Trinity: Are there other gods besides the Trinity?
The biblical emphasis on the existence of only one true God raises the question of what is to be made of other “gods” that are worshiped by people in various religions in the days of the Bible and in our present day. The Bible states that these “gods” are very powerful fallen angels who rebelled against God. They hate Jesus and seek worshipers, whom they reward if they serve them well. They perform powerful signs, wonders, and miracles that can deceive people into thinking they are equal with God.1 Practically, this means that there are incredibly powerful demons—with names such as Baal, Chemosh, Molech, Brahman, Allah, Mother Earth, Mammon (money), and Aphrodite (sex)—that are wrongly worshiped by multitudes as gods.
From the very beginning the people of God have lived with constant pressure to accept other religions and “gods” as equally worthy of worship as the God of the Bible. Too many times people are like Solomon and divide their devotion between God and the “gods.”2 To help embolden us, the Bible presents stirring stories of faithful followers like Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Daniel who would not compromise and who never wavered in their devotion to one God even in the face of great opposition and persecution.3
Second, the Father, Son, and Spirit are equally declared throughout Scripture to be God. There are many Scriptures that clearly and emphatically declare the Father to be God.4 In the history of the Christian church and all the cults and religions that have erred from biblical truth, there has never been any noteworthy false teaching that has denied the deity of God the Father because it is so obviously clear throughout the entirety of Scripture.
Jesus is also repeatedly declared to be God throughout the Scriptures by both others5 and himself, without apology or correction.6 It is worth noting that Jesus was ultimately put to death for declaring himself to be God, a declaration that if untrue would have been a violation of the first commandment and a blasphemous sin.7
In addition to the Father and Son, the Holy Spirit is clearly called God throughout the Scriptures. In the Old Testament, we see he possesses the attributes of God, which reveals his divinity; he is creator,8 eternal,9 omnipotent or all-powerful,10 omniscient or all-knowing,11 and omnipresent.12 In the New Testament, he is also clearly declared God.13
Third, though one God, the Father, Son, and Spirit are distinct persons. The Father and Son are two persons in frequent salutations of letters in the New Testament,14 as well as in other Scriptures.15 Scripture is also clear that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not the same person.16 Likewise, the Father is not the Holy Spirit.17 Jesus was repeatedly clear that he and the Father are distinct persons but one God, saying, “I and the Father are one”18 and “we are one.”19 Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is not merely an impersonal force but a person who can be grieved,20 resisted,21 and insulted.22 The personhood of the Holy Spirit explains why Jesus speaks of him as a personal “he” and not an impersonal “it.”23
Which member of the Trinity are you most familiar with? Which member of the Trinity are you least familiar with? What could you do to become equally familiar with all three?