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Trinity – Definition


This article concerns the holy Trinity of Christianity. For other uses of trinity, see disambiguation.

The Blessed Trinity is God according to the doctrine of most branches of Christianity. The doctrine says that though God is one God, He exists in three distinct persons, usually referred to as God the Father, God the Son (or Son of God), and the Holy Spirit. Historically, this Trinitarian view has been affirmed as an article of faith by the Nicene (325) and Athanasian Creeds (circa 500). Although the term does not appear in the New Testament, those that profess this doctrine maintain that the concept is clearly seen in many places therein, most explicitly in the accounts of Jesus' baptism (see Luke 3:21-22). These creeds were formulated and ratified by the undivided Church of the third and fourth centuries in reaction to heretical notions, some involving the nature of the Trinity, and Christ's position in it. The creeds have been retained in some form by most Protestants, though many fail to acknowledge this fact.

Famous Orthodox Icon representing three angels that visited  as a  of the Trinity.


Famous Orthodox Icon representing three angels that visited Abraham as a symbol of the Trinity.

The Nicene Creed, which is a classic formulation of this doctrine, used "homoousia" (Greek: of same substance) to define the relationship among the members of the Godhead. The spelling of this word differs by a single Greek letter, "one iota", from the word used by non-trinitarians at the time, "homoiousia", (Greek: of similar substance): a fact which has since become proverbial, representing the deep divisions occasioned by seemingly small imprecisions, especially in theology.

In Christianity, salvation is arguably the most important spiritual concept, second only to the divinity of Jesus.

From New Testament passages

For Christians, the Biblical approach to salvation begins in the Scriptures of the New Testament. Many of these texts are found in the Epistle to the Romans, largely because that Epistle contains the most comprehensive theological statement by Saint Paul of Tarsus. Because of this, some Protestant Christian denominations have called these texts the Romans road.

Some key passages in the New Testament concerning salvation include:

  • God loves you: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. " (Romans 5:8)
  • Our sin separates us from God. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"(Romans 3:23) "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12)
  • God gives us eternal life because Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
  • Turn from your sins, confess and believe: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." — "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10) "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13) Reads of the introduction open and Godhead



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This article is about the Christian Trinity. For other uses, see Trinity (disambiguation).

"Holy Trinity" redirects here. For other uses, see Holy Trinity (disambiguation).

The doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons (Greek: ὑποστάσεις):[1] the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial (Greek: ὁμοούσιοι). Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being (Greek: οὐσία).[2] The Trinity is considered to be a mystery of Christian faith.[3]

According to this doctrine, there is only one God in three persons. Each person is God, whole and entire. They are distinct from one another in their relations of origin: as the Fourth Lateran Council declared, "it is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds". While distinct in their relations with one another, they are one in all else. The whole work of creation and grace is a single operation common to all three divine persons, who at the same time operate according to their unique properties, so that all things are from the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit.[4]

Trinitarianism (one deity/three persons) contrasts with Christian non-Trinitarian positions which include Binitarianism (one deity/two persons), Unitarianism (one deity/one person), the Oneness or Modalism belief, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' view that the Godhead is a council of three deities, perfectly united


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