God is Triune. He is one God, with three distinct Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
God is eternal. He is without beginning and without end.
“Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” (Psalm 90:2)
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33:27a)
God said to Moses,“I AM WHO I AM.” (Exodus 3:14)
The three Persons of the Trinity are separate, but co-equal. Each is completely God. Yet They are one God. Wherever God appears all three persons of the Trinity are present – though all Three may not be evident to our senses.
“…yet for us, there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”(1 Corinthians 8:6)
“We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him who is true – even in His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal Life.” (1 John 5:20)
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
(2 Corinthians 3:17)
All three persons of the Trinity appear together in the Scriptures and are named individually in a number of passages.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is My beloved Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:16-17)
“…To God’s elect … who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” (1 Peter 1:1a,2)
God the Father
God the Father is a Spirit and no eye has ever seen Him.
“No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” (John 1:18)
God the Father is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.
“You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is in it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You.” (Nehemiah 9:6)
“The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time. You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” (Psalm 145: 14-16)
God the Father has many attributes that display His majesty, such as being all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present, unchangeable, just, good, merciful and kind, but the attribute of God the Father which most gives us hope and assurance is love.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”(John 3:16)
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
God the Son
Jesus, God the Son, though True God from eternity, took on human nature and form at a point in history to become our Redeemer. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. Though fully God, He emptied Himself for our salvation.
“In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”(John 1:1, 14)
“When the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of children.”(Galatians 4:4-5)
Jesus lived a sinless life and suffered the punishment for all sin as our Substitute, making our salvation possible.
“Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.”(Hebrews 4:14-15)
“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
“Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead proves that His payment for sin was sufficient and that His victory over sin, Satan, death and hell was complete.
“When this Priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:12, 14)
“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a Man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (I Corinthians 15:20-22)
“He (Jesus) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Romans 4:25)
Jesus ascended into Heaven where He now intercedes for all who believe in Him for salvation.
“While He (Jesus) was blessing them, He left them and was taken up into heaven.” (Luke 24:51)
“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus who died, more than that, who was raised to life, is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:33-34)
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin through the Law (Ten Commandments) and shows them their Savior through the Gospel so that they might believe and have new, eternal life.
“Unless I (Jesus) go away, the Counselor (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.”(John 16:7b-8)
“Because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.”(1 Thessalonians 1:5)
“Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world be held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous by observing the Law; rather through the Law we become conscious of sin.” (Romans 3:19-20)
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Gospel of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
The Holy Spirit empowers those who believe in Jesus Christ to live a godly life.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no Law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-25)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”(Acts 1:8)
The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to all who believe in Jesus Christ to equip them in their service to the Lord and the mission of His church.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit …Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another the ability to speak in different languages, to still another the interpretation of languages. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines.” (1 Corinthians 12:4, 7-11)
The Holy Spirit keeps believers in true faith.
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship…The Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15a, 16)
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
The Triune God, though more holy, powerful and majestic than we can comprehend, loves each of us personally and intimately. We are known fully by Him and loved by Him so deeply that He wants us to live with Him, both now and eternally. He has made that possible by providing salvation for us through the sinless life and innocent death of Jesus Christ. He works faith in our hearts through His Word and the Sacraments to believe in Jesus as our Savior, and equips us to live for Him and serve one another and the world through the work of the Holy Spirit. What an awesome God we serve!