The Triune God


1.1 Who is the God Christians worship?

  • In accordance with the testimony of the Holy Scriptures, the God we worship is one divine Being in three eternal, co-essential, yet distinct Persons — God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
  • (Mark 12:29; Matt. 28:19; Acts 20:28; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 10:29; 1 Pet 1:2)

1.2 What does being triune tell us about God’s nature?

  • That God is the eternal communion of holy love shared by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • (John 14:9; 1 John 4:8; Rom. 5:8; Titus 2:11; Heb. 1:2-3; 1 Pet. 1:2; Gal. 3:26)

1.3 Does that mean there are three Gods?

  • The triune God is one God who exists eternally as three distinct Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • The triune God is one in being and three in Persons.

1.4 How can God be both one in being and three in Persons?

  • Though we cannot know exactly how God’s being functions since we are mere creatures, we can say that, unlike human persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are related to each other in such an absolutely unique and profound way that they are one in being.
  • The oneness of God’s being is a tri-unity.

1.5 Are the three Persons of the Trinity three different ways God acts towards his creation, or three roles the one God plays?

  • No, in the being of God there is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who know, love and glorify each other for all eternity. There never was a time when God was not triune.

1.6 Is one of the Persons of the Trinity the origin of the others, and thus superior?

  • No, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are equally eternal and divine and share the same authority and power, and have the same mind, will and purpose in all things.

1.7 Does the equality of the three divine Persons mean that they are interchangeable with each other?

  • No, the divine Persons are not interchangeable “parts” of God.
  • Each has a unique relationship of holy love to the other two, and each has an eternal name that reveals their real personal distinction.

1.8 What are the unique relationships in the being of the triune God that are not interchangeable?

  • The Father eternally begets the Son, the Son is eternally begotten by the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and through the Son.

1.9 Do the three divine Persons act independently of each other towards creation?

  • No, all the works of the triune God toward his creation are indivisible since God is one in being and of one mind, will, authority and holy love.

1.10 Is there no difference, then, in how the three divine Persons relate to creation?

  • There is a difference, for though the acts of the divine Persons are undivided, each contributes uniquely to the perfectly united works of the one triune God.

1.11 How can we speak of the unique contributions of the three divine Persons without separating their works?

  • We could say that one of the Persons initiates, or takes the lead, in one or another of the distinct and gracious acts towards the triune God’s creation, while the others perfectly follow in complete harmony with each other.

1.12 What are the primary acts of the triune God towards creation?

  • The Father is most associated with creation, the Son with redemption, and the Holy Spirit with bringing all things to perfection.
  • However, all three of the divine Persons are involved in all the works of the one triune God.

1.13 Why did the triune God create?

  • Because the triune God is a living, loving and generative God who creates for the sake of communion and holy love with his creation.

1.14 Why did the triune God redeem creation?

  • From the beginning, God’s human creatures, in distrusting God, have alienated themselves and sought to live autonomously from their good, faithful and life-giving Creator.
  • But because the triune God is a faithful and loving God who does not give up on his creatures, God himself made a way for them to be reconciled to him and thus return to fullness of communion with him as their Lord and Savior.

1.15 Why does the triune God now work to perfect the creation?

  • Because the triune God is a communion of perfect holy love who created us to share in the triune God’s love and life for all eternity and in that way give glory to God.

1.16 How can we finite creatures know, love and trust the triune God?

  • The triune God has the desire, will and ability to make himself known to his human creatures who do not have the desire, the will, or the ability to know God on their own.
  • That revelation, which culminated in the Father’s personal self-revelation in Jesus Christ, has, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, been preserved for us in the Holy Scriptures.

1.17 What do the Holy Scriptures say about the triune God?

  • The Bible records Jesus’ teaching concerning the eternal names of the divine Persons of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and the relationships in the eternal being of God — most specifically knowing, loving and glorifying one another.
  • Coming from the eternal communion of the Trinity, Jesus is the only one who can tell us surely and authoritatively that God, from eternity, is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • Only the Father knows the Son, and only the Son knows the Father and those to whom the Son has chosen to reveal him.
  • (Luke 10:22; Matt. 11:27; John 1:18; 17:25; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14)

1.18 What do Christians understand from the Holy Scriptures about the character of the triune God revealed by Jesus Christ?

  • We learn that the character, mind, purpose, will and heart of the triune God is identical to what we see and hear in Jesus Christ, demonstrated by what he accomplished in his earthly ministry.
  • Those who have met and seen the Son have indeed met in him the Father.
  • We know the Father by knowing the Son. They are united in such a way that they have the same nature, character, heart, mind, will, authority, power and purpose.
  • (John 10:30; 14:9; 17:11, 21-22; 1 John 2:23)


What we believe about God is our most important belief … and the doctrine of the Trinity, rather than being just one of several doctrines, is the primary doctrine of our Christian faith, which gives shape to all the others. Some people object to the doctrine of the Trinity, noting that the word “Trinity” is not in the Bible. That concern and others are addressed in the following GCI articles:

  • Is the Doctrine of the Trinity in the Bible? … The Trinity: Just a Doctrine? …
  • Does the Doctrine of the Trinity Teach Three Gods? …
  • The Trinity: 1 + 1 + 1 = 1? …
  • How Many Gods Does God Say There Are? …
  • What Does Deuteronomy 6:4 Mean? …
  • Only One God.


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