Lesson Seven • Trinity
If I said 1+1+1=1 you would think I failed math. However, it does summarize the doctrine of the Trinity. If I started to use an apple to explain this, you might think I am just hungry. I have seen fidget spinners, eggs, three-leaf clovers, water, and even the Triforce from the Legend of Zelda to help explain the Trinity. All of these are great ways to help explain the Trinity and yet they fall short.
We worship a God that is three persons:
- God the Father
- God the Son
- God the Spirit
All three persons are God, but all three persons are not one of the other persons. This means that God the Son is not God the Father nor is God the Father God the Son nor is He the Spirit. All three are equal in divinity, equal in power, and yet all three submit to one another.
When I was younger, I remember being told that there was God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I remember hearing about it the most in a “Veggie Tales” special that was all about Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick explained it as a shamrock. A shamrock is one leaf with three different cloves, hence God as three parts, but even then I was still confused.
- Have you ever heard of this concept of the Trinity?
- If you have, what do you know about the Trinity?
The Trinity is one eternal God existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is a pivotal affirmation of who God is. Now, when saying this I know for a fact that some of you are at least a little confused. How can one God exist as three different beings?
- What confuses you most about the Trinity?
To be honest, when I was a student I did not understand the Trinity either. In fact, I did not understand it going into adulthood!
Before I go any further, take a moment to pray with your group. When things are confusing and we are having a hard time grasping things about God, it is important to take a moment to talk with Him. Ask Him for guidance in understanding. Ask Him to open your mind and most importantly your heart to understanding Him. Pray these things knowing full well you may not get all the answers you need or the answer you may have been looking for. Yet, continue trusting in Him and His Word. Trust that He is God and He is faithful and eternal.
Please pray right now.
There are things in the Bible that seem difficult to understand. However, we need to remember that God is beyond our understanding. He is Lord overall and the creator of all things. We live only in this world and understand what we can grasp through answers to our reality. God is beyond our reality. With that, we can see the Trinity working as One several times in the Bible. Here are some examples from both the Old Testament and New Testament.
Read Genesis 1:1-2.
- What parts of the Trinity are represented in this passage?
Read Matthew 3:15-17
- How are all three persons of the Holy Trinity represented in this passage?
We see God the Son being baptized, then God the Holy Spirit descending onto the Son, and God the Father speaking from Heaven. We see all three as equals, all three as one God at this moment.
Reading the Word is the most important thing you can do when looking for answers. God’s Word is the greatest source for those things and when writing this I had to do so much reading and looking at other commentaries to make sure even I fully understood it correctly.
So with that, each of you read out loud one of these passages in the Bible.
- 1 Corinthians 8:6
- Matthew 28:19
- 2 Corinthians 13:14
- John 1:14
- Colossians 2:9
- Isaiah 9:6
- Luke 1:35
- Romans 14:17-18
- John 10:30
- Ephesians 2:22
- Which parts of the Trinity are most difficult for you to understand?
Through all of this, the Son, the Father, and the Spirit are all three distinct beings as one God. They are not three separate Gods. Each One is working as one God. God is a being working as three to love and have Lordship over the universe. He is a being that is working in tandem as three to have a relationship with you. The most important thing is to have that relationship with Him. Our desire should be to know Him and be known by Him. The goal is knowing Him as one God in three parts and sharing in His love. It may be hard to grasp but we trust in the Lord with the things we do not understand. It is to trust in Him and have a relationship with Him.