The Holy Trinity

One God, Yet Three Distinct Persons


"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"                                                                                    Luke 11:13


Do not fail to observe the fact that each of the three Divine Persons is mentioned here. God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is speaking about God the Father sending God the Spirit to his elect.

            The doctrine of the Trinity, though plainly and unmistakably revealed in the Word of God (1 John 5:7), is a doctrine far beyond the reach of our puny brains. Precisely because it is such a magnanimous doctrine, it is a doctrine about which confusion abounds. This is nothing new. Throughout the history of the church heretics have abounded who denied the doctrine of the Trinity. But today those heretics who openly deny or craftily pervert the doctrine of the Trinity are embraced by many as brethren in Christ!

            There are some among the papists who would include Mary, who was only a sinner saved by grace just like we are, in the Godhead! Mormons and Russellites (Jehovah’s Witnesses) deny the eternal Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Others of differing sects of heretics deny the doctrine of the Trinity and teach that the names Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are only varying representations of the one God. And some go so far in their abominations as to teach that when sinners are saved by the grace of God, they themselves become divine!

            I have no interest in trying to answer all the questions and objections raised by such heretics against the doctrine of the Trinity. But I do want to help you to know what God has revealed about himself in his Word.

If we would understand anything at all about the distinct works of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we must not fail to recognize that each of the three Divine Persons in the eternal Godhead is a separate, distinct Person from the others. The Father is not the Son or the Spirit. The Son is not the Father or the Spirit. And the Spirit is not the Son or the Father. Each is distinct from the other.

            There are some works ascribed to all three of the Divine Persons, because the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are one God. Yet, there are some works ascribed specifically to each of the Divine Persons alone, because each is a distinct Person within the eternal Godhead.

            While salvation’s glorious work is the work of the Triune God, the Scriptures clearly teach us that specific aspects of this great work were assign to the three Persons of the Godhead in the covenant of grace. A casual reading of the first fourteen verses of Ephesians chapter one shows us that our salvation was planned and purposed by God the Father, purchased and obtained by God the Son, and effectually wrought in every chosen, redeemed sinner by God the Holy Spirit. We were elected by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and sanctified by the Spirit.

Don Fortner