Sermon Illustrations > Trinity > Trinity Explained

Trinity Explained

Charts of Christian Theology and Doctrine, H. Wayne House, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publ. House, 1992), pp. 48-49

The word "trinity" is not found in the Bible. Nevertheless, it is a word used to describe one fact the Bible teaches about God: Our God is a Trinity. This means there are three persons in one God, not three Gods. The persons are known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and they have all always existed as three separate persons. The person of the Father is not the same person as the Son. The person of the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit. The person of the Holy Spirit is not the same person as the Father. If you take away any one, there is no God. God has always been a trinity from all eternity: "From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God" (Ps. 90:2).

God is not one person who took three forms, i.e., the Father who became the Son, who then became the Holy Spirit. This belief is known today as the "Jesus Only Movement." It is taught by the United Apostolic and United Pentecostal churches, and is an incorrect teaching.

Nor is God only one person as the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Way International, and the Christadelphians teach (These groups are classified as non-Christian cults). For proof that there is more than one person in the Godhead, see the Plurality Study.

The Bible says there is only one God. Yet, it says Jesus is God (John 1:1, 14); it says the Father is God (Phil. 1:2); and it says the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). Since the Son speaks to the Father, they are separate persons. Since the Holy Spirit speaks also (Acts 13:2), He is a separate person. There is one God who exists in three persons.

The following chart should help you understand how the Trinity doctrine is derived.



Holy Spirit

Called God

Phil. 1:2

John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9

Acts 5:3-4


Is. 64:8; 44:24

John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17

Job 33:4, 26:13


1 Thess. 1:10

John 2:19, 10:17

Rom. 8:11


2 Cor. 6:16

Col. 1:27

John 14:17


1 Kings 8:27

Matt. 28:20

Ps. 139:7-10

All knowing

1 John 3:20

John 16:30; 21:17

1 Cor. 2:10-11


1 Thess. 5:23

Heb. 2:11

1 Pet. 1:2

Life giver

Gen. 2:7:

John 5:21 John 1:3; 5:21 2

Cor. 3:6, 8


1 John 1:3

1 Cor. 1:9

2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:1


Ps. 90:2

Micah 5:1-2

Rom. 8:11; Heb. 9:14

A Will

Luke 22:42

Luke 22:42

1 Cor. 12:11


Matt. 3:17;

Luke 9:25 Luke 5:20; 7:48

Acts 8:29; 11:12; 13:2


John 3:16

Eph. 5: 25

Rom. 15:30

Searches the heart

Jer. 17:10

Rev. 2:23

1 Cor. 2:10

We belong to

John 17:9

John 17:6


1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; 4:10

2 Tim. 1:10; Tit. 1:4; 3:6

We serve

Matt. 4:10

Col. 3:24

Believe in

John 14:1

John 14:1

Gives joy

John 15:11

Rom. 14:7


John 8:50

John 5:21, 30