The Trinity: Three Persons Together in the New Testament

The Father Son, and Holy Spirit appear everywhere in the New Testament, but here are five famous declarations of the three persons in the same passage.

In this post let’s cite passages that formulate the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Verses that discuss Christ’s and the Spirit’s full deity will be linked to earlier posts at the end.

If you would like to see the following verses in many translations and in their contexts, please go to biblegateway.com.

First, at the baptism of Jesus, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were present. As soon as Jesus came up out of the water, “he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love and with him I am well pleased’” (Matt. 3:16-17). The Father’s voice sounded from above and affirmed the Sonship of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit descended on him and empowered him.

Second, at the end of the same Gospel, Jesus is resurrected, and he commissions the disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel. These two verses are part of the Great Commission, which Evangelicals take seriously. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” … (Matt 28:18-19).

This passage affirms that Jesus was granted all authority in heaven and on earth. This passage also demonstrates Jesus’ early declaration of the Trinity.

Third, 1 Cor. 12:4-6 says the three persons of the Trinity are involved in the gifts of the Spirit:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. (1 Cor. 12:4-6)

Fourth, Christians believe that the entire New Testament is inspired. The Apostle Paul also affirms the doctrine of the Trinity. In his second letter to the Corinthians, he bids farewell to them: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14). Thus, Jesus and the Holy Spirit exist with the Father, and from their heavenly vantage point they are able to communicate grace, love, and fellowship to the believers (cf. Ephesians 4:4-6).

Fifth, Peter the Apostle, the humble fisherman from Galilee, stood in Jesus’ presence when he spoke the Great Commission. Peter may not have fully understood Christ’s words then, but now he begins his epistle, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, restating the Trinitarian formula in his own words. He says that the people of God “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” (1 Peter 1:2). It is clear from this verse that each person of the Trinity has a function or role in the world. The Father chooses, the Spirit sanctifies, and Jesus redeems people with his blood that he shed on the cross.

To sum up, the doctrine of the Trinity was first stated in the Gospel of Matthew, both at the baptism of Jesus and in his Great Commission, in his own words. It is only natural, therefore, that the apostles would repeat his doctrine.

The readers should go Bible Gateway and look up these verses: John 1:1-4, 14:26, 15:26, 16:13-14, 20:25-27; Acts 10:38 in connection with Romans 9:5, 15:13; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3, 1:8, 1:10; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 20-21.

Each passage affirms the function and person of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and sometimes just the Father and the Son.

Here is a table of attributes for further study:

ATTRIBUTES OF THE TRIUNE GOD

Attribute Father Son Holy Spirit
Life Jos. 3:10 John 1:4 Rom. 8:2
Omniscience Ps. 139:1-6 John 4:17-18 1 Cor. 2:10-12
Omnipotence Gen. 1:1 John 1:3 Job. 33:4
Omnipresence Jer. 23:23-24 Matt. 28:20 Ps. 139:7-10
Eternity Ps. 90:2 John 1:1 Heb. 9:4
Holiness Lev. 11:44 Acts 3:14 Matt. 12:32
Love 1 John 4:8 Rom. 8:37-39 Gal. 5:22
Truth John 3:33 John 14:6 John 14:17
Glory Ex. 16:7 1 Cor. 2:8 1 Pet. 4:14
Wisdom Job 9:4 Col. 2:2b-3 Eph. 1:17
Graciousness Is. 30:18 Eph. 2:4-9 Heb. 10:29
Peacefulness Rom. 15:13 Eph. 2:14 Rom. 6:6
Goodness Exod. 33:19 John 10:11, 14 Gal. 5:22-23
Patience Rom. 2:4 1 Tim. 1:16 Gal. 5:22-23
Faithfulness 1 Cor. 1:9 Rev. 19:11 Gal. 5:22-23
Righteousness Rom. 3:21-26 Acts 7:52 Rom. 14:17
Joy Neh. 8:10 John 17:13 Rom. 14:17

In the right column, Gal. 5:22-23 speaks of the fruit of the Spirit. The main point is that if the Spirit produces those fruits, then he must have them in his person.

So how does knowing about the Trinity help me know God better?

There is an entire ten-point post that answers that question, here:

The Trinity: What Does He Mean to Me?

Written by James Malcolm

ARTICLES IN THE TRIUNITY SERIES

The Trinity: What Are the Basics?

The Trinity: What Are Key Terms?

The Trinity: What Are Some Illustrations?

The Trinity: What Does the Old Testament Say?

The Trinity: Three Persons Together in the New Testament

The Trinity: What Do Theologians Say?

The Trinity: What Are His Roles in Creation and Redemption?

The Trinity: What Does ‘Only Begotten Son’ Mean in John 3:16?

The Trinity: What Do Arians and Jehovah’s Witnesses Teach?

The Trinity: What Are Defective Ideas?

The Trinity: What Are Replies to Objections?

The Trinity: Why Would God Seem So Complicated?

The Trinity: What Does He Mean to Me?

SOURCES

Works Cited at Renewal Theology

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