Three in One

Text: II Corinthians 13:11-14


I.         Christianity, Judaism, and Muslims all believe in one God

            A.        But their concept of “one” differs greatly

            B.        In Judaism and Muslim beliefs, God is numerically one. To think of God as multiple beings smacks of polytheism and is blasphemous.

            C.        But most of Christianity talks of God as a united one, while composed of three beings.

II.        Is God only one being?

            A.        There are nine different Hebrew words which can be translated as “one.”

            B.        Only one word refers to completely solitary or absolutely alone: yachiyd

                        1.         Genesis 22:2 - Isaac was Abraham’s only son

                        2.         Judges 11:34 - Jephthah had only one daughter

                        3.         Psalm 68:6 - God gives families to the solitary

                        4.         This word is never applied to God

            C.        Another word, echad, denotes oneness in the sense of unity, a group acting as one.

                        1.         It can sometimes refer to one of a group, such as in Genesis 2:21

                        2.         Usually it is multiple acting as one, such as in Genesis 2:24

                        3.         Becoming part of a group - Genesis 3:22

                        4.         The world population acting as one - Genesis 11:6

                        5.         Uniting families - Genesis 34:16

                        6.         Single purpose - II Chronicles 30:12

                        7.         One assemble made of thousands - Ezra 2:64

                        8.         This is the word applied to God - Deuteronomy 6:4

                                    a.         A multiple which constitutes one God

            D.        Singular or Plural?

                        1.         Those who deny the idea of trinity avoid referring to God using plural pronouns. They stick to only singular pronouns, such as in Deuteronomy 32:39

                        2.         But the Bible uses both - Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8

                                    a.         Some say that God was talking to angels, but man wasn’t create by angels or created in the form of angels.

                        3.         The word for God is elohiym. When used to refer to other gods, it is always written in the plural - Gen 31:30; Exodus 12:12; Joshua 24:16

                                    a.         Only when applied to our God do we drop the final “s” though it is the same word.

                        4.         There are passages where two are both called God

                                    a.         God’s God - Psalm 45:6-7 - referred to in Hebrews 1:8-9

                                    b.         Three mentioned - Isaiah 48:12-17 (especially verse 16)

                                    c.         God will save Israel by their God - Hosea 1:6-7

III.       God in Three Persons

            A.        Each is called God

                        1.         John 6:27 - The Father

                        2.         Colossians 2:8-9 - The Son

                        3.         Acts 5:3-4 - The Spirit

            B.        Unique

                        1.         Jesus, while on earth, was the I AM - John 8:24, 58

                        2.         Jesus was accompanied by the Father and the Spirit - John 10:37-38; Luke 4:1

            C.        Equal

                        1.         Jesus and Father are one - John 10:30

                        2.         Jesus and the Father are equals - Philippians 2:6

                        3.         Equality seen is salutations - Romans 1:7; Galatians 1:3

                        4.         Equality seen in prayer - II Corinthians 13:14

            D.        Different in rank

                        1.         In a marriage, husbands and wives are equal - Galatians 3:24

                                    a.         But their roles are different. The fact that the wife is submissive to her husband doesn’t make her less of a human - Ephesians 5:22-24

                        2.         Jesus is under the Father - I Corinthians 11:3; John 5:30

                                    a.         But his position and role doesn’t make him less divine - Philippians 2:8

                        3.         Each functions in different roles in dealing with mankind

                                    a.         As the Father - Hebrews 12:9

                                    b.         As the Savior - Ephesians 5:23

                                    c.         As the source of Truth - John 16:13

            E.        United in Work

                        1.         The creation

                                    a.         Genesis 1:1-2 - Father and Spirit

                                    b.         Hebrews 1:2 - Father and Jesus

                                    c.         Job 33:4 - Spirit

                        2.         Salvation - Ephesians 1:2-14

                                    a.         Look at all three in Acts 2:38-39

                                    b.         Revealed by the Spirit, partakers through the Son, working of God’s power - Ephesians 3:5-7

                                    c.         This is why baptism is with the authority of all three - Matthew 28:18-20

IV.      We are to abide in God

            A.        I John 4:12-16 - The Father gives us Jesus and the Spirit that we might abide in Him

            B.        Following the doctrine has both the Father and the Son - II John 9

            C.        Has the commandment, Father, Son, and Spirit - I John 3:23-24

Based on article by Mark E. Larson