Bible verses about the Trinity
It is impossible to be a Christian without having a Biblical understanding of the Trinity. This truth is found throughout Scripture and was solidified at the First Ecumenical Counsel of the early church. It was from that counsel meeting that the Athenasian Creed was developed. If you are worshipping a God who is not the God of the Biblical Trinity, then you are not worshipping the One True God of the Bible.
“Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man, and then I will show you a man that can comprehend the Triune God.” – John Wesley
“All sorts of people are fond of repeating the Christian statement that “God is love.” But they seem not to notice that the words ‘God is love’ have no real meaning unless God contains at least two persons. Love is something that one person has for another person. If God was a single person, then before the world was made, He was not love.” – C.S. Lewis
“The doctrine of the Trinity, simply put, is that God is absolutely and eternally one essence subsisting three distinct and ordered persons without division and without replication of the essence.” John MacArthur
“If there be one God subsisting in three persons, then let us give equal reverence to all the persons in the Trinity. There is not more or less in the Trinity; the Father is not more God than the Son and Holy Ghost. There is an order in the Godhead, but no degrees; one person has not a majority or super eminence above another, therefore we must give equal worship to all the persons.” Thomas Watson
“The Trinity is the basis of the gospel, and the gospel is a declaration of the Trinity in action.” J. I. Packer
Here is a part of the Athenasian Creed:
Now this is the true faith:
That we believe and confess
that our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son,
is both God and human, equally.
He is God from the essence of the Father,
begotten before time;
and he is human from the essence of his mother,
born in time;
completely God, completely human,
with a rational soul and human flesh;
equal to the Father as regards divinity,
less than the Father as regards humanity.
Although he is God and human,
yet Christ is not two, but one.
He is one, however,
not by his divinity being turned into flesh,
but by God’s taking humanity to himself.
He is one,
certainly not by the blending of his essence,
but by the unity of his person.
For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh,
so too the one Christ is both God and human.
He suffered for our salvation;
he descended to hell;
he arose from the dead;
he ascended to heaven;
he is seated at the Father’s right hand;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people will arise bodily
and give an accounting of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
and those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.
Members of the Trinity communicating with one another
One way that we know about the Trinity are the verses in the Bible that show the members of the Trinity communicating with one another. Not only are plural words used, like the word “us” and “our” but there are also numerous examples of God’s name being used in the plural, such as “Elohim” and “Adonai.”
1. Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
2. Genesis 3:22 “Then the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and also take from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.”
3. Genesis 11:7 “Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
4. Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
5. Colossians 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
6. Luke 3:21-22 “when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying the heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”
Why is the Trinity important?
God has to be a trinity in order for all of His attributes to be manifested, demonstrated and glorified. One of God’s attributes is Love. And if there was no Trinity, then God could not be love. Love requires someone to do the loving, someone to be loved, and a relationship between them. If God was not three beings in One Godhead, then He could not be love.
7. 1 Corinthians 8:6 “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”
8. Acts 20:28 “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”
9. John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father full of grace and truth.”
10. Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
There is only one God
Repeatedly in Scripture we can see that God is ONE. The doctrine of the Trinity teaches us that God exists eternally as three distinct Persons (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) and yet they are all one in essence. Each Person is fully God, but they are ONE in being. This is a mystery that we in our finite human minds cannot fully grasp, and that’s ok.
11. Isaiah 44:6 “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”
12. 1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”
13. Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!”
14. Mark 12:32 “The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other.”
15. Romans 3:30 “since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.”
16. James 2:19 “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.”
17. Ephesians 4:6 “One God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.”
18. 1 Corinthians 8:4 “Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one.”
19. Zechariah 14:9 “And the Lord will be king over all the earth; and in that day the Lord will be the only one , and his name the only one.”
20. 2 Corinthians 8:6 “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”
The Trinity and God’s love for His People
God loves us fully and completely. He loves us because He is love. The love that is shared between the members of the Trinity is mirrored in His love for us: the adopted heirs of Christ. God loves us because of grace. He chose to love us, in spite of ourselves. It is by grace alone that the Father showers us with the same love that He has for His Son. John Calvin said, “That love which the heavenly Father bears towards the Head is extended to all the members, so that he loves none but in Christ.”
21. John 17:22-23 “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”
22. Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
23. Luke 1:35 “The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.”
24. John 14:9-11 “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.”
25. Romans 15:30 “Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit.”
26. Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
The Trinity teaches us community and unity
The Trinity teaches us that we are created for community. While some of us are introverts and need much less “socializing” than extroverts – we will all eventually need community. Humans are made to live in community with one another and have relationships with other humans. We can know this because we are made in the image of God. And God Himself exists within the community of the Godhead.
27. Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means God with us.)”
28. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”
29. John 15:26 “I will send a great Helper to you from the Father, one known as the Spirit of truth. He comes from the Father and will point to the truth as it concerns Me.”
30. Acts 2:33 “Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today.”
Each member of the Godhead is identified as God
Over and over in Scripture we can see that each member of the Trinity is referred to as God. Each distinct Person of the Godhead is his own distinct Person, yet He is One in essence or being. God the Father is called God. Jesus Christ the Son is called God. The Holy Spirit is also called God. None is “more” God than the other. They all are equally God yet function in their own unique roles. Having different roles does not make us any less valuable or worthy.
31. 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
32. 2 Corinthians 13:14 “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
33. Colossians 2:9 “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”
34. Romans 4:17 “That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.”
35. Romans 4:18 “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”
36. Isaiah 48:16-17 “Come near me and listen to this, From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret, at the time it happens, I am there. And now the Sovereign LORD has sent me, with his Spirit. This is what the LORD says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who direct you in the way you should go.”
Omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence of the Persons of the Trinity
Since each member of the Trinity is God, each member is equally omniscience, omnipotent and omnipresent. Jesus came to earth fully aware of the task that lay ahead of Him on the cross. God was never surprised by what had to happen. The Holy Spirit already knows exactly who He will indwell. God is everywhere and with all His children as well as seated on His throne in heaven. All of this is possible because He is God.
37. John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”
38. Hebrews 7:24 “but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.”
39. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 “However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” the things God has prepared for those who love him— 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”
40. Jeremiah 23:23-24 “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? 24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.”
41. Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
42. John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him not knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”
43. Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
44. Colossians 2:9 “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.”
45. John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
46. Mark 2:8 “And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts?”
The work of the Trinity in salvation
Each member of the Trinity is involved in our salvation. Richard Phillips of Ligonier said “The Holy Spirit regenerates precisely the people for whom Jesus offered His atoning death.” The Father’s purpose in redeeming people was predestined before time began. Jesus’s death on the cross was the only suitable payment to redeem us from our sin. And the Holy Spirit indwells believers to seal them so that their salvation will be lasting.
47. 1 Peter 1:1-2 “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood; Grace and peace be yours in abundance.”
48. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
49. Ephesians 4:4-6 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
50. Philippians 2:5-8 “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
While exactly how the Trinity is possible is beyond the scope of our imagination, we can trust God to reveal to us exactly what we need to know. It is vital for us to understand as much as we can in order to confess this rightly. The Trinity preserves God’s independence. He does not need us. He didn’t need to create mankind in order to have relationship or to be able to express His characteristics. God is so much greater than us. He is so HOLY, so completely otherly.