The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction: Part I

Have you thought through the concept of Trinitarian necessity? Is it necessary that God exist as Tri-personal – as the Triune God? Our issue is this: The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction. Consider this fact: Christianity is a monotheistic Trinitarianism or perhaps more accurately, The Bible tells me so! Christianity is Intratrinitarian monotheism. Stay with me as I unpack that thought. To that end, consider several lines of reasoning that support the fact of the necessity of a Tri-personal God.

First, there is the argument from Scripture and the plan of salvation. How so, you ask. The term Trinity is not used in Scripture, and there is no formulated definition. Yet, if God is not tri-personal, no man could adequately understand the fullness of God as He has revealed Himself. He has done that in His creation, in Scripture, and fully in His Son. God is the Revealer; created man is a revelation receiver, interpreter, and implementer. Belief in a Triune God requires a high view of Scripture.

Accordingly, the Bible is and teaches that it is God’s self-revelation. It is His personal, self-witnessing, self-attesting, and self-authenticating truth of Himself and His work in creation and re-creation including redemption, providence, and consummation. Therefore, there is a continuity of the revelation of God contained in both the Old and New Testaments. How do those facts help answer: The Necessity of Trinity: Fact or Fiction?

The Bible is a narrative with movement. The narrative begins with God in eternity past and ends with God in eternity future surrounded by a worshipping, rejoicing throngs of angels and His people. Who God is and what He has done, is doing, and will do is the topic of all that is “in-between.”

Moreover, there is an Old Testament because there is a New Testament and not vice versa. There is the New Testament because of God’s eternal plan of redemption and life after salvation points to and highlights the fullness of the Godhead. The Triune God in eternity past determined and planned to save and sanctify His believers. He set this plan in motion and is saving and sanctifying all believers and the Church for His own sake, for His glory, and the good of believers.

Furthermore, He saved all believers from sin, Satan, and self to God, for God through the Son, and by the Holy Spirit. The refrain to the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit is prominent throughout the Holy Scripture (especially see Ephesians 2:18; 3:4-6, 12). Unless you are Trinitarian you will not, and cannot, know the true God and the beauty of salvation, sanctification, and heaven. This fact helps answer: the Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction.

A second line of reasoning that testifies to the Necessity of the Trinity: as Fact and not Fiction is the completeness and fullness of God. In view of the tri-personal existence of God, Paul speaks of the infinite fullness of God (Colossians 1:19; 2:9; Ephesians 3:19). The infinite fullness of divine life in God is due only because of His tri-personal existence. It is as if God is incomplete as a uni-personality.

The fullness of God is the fullness of the Godhead – the very essence and majestic glory of God as Creator, Controller, Sustainer, Redeemer, Judge, and Savior. The Holy Spirit was essential in the work of the Messiah. He was intimately associated with Him in His birth (Matthew 1:8, 20; Luke 1:35), His baptism (Matthew 3:11,16; John 1:32-33; John 3:34); His public ministry of(Matthew 4:1ff; Mark 1:22); Luke 4:1ff especially 4:1, 14: and Isaiah 61:1-2);  The following passages: Matthew 12:15-21; John 3:34; Acts 10:19/ Isaiah 9 and 11 – highlight the effect of the Spirit on Him. No Spirit, no Messiah. The two are bound together. No Holy Spirit, no prepared Messiah, and no believers because no salvation!

Understanding the Trinity helps a person think correctly about life and death, the God of life, and people. John also spoke of Christ as the fullness of God through the Holy Spirit (John 1:14, 16, 18; 10:30; 14:6-9; 14:26; 15:26). To grow in your understanding of God, you must grow in your understanding of the Godhead. You will be able to answer: The Trinity: Fact of Fiction. You do all of that because you are in Christ by the Holy Spirit.

1. What is your view of the Trinity?
2. How do you relate the Old and New Testaments especially regarding the Trinity?
3. Are you a functioning non-Trinitarian, and if so, what is your response?

The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction: Part II

In this second in the series: The Trinity: Fact or Fiction I present several more line of reasoning. A third line of reasoning focuses is the witness of the apostolic Church. The Church from the third century on has declared the tri-personality of God as a revealed doctrine. The Church answered the query: The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction. The doctrine of the Trinity is purely a revealed doctrine. The Church has guarded this trust given to her by Christ. It embodies a truth which is undiscoverable by natural reason.

Man’s use of thinking apart from biblical truth will never arrive at biblical truth. Therefore, the answer to the query: The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction will always be answered in a God-denying, God-dishonoring way!

With all his searching, man cannot and will not determine the deep things of God (Matthew 11:25-27; 1 Corinthians 2:11-16). In fact, fallen, unsaved man rejects God’s truth (Isiaah 55:7-9; Romans 1:18-25).  It must be noted that the doctrine of the Trinity is given in Scripture, but not in a formulated definition. Neither is the word Trinity used. Many in response deny the doctrine. However, several theologians write otherwise. Consider two:

Theologian B.B. Warfield wrote that it was better to preserve the truth of Scripture as opposed to simply relying on words derived from Scripture. Similarly, Dr. Morton Smith wrote that it is not essential to limit oneself to the actual language of Scripture, so long as the doctrines of Scripture are maintained. Today, it is an understatement to say that the doctrine of the Trinity is misunderstood and under attack.

Yet, through the ages, the Church has set out simple but profound non-negotiable truths that describe the essentials truths of the doctrine of the Trinity.

  • There is but one living and true God Who is eternally indivisible – the oneness/unity of God;
  • The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are fully and equally God – the sameness of the Triune God;
  • The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are each distinct Persons – the diversity of God.

A fourth line of reasoning to answer The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction, focuses on the practice of biblical-based theology – good or bad. Without a proper understanding and commitment to Intratrinitarian Theology, individual believers and the Church will not properly understand basic doctrinal truths such as creation (Genesis 1:1-2; John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-16), worship (John 4:20-24; Ephesians 2:18; 3:12), prayer (Romans 8:26-27; John 14:10-17), salvation (John 3:16; 14:6; 16:8-11), sanctification (Romans 13:12-14; Galatians 2:20; 5:16-18), and the Church (Ephesians. 2:19; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:27).

A Trinitarian foundation is necessary to correctly understand these facts. It is demonstrated by Paul in his circular letter to the Ephesians. Note Paul’s Trinitarian emphasis as highlighted in Ephesians 1:3-14 and 2:14-18. Paul begins his letter after a brief salutation with a Triune litany. He records God’s approach to His people and His Church (1:3-14). Paul begins with the believer’s salvation in eternity past focusing on the Father, but he moves to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

The Father chose believers in Christ: He predestined them, adopted them; and redeemed them in Christ.  He lavished them with the riches of His grace in Christ (v.3-11). And more! The Father marked and sealed His saints by and in the Holy Spirit (v.13-14). In these passages Paul describes God’s covenant-making and covenant-keeping activity as Triune. God initiated salvation in eternity past and brings it to pass until Christ returns.

True theologians appeal to divine revelation (the Bible) to affirm the doctrine of the Trinity. There is a Biblical witness to the Trinity both in the Old and New Testaments. Only in that way will the question: The Necessity of the Trinity: fact or Fiction be answered correctly.

Consider a fifth line of reasoning highlighting the necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction. This reason focuses on the gospel message of salvation (being saved) and growth in Christlikeness. God approaches believers in Christ by the Holy Spirit in order that believers may and will approach Him. It is the only way! God’s original design was for a people to be in His divine presence eternally.

Being in His presence and eternal life begin here on earth at salvation (John 17:3; Colossians 3:1-3; 1 John 3:1-3). God’s design and His presence is being fulfilled in salvation and sanctification. Once saved and changed, believers grow in Christlikeness. Growth occurs through the indwelling Holy Spirit who brings about union with Christ and the fruits of that union (2 Corinthians 5:15-17; Galatians 2:20).

Believers are the most changed and changing people in God’s world due to the work of the Trinity. The constant refrain for both salvation and sanctification is Intratrinitarian: from or to the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit. The necessity, beauty and truthfulness of the Trinity is evident in individual believers and the Church. The answer: the Trinity: Fact or Fiction is again answered.

In Ephesians 2:14-18, Paul describes a twofold reconciliation between God and men and between Jew and Gentile. Ephesians 2:18 is the centerpiece of God’s reconciliation of Himself to believers (For through him we both have access to the Father by One Spirit.). It is a vivid example of the Trinitarian foundation of the gospel.

God’s reconciling Himself to His people was through Him (the Son) which is why believers have access into God’s presence and peace (Romans 5:2). Notice the Triune order: Christians come by the Holy Spirit, through the Son, to the Father. In Ephesians 1:3-14, the order was from God, through the Son, and by the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to be in communion (fellowship) with one person of the Godhead and not have communion with all three.


1. What is your view of the Trinity? Review and give the reasons as you answer the query: The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction.
2. How do you relate the Old and New Testaments especially regarding the Trinity?
3. Are you a functioning non-Trinitarian, and if so, what is your response?

The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction: Part III

Continuing our series: The Trinity: Fact or Fiction. consider this sixth line of reasoning highlighting the Necessity of the Trinity and answering the question: The Trinity: Fact or Fiction. It is also given in Ephesians 2. In that chapter, Paul underlines the basis for the Holy Spirit’s teaching regarding peace and unity of the church. God’s peace is Christ Himself (Ephesians 2:14-18). Christ gives peace but not as the world gives it (John 14:27; 16:33).

All believers have the peace of God in Christ because of the indwelling Holy Spirit who is truth and gives truth and peace through illumination and knowledge of the truth (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:14-18; 3:16-17). God’s peace is manifested more fully by God who is love and the Lover par excellence (1 John 4:7-12, 19). He has poured out His love into the believer by the Holy Spirit (John 3:16; Romans 5:5, 8; 8:39). The indwelling Holy Spirit completes and applies Christ’s mediatorial work by indwelling the Church and individual believers.

Therefore, all believers have a “piece” of the Triune God on earth through the Holy Spirit and union with Christ. Love and peace are linked vertically, which is reflected horizontally – toward others. As strange as it may sound, God is at perfect peace with Himself but only as the Triune God! Peace and love are relational and are based on who God is. God must have made peace with you believer before you can have peace with Him and with others (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). God’s formula for peace is Intratrinitarian: with God, through Christ, and by the Holy Spirit.

Peace and unity characterize the Trinity and they are to characterize believers, their homes (Ephesians 5:22-33), and the Church (Ephesians 2:11-15). The great doctrine of reconciliation can be summarized as God voluntarily laying aside His enmity to love His former enemies (Romans 5:10-11; 2 Corinthian 5:18-21; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:21-22). And because He makes and keeps promises to Himself as Triune, He makes and keeps promise to His people.

The believer will never be separated from God because He is Triune, and He is the love of God (Romans 8:35-37).  The doctrine of reconciliation is Trinitarian in nature and answers: The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction. The tightness of the relationship between God and the Church and God and the believer is as tight as the Intratrinitarian bond.

A seventh line of reasoning that highlights the Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction, focuses on idolatry. Several theologians emphasize that the Trinity is God’s distinctive mark that distinguishes Him from the idolater and idols. True worship of God is triune worship (John 4:20-24). The object of divine worship is each person of the Godhead equally. Each are called God, receive worship due God, have attributes of God, and do the works of God,

In that light, consider prayers. Even the weakest of prayers have immediate access to the Father. Not only is worship, but prayers as well are to the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit (John 14:14; 15:7; 16:13-15; Romans 8:26-27). When a person improperly divides the Godhead, the person perceives Him and functions as if God is impersonal and simply a dead, impotent idol.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are considered simply as forces or abstractions – let the force be with you. The goal is simply to get. The Creator-creature distinction is functionally reversed. God is made a product of the creature’s imagination and thinking. Rather, the Triune God is to be worshipped as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Worship and prayer are given and directed to the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit.

Ae eighth line of reasoning to answer: The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction takes us back to the Garden of Eden. God declared that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). What was God’s “reasoning” or perhaps, more properly, His purpose in making this declaration? One possibility is the fact that the eternal God was never alone! Aloneness was not becoming to God. His Oneness and Three-ness describe His nature of unity and diversity. He has always been tri-personal and He has never been alone.

Man is the image of God. He is not simply made in His image. Since God is not alone, man is not to be alone. Such is the basis for the covenant: I am your God and you are my people.  Pre-fall, marriage (man and woman union) was God’s design for mankind. Singularly, man is uni-personal (oneness) but the one-flesh union of marriage introduces the concept of unity and diversity (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:24 – plurality and personal distinctions). There are no solitary Christians on earth or in heaven, in part, because God is not alone!


1.  Consider Jesus as the peace and unity: Ephesians 2:14-18. The peace and unity of the Church is to explain Intratrinatarian peace and unity: explain.
2. Define idolatry in the context of the Trinity.
3, Man is the image of God, and man and woman are one. How does the Trinity help explain those facts and answer the Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction?

The Necessity of the Trinty: Fact or Fiction Part IV

I continue the series: The Trinity: Fact of Fiction, A ninth line of reasoning centers on love. God is love (1 John 4:7-12, 16). The Bible makes this statement about no other being. The God of the Bible is a Person and love is bound up in Who He is. This fact rules out impersonal pantheism and the belief that God is an abstraction, inattentive to, or some force distant from His creation and creatures. He was loving Himself from all eternity. He knows how to love! These facts help answer: The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction.

The subject of love is filled with potential traps. Too often, the Church imports culture’s terms, labels, and definitions. However, since God is love and He is a relational Being, love is relational. God is eternally moved to self-communication. His love finds complete satisfaction in Himself – His Triune nature. His love satisfies and delights Him. Theologians often speak of this as the love of complacency.

Love presupposes a lover and lovee (subject and object). Humanly speaking, love has a vertical (God-ward) and horizontal (man to man) reference (Matthew 22:37-40). A working definition of love at the horizontal level is giving, to meet a need, determined by the correct standard and with the right motive (John 3:16; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 5:1-2, 25).

How do we apply this definition to God and His love? We don’t. God is love – He loves but He lacks nothing. He is not a needy Person. Whom does He love? As above, theologians speak of the love that God has within His Being – He loves Himself, perfectly (love of complacency). This is an amazing concept and helps answer: The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction.

Therefore, as the Lover par excellence, He loves His creatures even though they are not God! They are His image, made for Him. He is both the subject and object of His love, the Lover and the Lovee. God’s tri-personal existence helps us understand and appreciate God the Lover and Lovee. There is harmony and functionality within Godhead.

Within the Godhead, this love is perfect, eternal, relational, personal, and mutual (John 3:35; 5:20; 10:17; 15:9; 17:24; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 6:6). God is Love, and therefore His love is eternal. There has never been a moment when He stopped loving because He always had Himself! He was/is the subject and object of His own perfect love. God loves Himself as a tri-personal Being. This fact is logical given that God is jealous for His own honor and glory which He shares with no creature (Exodus 20:4-6; Isaiah 42:8; 48:9-11).

Too often, the subject of love starts with God’s love of man (John 3:16). That is a grand topic. God does love the creature. The Psalmist asks: what is man that you are mindful of him (Psalm 8:4) and O Lord, what is man that you care for him (Psalm 144:3). The idea seems to be that God’s of Himself is somehow inferior to His love for/of creatures! His love of Himself is one of kind (sui generis). His love of man simply effects His love of Himself.

God the Sovereign Creator Who loves the creature is a stupendous realty especially when you remember that the fallen creature was God’s enemy until salvation (Romans 5:6-10). We hear about the amazing love of God for the believer, and we should! (John 3:16; Ephesians 3:14-21). That love is only possible because He loves Himself.

Since God is love, Lover, and Lovee, and He is, God has been and loves eternally. Scripture tells us that the Father loves the Son (John 3:35; 5:20; 10:17; 15:9) and the Son loves the Father (John 14:31). These passages apply to the Father-Son relationship in eternity past and to Jesus in His earthly ministry as the Messiah. The Father’s love of the Son is Intratrinitarian. It is not redemptive love or common kindness/grace (love of benevolence).

No, this love is something special. It answers: The Necessity of the Trinty: Fact or Fiction. It is from God to God as equal persons. This love is inherent within the Godhead and constitutive of Who God is and how the Trinity works. It proceeds temporally and logically to the Triune God’s love of creatures and sinners. This love of the creature occurs only because He loves Himself. Amazing! The Triune God loves from and to the Father, through the Son, and by the Holy Spirit.


1. Summarize the reasons given so far that help explain The Necessity of the Trinity: The Trinity: Fact or Fiction. How do you respond?
2. How do you respond to them and give reasons.
3. God’s love of Himself including the Father for the Son is not the same as the Triune God’s love on His creatures. Explain

The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction: Part V

We continue our study: The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction. Consider two more concepts: personhood and personality (tenth and eleventh reasons) to help explain the necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction. This subject can be tricky when applied to God. Man is not God and man’s reasoning is no match for God’s understanding and wisdom. No one knows the mind of God expect the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:16). His thoughts are not ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). Yet God has revealed Himself as Triune.

One theologian (Thomas Manton) wrote that believers were made to understand the mystery of the Trinity. They were to consider: the Trinity: Fact or Fiction. By this statement, he was emphasizing the very nature of the Trinity; it was to be a major subject for every believer to master. He wanted the query: The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction to be answered emphatically and clearly, A believer understands God as he understands the Trinity and vice versa. The Trinity is fact. Believers should focus on that fact as an act of worship, joy, and wisdom.

God exists and He is a real Person with characteristics (so named as attributes, perfections, characteristics) that distinguish Him as God. Personality or personhood is not present or developed in isolation but in association with other persons. Personhood flows from the tri-personal God, the one and only eternal Being; it does not flow from created beings.

Therefore, the argument from personhood postulates that it is impossible to consider the Personhood of God apart from an association with persons. God’s contact with His creatures – man and animals – does not explain His personality/personhood. Rather, God is personal, and His relationship begins within the Godhead among equal Persons. First and foremost, He is in perfect relation to Himself. This truth exposes the answer to the Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction.

The Intratrinitarian relationship is one of an association of equal persons. It begins with God and ends with God who flows Himself into His creatures in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. This is part of the beauty of understanding proper theology.  God’s relationship with His creatures reflects His tri-personality. He first relates to Himself and moves to His creatures. He never slights them because He does not slight Himself!

God’s relational activity begins with Himself and moves to man. Man, as God’s image, has a personal existence.  Man is a rational, religious, and moral being. However, man is uni-personal while God is tri-personal. As revealed in Scripture, God’s tri-personal existence is not a result of divine will or choice. It is a necessity in the Divine Being. God could not exist in any form except as a Person having personal distinctions. There is plurality in the Godhead.

Moreover, God is a self-conscious Being both in His oneness and in His plurality. God’s knowledge of Himself is a fundamental concept of Scripture. God’s knowledge is complete, absolute, original, infinite, inherent, inexhaustible, and immediate. God reveals Himself to His creatures, but He does not reveal Himself to Himself. He knows and has known Himself perfectly, comprehensively, totally, and eternally immediately.

God must know Himself both as subject and object. God is self-contemplating and self-communing. If He was not tri-personal it would be impossible for Him to be both subject and object of Himself and a true Self-Revealer. Not only does God have a general self-consciousness as the Triune God, but there is a particular and individual self-consciousness of each member of the Godhead. Such is evidence and facts that must we considered as you answer: The Trinity: Fact or Fiction.

The Father knows Himself; the Son knows Himself; and the Spirit knows Himself. Yet this self-knowledge is within the context of God’s Oneness. God must be triune for Him to know Himself in His fullness and to rightly perceive Himself. Of creation and creatures, only man can rightly perceive God. Knowing God as the three-in one and one-in-three God is the key in helping man to understand God’s revelation of Himself, His work in creation and redemption, and man’s expected response.

1. What are your thoughts regarding a Triune God: The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction?
2. How do you functionally exclude one of the persons of the Trinity in your daily life?
3. What must you do to change your view of the necessity of the Trinity?<
4. How does knowing that God is tri-personal – a Person – influence your capacity to pray, to worship, and to pursue sanctification?

The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction: Part VI

I continue the series: The Trinity: fact or Fiction and its necessity. A twelfth line of reasoning for answering the question with a responding yes comes from a redemptive-historical perspective. We know that God is Creator and Redeemer who saved a people to and for Himself, who is saving a people to and for Himself, and who will save a people to and for Himself.

It is imperative that believers think as Trinitarians in order to properly understand and respond to the Scriptural teachings regarding creation and redemption, as well as other doctrinal truths.  Succinctly, the Christian life is one born in the Trinity, is to be continued in and by the Trinity, and is to be consummated in and by the Trinity (Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:14-18). As I have written, the key biblical refrain is Trinitarian: to or from the Father, through the Son, and by the Holy Spirit. Thre fact alone helps resolve: The Trinity: Fact or Fiction 

Therefore, instead of minimizing or jettisoning the clear teaching of Scripture, the Church and individual believers must embrace the Trinitarian teaching of the Bible. Every believer is to think and desire as Trinitarians and appropriate thoughts, desires, and actions will follow. Salvation and life after salvation are wonderful gifts. They exhort us to look to heaven and fellowship with the Triune God forever and forever to grow in Christlikeness in this present earthly life (Colossians 3:1-3; 1 John 3:1-3).

One last reason (thirteen) concerning the necessity of the Trinity is the subject of one-anothering. One-anothering in its many forms (such as welcoming, exhorting, encouraging, comforting, hospitality, and counseling) is commanded in Scripture and is vital for God-pleasing and God-honoring individual and church growth. More than fifty New Testament passages command various one-anothering activities. One-anothering is part of a full-orbed ministry of the Word.

By ministry of the Word, I mean the presentation of biblical truth no matter the venue (pulpit, podium, or kitchen table), in such a manner that it is understood and applied. As a result, there is growth in Christlikeness individually and corporately. The reality of the Trinity worked out in the believer’s and Church’s life answers the question: The Trinity: Fact of Fiction.

And more! Problems are solved God’s way and relationships, both vertical and horizontal, are restored and strengthened. As a result, the church and individuals live in a manner that pleases God and is worthy of their calling. Corporately and individually the church and believers live as God-pleasers as opposed to self-pleasers (Ephesians 4:1; Philippians. 1:27-28; Colossians 1:10-11; 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12). Corporate and individual growth in Christlikeness is a major function of the church.

One-anothering in its many forms is an expression of wisdom and fear of the Lord. Specific, individual ministry of the Word is directed to helping people learn and live out God’s wisdom. The wisdom itself and the grace to use it are Intratrinitarian in nature. Knowledge, wisdom, and grace for one-anothering is from the Father (John 5:19-30); it is imparted in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30), by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 11:2; Ephesians 1:15ff), through the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3: 15-17). One-anothering in the Church must be modeled after the Trinity.

Notice the Triune activity of Light-giving which is required for the ministry of one-anothering. As we have discussed, Scripture teaches that God is Light (John 8:12; 9:5; 1 John 1:5). Where there is light there is no darkness. The two are mutually exclusive. The Light is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (1 John 1:5; John 8:12; 9:5; 12:35-36; Acts 2:3, 38). The Holy Spirit probes the very depths of the believer’s once darkened heart and gives light. He enlightens the Church and individual believers (Ephesians1:15-19; 3:14-19).

Moreover, God rescued His people from the kingdom of darkness and placed them in the kingdom of light (Ephesians 5:8-14; Colossians 1:13). Believers are children of light because the Triune God is Light, and the Holy Spirit is the Enlightener.

One-anothering is inherent in the Trinity. Without a Triune God, discipleship and one-anothering would be non-existent. The mantra would be: for me, to me, by me!  This simple fact answers: The Trinity: Fact or Fiction,. Each person of the Trinity is fully and intimately known by each Person of the Godhead. Their knowledge is mutual, perfect, and complete. There is no Intratrinitarian competition! Intimacy and fellowship within the Godhead are fruits of knowledge, truth, love, and light. Believers and the Church are to function as does the Trinity.

The knowledge of God may be defined as that perfection in which God knows Himself perfectly, inclusively, absolutely, entirely, and uniquely. Some theologians use the term necessary knowledge defined as that knowledge that God has of Himself and all things. Without complete and perfect knowledge of Himself and its application, God would not have perfect and complete knowledge of His creation and creatures. If that were the case, He would not be sovereign and trustworthy. He would not be God!  Thus, the Trinity: Fact or Fiction is answered.

The wisdom of God is a particular aspect of knowledge and of the trinity. Some define wisdom as applied knowledge. God’s knowledge and wisdom are displayed in creation (Psalms 19:17; 104:1-34; 136:5; 147:5; Jeremiah 10:12; 50:15; Proverbs 3:19); in His decrees and His providence (Psalms 33:10-11; 145:3; 147:5; Romans 8:28-29; 11:33-36; Isaiah 40:28-31); in redemption (Romans 11:33; 1 Corinthians  2:7; Ephesians 3:10); and one-anothering (Ephesians 1:15-19; 3:17-21).

God’s Triune nature helps explain the Bible’s call to disciple within and without the Church (Matthew 28:18-20). In one sense, the believer’s and the church’s goal is one-anothering fellow believers as the Triune God does to Himself, to believers, and to the Church! Such is the beauty of asking and answering The Trinity: Fact or Fiction.

1. The three-in one God calls, equips, and expects His people and Church to disciple by following the pattern inherent in the Trinity. What is your response?
2. How do you define one-anothering?
3. Once again consider the refrain: to and for God (Father), through (or in) the Son, and by the Holy Spirit. How does the refrain motivate you to a one-anothering ministry?

The Necessity of the Trinity: Fact or Fiction: Part VII
Love, Light, and Life

This is the last in the series: The Trinity: Fact or Fiction. I close with this section because of the Bible’s teaching regarding light, love, and life are Trinitarian functions accomplished by the by each Person of Triune God. These facts emphasize His Oneness (unity) and fullness (diversity of function)/. Previously I presented the simple fact that God is love as one of the factors that point to the necessity of a Triune God and help answer: The Trinity: Fact or Fiction.

The Bible teaches that the Father is love (1 John 4:8), the Son is love (John 14:30-31), and the Holy Spirit is love (Romans 5:5; 15:30). The object of God’s love is Himself. From love of Himself flows love to others which completes the full circle of life (1 John 4:7-12). He loves His crenatures and His creation because he loves Himself fully and perfectly. Knowledge of the Triune helps us know God and answer: the Trniity: Fact or Fiction.

Let’s revisit the truth that God is love. God is love is one of the God is statements found in the New Testament. The statement God is love is found in 1 John 4:8, 16. John, the apostle of love and the last living apostle, was writing as a shepherd to his sheep. He was utter amazed at the love of God (1 John 3:1) and then he focuses on the believer’s adoption (verse 2). Because the believer is the child of God, he will one day be in God’s presence. This hope is not a hope -so but a reality (v.3). Love and life are untied.

Further, the letter of 1 John was written for the purpose of giving assurance – that one can know if he is saved, and that Jesus is the Savior (1 John 5:13). To accomplish his God-given task, John, under the superintendence of the Holy Spirit, gives concrete guidelines that help distinguish between believers and unbelievers. His emphasis is on the “positive” – assurance for the believer. Fact: the Christian can know he is a believer (1 John 1:5-10).

However, John presents more than a simple checklist. He begins vertically (Godward) with another God is statement: God is Light (1 John 1:5; also see Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 60:19-20).John, as he did in his gospel, emphasized that Christ is Light (1 John 5:20-21; see John 1:3-5, 9; 8:12; 9:5; 12:35-36).  As a result, man is exposed to light and believers become children of light through regeneration (John 3:3-8). Moreover, they become light (Ephesians 5:8-14). Exposure to light is exposure to the Triune God.

Moreover, the Truth will set you free (John 8:31-32). Truth is the written Word and the living Word – Jesus Christ (John 17:17; 14:6). Since Jesus is the way, the truth, and light, light, life, and truth are linked for the believer (1 John 1:6, 8). But truth (sometimes considered faithfulness) is Trinitarian in nature. God is truth (Exodus 34:6; Numbers 23:19; Isaiah 65:16).

Because He is truth, God speaks the truth which is a constant and pervasive biblical refrain. The Holy Spirit is truth and leads believers into truth (Romans 15:8; John 15:26; 16:13; 1 John 4:6; 5:6). Truth gives life because truth is Jesus and points to Jesus who gives life abundantly (John 10:10-11). We have the Triune God involved in live, light, and life which attest to and asnwers thew query: The Trinity: Fact of Fiction.

In 1 John 2 and 3, John expounds the ethical implications of the fact that God is Light. His children are enlightened and light bearers. The light has been turned on as the believer has been rescued and transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13-14).

John continues his push toward clarifying and solidifying the truth that a believer can know he is saved. He begins the fourth chapter of 1 John with the call to test the spirits – or one’s standard for truth as well as the truth claim (1 John 4:1-6). Doctrinal truth is one element of the test of truth and light in contrast to error and darkness. It is possible for a person to desire to and to test the spirits only if he is a believer. But the believer must be in the light himself. Light and life are continually linked. As we shall see, the believer is loved into light and life!

John then moves to love. He focuses on the horizontal (let us love one another because love comes from God: 4:7). He next focuses on the Being of God: Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love (1 John 4:8). The believer’s capacity to love one another is founded in the very Triune Being of God.

What does the Being of God have to do with the believer’s assurance, loving one another, and loving God (4:9-12, 13-16)? John clarifies his position in v.16: And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him. John brings together light, life, and love. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, John emphasized the Triune nature of God!

To summarize, John taught that there is one God and He is the fountainhead of light and love. The ethical activity of believers flows from the non-negotiable truth that God is love, life, and light. His very Being is love. Since He is the one and only eternal Being, He is love, light, and life eternally. He is a light to others because He is Light. He is more than the Light-giver. He is the Light-giver because He is Light. That fact gives clarity to Genesis 1:3: let there be light. It is His light, His glory (Psalm 36:9; 49:19; 56:13), Himself, as only He gives Light by giving   Himself.

We are ready to answers several questions. Is there an Intratrinitarian light, life. and love? Emphatically, the answer is Yes because God is Light, the Son is Light and gives light, and the Holy Spirit is Light and gives it. Is there an Intratrinitarian love? God is Love and as the Lover He loves eternally. All Person give life. These answers help to answer: The Trinity: Fact of Fiction.

Generally, we speak of love as relational. As the tri-personal God, God is Love. He focuses on Himself as only He can. God must love Himself for His own glory. He does not share His own glory with anyone other than Himself (Isaiah 42:6-8; 48:9-11). He does that because He is the three-in-one God. Protecting and maximizing His own glory is best for Him and His people (Romans 8:28-29; Hebrews 10:26-31). Suich is the necessity of the Trinity: The Trinity: Fact or Fiction.

John mined the excitement and truth about God as the Lover in 1 John 3:1-3. In verse one, John writes about the greatness of God in terms of adoption. Believers are His children. Love was lavished on them so that previous membership in Satan’s family and kingdom was abolished. The believer was now a child of God. In Ephesians 5:8-14, Paul wrote that believers are children of light because of the Spirit’s regenerating and illuminating work in them. Notice, Paul did not say they were in the light, but they were light (see Matthew 5:14-16; see Ephesians 5:8-14).

This light is not inherent but derived from and given by the Triune God. Believers were loved by the light, and into the light. They became light as sons and daughters of Christ. They were given eternal life which begins here on earth. None of this is possible unless the very Being of God is tri-personal and God is Love, Light, and Truth. These facts help answer: The Trinity: Fact or Fiction.


  1. What difference does it make to you and how does it help answer: The Trinty: fact or Fiction that God is Love? How are love, light, and life Trinitarian?
  2. When considering God is Love, do you begin with Him as a Person or what He gives. Please explain your answers.
  3. Do you think it is God’s job to love, give light, and give life? Please explain and compare with 1 John