I have established the Bible teaches 1) there is only one God and 2) the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate persons (can communicate, think rationally, love, etc.). Now if I can show the third premise to be Biblical, I will have provided justification for believing in the doctrine of the Trinity.
3. Each Person is Fully God
Father is God
Demonstrating from the Bible the Father is God is not a problem. This truth can be shown in multiple passages.
Gal. 1:1 Paul, an apostle–sent not from men nor by men, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments God the Father is viewed as sovereign Lord over all. Jesus prayed to the Father in the garden prior to his crucifixion (Matt. 26:36-46). I have never met a person or any Bible believing religious group that denies the Father is God.
Holy Spirit is God
Once the Father and the Son are established to be fully God then the Trinitarian expression found in Matthew 28:19 (“baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”) is significant in showing how the Holy Spirit is classified on an equal level with the Father and the Son. It would have been unthinkable to baptize believers “in the name of the Father and the Son and the archangel Michael.” An angel could never be equated to the level of God. This equality is best explained by stating the Holy Spirit is God.
A set of verses that show the Holy Spirit as God can be found in the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5: 1-5. They tried to deceive the Apostles, acting as if they gave all the money they received for selling their land.
Acts 5:3, 4 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” We see in verse 3 Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit and then in verse 4 Peter says you lied to God, establishing the fact that the Holy Spirit is God.
In addition a powerful case for the deity of the Holy Spirit can be made by listing His Godlike powers, abilities, and actions. Many passages can be sited to demonstrate these powers. An example can be found in Acts 13:2, where the Holy Spirit gives ministry commands to Barnabas and Paul that would only be given by God. Acts 13:2 While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
In 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 we see more Godlike characteristics attributed to the Holy Spirit. “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.” Here we see the divine characteristic of omniscience (all knowing) ascribed to the Holy Spirit. Additional verses could be sited to establish the Holy Spirit is God.
Jesus is God
Many passages teach this truth. I will begin my case by showing the Apostles believed Jesus was God.
- Matthew believed Jesus was God
Writing about the birth of Jesus, Matthew 1:23 “. . . and they will call him Immanuel” — which means, “God with us.” Matthew called the baby Jesus God.
- John believed Jesus was God
We read in John 1:1, 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” v14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The “Word” here is Jesus. No question John believed Jesus was God.
- Thomas believed Jesus was God
Thomas doubted the resurrection of Jesus but now upon seeing Him we see a change of mind. John 20:28 “Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” Thomas actually says, “Lord of me and the God of me.” Calling Jesus “the God” in the Greek (ho theos) leaves no question he is calling Jesus God. Plus in the verses that follow Jesus commends him for calling Him God.
- Paul believed Jesus was God
Titus 2:13 the Apostle Paul writes to Titus, “. . . the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Paul believed Jesus was both God and savior.
- Even the Jewish religious leaders believed Jesus claimed to be God.
Once while I was talking with a Jehovah Witness at my door and he asked me, “Where in the Bible did Jesus claim to be God?” Have you ever been asked a question where your mind draws a blank? Well I was in that situation. I began looking through my Bible frantically trying to get out this mess. I knew he wouldn’t accept certain passages that would make my case because their organization had changed the wording of those verses in their Bible. As I was praying for God’s help he said turn in your Bible to John 10:30. As I was turning to the passage he began reading. John 10:30-33 (NIV) [Jesus speaking] “I and the Father are one.” 31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” He then said, “Oh no these are the wrong verses!” I told him thank-you for making my case. God answered my prayer of desperation. Even the enemies of Jesus knew He claimed to be God!
Much more could be said to support Jesus as God. Premise three has been established; each person (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is fully God.