3.2.2 References to the triune God in the New Testament

Although the New Testament does not contain a fully formulated doctrine of the Trinity, it nevertheless records events and formulations which clearly show the divine Trinity and its activity in the history of salvation. One example of the presence of the triune God can be found right at the beginning of Jesus' public activity, when, at His baptism, the Father and the Holy Spirit attest to the sending of the incarnate Son of God: "And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heaven parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, 'You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'" (Mark 1: 10-11). The Son of God, as is revealed here, works in unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are also mentioned in the commission to baptise, which Jesus Christ gave His Apostles before His ascension into heaven (Matthew 28: 18-19).

Indicators of the bond between the persons of the Trinity can be found in the gospel according to John, which speaks of the oneness between the Son and the Father, and where Jesus Christ says: "I and My Father are one" (John 10: 30; cf. John 1: 1, 18). The promise of the Holy Spirit also attests to the trinity of God (John 16: 13-15).

There are further references to God's trinity in the epistles of the New Testament. They can be found in the praises of God as well as in the wording of certain blessings. Accordingly, 1 Corinthians 12: 4-6 states: "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all." This passage refers as much to the uniqueness of God as to the different self-revelations of the divine persons. That God's activity provides evidence of His Trinitarian nature is also attested in Ephesians 4: 4-6: "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." The salvific activity of the triune God is referenced in 1 Peter 1: 2: "... according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ."

A clear reference to God's triune nature is found in the wording of the blessing at the end of the second epistle to the Corinthians: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen" (2 Corinthians 13: 13).

See also