Do Christians believe in three gods?
Many people think Christians believe in three gods because they have heard that Christians speak about God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. Some even think that Christians believe in God the Father, Mary and Jesus.
So what is the truth? Do Christians believe in three separate gods, and who are they? Or do they believe in one God who is both one and three at the same time? And is that possible or would it go against human reason?
The glorious creator God
Christians believe in one God. He has always existed and he created the world and everything in it. The beauty and greatness of the universe reveals that he is a God of immense power and that his wisdom is beyond our understanding. But is it possible for us to know more about him than this? Has he revealed himself to us?
God has revealed himself to us through his prophets and his books. He sent Moses and through him gave the Tawrat. Then other prophets came. David wrote many psalms, which were collected in the Zabour. These books were all gathered together in the Old Testament.
However, this revelation on the Old Testament was not sufficient. Although the Jewish people had received God’s laws, they were not able to keep them.
So God took a further step. He sent Sayedna Isa (Jesus Christ) to reveal himself fully to man. Isa lived a perfect life, without sin. He performed wonderful miracles, giving sight to the blind, healing to the lepers and raising the dead. But he then did even more than this. He took all the responsibility of men and women’s sins on himself and died on the cross to pay the penalty for them.
Isa’s death was not the end. On the third day he rose again from the dead. His disciples saw him and realised that he was truly alive. They began to understand that Isa was not just a man. No man could have done the miracles he did and no man had ever conquered death.
One of Isa’s disciples, Thomas, did not at first believe that Isa had risen from the dead. He was not with them when Isa first appeared to them.
Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’
But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’
Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’
Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ (John 20:24-29)
Although he had not believed at first, Thomas realised immediately that Isa was not simply a man who had somehow come back from the dead. He called him, ‘my Lord and my God’.
The Holy Spirit
Isa had promised his disciples that, after his death and resurrection, he would send them the Holy Spirit. He had commanded them to spread the news of his death and resurrection, and he knew that they could never do this in their own strength. They would need the power of God himself, through his Holy Spirit.
Fifty days after Isa’s resurrection, he sent the Holy Spirit as he had promised:
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)
The disciples were given the ability to speak in languages they did not know in order to tell those around them the wonderful thing that God had done in raising Isa from the dead.
The Holy Trinity
Christians believe that there is only one, unique, glorious creator God. He came to earth in the person of Sayedna Isa, lived, died and rose again. Yet, at the same time, he was always in heaven, ruling the universe. He also came in the power of the Holy Spirit to enter the hearts and minds of Isa’s disciples and to enable them to spread the message of Isa to all the world.
It is clear that the nature of God goes beyond our human understanding. Is it possible for him to be one and yet at the same time three? Who is man to say that anything is impossible for God? Some have argued that 1+1+1 = 3. But it is also true that 1x1x1 = 1!
Man himself is a unity, but he is made up of body and soul. We can also speak of his mind, his will and his emotions – and yet he is one. God is infinitely greater than man! Can he not be one and three at the same time?
The doctrine of the Trinity goes beyond man’s power of reason, but it does not contradict it. We urge you to study this subject in more depth before declaring anything impossible for God!
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