Within the scriptures, we learn primarily about God. The more we understand the true nature of God, the more likely we are to better understand His will for us. One of the more complex issues surrounding the nature of God is what we call the Trinity. Within the next three articles we will discuss briefly the Godhead. These are not intended to be exhaustive, but they should be somewhat helpful to begin a personal study of this topic.
The first issue that must be addressed about the Godhead is that it is not primarily a New Testament doctrine. The Old Testament discussed the triune nature of God as well. Genesis 1:26 is the origin of this thought: “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” The “Us” in this text obviously implies that God is speaking in the plural. Some have thought that God speaking to others in this context means He was speaking to angels, but we have no evidence that angels were made in the likeness of God as well, and thus we can prove little from this assumption. We find God speaking of Himself in the plural in other places as well such as Genesis 3:22, Genesis 11:7, and Isaiah 6:8. One thing is for certain though, there are not a plurality of gods; “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deu 6:4).
Throughout the scriptures we find the most common usage of God to be directed towards the “Father”. We find thoughts about God being a father throughout scripture as well. Psalm 103:13, “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.” But nowhere do we find God the Father emphasized like in the New Testament.
Notice how Jesus speaks of God in John 8:37-42: “I know that you are Abraham's descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.” They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “ If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.” Jesus said to them, “ If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.”
This passage solidifies that Jesus knew that God was His Father and called Him by that description. Also 1 Corinthians 8:6, “yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” And Ephesians 4:6, “one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Obviously the usage of Father was fitting to describe the first person of the Godhead. There is little debate about His role in creation and salvation, and yet there can be so much confusion about the other two expressions of Deity.