Understanding the Trinity of God
Little by Little Knowledge
Difficult facts are given to an infant in a simplified and generalized way. As this infant matures and his perception becomes complete, he is dissatisfied with simplified and summarized answers. He endeavors to search for accuracy and details in matters, for his intellect is ready and prepared to absorb them.
This is also the case with mankind. When mankind was in infancy, the Lord gave them a simplified and generalized picture of Himself to the extent that they could perceive. That is why the apostle Paul said, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able” (I Corinthians 3:1-2).
When the perfect time had come and the mentality of believers grew, the Lord began to declare that He is one in His unique Trinity. He uncovered for us this great secret, which was concealed from mankind in their state of perceptual and spiritual weakness. When the Lord gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to us, He revealed His own life and His divine status to us as the apostle Paul said, “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God” (I Corinthians 2:10).
This doctrine is still a secret unknown to the carnal. They resist it because of their lack of perception of the facts of true faith and the concealed secret of God.
The Unity of God in Christianity
We Christians believe in one God who has no partner. He is infinite, filling the heavens and the earth. He is the creator of all, Eternal, and Everlasting. His kingdom is without end.
This creed is very clear in the holy Gospel. The Christian canon of belief is what follows:
1. The Lord
Jesus Himself taught this belief when a Jew came to ask Him about the greatest
commandment. He answered him, “Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all
your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:29-30). This is the
first commandment. It is an echo and confirmation of Deuteronomy 6: 4-9. If
this commandment had been written in the language of the Kurān,
it would have been “God our God, is the only (unique) God, the everlasting
2. The apostle Paul clarified this saying, “Is God just for the Jews and not for Gentiles as well? Yes, for Gentiles also because God is one” (Romans 3:29-30).
3. And the apostle James expressed the same belief saying, “You believe that God is one. You do well” (James 2:19).
4. The Christian creed was taken from these texts along with others in the Bible. The Church has been avowing these beliefs for generations saying, “truly we believe in one God … Creator of heavens and earth, and the visible and invisible.” Hence, my dear friend, you perceive that we Christians believe in one God and not three gods. We shall clarify the meaning of Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in discussions about the holy Trinity of Christianity.
II- The Holy Trinity in Christianity
The doctrine of the holy Trinity in no way means the existence of three gods as some people wrongly imagine. The meaning of this doctrine is – God is one …
Existing in Himself, so He declared Himself as the Father, Speaking the word, so He declared Himself as the Son, the Word Alive in his spirit, so He declared Himself as the Holy Spirit.
It should not be understood from these names that there is a bodily relationship as in human terms, but rather it has a spiritual meaning.
These names are not established or invented by man, but they are the words of divine inspiration in the Holy Book, as you will see from the following references:
(1) The Lord
Jesus said to His disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nation, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son
and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Monotheism is clear in His words,
“baptize them in the name.” He did
not say, “baptize them in the names of Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Yet the
Trinity is clear presented in His words, “the Father, the Son, and the Holy
(2) The apostle John very clearly confirms this understanding, “Those who testify in heaven are three, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit and these three are one” (I John 5:8).
When comparing the two verses, you find the names of the holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is the holy Trinity in the only God in whom we believe.
III- The Necessity of the Trinity in the Unity
In summary, the necessity of the Trinity in the unity is clear from the above references and discussion.
(1) The one God, creator of all living things, must have a personal existence Himself.
(2) The one God, who created man with ability to speak, must Himself also speak the word.
(3) The one God, who created life in every living being, must Himself be alive in the spirit.
Therefore, it is certain that a holy Trinity should be in the only God as we have already clarified. This is our true belief: God is one in the Trinity and not three gods.
THE NAMES OF THE HOLY TRINITY
The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit, The names of the Holy Trinity
We learned from the previous discussion that Christianity believes in one God, who is in a trinity: God’s person, His Word, and his Spirit. This Trinity has other names: The Father (God’s person), The Son (Word of God), and the Holy Spirit (Spirit of God).
Some ignorant people make objections to this naming for they think that it means procreation and sexual relationship. God forbid Christianity from this understanding! Therefore, we shall clarify the intention of this naming.
I- The Father
To Christians the meaning of the word Father does not mean as actual physical father.
(1) It has a metaphorical meaning. God is the source and the creator of all creatures. So He is called the Father of all creatures, especially the intellectual ones. As the prophet Moses said, “Is He not your father and your possessor? He made you and brought you up” (Deuteronomy 32:6) or as Isaiah the prophet said, “O Lord, Thou art our Father” (Isaiah 64:8). In the New Testament the apostle Paul declared, “Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him” (I Corinthians 8:6). The word father in this context is stated on much the same way as used in Arabic “Father of blessing” (Abū al Khair Abū al Barakāt) and “Father of God” (Abu al Fadl), and others. These should not be understood in terms of a procreator or actual parentage but rather metaphorically.
(2) There is the legal meaning. In the case of adoption, the word father does not mean that he gave birth to the adopted son, rather he accepted him as a son and granted him all legal rights. He considered himself responsible and obligated to him as a real father. The apostle Paul speaks about this, “You have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’(Romans 8:15) and in (Galatians 4: 4), he uses the term “to obtain adoption.” So God’s fatherhood in our adoption is based on divine legal rights.
(3) There is the essential meaning. This is the meaning, which can only be applied to God’s Trinity. May He be exalted! As a word bursts from the mouth, the son emanated from the Father before all ages. Jesus who is the Son became flesh through the blessed Mary because He was from the very beginning a spirit from God the spirit. It is stated in John’s Gospel, “And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Jesus viewed God as His Father, in this unique, essential meaning, which cannot be applied to any one else. “Neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27).
Lastly, there is the spiritual meaning. After God had poured His Holy Spirit into the hearts of all believers through His Son they were born again, a spiritual birth. This friendly, divine Spirit converted them. These believers “were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man but of God” (John 1:13). Jesus Christ taught us to exclaim, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed is Your Name.” It is not the right of any man to call himself as Son of God and call God his Father, unless he obtains legal adoption. The anointment of the Holy Spirit reveals to us the secret of the name, God the Father. We do not believe in the fatherhood of God in a physical sense, but in purity of holiness, we believe in the birth of Christ and descent and indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers.
THE SHINING OF GRACE
I- The Proof of the Spirit
Dear reader, the discussion thus far has presented intellectual and logical evidence in considering the truth of the Trinity in Christian belief. In other words, human wisdom has been the basis of discussion. However, the apostle Paul shows us that faith is not by human wisdom, but rather by the proof and power of the Spirit. He says, “And my massage and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4,5). So pardon me, my dear friend, for resorting to human wisdom and let me talk to you about the proof of Spirit and power.
The proof of the
Spirit is in the heart and not in the intellect. “For with the heart man
believes, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:10). Heart faith is the result of
grace shining into the heart of man disclosing to him the secret of faith, the
love of God, and his wonderful work for us. This made him take the form of man
and walk the road of
II- Groping in Darkness
There is no doubt that reliance on mere intellect to perceive the facts of faith is impossible. Divine inspiration says, “Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty? It is high as the heavens, what can you do? Deeper than Hell, what can you know?” (Job 11:7-8).
How then can a finite mind perceive the infinite God? The wise man said, “You search for the Lord who controls all, but you will never understand the secret of His wisdom, because you will never know the depth of man’s heart, and his thoughts you do not know, so how do you search for God who made all these things and how can you know His mind and perceive His thoughts?” The words of the apostle Paul confirm, “ O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unreachable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?” (Romans11:33-34). If some people do not beware of this fact, they will stray from faith and will be lost in the gloomy darkness. Here are some examples from the areas of philosophy, Christianity, and Islam.
Philosophy relies on thought and deals with abstracts, and so we find contradictions and differences among the efforts of philosophers down through the centuries. Among philosophers there are believers and unbelievers. The English philosopher Carlyle (1795-1881) is an example of man groping in the darkness of human thought. At one time Carlyle was a believer. Then he read the philosophy of Hume and other skeptics. He was convinced of their opinions, and his faith disappeared. Yet while he was still devoted to searching and scrutinizing, he read Shiller, Goethe, and Fichte and was dissuaded by their opinions; he changed his attitude and came back to faith. Returning to faith, Carlyle became certain of his everlasting fact, which he approved after his long search and study: “Mind is no longer the source of true knowledge, rather the heart has become the source.” (Yūsuf Karam, History of Modern Philosophy, p. 332.)
Many heretics, people who have left the Christian faith, wanted to subject the facts of faith to intellectual standards. They threw themselves into a perilous situation. Such men were Arius, Macedonius, and Nestorius.
Arius did not accept the possibility of the appearance of God in a human body. He denied the deity of Christ. Then the patriarchs of the Church and its bishops from all parts of the world held a meeting and debated this subject in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Bible. They condemned and exiled Arius. They rejected his teachings as contradictory to the faith.
The Grace of Revelation
No man is able by his power, his intellect, or his wisdom to come to know God. This problem is in need of divine declaration so that in the darkness of his thought, man can know the secret, which is concealed from limited human minds. Some philosophers knew the importance of this grace and called it the theory of enlightenment. A philosopher once said, “It is only possible to know God thanks to the light of God. God is the hidden teacher. He is the true light that enlightens every man in this world.” (Yūsuf Karam. History of European Philosophy in the Middle Ages, p. 32)
The Holly Bible speaks about these two subjects: the inability of man and the necessity of revelation.
The Bible describes the inability of human intellect to perceive divine matters in the book of Job. “It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper then hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:8-9). Job also said, “Search for the Lord, controller of all, and you do not perceive the secret of His wisdom … Then how do you search for God and know His mind and perceive His thoughts.” The apostle Paul said, “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! For who known the mind of the lord, or who became His counselor?” (Romans11:33-34). Hence, it is indeed clear that man is unable to know the matters pertaining to God.
We are in need of the grace of revelation or “the light of God” to reveal to us the secret of His wisdom, as was said in the Bible, “And that He would show you the secrets of wisdom” (Job 11:6).
My dear friend God the father is prepared to declare Himself to you. You can see this fact in the Lord’s prayer, “I praise Three, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes” (Matthew 11:25). Perhaps you perceive from this prayer that the light of grace is declared to simple people who are referred to as “babes.” Those who want to understand those secrets by reasoning and wisdom will not obtain understanding. God the Father declared the secret of faith to the apostle Peter. Peter said, “Thou art the Son of living God,” and Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjonas, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:16-17).
My brother, Jesus Christ Himself is prepared to reveal His nature to you and to reveal the secret of faith. He says, “And no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Luke 10:22). The Son kindly revealed His secret to the apostle Paul. Paul said, “For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12).
The Holy Spirit with its full grace is now working in the world revealing the way of faith to every man, so that he can enjoy the fellowship of grace and know the Lord well. This is what the apostle Paul clarified saying, “Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing way; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all the God has prepared for those who love him.’ For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of man except the spirit of man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet no man appraises him himself. For who known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 1:6-16).
These verses clarify to you an extremely important and essential point: it is necessary to change the natural man to a spiritual man so that he can accept and know the affairs pertaining to God. Ask the Lord to convert you and reveal Himself to you, and He will surely respond because He wants all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
In fact, no one can come to God unless He attracts him. As the Lord Christ, may He be glorified, said, “No man comes to Me unless the Father attracts him.” (John 6:44) When the bride of Solomon knew the secret she cried, “Draw me after you, and we will run after you” (Song of Solomon 1:4). The Lord draws us to Himself by His affection. When the human soul remembers the fullness of God’s love for it, it becomes fascinated by His love; the apostle John says, “We love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19).
Are you not aware of
what God’s love has done for you? The apostle Paul says, “But God demonstrates
His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”
(Romans 5:8). Love caused Him to take a human body and walk on the road to
O divine love! What a privilege we were given and what dignity we were granted, and by what affection you attracted us. Brother, you will not know God but through love. Worship is not mere teaching, beliefs, theories or religious duties; but rather, it is extreme love at its highest degree. God is not a “picture” of a being made or imagined by human minds. He cannot be defined by religious men and intellectually analyzed by theories of philosophers and theologians in terms of their opinions and understandings. But as the apostle said, “God is love and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (I John 4:16).
Has your heart been
bound by the love of God? My dear friend, do not be embarrassed with theories
and debates, but it is enough to do as
V- The Light of Faith
When grace shines in the heart of man, the light of faith enlightens him. It is impossible for man to attain true faith without the light of grace, as the Bible clarifies in Isaiah, “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you. And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Is 60:1-3)
The apostle Paul said, “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6).
Grace has shone in the life of many people including Saul of Tarsus.
(1) Saul of Tarsus
was a fanatic Jew. He persecuted Christians and dragged them to jails, and
talked about himself saying, “I had to do too many things hostile to the name
of Jesus of Nazareth. And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I
lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief
priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against
them. And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them
to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to
foreign cities. While thus enraged as I was journeying to
(2) Thus grace shone and the light of faith enlightened Saul, and late he became the apostle Paul, philosopher of Christianity.
When man is drawn by the power of grace to the fold of faith, he is no longer in need of an evidence or a logical proof to confirm the truths of faith, rather the testimony is now in his heart, for he realized that God lives within him, and he changed him. He no longer searches for God outside himself. Augustine, the well-known philosopher, having accepted faith said, “Lo, I have found you and perceived you. O! how great is my fortune and how lucky I am! I was looking for You in outer matters! But that searching was in vain, for I found you in my soul, in my heart! And here I am grasping You and seeing You.” (Augustine, Confessions.)
The believer is he who sees the Lord and clothed with the Lord in his life, which He completely converted. He changed him from a lustful man, a slave to sin, into a spiritual, holy-loving man. The believer sees the Lord in his heart now cleaned from the filth of sin, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). After the work of grace, faith is no longer an intellectual faith believing in invisible matters, lacking evidence and proofs, but a faith of experience that changes the wolf into a lamb; this is the greatest evidence and proof for the truth of faith.
Perhaps you have perceived, dear beloved brother, the meaning of the Trinity for us Christians. Perhaps you have become certain that we do not worship three gods. He forbids! We only believe in one God, existing in Himself, speaking by His Word and living by His Spirit. His Word dwelled in the blessed Mary and took from her a human body, who is the Lord Christ, who lived on our earth, and completed our salvation.
My beloved brother, I pray the Lord to make His light shine in your heart, to declare to you this miraculous secret, because the Spirit of God only perceives the matters of God. Would that you would ask Him, first to convert you, and qualify you to accept the work of grace in your life, so that you became a son of God, and a member of this godly nature. Then by the Spirit you will receive what the mind is unable to perceive. God protect you and be with you.
The above was taken in part from the writings of Father Zachariah Botross
Pray that you may believe in the Trinity of the One God, because when we say we believe in God, it must be the true God and not a false God. It must be the God that Christ revealed to us and explained to us. All others are false gods.
Approved Prayers for faith in the Holy Trinity
If you still have problems understanding or accepting the Doctrine of the Trinity, try praying the following two prayers revealed from Heaven and approved by the Church.
Sister Mildred Neuzil
“O my Love, my only Good, Most Holy Trinity, I adore You, hidden in the depths of my soul. To You, to Your honor and glory, I dedicate my life. May every thought, word and deed of mine be an act of adoration and praise directed towards Your Divine Majesty enthroned in my heart.
O Father, Infinite Goodness, behold Your child, clothed in the likeness of Your Son. Extend to me Your arms that I may belong to You forever.
O Son, Divine Lord, made man, crucify me with Yourself that I a may become, in union with You, a sacrifice of praise for the glory of Your Father.
O Holy Spirit, Fire of Everlasting Love, consume me on the altar of Divine Charity, that at the end of life, nothing may remain but that which bears the likeness of Christ.
O Blessed Trinity, worthy of all adoration, I wish to remain in spirit on my knees, to acknowledge forever Your reign in me and over me, to Your everlasting glory.
Through the Immaculate Heart of May and the pure heart of
At the moment of death, receive me, O my Triune Love, that I may continue my adoration of love through all eternity. Amen.
Nihil Obstat: Daniel Pilarczyk, S.T.D.
Imprimatur: Bishop Paul F. Leibold, V.G.
BLESSED ELIZABETH OF
O my God, Trinity whom I adore; help me to forget myself entirely that I may be established in You as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing trouble my peace or make me leave You, O my Unchanging One, but may each minute carry me further into the depths of Your mystery. Give peace to my soul; make it Your heaven, Your beloved dwelling and Your resting place. May I never leave You there alone but be wholly present, my faith wholly vigilant, wholly adoring, and wholly surrendered to Your creative Action.
O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I wish to be a bride for Your Heart; I wish to cover You with glory; I wish to love You...even unto death! But I feel my weakness, and I ask You to "clothe me with Yourself," to identify my soul with all the movements of Your Soul, to overwhelm me, to possess me, to substitute yourself for me that my life may be but a radiance of Your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Restorer, as Savior.
O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life in listening to You, to become wholly teachable that I may learn all from You. Then, through all nights, all voids, al l helplessness, I want to gaze on You always and remain in Your great light. O my beloved Star, so fascinate me that I may not withdraw from Your radiance.
O consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, "come upon me," and create in my soul a kind of incarnation of the Word: that I may be another humanity for Him in which He can renew His whole Mystery. And You, O Father, bend lovingly over Your poor little creature; "cover her with Your shadow," seeing in her only the "Beloved in whom You are well pleased."
O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself to You as Your prey. Bury Yourself in me that I may bury myself in You until I depart to contemplate in Your light the abyss of Your greatness.