The Unity and Oneness of God
The term trinity is not mentioned in the bible. It was first used in the second century to describe the Godhead, which is a biblical term (Colossians 2:9 and Romans 1:20). So “trinity” is merely another word to describe the Godhead. It should be noted, the planet Jupiter existed before it was ever named. Therefore, just because the term trinity came along later, doesn’t make it any less valid.
Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord.” Lord is Yahweh in the original and is singular. On the other hand, Elohim (God) is plural for God. It could read, “Yahweh (singular) our Elohim (plural) is one Yahweh (singular).” No doubt this is referring to the oneness of God, but it also has reference to plurality. There is no way of properly explaining this other than the Trinity.
This is one of the most important and foundational doctrines of the Christian faith. It is extremely important that we are well equipped and versed in what we believe concerning this doctrine. Dr. Walter Martin once said that cults twist the majority of Christians into doctrinal pretzels because we know what we believe, but not why we believe it. Peter said, “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and be ready always to give answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15 KJV). We are admonished to “Contend (fight) for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3 KJV).
There is only one God. The scriptures make it clear there is but one God that we worship and serve. There are not many gods, but only one true and living God. The following scriptures make this abundantly clear. I will quote just a few below so there is no mistake as to what the scriptures teach on this.
“Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4 NASB).
“So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me” (Isaiah 43:10 NASB).
“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ’I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me” (Isaiah 44:6 NASB).
“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22 NASB).
“There is none like You, and there is no God besides You” (2 Samuel 7:22 NASB).
“For there is (A)one God, and (B)one mediator also between God and men, the (C)man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5 NASB).
“There is no God but one”(1 Corinthians 8:4 NASB).
Compound unity. God is a compound rather than an absolute unity. There are plenty of places where we see God speaking in the plural. Let’s look at some of these verses briefly. “Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26 NASB); “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:22 NASB); “Come, let Us go down” (Genesis 11:7 NASB); “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us” (Isaiah 6:8 NASB)?
The following prophecy refers to each member of the Trinity or Godhead within the verse. “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10 NASB). Notice how the pronouns are interchanged or intermingled in the verse “I will,” “they will look upon Me,” “they will mourn for Him,” “they will weep bitterly over Him”. The wording here can only be explained by viewing it as the compound unity of the Godhead.
Let’s look at some examples of compound unity in other things, but remember, no illustration is perfect – they merely shed light on the subject. A wise man of ancient Greece once said, “Every Illustration limps”. The following examples will help bring light and understanding to the composite unity of the Godhead or Trinity. They will aid us in understanding the difference in this doctrine as a composite rather than a solitary unity.
- Marriage. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 NASB and also Mark 10:8). Adam didn’t become Eve but they became as one before God.
- Cluster of grapes. “Then they came to the valley of Eshcol and from there cut down a branch with a single cluster of grapes; and they carried it on a pole between two men” (Numbers 13:23-24 NASB). Moses sent twelve men to spy out the promise land and bring back samples of what the land had to offer. They brought back one cluster of grapes that was so large they had to carry it on a pole between two men. It was one cluster of grapes that clung from the same stem and drew it’s life from the same source. There were many grapes within the one cluster.
- A group of people. A group can be said to stand as one in time of crisis, to defend themselves or to fulfill some purpose. It was said of the children of Israel, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same (one) language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them” (Genesis 11:6 NASB). It was said of the early church, “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart” (Acts 2:46 NASB). On September 11, 2001 America was attacked on it’s own soil and they came together as one like at few other times in history.
See our next study on The Trinity: One God, Three Persons