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The Trinity Controversy

"When The Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from The Father, The Spirit of Truth who goes out from The Father, he will testify about Me." (John 15:26)

Dove For a very long time, the doctrine of the Trinity has been a hot topic between a number of Christian churches and denominations - so much so that, over the centuries, Christians have tragically persecuted, and even killed, other Christians in an effort to "prove" who was right!

Both sides generally agree that The Father and Jesus Christ (The Son, The Word) and The Holy Spirit all exist - The Bible is very clear on that. The disagreement usually centers on the question of whether The Holy Spirit is an equal and separate God entity, or whether The Holy Spirit is actually the outflowing power and presence of The Father and The Son. Three Members, or Two Members plus The Spirit of Them?

So, which is right - Father, Son and Holy Spirit (i.e. The Trinity), or Father and Son with The Holy Spirit as a manifestation of their power? What does The Holy Bible say?

Volumes can (and have) been written on the doctrine of the Trinity. While the term "Trinity" is not found anywhere in The Bible, there are many references available to fuel the controversy, one way or the other. Here are a few to consider -

  • "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... and The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." (Genesis 1:1-2) (see The Seven Days Of Creation)

    The Holy Spirit was hovering over the waters, or The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters?

  • "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness." (Genesis 1:26)

    Made in the image of The Father and The Word, or in the image of an invisible Spirit?

  • "In the beginning was The Word, and The Word was with God, and The Word was God. He was with God in the beginning... 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 1:1-2,14) (see Rock Of Ages)

    The Father and The Word referred to as God, The Holy Spirit not mentioned as God.

  • "If you obey My Commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father's Commands and remain in His love." (John 15:10) (see The Ten Commandments)

    Jesus Christ clearly stated that The Father has authority over Him - They are therefore not equal. Where does The Holy Spirit fit into this command structure?

  • "At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but The Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (Matthew 10:19-20)

    The Spirit of The Father.

  • "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by The Spirit, if The Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have The Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." (Romans 8:9)

    The Spirit of Christ, which is also referred to as The Spirit of God.

The Trinity controversy is unlikely to be settled to everyone's satisfaction anytime soon, perhaps because a "good case" can be made for either side using a great many verses that can be carefully selected to support each point of view. Making it even more difficult is the fact that both sides readily agree that The Father, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit are all real, they all exist.

Perhaps the answer comes down to a matter of semantics e.g. Is the Spirit of God in Christians a Holy Spirit? Yes. Is The Spirit of Jesus Christ a Holy Spirit? Surely it is. Is The Spirit of The Father a Holy Spirit? Most definitely. Is God a Holy Spirit? Absolutely. Will Christians one day stop disliking each other because of their different perceptions of it? I sure hope so.

Fact Finder: During Paul's Second Missionary Journey, did "The Spirit of Jesus" cause Paul to change his route?
Acts 16:7-8

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