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Is God One Individual Being or Three?


Some people believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are not three separate and distinct living beings, but are all one and the same individual. What does the Bible say?

When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form like a dove, and the Father in Heaven said concerning Jesus, "You are my beloved Son" -- Luke 3:21,22. This passage clearly describes three separate and distinct beings: Jesus on earth, the Holy Spirit descending, and the Father speaking from Heaven. How can this passage be explained if the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all the same individual being?

Furthermore, Jesus often speaks of God as His "Father," and the Father often speaks of Jesus as His "Son" (see John 8:16-18; 1 John 1:3; 2 John 3,9). These terms necessarily refer to a relationship between two separate and distinct beings. Someone may say, "Well, a person can be both a father and a son at the same time." Yes, I am a father in relation to one person, and a son in relation to another person; but how can I be both a father and a son in relation to the same person -- especially if that person is me? The beliefs of some churches would make Jesus both His own father and His own Son!

Someone may point out that Jesus said, "I and my Father are one." Yes, and Jesus also explained how he and the Father are one. Jesus prayed concerning His disciples, "That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in me and I in You." Christians should be one like the Father and the Son are one, but we are not one and the same individual. We are separate individual beings, but we should be one in purpose, character, belief, and practice. In the same way, the Father and Son are one, but not one and the same individual.

For further study I encourage the reader to go to www.gospelway.com/instruct/ and  study our free detailed study about the number of individual beings in the Godhead. 


(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 4/2/2007

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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.

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