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Is it right to believe in the Trinity or The Godhead? What’s the difference?
Thank you so much for your honest spiritual enquiry about the terms Trinity and Godhead.
'The Trinity' and 'The Godhead' are two ways of describing one and the same thing: the Being of God. Although the word ‘Godhead’ is found in the Bible, ‘Trinity’ is not. However, the doctrine of the Trinity or Godhead is embedded and confirmed throughout Scripture, and is a central tenet of our Christian faith.
Therefore it is absolutely right and essential to recognise and believe in one God in three persons: God the Father; God the Son; and God the Holy Spirit.
One way in which the Trinity is revealed in Scripture is in God's creative work. We are told that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:1-2). God and the Spirit of God are distinct in action yet the same in nature as God.
The New Testament Book of Hebrews reveals that, as well as God and His Spirit being distinctly active in Creation, so was Jesus Christ: God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds (Hebrews 1:1-2) So the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were all active in creation as divine Persons. Some people think that is why we read, then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." (Genesis 1:26)
Jesus Himself refers to the Trinity at the end of Matthew, when He said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). Compare also Matthew 1:28 and Hebrews 1:8. Yet the Bible teaches clearly that there is only one God, not three: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD, is one." (Deuteronomy 6:4).
That is why we have the word 'Trinity' which means 'Three-Oneness.'
Another way in which the Trinity is revealed is the way in which Jesus and the Holy Spirit are referred to as distinct from God the Father.
Regarding Jesus, the apostle John speaks of Jesus as 'The Word' and says of Him that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made (John 1:1-3). John had no doubt about Jesus' nature because he had heard Jesus say so quite clearly.
John reported that Jesus said "I and My Father are one" (John 10:30). The Jews believed that it was a blasphemy for Jesus to claim equality with God, and so they took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God" (John 10:31-33).
It is not only John who teaches the divinity of Christ. The apostle Paul said of Jesus for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 1:3). Jewish teaching has always denied any idea of God not being absolutely solo in his oneness, and can only be Spirit. Yet John and Paul were devout Jews who came to believe it.
Regarding the Spirit of God, the Bible indicates that He, like the Son, is of the same essence as the Father, being eternal and infinite. Yet He is also distinct from the Father and the Son. We can see this especially in two New Testament passages where God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all given separate mention. Jesus tells us "and I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth" (John 14:16). We can also read: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14)
Neither Judaism nor Islam accept the Trinity or accept Jesus Christ as God. There are even some who claim to be Christian yet deny the Trinity. We must nevertheless understand that the 'Tri-une' nature of 'The Godhead' is a biblical truth which is essential to a true faith in God and in Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord.
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Acts 17:29
- Romans 1:20
- Colossians 2:9
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*All Scripture references are taken From The New King James Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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