One of my favorites studies this year was on the triune Godhead. I walked away concluding that the whole idea of God as 3-in-1 is really not so hard to comprehend.
Yes, I’m serious.
They are separate. They are equal, and yet, they also operate as one unit. They are 3 operating as 1. Everything they do, they do as one.
Everything is from the Father, by Jesus Christ, through the Spirit.
Let’s start with the idea of the triune Godhead or the Trinity, which recent surveys have shown is slowly being abandoned by many in Christendom. One guy I used to follow on YouTube would lambast people who believed in the Trinity despite the abundant evidence in Scripture.
Consider 1 Jn. 5:7. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” That’s pretty conclusive, isn’t it? Although a number of Bibles remove this verse because they’re translated from corrupt texts.
However, we find in the King James Bible overwhelming evidence of the triune Godhead. Consider that the Father is called God. The Son is called God, and the Holy Spirit is called God. The Father is called God in verses like Rom. 1:7. “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” The Son is called God in a number of verses. How about a verse like Heb. 1:8? “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever...” And the Holy Spirit is called God. Consider the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. Do you remember how Peter said to Ananias in Acts 5:3, “why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost…?” And then he would say in Acts 5:4, “…why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.”
Plus, we know from 1 John 5:7 that “these three are one.” They are all God. They are all equal. And “these three are one.” They operate as one. This is why the Lord would say to the disciples in Mat. 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” This is why the writer of Hebrews would say in Heb. 9:14 that “Christ, through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God.” This is also why Peter would write in 1 Pet. 1:2 about his own election, which was according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, and by the blood of Jesus Christ.
The Godhead in the Age of Grace
Paul spoke of the entire Godhead operating together in a number of verses.
Consider Rom. 1:4. “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Through the Gospel, the Spirit declares unto us that Christ is the Son of God the Father with power.
The fact that we even have a gospel of grace is to the praise of the entire Godhead. God the Father willed before the foundation of the world that a sacrifice should be made for the sins of all mankind so that we today may be freed from sin and alive unto God for His good use. Christ essentially said, “I will make that sacrifice.” And the Holy Spirit said, “I will guarantee that sacrifice with the earnest of Myself.” This victory program of grace that we’re in was willed by God the Father, made possible through the sacrifice of Christ, and then made complete in us the moment we believed through the baptism of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). Calvary was an operation of the whole Godhead.
We pointed out earlier Heb. 9:14 that “Christ, through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God” the Father. And in Rom. 1:4, Paul says that God the Father’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. The Holy Spirit proclaims to us the authenticity of Christ as the Son of God worthy of all our faith and praise as our Savior because of His resurrection from the dead. Why the resurrection? What’s the significance of that? Because that completed the payment for all our sin. As one pastor used to say, “Christ’s death was the payment, and the resurrection was the receipt.” Christ conquered once for all time sin and death for all of us through His death, burial, and resurrection. And now the Spirit is proclaiming to us all that He is the Son of God with power! He now possesses the keys to victory over sin and death itself!
So when we hear the gospel, we’re convicted by the Spirit about our need for redemption, about the calling of God the Father to accept the worthiness of His Son’s sacrifice for our sins by faith alone, and then we can receive His free gift of eternal life.
Consider the involvement of the Godhead in our spiritual transformation that took place the moment we believed through the baptism of the Spirit:
Tit. 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Tit. 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Tit. 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Our “washing of regeneration” is our thorough spiritual regeneration by the Spirit in which we are brought from a state of unrighteousness into a state of perfect righteousness by receiving His life. We are regenerated by the Spirit from our death to His life, no longer dead in sins in Adam but alive unto God in Christ. This is the death of our old selves, which is our old man, who’s been crucified with Christ, and this is the deliverance from our death into His life. This is our liberation from the consequence of sin, from the dominion of sin, from the power of sin, and the impartation of His divine life to us, which is the new man, created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24).
The bigger point is that because of the kindness and love of the Father, He designed for us salvation by faith alone, and that moment we believed, the Father sheds on us abundantly the Holy Spirit who washes us and renews us, all of which is through the atoning work of His Son. We have the direction of the Father motivated by all His love and kindness in having all of us washed and renewed through His Spirit by faith alone in the atoning work of His Son. We have the entire Godhead operating in distinct roles but together as one in our transformation the moment we believe. They are all separate but acting as one in the means by which we may be saved and washed of all our sins.
Consider 1 Cor. 6:11. “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Again, we have the entire Godhead in that one verse. The Father directing the Spirit to wash us, to sanctify us, to justify us in the name of His Son.
We also learn in Eph. 2:18 For through him (through Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Do you see the process? Through Christ, by the Spirit, unto the Father. Through that atoning work of Christ, we can receive eternal life by faith alone, and now we have access to the Father by the Spirit.
We also have the entire Godhead inside of us. We have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit inside of us. 1 Cor. 6:19 tells us that “your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you.” Paul would say in Gal. 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…” And the Father is also inside of us. Paul would write in Eph. 4:6 that there is “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Can you believe that? The entire Godhead lives inside of us!
Plus, consider that everything we are in Christ was willed by the Father and made complete in us through the operation of the Spirit because of the sacrifice of Christ. In Eph. 1:3, Paul would write, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Do you see the Godhead in that verse? It’s the Father who blessed us with all spiritual blessings, and those blessings come from the Holy Spirit to all those who are in Christ.
In Eph. 1:19, Paul would write about “the exceeding greatness of the Father’s power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Eph. 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places…” And how did the Father do that? How did the Father raise Christ from the dead and set Him at His own right hand? Through the Spirit. Rom. 8:11 tells us that it was “the Spirit of Him” that “raised up Jesus from the dead.” The resurrection of Christ through the Holy Spirit is God’s power specifically demonstrated to us-ward who believe as an assurance of the all-sufficiency of Christ’s payment for all our sins, as an assurance of His worthiness of all our faith, as an assurance of our eternal security in Him when we believe, which means that we are now everything God says He has made us in His Son, a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17) – behold all things new! This means that our transformation into new creatures was accomplished by the Spirit, the same power that raised Christ from the dead. This is nothing less than the assurance of our eternal life with God the Father through our identification with Christ by the Spirit.
In Eph. 3:19, we learn that we can all be filled with all the fullness of God the Father Himself if we can together comprehend the breadth and length and depth and height of the love of His Son. How do we do that? We comprehend those things through the Holy Spirit when we study His Word. And that entire process of being under the full influence of the Father by our comprehension of the love of the Son is through the teaching ministry of the Spirit. That entire process strengthens us. It invigorates us. It empowers us from within so that we’re able to walk like the saints God has made us in Christ through the Spirit. The very means by which we are even able to comprehend any of these things is because of the will of the Father, through the words of Christ, penned by Paul, made alive in us through the Spirit by the Word.
Look at what Paul writes in 2 Cor. 13:14. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” When Paul says, “the communion of the Holy Ghost,” it’s another way of saying fellowship of the Spirit, as Paul had written in Phil. 2:1. What does he mean by that? Is he talking about our fellowship with the Father by the Spirit or our fellowship with each other by the Spirit?
But what does that verse mean? Why would Paul want there to be in us all the grace of the Lord and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost? Does he mean that those blessings are somehow conditional? No, I think Paul means he wants us to be under the full influence of, to have manifest in our lives the fullness of the grace of Christ, the fullness of the love of God, and the fullness of the fellowship of the Spirit.
The ultimate salutation – the fullness of grace, love, and fellowship, which can abound in us through the work of the entire Godhead operating as 3-in-1. Why? Because everything is from the Father, by Jesus Christ, through the Spirit.