The Trinity

  1. Trinity. The Christian doctrine of God is distinguished by its emphasis on divine three- in- oneness, that is, the eternal coexistence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the inner personal life of the Godhead. Evangelical theology affirms that the living, speaking, and acting God is a personal divine Trinity in the eternal unity of God himself and in his work. - Excerpt from the defintion of Trinity in the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Merrill C. Tenney, General Editor, Moises Silva, Revision Editor.
  2. The Trinitarian platform contains three planks: (1) there is but one God; (2) the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; (3) Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are eternally distinct.  The first plank underscores that there is only one God.  The second plank emphasizes that in hundreds of Scripture passages the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are declared to be fully and completely God.  Paul says "there is but one God the Father” (1 Corinthians 8:6).  The Father speaking of the Son says, “Your throne, O God, will last forever and forever” (Hebrews 1:8).  And when Ananias "lied to the Holy Spirit,” Peter points out that he had not “ lied to men but to God” (Acts 5:3-4).  Scripture clearly portrays subject/object relationships between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  For example, the Father and Son love one another, speak to each another (John 17:1-26), and together send the Holy Spirit (John 15:26).  Additionally, Jesus proclaims that He and the Father are two distinct witnesses and two distinct judges (John 8:14-18).  It is important to note that when Trinitarians speak of one God, they are referring to the nature or essence of God.  Moreover when they speak of persons, they are referring to personal self-distinctions within the Godhead .  Put another we, we believe in one What and three Who’s. - From excerpts from section 21 {Is the Trinity Biblical” from locations 1085-1101 of the Kindle book: The Complete Bible Answer Book: Collector’s Edition by Hank Hanegraaff.
  3. Trinity - a word not found in Scripture, but used to express the doctrine of the unity of God as subsisting in three distinct Persons. This word is derived from the Gr. trias, first used by Theophilus (A. D. 168- 183), or from the Lat. trinitas, first used by Tertullian (A. D. 220), to express this doctrine. The propositions involved in the doctrine are these:1. That God is one, and that there is but one God (Deut. 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60; Isa. 44:6; Mark 12:29, 32; John 10:30). 2. That the Father is a distinct divine Person (hypostasis, subsistentia, persona, suppositum intellectuale), distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit. 3. That Jesus Christ was truly God, and yet was a Person distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. 4. That the Holy Spirit is also a distinct divine Person. - From the definition of Trinity in the Easton's Bible Dictionary by M.G. Easton M.A., D.D.
  4. Trinity - THE HOLY Ge 1:26; 3:22; Isa 6:3, 8; 11:2, 3; 42:1; 48:16; 61:1- 3; 63:9, 10; Mt 1:18, 20; 3:11, 16; 12:18, 28; 28:19; Mr 1:8; Lu 1:35; 3:16, 22; 4:1, 14, 18; Joh 1:32, 33; 3:34, 35; 7:39; 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26; 16:7, 13- 15; 20:22; Ac 1:2, 4, 5; 2:33; 10:36- 38; Ro 1:3, 4; 8:9- 11, 26, 27; 1Co 2:10, 11; 6:19; 8:6; 12:3- 6; 2Co 1:21, 22; 3:17; 5:5; 13:14; Ga 4:4, 6; Php 1:19; Col 2:2; 2Th 2:13, 14, 16; 1Ti 3:16; Tit 3:4- 6; Heb 9:14; 1Pe 1:2; 3:18; 1Jo 5:6, 7; Re 4. - from Nave’s Topical Bible Index by Orville J. Nave
  5. Explicit trinitarianism is dependent upon the NT revelation of the sending Father, the sent Son, and the outpoured Spirit. In the experience of the disciples, the disclosure of the deity of Christ may at first have impressed them with an intermediary or temporary binitarianism of Father and Son. Since Jews viewed Jesus’ claim of oneness with the Father as blasphemous, his assertion of the unity of Father and Son clearly implied oneness of essence and was not reducible only to moral and purposive harmony. But God’s revelation in Christ was soon grasped as a revelation not of a part of deity but of complete divinity; Jesus of Nazareth unveiled the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The revealed presence of God demanded recognition not only of the person of the Son alongside the person of the Father, but the person of the Spirit as well. - Excerpt from the defintion of Trinity in the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Merrill C. Tenney, General Editor, Moises Silva, Revision Editor.
  6. Trinity While there is no explicit doctrine of the trinity in the NT, one can more easily trace its trinitarian reflection. The divinity of Jesus is clearly set forth (Matt. 16:16; John 20:28), and the divine nature of the Spirit or Comforter is equally well attested (14:16- 26; 15:26; 16:5). Most compelling are the trinitarian formulas found throughout the NT literature. 2 Cor. 13:13 probably represents the earliest known trinitarian formula, which Paul uses to bless the community of faith, and the doctrine of the trinity is clearly articulated in the baptismal formula of Matt. 28:19. All three persons of the trinity are brought together at the baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:16). The salvation of the believer is intimately associated with Father, Spirit, and Jesus Christ in 1 Pet. 1:2. Thus trinitarian doctrine is intimately integrated into the central doctrines of the Christian faith in its earliest confessional literature. - from excepts from the definition of Trinity from Eerdman’s Dictionary of the Bible by David Noel Freedman.
  7. The concepts of word, wisdom, and spirit come short of complicating the monotheistic thought of the OT, but they do, together with intertestamental developments, produce a hospitable atmosphere for NT recognition of distinct hypostases, or even persons, in God. For they are all ways of expressing the immanence of a transcendent God- an immanence astonishingly focused in Jesus Christ, who “pitches His tent” among us (Jn. 1:14). - Excerpt from the definition of Trinity in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) by Geoffrey W. Bromiley.
  8. 1 Corinthians 15:28 the Son himself will be made subject to him. The Son will be made subject to the Father in the sense that, administratively, after he subjects all things to his power he will then turn it all over to God the Father, the administrative head. This is not to suggest that the Son is in any way inferior to the Father. All three persons of the Trinity are equal in deity and in dignity. The subordination referred to is one of function (see Jn 4:34; 5:19; 7:16 and notes). The Father is supreme in the Trinity; the Son carries out the Father’s will; the Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son to vitalize life, communicate God’s truth, apply his salvation to people and enable them to obey God’s will. so that God may be all in all. The triune God will be shown to be supreme and sovereign in all things (cf. 3:21 and note). - From note related to 1 Corinthians 15:28 from the NIV Study Bible Notes by Kenneth Barker and published by Zondervan. 
  9. The word Trinity is not a biblical term, and Scripture gives the doctrine not in formulated definition but in fragmentary units similar to many other elements of the Christian system of truth. R. B. Crawford insists rightly that there are “good grounds for believing that the doctrine of the Trinity is scriptural” (Scottish Journal of Theology 20 [1967]:286ff.). It is the unifying presupposition of the NT revelation of God. B. B. Warfield remarked that the entire NT “is Trinitarian to the core; all its teaching is built on the assumption of the Trinity; and its allusions to the Trinity are frequent, cursory, easy and confident” (ISBE [1929], 5:3014). There is in the NT, as in the OT, only one true and living God; and in its view, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are each God in the fullest sense; and Father, Son, and Spirit stand related to each other as I, Thou, and He.  - Excerpt from defintion of Trinity in the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Merrill C. Tenney, General Editor, Moises Silva, Revision Editor.
  10. The Trinity is not God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. If you are going to begin with God, then you must say that the members of the Trinity are God, God and God.  This is the only way of being correct in the matter.  The Trinity is (not are) God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
    We should be careful not to think of God as being only the Father and as being distinct from the Son and the Spirit, but the Father is not the Son, and the Father is not the Spirit.
    - from page 50 of the book Illustrating Great Themes of Scripture by  Donald Grey Barnhouse.
  11. In Johannine literature the mystery of the divine interpenetration, or “in- ness” (Jn. 10:38; 14:10f., 20; 17:21, 23), represents some primal, ineffable union of Christ and God, Son and Father. But if Father and Son are one (10:30), they are assuredly not one person. Although there is no precise human parallel, theirs is a unity somewhat like a marriage (cf. Gen. 2:24), or like that of a body or community (Brown, pp. 777f., on Jn. 17:21- 23 and the Qumrȃn concept of communal oneness), or especially like that of a human son and father, the former conceived as “his father all over again.” This organic, or familial, or communal concept of the oneness of Father and Son (and, by extension, Paraclete) generates the Christian trinitarian tradition of sometimes using the term “one God” for the whole trinity (Augustine De trin. v.8.9). - Excerpt from the definition of Trinity in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) by Geoffrey W. Bromiley.
  12. The Pauline letters likewise not only repeatedly refer to God the Father and to Jesus Christ in juxtaposition, as joint objects of adoration, but the Holy Spirit appears with them as a personal source of all divine blessing. In the early as well as the later writings of Paul, all three persons are mentioned together as joint sources of the blessings of salvation (1 Thess. 1:2 – 5; 2 Thess. 2:13 – 14; 1 Cor. 12:4 – 5; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 2:18; 3:2 – 6; 4:4 – 6; 5:18 – 20; Tit. 3:4 – 5; 2 Tim. 1:3, 13 – 14). The other NT writings repeat the same pattern (Heb. 2:3 – 4; 6:4 – 5; 10:29 – 31; 1 Pet. 1:2; 4:13 – 14; 1 Jn. 5:4; Jude 20 – 21; Rev. 1:4 – 6.  - Excerpt from defintion of Trinity in the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Merrill C. Tenney, General Editor, Moises Silva, Revision Editor.
  13. Personhood of the Spirit. A number of NT passages seem to treat the Holy Spirit impersonally, reflecting what Bultmann called “dynamistic thinking” (I, 555). Thus the Spirit is able to fill or endow a person (Lk. 4:1; Acts 2:4; etc.), or is granted as a gift (Lk. 11:13; Rom. 5:5; etc.), or is poured out like fluid (Acts 2:17f.; Tit. 3:6). Some such references are anarthrous:what is promised as a gift is not “the Holy Spirit” but “Holy Spirit” (Lk. 11:13). Partitive genitive constructions suggest that Spirit is available in shares (He. 6:4). One obscure passage appears to assert that God’s Spirit is to God as a human spirit is to a human being (1 Cor. 2:10f.).  
    On the other hand, the NT also contains a number of references to the Spirit or Paraclete that are undeniably personal. The Spirit speaks (Acts 21:11), searches (1 Cor. 2:10), bears witness and intercedes (Rom. 8:16, 26), teaches (Jn. 14:26), apportions gifts (1 Cor. 12:11), exercises will (Acts 16:6f.), can be grieved (Eph. 4:30), reflects (Acts 15:28), appoints (20:28), sends (13:4), and is lied to (5:3). The Johannine account of the Paraclete is especially rich in personal language. 
    - Excerpt from the definition of Trinity in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) by Geoffrey W. Bromiley.
  14. Trinity. The NT speaks about God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19).  Because of its importance, the Trinity soon became a focus of controversy. To avoid “tritheism,” some early thinkers emphasized God’s unity, asserting that Father, Son, and Spirit are merely names for different modes of activity by one and the same God, first in creation, then in redemption, then in sanctification. The Council of Nicea (325 ce) declared that the Son is of the same essence as the Father, and some decades later it was agreed (by theologians, not councils) that God is one essence in three equal persons, mutually related. - From the definition of Trinitity in the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Complete Set by an Editorial Board consisting of Katherine Doob Sakenfield - General Editor, Samuel E. Balentine - Old Testament Editor,Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan - Old Testament Editor, Eileen Schuller - Old Testament and Judaica Editor, Heather R. McMurray - Reference Editor, Brian K. Blount, New Testament Editor, Joel B. Green - New Testament Editor, Pheme Perkins - New Testament Editor, Marianne Blickenstaff - Project Manager and John F. Kutsko.  
  15. Through John’s Gospel runs the richest vein in the NT for the Church’s doctrine of the trinity- a wide, deep, and subtle account of divine distinction- within- unity. In John, Father, Son, and (usually) Spirit/Paraclete are clearly distinct divine persons who play differentiated roles in the general divine enterprise of life- giving and life- disclosing. Yet their primordial and unexplained unity is revealed and exemplified by common will, work, word, and knowledge, and by reciprocal love (except for the Spirit) and glorifying. The same six phenomena that distinguish the persons- especially by sub- ordination of Son and Spirit- also unite them. This is the emphatic para- doxa expressed by Jesus in the juxtapositions of 10:29 with 10:30 and of 14:10f. with 14:28 (Bultmann, II, 50.  - Excerpt from the definition of Trinity in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) by Geoffrey W. Bromiley.
  16. We teach that there is but one living and true God (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:5–7; 1 Cor. 8:4), an infinite, all- knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all his attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14) —each equally deserving worship and obedience.
    God the FatherWe teach that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to his own purpose and grace (Ps. 145:8–9; 1 Cor. 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Gen. 1:1–31; Eph. 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, he is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Ps. 103:19; Rom. 11:36). His fatherhood involves both his designation within the Trinity and his relationship with mankind.
    God the Son - We teach that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these he is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30 14:9).  We teach that God the Father created “the heavens and the earth and all that is in them” according to his own will, through his Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operations (John 1:3; Col. 1:15–17; Heb. 1:2).  We teach that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In his incarnation, the eternally existing second person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God- man (Phil. 2:5–8; Col. 2:9).
    God the Holy Spirit - We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1 Cor. 2:10–13), emotions (Eph. 4:30), will (1 Cor. 12:11), eternality (Heb. 9:14), omnipresence (Ps. 139:7–10), omniscience (Isa. 40:13–14), omnipotence (Rom. 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes he is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3–4 28:25–26; 1 Cor. 12:4–6; 2 Cor. 13:14; and Jer. 31:31–34 with Heb. 10:15–17).  We teach that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize his sovereign activity in the creation (Gen. 1:2), the incarnation (Matt. 1:18), the written revelation (2 Pet. 1:20–21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5–7).  - from excerpts from the section about “God” in the "Overview of Theology” from he Introduction of McArthur Study Bible Notes (ESV) by John McArthur and Crossway, Thomas Nelson Publishing.
  17. Spirit of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is not only the Spirit of God the Father (Ro 8:9, 14; 1Co 2:10–11, 14) but also the Spirit of Christ, the second person of the Trinity (Ac 16:7; Ro 8:9; Gal 4:6). He is sent by the Father (Jn 14:16–17, 26; Gal 4:6) and by the Son (Jn 15:26; 16:7). turn out for my deliverance.  - From note related to Philippians 1:19 from the NIV Study Bible Notes by Kenneth Barker and published by Zondervan. 
  18. Divinity of the Spirit. Evidence for the divinity of the Spirit is thinner and hazier than symmetrical fifth- century trinitarian statements suggest (cf. Athanasian Creed, above). The Spirit is called “God” at most once (Acts 5:3). OT passages about Yahweh are not applied to the Spirit. No ontological statements of divinity appear, as they do with regard to Christ. And the Holy Spirit in the NT is never an object of worship or prayer.  
    Still, the Spirit performs some divine functions. He judges (Jn. 16:8- 11), pours out the love of God (Rom. 5:5), gives joy (14:17), hope (8:17- 25), peace (8:6), regeneration (Jn. 3:5), and faith (2 Cor. 12:9). Also, the Holy Spirit can be blasphemed (Mk. 3:29; Lk. 12:10), which in the NT is usually an act of verbally injuring someone divine.  
    Finally, the Spirit is intimately conjoined with Christ, and with God and Christ, in the many NT bipartite and tripartite formulas. Again, the implication is that the authors of these formulas regarded the Spirit as the same sort of being as God and Christ- particularly in those places where similar divine functions or attributes are predicated of them (2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Cor. 12:4- 6). 
    - Excerpt from the definition of Trinity in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) by Geoffrey W. Bromiley.
  19. Jesus’ statement that the Father and he are one is as mysterious from our perspective as the Biblical teaching of the Trinity. Yet, because the Bible teaches the unity of God and the deity of Christ, we must exercise faith to believe that what Jesus taught is true. How exactly God’s one divine nature is a unity of three distinct but not separate persons:Father, Son and Holy Spirit, cannot be fully explained by human logic or reason. - From John 14:19 of Quest Study Bible Notes: The Question and Answer Bible by Zondervan as publisher.
  20. Distinction of the Spirit from Christ. The pre- and post- Pentecost Spirit has relations coordinate to the pre- and post- ascended Christ. The pre- Pentecost Spirit is the conceiver (Mt. 1:18; Lk. 1:35), identifier (Mk. 1:10), compeller (Mk. 1:12), and inspirer (Lk. 10:21; 12:10) of Jesus (Berkhof, p. 24). On the other hand, the post- Pentecost Spirit is sent by God or the exalted Christ to highlight, reproduce, and apply the life and work of Christ. Thus the Spirit, like Christ, unites believers to “Abba” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6; cf. Mk. 14:36), provides confession of Christ and articulate prayer (1 Cor. 12:3; Rom. 8:26), accompanies the baptism of Christians (Acts 2:38; 1 Cor. 12:13), imparts life (2 Cor. 3:6), freedom (3:17), glory (3:18), and other benefits of Christ, and, like Christ, directs and empowers the mission of the apostles (Rom. 15:19; 1 Cor. 2:4; etc.; cf. Moule, pp. 27. Excerpt from the definition of Trinity in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) by Geoffrey W. Bromiley.
  21. Father … Son … Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the Trinity means that there is one true God, existing eternally as three distinct persons:Father, Son and Holy Spirit (see 3:16–17 and note; 1Co 12:4–6; 2Co 13:14 and note; Eph 1:2–13; 4:4–6; 2Th 2:13 and note; Titus 3:4–6; 1Pe 1:2 and note; 1Jn 4:13–14; Rev 1:4–6 and NIV text note on 1:4).  - From note related to Matthew 28:19 from the NIV Study Bible Notes by Kenneth Barker and published by Zondervan. 
  22. The Son in John is on a mission: He does not do His own will, but that of His Father, the One who sent Him (4:34; 5:30, 38; 8:29; etc.). Though the Son has a will of His own (17:24), He subordinates it to the Father. The Spirit in John is subordinate in turn to the Son. He functions as pure agent, bestowed by Jesus (1:33; 20:22) and sent as Paraclete (14:26; 15:26; 16:13f.) to combine the functions of advocating legal assistant and comforter to the community of believers.  
    Yet this very super- and subordination of wills that distinguishes the three also unites them. For only one divine will is expressed- that of the Father who sends the Son and (with the Son) the Spirit. The sending idea itself, given the šālȋ (a) ḥ tradition of the OT and rabbinic Judaism (cf. Isa. 6:8- 13), suggests both that “the one who sends is greater than the one sent” (TDNT, I, 421) and also that “the one sent by a man is as the man himself” (I, 415).
    Excerpt from the definition of Trinity in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. 
  23. Mark 1:10–11 -  All three persons of the Trinity are involved in Jesus’ baptism:(1) the Father speaks, (2) the Son is baptized and (3) the Holy Spirit descends on the Son.  - From note related to Mark 1:10-11 from the NIV Study Bible Notes by Kenneth Barker and published by Zondervan. 
  24. The same phenomenon of word, revelation, and teaching both distinguishes and unites. The functional subordination of Son and Spirit insures that only one message is taught. But there is also a true mutuality of witness (Gk. martyría). For if the Spirit witnesses to the Son, the Son also witnesses to the Spirit (15:26; 14:26). And if the Son witnesses to or reveals the Father, the Father also witnesses to the Son (17:26; 1:18; 5:36f.). The unity of will, work, and word is summed up with John’s use of Gk. pánta. The Father authorizes the Son by giving Him “all things” (3:35; 16:15). But eschatologically the believing community receives all these things only via the Paraclete (14:26; cf. 15:15f.), who thus brings life- the Johannine concept of salvation.  Excerpt from the definition of Trinity in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. 
  25. Trinity -
    —One God in three persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit 
    A. There is only one God  
    —Expressed in the Old Testament Dt 4:35, 39, Dt 6:4, Isa 45:21 
    —Expressed in the New Testament 1Co 8:5–6, Eph 4:6, 1Ti 2:5, Jas 2:19 
    B. Hints of a plurality in God in the Old Testament 
    —God speaks of himself as “us” Ge 1:26–27, Ge 3:22, Ge 11:7, Isa 6:8 
    —Someone coming from God is God Isa 7:14, Isa 9:6 
    —The angel of the Lord speaks as God
    E. Father, Son and Spirit together
    —One name for the three Mt 28:19 
    —The three persons mentioned together Mt 3:16–17, Jn 15:26, Ro 5:5–6, Ro 8:11, 16–17, 1Co 12:4–6, 2Co 13:14, Gal 4:4–6, Eph 4:4–6, 1Th 1:2–5, 2Th 2:13, Titus 3:4–6, 1Pe 1:2, 1Jn 4:2, Jude 20–21
     - From note on Trinity Mark 1:10-11 from the NIV Study Bible Notes by Kenneth Barker and published by Zondervan. 
  26. E.  Father, Son and Spirit together
    —One name for the three Mt. 28
    —The three persons mentioned together Mt 3:16–17, Jn 15:26, Ro 5:5–6, Ro 8:11, 16–17, 1Co 12:4–6, 2Co 13:14, Gal 4:4–6, Eph 4:4–6, 1Th 1:2–5, 2Th 2:13, Titus 3:4–6, 1Pe 1:2, 1Jn 4:2, Jude 20–21
      - From note on Trinity Mark 1:10-11 from the NIV Study Bible Notes by Kenneth Barker and published by Zondervan. 
  27. Paul formulates statements concerning Christian experience and life in the body of Christ in trinitarian language (Rom 5:1, 5; 8:5; 1 Cor 12:4- 6; Gal 4:4- 6; Eph 2:18). In his Epistles, the benedictions (e. g., 2 Cor 13:14) and salutations should be recognized as religious high points erected on a pervasive trinitarian base. Of great significance is the use of the threefold name in the Great Commission (Matt 28:19), a usage that recurs in the NT confessionally and liturgically (John 14:26; Acts 2:32, 33, 37- 40; Rom 1:1- 4; 5:1- 5; 8:1- 4; Eph 1:17; 4:4- 6; 2 Thess 2:13, 14; 1 Peter 1:2, 3). This ties the doctrine of the Trinity directly to the redemptive and baptismal experience of the first Christians. The NT language points to three distinct coequal persons yet one God, each person being the same God who works, says Paul (1 Cor 12:4- 6). - from section “VI. The Trinity” from section “The Theology of the New Testment” in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary by Frank E. Gaebelein.
  28. Belief in the triune nature of God, in which each person of the triad is thought of as fully personal, pervades NT teaching. To argue that the doctrine of the Trinity is no where explicitly defined or discussed in the NT is to fail to recognize that other crucial doctrines are similarly implicit in Scripture and must be developed by careful study. The total NT presentation of salvation and all NT teaching rest on the trinitarian understanding of the nature of God. Not only is trinitarian teaching strongly evident in the NT proclamation of the gospel message, but the theological logic of trinitarian faith fits in with other important aspects of the biblical revelation. The NT Christians confess the two truths that God sent his Son into the world and that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself (John 3:16; 2 Cor 5:19). It was the Son, not the Father, who died on the cross. The Father raised the Son from the dead, vindicating both. Other language concerning Christ's ascension, his session at the right hand of God, and his promised return means little apart from the trinitarian faith.  - from section “VI. The Trinity” from section “The Theology of the New Testment” in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary by Frank E. Gaebelein.
  29. In the NT, trinitarian awareness and worship enrich Christian experience. Love is the bond of perfect union (Col 3:14) that joins Christians to God through the redeeming work of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Eph 4:2- 6). Paul expounds a parallel between Christ's life and the believer's life (Rom 8:1- 11):as the Spirit who came upon the Messiah is God's Spirit, so the Spirit who indwells Christians is God's Spirit, who raises them to a new quality of life in the fellowship of the triune God whom they now call "Father" (8:14- 17). Only in this way can we understand unity as the NT applies it to God. The prayer of Jesus in John 17 (especially vv. 20- 23) point to a complex form of unity that is not abstractive but fully personal and interpersonal:"I in thee," "thou in me," "that they may be one in us.   - from section “VI. The Trinity” from section “The Theology of the New Testment” in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary by Frank E. Gaebelein.
  30. Though Romans does not give special instruction about the Trinity, it clearly delineates the respective responsibilities of the members of the Godhead. The gospel, which is the theme of the letter, is called the gospel of God at the very beginning (1:1) before it is called the gospel of his Son (1:9). God's righteousness must be reckoned with, both by sinner and by saint, for it is the basis of judgment as well as of salvation. The Son of God is held up to view also from the first, because the gospel centers in him (1:3). He is the one through whom the grace of God is mediated to sinful humanity in justification, reconciliation, and redemption. The man Christ Jesus is set over against the first Adam as the one who has succeeded in undoing the ruin wrought by the fall (5:12- 21) and who now sustains and preserves all who put their trust in him (5:10). The Spirit's role is to nurture the new creation life of the children of God by providing assurance of their sonship (8:16), release from the bondage of sin (8:2- 4), effectiveness in prayer (8:26, 27), experience of the love of God (5:5) and of other joys of spiritual life (14:17), crowned by a confident hope that the bliss of the better state that is to come will be realized (8:23; 15:13). The Spirit also provides the dynamic for Christian service (15:19).  - from section “7. Theological Values” from section Introduction to Romans in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary by Frank E. Gaebelein.
  31. Titus 3:5-6 - …. he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  - "Whom he poured out on us generously," or "richly," stresses that God has made ample provision for the development of this renewed life. "Poured out" (aorist tense) had its primary fulfillment at Pentecost, but "on us" marks the pouring out as individually experienced at conversion (Rom 5:5). The Spirit's work in each believer as a member of the Body is a continuation of the Pentecostal outpouring. Every faulty or inadequate experience of renewal is always due to some human impediment, never to God's inadequate provision. "Through Jesus Christ our Savior" states the channel through which the Spirit's renewing presence was bestowed. That bestowal was based on the finished work of Christ as Savior (John 7:38, 39; 15:26; Acts 2:33). The "our" is again confessional. Our acceptance of Christ as Savior is the human condition for the bestowal of the Spirit. Note the Trinity in vv. 5b, 6:"the Holy Spirit," "he" (the Father), "Jesus Christ." Each member of the divine Trinity has his own special function in the work of human redemption.  - from commentary on Titus 3:5 in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary by Frank E. Gaebelein.
  32. Matthew 28:19 - Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit….    - We should notice that the word name is singular; Jesus does not say that his followers should baptize in the “names” of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but in the “name” of these three. It points to the fact that they are in some sense one.  - from commentary on Matthew 28:19 in the Pillar New Testament Commentary by D. A. Carson, Editor.
  33. John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. - Here then are some of the crucial constituents of a full- blown doctrine of the Trinity. ‘John intends that the whole of his gospel shall be read in the light of this verse. The deeds and words of Jesus are the deeds and words of God; if this be not true the book is blasphemous’ (Barrett, p. 156. It may well be that the Old Testament authority for this ascription of deity to the Messiah was Psalm 45 (as it was for the writer of Heb. 1), where the most obvious understanding of the text is that God himself addresses the messianic king as ‘God’. 10 Others have suggested Isaiah 9:7. Certainly there is ample evidence that the early Christians were not slow in coming to confess Jesus not only as Messiah but also as God (Rom. 9:5; Phil. 2:5- 11; Col. 1:15- 20 —though in each instance some critics read the evidence another way). John is the most straightforward of all the New Testament writers in this respect (cf. also 20:28).  - from commentary on John 1:1 in the Pillar New Testament Commentary by D. A. Carson, Editor.
  34. John 15:26 - “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.”It would be easy to dismiss the debate as much ado about nothing, since it is almost certain that the words ‘who goes out from the Father’, set in synonymous parallelism with ‘whom I will send to you from the Father’, refer not to some ontological ‘procession’ but to the mission of the Spirit. But if the theological debate is divorced from the meaning of this one clause and allowed to stand on its own, then it becomes clear that tremendous issues are at stake after all, but were mistakenly connected with the interpretation of this clause. To speak of God ‘sending’ the Son, and of the Son ‘going out’ from the Father, in a context where the Son is nothing other than the pre- incarnate Word (1:1ff.), who is both with God and who is God (1:1), and who himself becomes flesh (1:14), and can still be addressed as God (20:28), raises extraordinarily complex ontological questions about the being of God. Some of these are addressed by the Evangelist himself (cf. notes on 5:16- 30). Even if the ‘sending’ and ‘going out’ of the Son refer to his mission, this is not the mission of yet another merely human prophet, but of him who though one with the Father donned our flesh. With this strong Christology coursing through his work, the Evangelist who tells us that the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, comes in certain respects as a replacement of the Son, and is sent by the Son, or at his request and by the Father, cannot be thought to be speaking without reflection. It is no accident that in 15:26, when Jesus goes on to say ‘ he will testify about me’, John uses the masculine pronoun ekeinos, even though it breaks concord with the (formally) neuter status of the preceding relative pronoun:i. e. ‘the Spirit is thought of in personal terms’ (Barrett, p. 482). Thus although the clause ‘who goes out from the Father’ refers to the mission of the Spirit, in analogy with the mission of the Son, this is the mission of the Spirit who in certain respects replaces the Son, is sent by the Father and the Son, and belongs (so far as we can meaningfully use such ambiguous terminology) to the Godhead every bit as much as the Son. In short, the elements of a full- blown doctrine of the Trinity crop up repeatedly in the Fourth Gospel; and the early creedal statement, complete with the filioque phrase, is eminently defensible, once we allow that this clause in 15:26 does not itself specify a certain ontological status, but joins with the matrix of Johannine Christology and pneumatology to presuppose it.  - from commentary on John 15:26 in the Pillar New Testament Commentary by D. A. Carson, Editor.
  35. Romans 8:9-11 - "You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Paul proceeds to consider another possibility. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. Notice the “characteristic delicacy of expression” (SH); Paul used “you” when speaking of those who are not in the flesh, but now “anyone” as he refers to those who do not have the Spirit. The Spirit of Christ is not a common expression (but cf. Acts 16:7; Phil. 1:19; 1 Pet. 1:11). Spirit, of course, is to be spelled with a capital, for the word refers to the Holy Spirit (though Schonfield has “spirit of Christ”; this would mean “if anyone does not live in the same way, in the same spirit as Christ”). The Spirit of Christ is another way of referring to the Spirit of God. The doctrine of the Trinity had not yet been formulated, but it is this kind of expression that led Christians in due time to speak of God as triune. 39 Paul sees the Spirit as integrally related to Christ as well as to the Father. We receive him on the basis of Christ’s saving work, and without that there would be no activity of the Spirit in the specifically Christian sense (cf. John 7:39). 40 The verb have, like lives earlier in the verse, points to more than a passing contact. There is the thought of continuity. Of anyone who lacks the Spirit Paul says, “he is no Christian” (NEB). He does not belong. The presence of the Spirit in believers is not an interesting extra to be seen in a few unusual people (as in the case of the “pneumatic” men of some ancient religions). It is the normal and necessary feature of being a Christian at all.   - from commentary on Romans 8:9 in the Pillar New Testament Commentary by D. A. Carson, Editor.
  36. Romans 15:30 - "I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf…” - He specifies that he wants prayer to God and for me; neither is strictly necessary, but they help fill in the picture. We should not leave this verse without noticing once again the mention of the three Persons of the Trinity. This natural placing of the three together would lead in time to the enunciation of the doctrine of the Trinity.  - from commentary on Romans 15:30 in the Pillar New Testament Commentary by D. A. Carson, Editor.
  37. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 - "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” In these verses Paul stresses that there is but one God who provides various manifestations of his Spirit. 23 The verses function much like synthetic parallelism, with each new line not exactly repeating but reinforcing and slightly developing the thought of the previous ones. Each refers to that which is different and that which is the same (with the latter relating to the three persons of the Trinity, referred to, respectively, as Spirit, Lord, and God) and raises the issue of "the one and the many" with the understanding that although God is one, he is reflected in a tremendous diversity of ways. Or rather, since there is only one God it is that same God who provides all the gifts that are needed. Chrysostom rightly points out that Paul "implies that there is no difference in the gifts of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit," that he does not confuse the persons of the Trinity but declares "the equal honor of the Essence" since "that which the Spirit bestows... God also works [and] the Son likewise ordains and grants. - from commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:4 in the Pillar New Testament Commentary by D. A. Carson, Editor.
  38. Ephesians 4:6 - "There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” The apostle, however, is not speaking of a unity at any price in which the fundamental truths of the gospel are jettisoned. As a strong motivation for his appeal for unity he presents a series of seven acclamations, each using the word 'one', in which the readers are reminded of the fundamental unities on which the Christian faith and life are based. This theological undergirding begins without any linking conjunction or verb in v. 4 as the apostle moves from exhortation (vv. 1- 3) to assertion. The motifs one body and one Spirit are declaratory, yet they have the force of an appeal. 37 The sevenfold list is basically threefold since three of these unities allude to the three persons of the Trinity, while the remaining four refer to believers 'relationship to the Spirit, Son, and Father. -  - from commentary on Ephesians 4:4-6 in the Pillar New Testament Commentary by D. A. Carson, Editor.