Explaining the Trinity

I was reading a science blog this afternoon and the author was talking about supericonic ice. Silly me, I thought there were three states of water: liquid, gas, and solid (i.e., ice). However, it turns out that just for ice there are now eighteen known states (i.e., conditions). 

Why am I worked up about 18 kinds of ice? We all need to know how to explain our monotheistic belief in a Triune God, and water was my analogy.

Yes, for many years I used water to help explain God. God is one essence, three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Think of water (i.e., H2O). Water is water, but as you lay on you back, looking up into the fog after having lost your footing, you know that water can be in three states at the same time: ice, water on ice, and fog.

If we take a quick look at a few passages of Scripture we can quickly learn how to defend our faith regarding the Triune God:

  • We worship the one true God. The same God that Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and Mose worshipped. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4 NIV)
  • Regarding the Father and the Son, these three passages bring out the personhood of the Father and the Son:  
    • [Jesus prayed] “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
    • [Jesus said] I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him.…(John 10:30-31)
    • Then he [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20: 27-28)
  • Regarding the Holy Spirit:
    • [Jesus said] But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)
    • [Jesus said] Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19)
    • May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Co. 13:14)

But, now with this whole 18 kinds if ice thing, I’ve had to rethink my analogy for God. So, going forward, I will be using an inadequate yet somewhat helpful example to provide insight into the Trinity. Here it is:
I am a son, I am a father, and I am a grandfather. For each “person,” I am known differently (e.g., son, dad, grandpa). For each “person” I have different roles and responsibilities, yet in each person, I am still one.

When we pray, we pray to the Father in the name of Jesus guided in our prayers by the Holy Spirit. So, as the old hymn says, “God in three persons. Blessed Trinity!”

Photo by Tony Hand on Unsplash

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