There are three confessions manifested in the Apostles’ faith.
The first confession is that they believed in God the Father Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1); secondly, they confessed that Jesus Christ the Son of God had given them the remission of their sins; and the third confession is that they believed that Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit. We must also confess that we believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for we must have the same faith as the Apostles.
For us, the Father is God, just as the Son and the Holy Spirit are also God. Insofar as the essence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is concerned, they are all the same God, as our faith in them is the same faith. For instance, because the Father is the Almighty God, the Son is also the Almighty God. The three Persons of the Holy Trinity, in other words, are in their essence the same God. We thus believe accordingly, that the three Persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are fundamentally and completely one. As such, in order for us to build the foundation of our faith in the Word of God, we must be anchored in this Word of truth.
1. From the Old Testament
(1) First of all, the Old Testament clearly shows that God is one: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
(2) At the same time, however, the Old Testament also tells us unmistakably that God exists in several persons: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26); “‘Come, let Us go down there and confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech’” (Genesis 11:7). From these passages we can see and believe that God exists not in single person but in multiple persons.
2. From the New Testament
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are God to us. But God exists in three independent persons. This truth is revealed in unequivocal terms also in the New Testament.
(1) That the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit exist as separate persons is clearly evidenced by the account of Jesus’ baptism that marked the beginning of His ministry: “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:16-17).
This passage describes the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, when the Triune God is revealed. From this passage we know that Jesus is the Son of God, that the Holy Spirit works with Him, and that the Father declared Him to be “His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased.” Through these manifestations the Triune God is revealed. Jesus could fulfill all the righteousness of God because He took all the sins of mankind with His baptism received from John. This is why He had to die on the Cross for us, and this is “the righteousness of God” that the Father fulfilled through His Son. That Jesus took all our sins on Him by His righteous act of baptism is the very righteousness of God, and this truth is affirmed by both the Father and the Holy Spirit. Thus, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit exist as separate persons, but are the same God for us.
(2) Matthew 28:19 also reveals that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God, as Jesus commanded His disciples to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”—that is, in names of the three separate persons of the Trinity.
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are each an independent person, but at the same time they are the same in that they all are the same God. As such, when we believe in God, we believe in one God as the united entity of the three persons.
God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as professed by the Christian faith is the self-existing God, different from all other deities. Some other religions believe that Jesus is only one of the many prophets, but this is simply not true.
For us, God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Despite the fact that this truth is readily and sufficiently attested by the Scriptures, there are many who do not realize this. This is so because those who do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit approach the concept of Holy Trinity with their human rationality and logic, which makes them impossible to understand. Those who are not born again cannot understand the Triune God. But for those of us who are born again, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is our one God, in whom we place our absolute faith.