Trinity 101

… To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

II Peter 1:1

In this letter, Peter give great warning of false teachers. Certainly not exclusive, but one frequent fallacy of the false teacher is to deny the doctrine of the Trinity. Peter opens his letter referring to Jesus as “our God and Savior Jesus Crist.” This is one of several times in the New Testament where Jesus is explicitly referred to as “God.” But to avoid the thought that Peter is simply replacing “God” with “Jesus,” he makes a clear distinction between them immediately in verse two. It is there he refers to the grace and peace that come from “God and of Jesus our Lord.”

The Apostle does the same in John 1:1, where Jesus- “the Word,” was both “with God and the Word was God.” Paul does similar (in his wonderful encouragement for us to be looking for His return) in Titus 2:12-13– “… we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” The author of Hebrews does something quite interesting when he quotes Psalm 102:25 in Hebrews 1:10, the author applies the Old Testament name, “LORD” to Jesus when he is quoting from the Psalm regarding creation.

So, how does one resolve what could be confusion or labeled as a form of double-talk?

The solution– The Son of God, who took on true humanity in His incarnation, is fully God. He is also fully equal to God the Father and to the Holy Spirit. However, this does not mean that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the same person with three different names. Rather the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct (not separate) divine Persons who have existed eternally with one another. Therefore, all three Persons are properly called “God,” “Lord,“Savior,” and “Creator,” though God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are distinct in their roles and activities in creation and salvation.

This is solid and helpful doctrine to help us recognize false teaching. Peter warns us to be on guard of false doctrine and heresy. Here is a great section for us to consider in the marvelous goodness of the Trinity, from Titus 3:4-6–

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

One more, from II Corinthians 13:14–

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”