“… baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
— Matthew 28:19
Have you ever tried to explain the Trinity to someone unfamiliar with the idea? If you have, then you probably know how difficult it is to define. Not even a rocket scientist could plumb its depths and comprehend it. In fact, we humans won’t fully understand it until we meet God in Heaven.
Recently, a lady said to me, “We really shouldn’t talk about Jesus being God, because when He was on earth, God was in Heaven, don’t you know?” As a matter of fact, I did know that. But her statement reminded me that we need to develop a clear understanding of the Trinity, the foundation of all Christian doctrine. Many have denied the concept of the Trinity and rejected it as absurd. The Jehovah’s Witnesses will remind us that 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, and by such an argument, they discount the Trinity. But 1 x 1 x 1 = 1, not 3. Three persons in one is just a concept beyond our comprehension.
But we can understand a few things about the Trinity. We know the Father is the first person, the Son the second, the Holy Spirit the third. And in many Bible texts, we see how the Trinity works. When Christ was baptized, the Father spoke from Heaven, and the Spirit as a dove descended upon Jesus (Matthew 3:16–17). When Jesus set forth the Great Commission, He told the disciples to baptize in the name (one name) of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). In the upper-room discourse (John 13–17), Jesus foretold the coming of the Spirit that He and His Father would send.
The Trinity is a critical doctrine because it lies at the heart of the Gospel. If there is no Trinity, then Christ is not God. And if Christ is not divine, then we have no hope of salvation, for only a divine Savior could accomplish that monumental task.