While discussing the nature of God recently, a man responded to thoughts I shared about our triune Lord by shaking his head: "It's the fool who tries to understand the Trinity!"
Certainly, an element of truth exists in the gentleman's resignation regarding the infinite mystery of three distinct Persons dwelling in and as one God.
"The King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen" (I Timothy 6:15-16).
Scripture nevertheless clearly teaches the doctrine of the Trinity, declaring the fact of God's nature, while also illuminating the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. First, the Bible clearly identifies each of the three Personalities in the godhead as God.
God the Father is God. "Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love" (II John 1:3).
God the Son is God. "Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, o God, is forever and ever" (Hebrews 1:8).
God the Holy Spirit is God. "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God" (Acts 5:3
Here we see not only the fact of three Persons existing as one God, but also Their co-equality (Scripture verifies the use of the plural pronoun regarding God - Genesis 1:26). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equal in substance, being, and identity as God. Further consideration of the Bible, however, also reveals a structure of authority as it exists in the triune God.
"My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28).
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirt, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26).
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me" (John 15:26).
The Lord Jesus plainly states His subservience to the Father. Moreover, the Holy Spirit clearly serves both the Father and the Son, as confirmed by His being "sent" by them (by definition, those sent serve the sender). Thus, we see a beautiful expression of servanthood in the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This also draws believers into the glory and humility of such wonder since the Son is our Lord, and the Spirit of God literally dwells within us. Two glorious Persons of the godhead devoted to servitude bear direct relationship to us, granting access to the Father by our Savior's sacrifice and the Spirit's living presence within our hearts.
In God, and in all things, humility serves as the foundation of all authority and the exercise of leadership. This brief glimpse into the triunity of God confirms the Bible's calling to be amazed by the wonder of who our Lord is. It also illuminates our own servanthood as sons and daughters of God in Christ. The Servant who redeemed us sent another Servant to indwell us. Thereby we learn our privileged responsibility to serve in the light of the serving Son and the power of the serving Spirit. Indeed, we might say that the Savior, the Spirit, and the saints comprise a trinity of servitude to the Father. Moreover, it is important to note that we serve as members of family, namely, "the whole family in Heaven and earth" (Ephesians 3:15). We are sons and daughters who serve, as opposed to hired servants (Galatians 4:7)
I agree with the gentleman in the sense that we can never fully understand God's nature (nor do we need to). We can know more than we think, however, if we devote ourselves to the authority of Scripture and the Holy Spirit's guidance in our quest for knowing God. The Bible exists as our Lord's self revelation. "Search the Scriptures for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39). I will repeat my overly used maxim: We can know some. We can know more. But we can never know all. This is more true about God Himself than any other subject. The realization prepares our hearts for wonder, and for the discovery of what it means to be a servant in the light of our great, glorious, and triune Master.
"Call unto Me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
(I Corinthians 3:16)