IS GOD A TRINITY?
The Bible refers in many place to God while putting Him in the context of three beings. We can see this, for instance, in Matthew 28:19 where Jesus tells the disciples to baptize new disciples in (into) the singular name of three entities!
Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
So we can deduce from this that God is more than one, while at the same time being one! Now let's look at the evidence that Holy Spirit is indeed a person in the Godhead. The third of three!
To a Christian, all their beliefs in God must be consistent. So fitting in with the "Shama" in Deuteronomy 6:4...
Deu 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
... we believe there is only one God. There are not two gods or three gods. We believe there is ONE God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Three distinct but NOT separate beings making ONE God!
Once we even put a foot in the door regarding the possibility that Holy Spirit is a personage of the Godhead, the thought will come to mind that God is to be worshipped and yet Jesus always tells us that Holy Spirit will not draw attention to Himself. This is true, but in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Paul gave us the more complete record of the situation NOW, after the fact of Jesus' death and resurection, when he wrote this...
1 Cor 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God. You are not your own; For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
This became true after Jesus' death and resurection made it possible and Holy Spirit
could come and dwell IN us. Your body is NOW a temple of the Holy Spirit and temples
are places of worship.
Mat 12:10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,
but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
Here in Matthew's gospel we learn that the Holy Spirit is distinct from Jesus
and the Father. Jesus Himself tells us that anything said against Him (verse 10)
or anyone else (verse 31) will be forgiven, but speaking against the Holy Spirit
will not be forgiven! While being God, the Holy Spirit is obviously NOT the same
as Jesus and the Father. He's treated differently; He is distinct!
Mark 3:22-29 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebub,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons...” 28 “Truly I (Jesus) say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”
So here we get confirmation that Holy Spirit, as distinct from Jesus who made the statement
and God the Father, if He is blasphemed against then this will not be forgiven! Again
showing that God has a different standard for our treatment of Holy Spirit as for
Himself or Jesus!
Heb 10:29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?
Did you notice that Holy Spirit is outraged by some people's actions? Outraged! Is that the reaction of a power or a person? Exactly!
While we are thinking about the distinctiveness of Holy Spirit we can look at His roles in our baptisms.
1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body (Jesus Christ), whether we be Jews or Gentiles..
In this scripture we see Holy Spirit baptising us into Christ. Here Holy Spirit is doing the baptising.
Joh 1:32-33 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit'".
In this scripture John the baptist tells us that Jesus will baptize us with the
Holy Spirit. In this case it's Jesus who is doing the baptising! Not only that,
but John also tells us that Jesus Himself would be baptised by the Holy Spirit
who would descend on Him and remain.
The Holy Spirit also is shown in scripture to have all the attrbutes of God and the table below gives a listing of some of these shared attributes.
Holy Spirit has come to be our Companion, our Counselor, our Guide and Instructor, and our ever-present Help.
God the Father is truly 'Almighty'; Jesus has 'All power and authority'; so it is not surprising that Holy Spirit also has 'Power', but He has and is much more than that!
I think that we will love God more once we realize that Holy Spirit is indeed a person and is the member of the Godhead living in us, through whom ALL live in us and we in them! Then we will be able to join the fellowship that God has always wanted to have with His human creation and appreciate why Paul said in 2 Corinthians, Chapter 13, verse 14...
2 Cor 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
Jesus told us in John, Chapter 14, that He would send us the Comforter/Helper, who is the Holy Spirit, who would be with us forever, and as a result when we realize who He is we have opportunity to fellowship with Him 24/7. And our joy of fellowship, Paul tells us, starts with Holy Spirit in us and then it will extend to the Father and the Son. And fellowship comes from a heart of love.
As I mentioned earlier about being baptised with the Holy Spirit by Jesus, I should point out that although God wants us to have this, we have to ask! When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, Holy Spirit baptises us into Jesus. We have to ask though, to be baptised with the Holy Spirit by Jesus.
Luk 11:11-13 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!
So, we know from before that Jesus came to baptize us with the Holy Spirit (amongst
other things), and here we see that we have to ask for this gift. Also, we are
assured that we will not be given anything evil or demonic, only Holy Spirit!
It would be a shame to miss out on this fellowship (friendship, presence, companionship, advice, teaching, guidance, communion, and intimacy and joy) with God, which Paul encourages us to enjoy by fellowshipping with and praying in the Holy Spirit!