No, God is not a Trinity. The Trinity is described like this:

There is one God in Three persons,-the Father, the son, and the Holy Ghost. These three persons are co-equal in all things. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God, and yet they are not three Gods, but one God.1

According to the doctrine of the Trinity, both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God as well as the Father. However, the Bible says the only God is the Father:

there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ… (1Cor. 8:6)

There is a definite distinction between God, who is the Father, and Jesus. Interestingly, the Holy Spirit isn’t even mentioned — this is because the Holy Spirit is God’s mind (1Cor. 2:8-16) or power (Luke 1:35; 24:49; Acts 2:4), not a third person in the Godhead.

1Tim. 2:5 also makes the distinction clear:

…there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

Jesus is a distinct being from God (notice how he is also pointedly described as being a ‘man’, even after he ascended to heaven. And, again, notice the absence of the Holy Spirit: for the New Testament writers there was no thought of the Holy Spirit being a member of the Godhead).

John 17:1-3 is also very clear on this point. In John 17 Jesus is praying to his Father (v1), and in v3 he describes his Father as ‘the only true God’ (and he describes himself as the person whom the only God has sent — i.e. he’s a different being to God):

{1} When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, {2} since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. {3} And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

The Father is God, and Jesus is the person whom he has sent (the Holy Spirit isn’t even mentioned as being in this relationship). Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not God.

Also see John 3:16; 14:28; 20:17; 1Tim. 6:15-16 (NB: no one has seen God, but lots of people saw Jesus); 1Peter 1:3; Jude 1:25; Rev. 1:1. These all show a distinction between God and Jesus, showing that Jesus is not God. For occasions when Jesus is called God, see the answers to Why does Isaiah 9:6 call Jesus “Mighty God, Everlasting Father”? and What did Thomas mean when he said to Jesus “My Lord and my God”? (John 20:28).

It is important to know who God is, and who Jesus is, because, as we have seen in John 17:3, knowing God, and knowing Jesus, whom he sent, is ‘eternal life’. God wants us to worship in truth (John 4:24). We need to know who God is so that we can truly follow the Lord Jesus words — and his example — and ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’ (Mat. 22:37).

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Footnotes

1. V. Staley, The Catholic Religion: A manual of Instruction for Members of the Anglical Church, (Mowbray), p. 152

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  • Matt Waite

    Some interesting background to the doctrine of the Trinity:

    The belief in a Trinity was first made evident in the Nicene Creed, formulated by the Council of Nicea in 325AD. This creed was amended in 381AD and again in 589AD. The belief was pagan in origin, and crept into the church in the early centuries. Triads of deities were prevalent in pagan mythologies, and in the philosophy of Plato he personified three eternal principles. His philosophy, prevalent in Greek and Roman thought, was a major factor in bringing such false doctrines into the Church.
    The theory first reared its head during the controversy between two church leaders Arius and Athanasias in 318AD, who were arguing whether the Father was greater than the Son. This caused great disunity and strife within the church. Constantine wanted to resolve this situation, as he saw the Church as a powerful unifying force for his empire. Constantine, however knew nothing about the theological facts of the argument but anxious to achieve unity, sided with Athanasias. Most of the church leaders followed and those who would not agree were banished and their books burned. Even at that point however the trinity did not become dominant. It was not until the rule of Theodosius that Christianity became the state religion, trinitarianism was adopted and those who disagreed were expelled from the pulpit and excommunicated from the Church. This dictatorial rulership of the Emperors and later the Roman Catholic Church allowed the doctrine to maintain its place.

  • Born Again Christian

    The bible is clear that “all things are from the Father and all things are through the Son.” How could all things be through God if God is only the Father in Romans 11:36?

    • Jonathan Morgan

      Two points:
      1. I’m not sure where you get this quotation from. I think it might be 1 Corinthians 8:6. Would you mind giving a reference?

      2. I don’t actually see the contradiction between the two points. The fact that they are through Jesus does not imply they cannot ultimately be through God, since Jesus is working with God and doing his work.

  • Born Again Christian

    1 John 4:8
    New King James Version (NKJV)
    8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

    1) It is clear in the bible that God is love.
    2) In order for love to exists, there has to be a giver and a receiver.
    3) Now, how can God be love, if He is only one person? Or how can love exists in God, if He is only one person?

    • Jon Morgan

      Each of us is also only one person: Are you arguing that that means we cannot show love? The fact that God is love doesn’t mean that he has to show it to himself to be love.

      If we look at the characteristics of God that he revealed to Moses in Exodus 34:6 – 7, all of them require other people to show these characteristics to. That is probably a big part of the purpose of the creation: a loving, merciful God needs people to show his love to, and he also wants us to learn to be like him and show these characteristics too.