Malankara World

Faith of the Church: Trinity

Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Trinity 101

by Justin Taylor

Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology [1] defines the Trinity as follows: "God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God" (p. 226).

Broken down, this amounts to three propositions:

In addition, it’s helpful to elaborate on the fact that when we say “God is three persons,” we mean that he is not just one person, and that the persons of the Trinity are not to be confused. So we can also say:

If your head is starting to spin—then perhaps this little diagram can help give you a snapshot of what we’ve been saying:

Trinity representation graphically

Theologians have typically described God as being of “one essence” but “three persons.” But what exactly do we mean by “essence” and “person”? In its simplest terms, essence answers the question,
“What are you?” Person answers the question, “Who are you?”

So when we say that the Trinity entails “one essence” (God) and “three persons” (Father, Son, and Spirit), we are saying that the Trinity has one What and three Who’s. We can draw this as follows:

Trinity is one essence and three persons


1 'Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine' by Wayne A. Grudem; Zondervan

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