Christian Living

3 Images to Explain God as Trinity

The Great Three in One: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Most Christians comprehend God as Trinity, a singular entity existing as three persons: Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit. This is confusing, but recall that Jesus says, “the Father and me are one” (John 10:30). Another time Jesus tells his disciples to baptize people “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Though the Bible never uses the word Trinity, it connects Father, Son, and Spirit.

There are two common illustrations that explain God as Trinity.

God as Water

Compare God to water. Water exists in three forms: ice, liquid, and vapor. Each part is still water, albeit a different manifestation of it. Each form has unique characteristics but is still the same compound. So it is with the triune God: three forms; one God.

God as an Egg

The second image is that the three-in-one God is like an egg. An egg has three principal parts: the shell, the white, and the yolk. These parts make up an egg. In the same way, a singular God exists as three parts.

God as a Tripod

Here’s a third image for consideration: Consider God as a tripod. A tripod has three legs. Each of the three legs are part of the tripod. Each leg connects to the tripod. And each leg is essential for the tripod to work. Remove one leg and the tripod falls over. For a tripod to work properly, each leg must be equal. No one leg is more important, and no one leg is insignificant.

So it is with God as a tripod. We see each leg—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—interconnected, essential, and equal. Remove one and our perception of God becomes incomplete. Overemphasize one and our view of God becomes unbalanced. There may be three parts (three legs), but it is still one God (the tripod). The tripod reveals God who is a three-in-one Trinity.

God as Trinity

May we recognize each part of the godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—to inform our connection with God. Consider how understanding God as Trinity can affect our faith.

In my next post I’ll cover how God’s trinitarian nature can inform our prayers.

Read more in Peter’s new book, Living Water: 40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John, available everywhere in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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