Q5 // Are there more Gods than one?
A // There is only one God, the living and true God.
Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 45:21-22; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6
Jeremiah 10:10; John 17:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 John 5:20
Q6 // How many persons are there in the Godhead?
A // There are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2
Psalm 45:6; John 1:1; John 17:5; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Jude 1:24-25
There are 2 things that the Bible makes abundantly clear: that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6.4) and that Yahweh, Jesus, and the Spirit are all God. This creates a problem for us. God can not be one and three at the same time, can He?
This has led well-meaning theologians throughout history to hypothesize as to how these two seeming contradictions can live in harmony. To rectify this we have to avoid the desire to have it ‘make sense.’ What we are discussing here is the nature of a God who is: Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being (as we saw last week). This is not a God we simplify so that we can understand Him. Any description of God needs to come from how He has reveled Himself (and must not go beyond this). Some attempts to demystify God have led to heresies such as Modalism (that God manifests Himself as Father, Son, and Spirit, but is never distinct simultaneously), Arianism (that Jesus and the Spirit are creations of God), and Polytheism (the belief in many Gods which can be simply believing that Father, Son, and Spirit are simply 3 different gods living in harmony). The problem with all of these is that they rob God of the beautiful mystery of the Trinity.
God as three persons in one essence helps us to see that God is sufficient in Himself. He does not need us; He is never lonely. It also helps us to understand why it was not okay for Adam to be alone and why He created a complimentary companion for Adam (as each person of the Trinity is equal but unique). This also helps us to see value in authority and submission in this life as even God lives in continual service to Himself. The Trinitarian nature of God is not easy, but it is an important part of knowing Him and knowing ourselves.