What We Believe (Part 1)

Ken Samples

READ : John 16:1-7

Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. (v. 7, NIV)

Because the Christian vision of God is unique, mysterious, and inscrutable to the finite mind, it is often misunderstood and misrepresented. Let’s briefly examine what Christians do and do not believe by underscoring three points. First, Christians believe in only one God. Trinitarianism is a unique type of monotheism, and the underlying truth of monotheism is grounded in both Old and New Testament Scriptures. Christians are not “tri-theists.” We do not believe in several gods, but in one.

Second, Christians believe that the three persons of the Godhead are all fully divine, all sharing equally and fully the one divine essence. The Son, for example, is not “semi-divine” – a little less God than the Father – as the heresy of Arianism taught.

Third, Christians believe that the three persons of the Trinity are not three “parts” of God. Each person fully possesses all of God’s being. Even the term person in reference to the Trinity is used in a unique sense and should not be understood to refer to a totally separate entity or being, as if God’s essence were divided and shared out three ways. In confessing the mystery of the triune God, we say, “Not this, nor this, but that.”

PRAYER

God, lead us from faith to understanding.