Today in church service, we sang “This I Believe (The Creed)” by Hillsong Worship. It is a beautiful song. However, there is an interesting line that I disagree with and that I think highlights an issue with trinitarianism.
“I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one”
When we sang this I opted to omit the words “three in” and simply sing: “Our God is…one!” Why? Because I think that is a confession of faith that is more consistent with the witness of the entire Bible. There is nowhere in the Scriptures that says “Our God is three in one” but there are places that say “Our God is one”. For example:
“Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” – Deuteronomy 6:4
I don’t think the New Testament altered this classic statement of Judaism such that we Christians must now worship a God that is “three in one” instead of simply “one”. Yes, this God we worship is “Father”, “Son”, and “Holy Spirit”. But, this doesn’t mean that there is an essential “threeness” about God. He is just as one as He always has been.
The distinctions between “Father”, “Son”, and “Holy Spirit” that we see in the Scriptures, I believe, are due to God’s revelation of Himself for the purpose of redemption. I do not think they are due to God being a being with three centers of self-consciousness as the doctrine of the trinity suggests.
Here is an example of what I mean.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. – 2 Corinthians 13:13
Does this verse suggest such a God as trinitarianism suggests? I don’t think so. I think it simply designates three distinct works with a unique way in which the one God has revealed Himself.
God loved the world in this way: He sent His Son to provide salvation. This salvation is applied to the individual when they receive the Holy Spirit. By receiving the Holy Spirit, we receive the grace of God that was offered us in Jesus Christ by the love of God. This doesn’t require or suggest three eternally distinct divine persons. This is simply God manifesting Himself as Son and as Spirit in order to reconcile us to Himself.
So it seems to me.