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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Go to the source! Discover what the Bible says about …

These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

God is one!  There is also Jesus and the Holy Spirit, both of whom are described as God.  How does that work?  The arrival of Jesus and the the Holy Spirit had many people thinking it took a couple of  hundred years for scholars to explain it consistently with  the whole Bible. The term used to describe this is trinity.


What the scholars came up with is that there is one God, and that this one God is made up of three persons: The persons of the trinity are Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  This maintains the fact that there is unity without uniformity; it allows for the three relating together, with each having an identity and will, yet they are one God.


Unity is vital.  Without unity one party can be played off against another.  Relationship is vital.  Without it there is no place for love or the understanding of relationship. Diversity is vital, without it there cannot be relationship. All these attributes are found in the trinity.


Bible Zone

The zone below looks at seven passages.


One God

The Bible is very clear about God being one.  Deuteronomy 6, clarifies our understanding of God, and our relationship with Him.  

  1. What were the people asked to do?
  2. What claims of uniqueness are made?
  3. How does this influence our attitude to other religions?


Deuteronomy 6 (NIV)    4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.    5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.   6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.


Jesus and the Father

Some think of Jesus as just a good man, but His statements cut across this.  He made claims that were clearly understood by those in His own time.  He made no apology, nor did He recant.  In John 10 Jesus tangled with religious leaders of His day.

  1. What does Jesus state about His relationship to God?
  2. What justification does He give for His claims?
  3. How do those who hear Him interpret His statements?


John 10:25-33    25 Jesus replied, "I have already told you, and you don't believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father's name.26 But you don't believe me because you are not my sheep.27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me,29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else.* No one can snatch them from the Father's hand.30 The Father and I are one."

  31 Once again the people picked up stones to kill him.32 Jesus said, "At my Father's direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?"

  33 They replied, "We're stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God."


The Father is in Jesus

We can learn who God is as Father.  Our physical fathers are imperfect images of the true fatherhood seen in God.  Jesus who is in the Father shows us what the Father is like. John 14

  1. How does Jesus describe the relationship between Himself and the Father?
  2. How practically, can we come to know the Father?


John 14:6-11   6 Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.* From now on, you do know him and have seen him!"

  8 Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied."

  9 Jesus replied, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don't know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.


The Roles of Father and Son

The differences between the Father and the Son are quite difficult to separate out.  There is considerable overlap, as exists in any partnership.  In 1 Corinthians 8 Paul helps us understand both how they and our relationships with each of them differs.

  1. What distinction between roles is identified here?
  2. What implications are there for our relationships with the Father and Son?


1 Corinthians 8v6   6 But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.

The Spirit, The Father and the Son

In looking at how Jesus relates to the Spirit it is clear that there is absolute confidence both of the Spirit’s working and the Spirit’s knowledge of God.  Neither of these could be possible in a finite, created being.


Jesus speaks of the Spirit, the one who takes on Jesus’ role when He returns to the Father.  John 14.

  1. What is the relationship between Jesus, the Spirit and the Father?
  2. What is the role of the Holy Spirit? (Or Helper)
  3. What role does the Spirit have in Jesus living in us?


John 14:15-21    15 "If you love me, obey* my commandments.16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,* who will never leave you.17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.*18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live.20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them."


The Holy Spirit is God

The Holy Spirit is considered God.  Various texts in the Bible give this implication.  Acts 5: is one of them.

  1. How is the Holy Spirit equated with God in this passage?


Acts 5:1-4    1 But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property.2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife's consent, he kept the rest.

  3 Then Peter said, "Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself.4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren't lying to us but to God!"

  5 As so


The Three are Together

There are a number of places in the New Testament where The Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are mentioned together in a way that expresses their unity, and yet their distinctiveness.  Matthew 28:is one.

  1. What is Jesus asking of His disciples?
  2. What is the significance of being baptised into a name?
  3. Why is the term “in the name” used equally for Father, Son and Holy Spirit?


Matthew 28:18-20    18 Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,* baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."


Another passage, 1 Peter 1:2 draws out the work of the Three, in one work - our salvation, done with one purpose, but each having a slightly different role.

  1. What is the end to which all Three are working?
  2. What are the distinctive roles of each?


1 Peter 1:2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

  May God give you more and more grace and peace.


A word of caution:  It is easy to try and put God in a box with simple definitions.  A wide reading of the Bible will help us keep in view God’s greatness and mystery.

TRINITY