Day 1 Study - God the Trinity

As we study the Word of God in the Bible, it is not long before we begin to see an awesome wonder in the nature of God.  From the beginning of the Scriptures to the end, God has repeatedly revealed Himself in three person - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  these three persons of the Godhead are all one in essence, and are perfectly united in every way.  this beautiful union in the Godhead is called the Trinity.

Beyond our understanding

People can not understand something which they can not imagine, and they can not imagine something that they have not seen or experienced before in some way.  Nobody can imagine a color they have never seen before.  You may be able to imagine a different tint or shade of a color you have already seen, but a complete new color is beyond your wildest imagination.  Your really can't imagine anything that is truly new,  even if you think that you are imagining a "new" experience, in reality your vision consists of a union of components which you have either seen or experienced in some way before.

Because we have never seen or experienced anything like the Trinity of God in our temporary world, we will not be able to fully understand this wonder while we are still in this world.  We know that God is a Trinity only because He has revealed it to us, not because we ever comprehended it ourselves.  This is actually the best proof of the truth of God's Triune nature. 

We are sure that God Himself has revealed it to us because we know that we could not have conceived of it ourselves - it is far beyond our comprehension.

In your relationship with God, you will find many things that you are not going to fully understand until you are finally with your Lord.  Your salvation is not built on your understanding of God or His great mysteries - it is built on faith in Him alone.  Imagine a small child with no understanding of what his father does at work or where money comes from, yet the child still trusts his father to provide the next meal an take good care of him.  As God's children, we trust Him because we know that He loves us an will always take care of us, NOT because we understand all about Him.

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever...  (Deuteronomy 29:29a)

Although there are many secret things that we cannot perceive, God has also revealed wonderful secrets to those who worship Him.  The fascinating truth of the Trinity is one of these divine revelations.

The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him... (Psalm 25:14a NKJV)

The Trinity is seen in baptism

When we make a commitment to live for the Lord Jesus Christ, we demonstrate the dying of our old nature through water baptism.  Jesus gave His disciples instructions for baptizing shortly before He ascended back into heaven after His resurrection.

• Read Matthew 28:19-20.  How are people supposed to be baptized? 

You can learn two things immediately through this baptism instruction that Jesus gave:

1) All the persons of the Trinity are important to you and are at work in your life today.

If each person of the Trinity did not play a major part in your salvation and in your new eternal life,  Jesus certainly would not have told you to be baptized in all three names.

2) All the persons of the Trinity are GOD.

To be baptized is to show that you have died and have been given new life.  The only One who gives life is God.  This means God is the only One we should ever be baptized for.  When Jesus tells us to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, He is making it very clear that all three are God!

The Three are One

The Lord our God, the Lord is One.  (Deuteronomy 6:4)

This is where we may start to smoke a few brain cells.  How can three be one?  First, we must remember that God is also much greater than us in essence that we can never begin to relate to Who or What He is in Himself.  His true form is completely "other" than anything we can comprehend.  He has always had to humble Himself in His love to reveal Himself to us in a way that we could understand Him.  The greatest example of His humility was seen as the Son of God actually became a man to suffer and die for us!

The Trinity is seen in creation

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep;  and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.  Then God said, "Let there be light;" and there was light.  (Genesis 1:1-3 NASV)

Here we see the Trinity present at the very beginning of the universe and involved in the creation.  We see here that the Father created the world through the Word and the Spirit.  We see first that the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters as the earth was formed and arranged.  We then see that God created all things by His powerful Word, as He spoke everything into existence.  You have already learned (in months 1&2) that the eternal Word of God is Jesus Christ;  That Jesus Christ was the Word of God becoming a man to reach out to us.  (If you have questions about this, see John 1:1-3, & 14-18).  We also see the Trinity in the creation of mankind, as God speaks of Himself in a plural sense.

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."  So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  (Genesis 1:26-27)

Notice first that God calls Himself US, and refers to His image as OUR.  Yet the author still speaks of God as HE and HIS.  Another interesting thing to note is the original Hebrew word for God here.  The word "Elohim," which is used here (and many other places throughout the Hebrew Old Testament), is literally translated "Gods," or "Judges."  It is plural!  Nevertheless, God is always spoken of as HE, never THEY.  This shows us that although God spoke of Himself plurally to help us understand Him,  we are supposed to speak of Him singularly.  We must know that there is no division or conflict in God.

Although God has revealed Himself in three Persons, yet He is perfectly ONE.  The Father, Son, and Spirit are always in perfect unity in every way.  They are NOT three gods.  Together they are ONE God, inseparable and undivided.


In chapter one of month one we learned that God gave Himself a name, and revealed it to Moses.  Jesus also called Himself by this name.  It is the Hebrew word "YAHWEH," and it means "I AM THAT I AM."  it is often shortened to "YAH," and means literally "I AM."  The reason God chose this name is clear - He is like nothing we know or imagine, He just is.  He is what He is ... period.

There are two important attributes of God seen in the name He chose for Himself: (1) He is self-existent, and (2) He is eternal.

"I AM" tells us that He is what He is for no other reason but Himself.  He relies on no one and nothing for His existence - He just is.  He was here before anything else was created, and all things were created by Him, and for Him. 

"I AM" also tells us that there is no time frame with Him - He does not change.  He does not say "I was" or "I will be," He proclaims "I AM."  He is timeless and eternal.  He was here before time began and will be here when it no longer exists.  He has always been and will always be exactly what He is.

It is very interesting to note that God is referred to as "YAHWEH-Elohim" a multitude of times throughout the Hebrew Scriptures.  Most of the times you see "the LORD God" in your Old Testament, the Hebrew is "Yahweh-Elohim."  Now that you have learned the meaning of both YAHWEH and Elohim, let's look back at Deuteronomy 6:4:   The Lord our God, the Lord is One.

A more literal translation of this verse would read something like this:    The "I AM" our Gods, the "I AM" is One.

While this may still be quite impossible to fully comprehend, this is probably just about the closest you will come to defining the Trinity of God.

Always working together

In every way in which God works in our lives and in the world, all the persons of the Trinity work together in perfect harmony.  We've already seen this unity of purpose and action as we studied the creation of the world (p. 5) and Jesus' instructions for baptism (p. 4).  As we study the bible, we will find other examples of this unity of God the Trinity.

• Read 1 Peter 1:1-2 and answer the following questions.

• By whose foreknowledge have we been chosen?

• By whose work have we been sanctified?

• Who are we called to be obedient to?

Read 2 Corinthians 13:14, and answer these questions:

• Whose grace?

• Whose love?

• Whose fellowship?

• Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, and fill in the blanks below:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same _____________________. 

There are different kinds of service,  but the same __________________. 

There are different kinds of working, but the same __________________  works all of them in all men.

• Read Titus 3:4-8b, and fill in the blanks below:

But when the kindness and love of ____________________________________  appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.     He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by _______________________________, whom He poured out on us generously through ________________________________, so that, having been justified by His grace we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  This is a trustworthy saying.

Read the story of Jesus' baptism in Matthew 3:13-17.  This event signified the beginning of Jesus' ministry on earth.  Notice how the Father, Son and Spirit are all shown to be present at this event  Throughout Jesus' ministry the Father and the Spirit were always present, just as the Triune God is always present in the lives of all believers today.

We will continue our study of the Trinity next week, as we begin to look at the three Persons of the Godhead - the Father, Son, and Spirit - and learn what the Bible teaches us about them.

• Starting tomorrow, we will begin our series of five daily devos.  Our devos this week will focus on the greatness of God.  As you spend time everyday in God's Word and in prayer, ask God to teach you more about who He is.  There is nothing more exciting than getting to know the awesome Triune God personally, as He reveals Himself to you in new and powerful ways.  If you are faithful in your devotions to Him, you will soon know what it means to experience the Presence of God!

Remember   ...   The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him... (Psalm 25:14a NKJV)

Day 2 Devo - Beyond Understanding

...You thought I was altogether like you. -God (Psalm 50:21b)

Herein lies the problem in much of what is being taught about God today.  Many people think of God and teach about God as if He were altogether like a man.  He is not.  Many people feel like they should be able to understand God, and they work very hard trying to figure Him out.  Quite often these people actually end up changing God into something which they can understand.  In their pride they are not willing to let Him be greater than their understanding.  They are not willing to let Him be God.

You will undoubtedly hear some of these teachings that stem from a lower view of God, and you will soon see the difference in the lives of the people who believe these earthly ideas.  The less a person believes God to be, the less they will expect from Him, and the less they will really know the great God "I AM", who transcends all our reality.  These people are trying to know God through understanding, rather than through faith.  They may store up great knowledge, but they will not really know God.

Point to Ponder:

How great is God -  beyond our understanding!         (Job 36:26a)

It is much more exciting and encouraging NOT to be able to fully understand God.  If you could understand Him, He wouldn't be much of a God, would He?  but the truth is - we have not even begun to perceive how awesome and glorious our Father really is.  What do you think it will it be like when we finally see Him face to face?