One of my favorite real world examples of the Holy Trinity, (The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit), was the water analogy. Not long ago, that worked well for me. Water for example, can exist in three forms or states. H2O can be in liquid form, solid form, and gas or vapor. Not only can it come in those three forms, but it does change its composition from one state to the other. All three states, liquid, solid, and vapor, are still made up of one part hydrogen and two parts oxygen, (H2O). The problem with this example, and really, any real world example that tries to put the Holy Trinity in some form that we can understand, is it does not work. We just don’t have any real world examples to share with each other. Sometimes the best way to explain something like the Trinity is to explain how it does not function. That is, how the water analogy will fall short in explaining the Trinity. As I said, H2O comes in three forms, liquid, solid, and vapor. It also retains its basic elements of H2O in all three states, but it cannot be a liquid when it is a solid. Nor can it be a vapor, when it is a liquid. Water cannot be any of the other states at the same time, at one moment in time it can only be liquid, or solid, or vapor. It can never be liquid, solid, and vapor at the same time. The Trinity is a relationship between three persons who are one God at the same time. Another example of the Trinity I have heard is the different parts of an egg. The shell, the white, and the yoke, all of which are required to have an egg, but like the water example it falls short.
These examples can give us an idea of the Trinity, but the fact is, we do not have any kind of human parallel for the Trinity.
Liberal scholars often instruct the Bible does not teach about the Trinity and other main stream religions do not teach the biblical concept of the Trinity. The Jesus in Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mormonism all reject the Trinity. So where can we find evidence of the Trinity in the Bible?
Matthew 3:16-17 “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (NIV) Here we see Jesus being baptized, the Spirit descending on Christ, and finally the Father expressing love and pleasure with his Son. 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…” (NIV) Jesus named all three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Luke 1:35 “The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’”(NIV) Again all three are mentioned. You will find other references in 2 Corinthians 13:14, and in 1 Peter 1:2 where Peter wrote, “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.” (NIV) You will also find Old Testament references to there being more than one person. In Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” Notice the reference to more than one when creating mankind. He said let ‘us’ make mankind in ‘our’ image, not in my image. Then in Genesis 11:7, “Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
There are other references, but you get the idea with these scriptures alone. Dan Story wrote in The Christian Combat Manual, “Together, these passages testify that the Biblical revelation of God is one Being in essence eternally revealed as three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We can also use deductive reasoning to demonstrate, theologically, the doctrine of the Trinity, which can be stated formally in the following syllogism:
1. Only God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.
2. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all three omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent.
3. Therefore, God is triune as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” 1
It should be obvious that if someone was going to invent a religion, they would not use concepts that are in essence beyond our understanding, but also with out any real world examples. Christianity has a lot of elements that are difficult to understand, hard to embrace, and down right difficult to practice. If you’re going to invent a religion, that is exactly what you don’t want to do. Yet, despite the difficult teachings, the terrible sufferings and persecutions by the Romans, Christianity grew in numbers not only in Israel, but into Rome and across the world. Why do you think that is?
1. Story, Dan. The Christian Combat Manual. Chattanooga: AMG, 2007. Print.