Asa monotheistic religion, Christianity is different from other faithsdue to the belief in the Holy Trinity. The doctrine that God is theFather, the Son, and the Holy Spirit forms the core of the religion,and it is an essential article in the teachings of Christianity. Theorigin of this doctrine was the exaltation of Jesus by the GentileChristians, after which they began proclaiming him as God (Green,Pardue, and Yeo 70). Although the scriptures in the Old Testament donot have a lot of the Trinitarian language, their existence paved theway for the Trinitarian convictions about God’s character. Thedoctrine makes Christianity unique from other monotheistic religions,but it is significant in the believers understanding of humanity’spurpose and goal.
Christianityadopted the Jewish monotheism but elaborated the Trinitarian doctrinethrough the gradual development of the concept of one God (Green,Pardue, and Yeo 98). The three divine Persons are inseparably equal.They also share one substance, and none of them Persons is greatercompared to the other. Since Christians believe in Jesus, theLordship of Christ is also necessary, but this does not imply amultiplicity in the deity (Marmion and Nieuwenhove 246). Even thoughChristians believe in the Holy Trinity, they only infer this dogmabecause they cannot find its terminology in the Scriptures. The firstarticulation of this doctrine, which occurred in the fourth century,also emphasized on the three Persons who are equal in deity, and allof them represent God in unity (Navas 22).
Theequality in God presented by the Trinitarian doctrine implies thatthe Divine Persons share one substance. This illustration indicatesthat none of the three Persons is greater than the other is, and allhave equal power in the Trinity. Even though the Trinitarian doctrineis at the core of Christianity, the concept is still a mystery forthe majority of Christians. Nevertheless, according to the AthanasianCreed, Christians have to believe in the Trinity since it forms thecore of the religion’s orthodoxies (Navas 23). This formulationdoes not, however, disregard the monotheistic exclusivity of thescriptures in the Old Testament since the New Testament also lacks adirect suggestion of the Trinity doctrine.
Christiansidentify God the Father as the eternal generator of the Son, but thisdoes not make the Son a subordinate. Instead, the Christianunderstanding of the Son is through the Fathers’ primordial power.The Trinity also limits itself to the equality of the three Personsin their primordial supremacy and not the sacrificial Christ (Marmionand Nieuwenhove 251). Christians, therefore, perceive Jesus’ deathand sacrifice as the passion of humanity and not His divinity.Equally important, the self-realization of the oneness of God throughthe Trinity does not view the Father as an equal to the sacrificialChrist, but one that is equal to the Son.
TheChristian faith is based on the Trinity doctrine and the fact thatfollowers might not entirely comprehend it is the reason that theyhave to believe in it. God’s Holy Spirit directs Christian minds toembrace the Trinity concept, and this is the only way to theirsalvation (Navas 23). Therefore, a Christian would not be complete ifhe or she denied the principle’s validity even if they expressedtheir faith in God and the scriptures. However, most theologiansargue that it could be absent in the Scriptures, but the Bibleprogressively reveals its classical formula, which is the only waythat one can understand God’s true nature (Navas 41).
TheTrinitarian concept could be absent from the Scriptures, but theBible also presents events and claims that later helped inmaterializing the doctrine. For instance, the New Testament portraysChrist as a distinction from the Father, and He is the divine Son.The Scriptures also illustrate the Holy Spirit as a divinity that isdistinct from both the Father and the Son. All the elements definingTrinitarian doctrine are in the Scriptures. Although the role ofChrist in the Old Testament could be debatable, the Holy Spirit ismentioned at several instances in both testaments, where He acts asthe Father’s agent.
Onecan have a better understanding of the Trinity’s divinity when theyget the idea of how the Holy Spirit inspired priests, prophets, andmany other persons in the Scriptures. However, understanding the HolySpirit as one part of the Trinity could still be difficult for someChristians. The Old Testament portrays it as the hand of God thatcarries out divine actions according to the Father’s will.Moreover, the Scriptures present the Holy Spirit as a connectiveprinciple between the Father and the Son, while proceeding from bothdivine Persons.
Theunderstanding of the Trinity’s oneness is important to Christians,as it has helped in the comprehension of humanity’s purpose andgoal. An appreciation of this doctrine also enables the believers tounite as one, without oppressing others with different viewpointsabout God. Theologians argue that the Spirit does not restrict itselfto Christianity, and even people who do not believe in the faith haveChrist in them through God’s Spirit (Marmion and Nieuwehnove 232).This doctrine has promoted unity among the church members, regardlessof their denomination since the faithful consider themselves as onebody through the Spirit.
Jesusdeveloped the image of God the Father, and this might have helped inshaping the Trinitarian doctrine. By referring to the church of Godas Christ’s body, the New Testament’s allusion of the Trinityencourages all Christians to have the same purpose and goal as theyworship the High Deity. Even though Jesus’ followers came fromdifferent houses, they worked together as one, but the rule of Godwas still exclusive (Green, Pardue, and Yeo 76). The idea that God isthe Father of everyone in the church, as Jesus taught His disciples,has also helped in comforting the oppressed groups in the society.
Theinstitution of marriage makes sense to Christians when theyunderstand the Trinitarian doctrine. The believers can use the modelof the Trinity as the guiding principle in marital unions consideringthat God commanded man to be one flesh with his wife. Thisunderstanding helps couples to recognize that they cannot livetogether if they are not joined in matrimony. Similarly, the threedivine Persons in the Trinity share one substance and none of them isgreater than the other is. Couples that live together, yet they arenot married, have an incomplete relationship since the Trinity’sinseparable union has not shaped their relations.
Althoughthe Scriptures do not have an explicit reference to the Trinitariandoctrine, there is no significant basis for objecting to the concept.Apostle Paul identified the one God as the Father and regarded Christas one who is distinct from God, by referring to Him as the Lord(Navas 43). However, God the Father granted Christ his rulingauthority while He was on earth, and this further demonstratesChrist’s status as part of the Divinity. The divine oneness is themodel used in marriage and the unity and totality of the institutionhas profound significance to the church.
TheScriptures also relate the Spirit of Christ to the Spirit of God,with its unbounded influence blowing where it likes (Marmion andNieuwenhove 234). The Spirit’s cosmic power, therefore, makes itpart of the Trinity, and one that coexists in unity and love. God’srevelation through Jesus clearly illustrates that He is love, andthis is another significant aspect in the comprehension of humanity’spurpose. People can only live in harmony with each other when theyhave cordial relations, in a similar manner to the way God revealedHimself through the Trinity’s eternal fellowship.
Thedynamic connection between the three divine Persons illustrates thatGod is a missionary in nature. God’s influence is seen through theSpirit, as it works through His divine power and Christ when He cameto save people. God also gave the creative urge to all living beings,which also represents humanity’s purpose (Green, Pardue, and Yeo96). As a human, one should continually create something new tofulfill their purpose on earth, and an example of this isprocreation. Equally important, one can advance humankind’s goal bydoing something that adds value to other people.
Theoneness of the Trinity also extends to the manner in which Christiansworship. Although they honor and praise Christ, the exaltation’sultimate end is of God the Father (Navas 57). Since the DivinePersons share one substance, Christianity cannot accommodateTrinitarian worship, as this could be an indication of polytheism.However, the understanding of the Trinity is still present asbelievers worship the Father through Christ, under the Spirit’sguidance. The faithful have to recognize the roles of the threedivine Persons as one, given their commitment to God’s service.
Christianscan elevate their spirituality by having communion, and they can alsoachieve this by having a better understanding of the Trinitariandoctrine. Otherness is constitutive of unity within the Trinity whilecommunion generates it through God’s three relations (Marmion andNieuwenhove 217). The Spirit binds together such relations, and theTrinitarian definition of the unity of Persons helps in making themaccommodative of each other while in the communion. Collectiveparticipation in church activities also makes believers appreciateGod’s fullness in the Trinity.
Thethree divine Persons are inseparably equal. They also share onesubstance, and none of the Persons is greater compared to the other.Christians identify God the Father as the eternal generator of theSon, but this does not make the Son a subordinate. The understandingof the Trinity’s oneness is essential to the faithful, as it hashelped in the comprehension of humanity’s purpose and goal. Thisdoctrine has promoted unity among the church members, regardless oftheir denomination since believers consider themselves as one bodythrough the Spirit. The unity and totality of the institution alsohave profound significance to the church. Christianity is regarded asa monotheistic faith, but it differs from other religions in the samecategory because it features the concept of the Holy Trinity. Thebelievers exalt the Son, through the Spirit, but with the intentionof using him as the messenger to worshipping God, the creator. Thefaith considers God as the eternal originator of the Son. They alsobelieve that they can go through the Son while they want to reachHim. The Trinitarian principle plays a crucial role in theunification of Christians, especially in the institutions such asmarriage. The couples are commanded to become one in the flesh, whichis possible through the divine oneness. The individuals share onesubstance, just as it happens in the Holy Trinity. The influence ofGod among Christians is proven through spirit, and the connection ofthe three beings portrays God as a missionary in nature.
Green,Gene Pardue, Stephen, and Yeo, K. TheTrinity Among the Nations: The Doctrine of God in the MajorityWorld.Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2015. Print.
Marmion,Declan, and Nieuwenhove Rik. AnIntroduction to the Trinity.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.
Navas,Patrick. DivineTruth or Human Tradition? A Reconsideration of the Orthodox Doctrine
of the Trinity in Light of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.Bloomington:Author House, 2011. Print.