By Spencer D Gear PhD
It’s interesting to note how tricky people can be in avoiding declaring that they do not believe in the fundamental Christian doctrine of the Trinity of God. This is how one fellow was elusive on a Christian forum. He wrote that there is no Scripture which refers to the Triune God:
An anti-trinitarian in action
1 Corinthians 8:6, ‘But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him’.
Ephesians 4:5-6 King James Version (KJV), ‘5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all’.
There is no scripture saying Triune God…the scripture says continue in the Father and the Son
1 John 2:22-24 King James Version (KJV), ‘22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father’.
So, according to this person, Scripture does not say Triune God. He continued:
- ‘by your own admission ….if the HS [Holy Spirit] is God’s Spirit… then the HS is God and therefore not a third person…which means there is no trinity.’
- ‘The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God… Do you not believe the scripture??? Ephesians 4:5-6 (KJV) ‘5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all’.
- ‘‘The Spirit of God is God… and NOT something other than God…and thereore (sic) NOT another person or entity. John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”. John 14:23, ‘Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.’
- ‘The scripture does not teach…..the Holy Ghost is a person of a Trinity….scripture teaches the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God… Paul said “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Eph 4:30 KJV)’
- ‘You have not been reading scripture …have you?…scripture sats (sic) nothing about a triune nature….it says God is ONE……what are the three natures you are talking about??? show scripture saying there are three natures… Jesus said I and my Father are one….Jesus and the Father makes their abode with us….One Spirit’. 
- ‘OK here is the person…..: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” who was HE that the disciples Knew???….who was he that dwelleth with the disciples???…and who was the HE that shall be in us????’
- ‘where does scripture say one God in three persons….???? you have no scripture to back up that claim.’
- ‘none of those say or imply in any way…”one God in three persons.”….. you are reading that into the scripture friend’.
After seeing this kind of back and forth from a non-Trinitarian person, I asked him directly, ‘Don’t you believe in the Trinity?’ His response was predictably, ‘Where does the scripture command anyone to believe in the trinitarian God???’ I replied, ‘You are not answering my question. I asked: Do you believe in the Trinitarian God or not?’
He eventually confessed: ‘I do not believe in the trinitarian god… it is a false doctrine… can you now answer my question??… where does the scripture command anyone to believe in the trinitarian god???
It was at this point I provided him with….
A beginning answer
Please note that I do not deal here with the unity of God, that there is one God.
Where does the Scripture command us to believe in the Trinitarian God?
Let’s answer the first question. Where does Scripture command us to believe in God? There are many Scriptures we could choose. Let’s deal with just a couple:
a. ‘And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.’ (Heb 11:6 ESV). ‘And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever’ (1 Chron 28:9 ESV). We could go to other verses as well to affirm the need to believe in God.
b. The second question is: What is the nature of this God? Is he Trinitarian or non-trinitarian? Let’s investigate further.
In a response, this is what happens when a person only gives the biblical verses that support the anti-trinitarian view of god, which is a heretical view of God as was declared at the Council of Nicea in AD 325 (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2015). See the Nicene Creed below. Why? Because he has chosen to exclude the verses that demonstrate that God consists of three persons who are deity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The definition of the Trinity which has biblical support is: ‘God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God’ (Grudem 1999:104).
What’s the evidence that God, the Father, is fully God? It is progressively revealed throughout Scripture. As early as Genesis 1:26 (ESV), God is revealed as a plurality: ‘Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’. Here we have the plural pronouns ‘us’ and ‘our’ used. Are they plurals of majesty or do they indicate that there is plurality in the Godhead? ‘In Old Testament Hebrew there are no other examples of a monarch using plural verbs or plural pronouns of himself in such a “plural of majesty,” so this suggestion has no evidence to support it’ (Grudem 1999:104). The God who is plurality made a human being (man) in their (plural) image.
The persons and deity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit
The more complete revelation is in the New Testament where we find that
God, the Son, is regarded as God. He has the attributes of deity: (1) Eternity (Jn 1:15; 8:58; 17:5, 24); (2) Omniscience (Jn 2:24-25; 16:30; 21:17); (3) Omnipresence (Mt 18:20; 28:20; Jn 3:13); (4) Omnipotence. ‘I am the Almighty’ (Rev 1:8; Heb 1:3; Mt 28:18); (5) Immutable (Heb 1:12; 13:8); (6) He does the actions of deity: creator (Jn 1:3; Heb 1:10; Col 1:16); holds things together (Col 1:17; Heb 1:3); forgives sin (Mt 9:2, 6); raises the dead (Jn 6:39-40, 54; 11:25; 20:25, 28); he will be the Judge (Jn 5:22) of believers (2 Cor 5:10), of Antichrist and his followers (Rev 19:15), the nations (Ac 17:31), Satan (Gen 3:15) and the living and the dead (Ac 10:42).
God, the Holy Spirit, is regarded as God. The Holy Spirit is a person. Take John 16:13 as an example. the neuter substantive pneuma [Spirit] is referred to by the masculine pronoun ekeinos [he], thus recognising the Holy Spirit not as a neuter ‘it’ but as a person, ‘he’. He is the Comforter/Helper (Jn 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7). No ‘it’ can do this. The Holy Spirit has the attributes of Deity. He is eternal (Heb 9:14), omniscient (1 Cor 2:10-11; Jn 14:26; 16:12-13), omnipotent (Lk 1:35), omnipresent (Ps 139:7-10). And have a guess what? He does the works of deity in creation (Ps 104:30), regeneration (Jn 3:5), giving us Scripture (2 Pt 1:21; and raising the dead (Rm 8:11).
In preparing these Scriptures I have been assisted by Henry Thiessen (1949:134-146). Thiessen notes that ‘the doctrine of the tripersonality of God is not in conflict with the doctrine of the unity of God. There are three persons in the one essence…. These distinctions are eternal. This is evident from the passages which imply Christ’s existence with the Father from eternity (John 1:1, 2; Phil. 2:6; John 17:5, 24) and from those which assert or imply the eternity of the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:2; Heb. 9:14)’ (Thiessen 1949:145).
Although the words Trinity, Triunity or tripersonality do not appear in Scripture, the teachings do, as I’ve attempted to show. Exact wording should not put us off. Try finding these words in the Bible: Rapture, inerrancy, infallibility, the word Bible, literal interpretation, Sunday, Christmas, Easter; the exact words, ‘Jesus is God’; etc. However, all these teachings can be demonstrated from the Bible.
This person is a Unitarian
The United Pentecostal Church and ‘Jesus Only’ Pentecostals (Oneness Pentecostals) are modalists, which is a heresy from the early church. For a refutation of Oneness Pentecostalism, see Jason Barker of Watchman Fellowship’s Profile article, ‘Oneness Pentecostalism’. See also ‘Modalism, Tritheism, or the Pure Revelation of the Triune God‘. These articles expose the dangerous heresy of modalism whose early form was Sabellianism and whose modern manifestation is Oneness Pentecostalism or Jesus Only Pentecostalism.
See these other articles
Sue Bohlin, ‘Jesus claims to be God’;
Norman Geisler, ‘The uniqueness of Jesus Christ’;
Spencer Gear: Is Jesus a God and not the God?
Spencer Gear, ‘Was Jesus omniscient while on earth?’
Spencer Gear, Is the Holy Spirit God?
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Encyclopaedia Britannica 2015. Council of Nicaea. Available at: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/413817/Council-of-Nicaea (Accessed 31 May 2015).
Grudem, W 1999. Bible doctrine: Essential teachings of the Christian faith. J Purswell (ed). Leister, England: Inter-Varsity Press (published by arrangement with Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan).
Thiessen, H C 1949. Introductory lectures in systematic theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
 Christianity Board, ‘Prove practise of worship of the Holy Spirit is biblical’, newbirth#27. Available at: https://www.christianityboard.com/threads/prove-practise-of-worship-of-the-holy-spirit-is-biblical.20990/page-2 (Accessed 31 May 2015).
 I will use ‘he’ but this person will not reveal his/her sex.
 Ibid., newbirth#28.
 Ibid., newbirth#30.
 Ibid., newbirth#32.
 Ibid., newbirth#33.
 Ibid., newbirth#35.
 Ibid., newbirth#38.
 Ibid., newbirth#45.
 Ibid., newbirth#47.
 Ibid., OzSpen#52.
 Ibid., newbirth#62.
 Ibid., OzSpen#64.
 Ibid., newbirth#66.
 Ibid., OzSpen#69.
Copyright © 2015 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 19 July 2019.