The teachings of the local churches regarding the Trinity are based solely upon the pure revelation of the Word of God. We believe that:
- God is one (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4). The one God has the aspect of three—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (Isa. 6:8; Matt. 28:19).
- The Father, the Son, and the Spirit coexist simultaneously (Matt. 3:16-17) from eternity to eternity.
- The Father is God (Eph. 1:17; 4:6). The Son is God (Heb. 1:8; Rom. 9:5). The Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4).
- The Father is eternal (Isa. 9:6). The Son is eternal (Heb. 1:11-12; 7:3). The Spirit is eternal (Heb. 9:14).
- The Father, Son, and Spirit coinhere and are inseparable (John 14:10-11; 8:29; 14:26; 15:26; Matt. 10:20).
- The Three—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—are one (Isa. 9:6; John 10:30; 2 Cor. 3:17).
In affirming these basic characterizations regarding the Trinity, we realize that we can be at best only minimally descriptive. The trinity of God is profoundly mysterious, and as Martin Luther once remarked, “If reason disturbs you here and questions arise…: Are there, then, two gods? Answer: There is only one God, and still there is the Father and the Son. How is this possible? Respond with humility: I do not know….”
Our understanding of the Trinity must be determined not by the inclinations of our natural curiosities, but by simply and absolutely embracing the manner in which the Trinity is revealed in the New Testament. The Bible declines to explain to us exactly how it is that God can be three and yet one. In fact, while references to the Trinity permeate the writings of the New Testament authors, they were never so systematic in their presentation. To the apostles, the Trinity was not a subject of unimpassioned study. The Triune God to them was real and living, richly and vibrantly pervading their thought, their consciousness, their writings, and no doubt, their Christian life and church life.
It is in this same spirit that we wish to consider and present the subject of the Trinity. The Triune God is not merely to be studied, but even the more, to be experienced, enjoyed, and extolled. The Triune God is the source, the means, and indeed the very content of the believers’ experience of salvation. In the New Testament age, God operates in His Trinity—not to become an object of analysis or contemplation, but to graciously reach sinful man in Christ, regenerating and transforming him as the Spirit that man may experience God in His Trinity as his full salvation. Paul’s final blessing to the Corinthian believers unveils God’s marvelous and mysterious threefold visitation to man in His Trinity: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Cor. 13:14).
For more information concerning our view of the Trinity, please visit these websites:
- “The Triune God” on an-open-letter.org
- “A Biblical Overview of the Triune God, by Ed Marks
- The Revelation of the Triune God According to the Pure Word of the Bible