2078Christ, sonship of
2218Christ, Son of God
3010God, the Holy Spirit
3269Holy Spirit in Christ
3272Holy Spirit in OT
4140angel of the Lord