The Bible clearly teaches a triune Godhead consisting of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who all share the name of God and the attributes of God (Matt. 28:19). The Jacksonville Church of God Seventh Day (JCOG7) teaches a triune Godhead. Some have falsely accused JCOG7 of not believing in the Holy Spirit or a triune God because JCOG7 does not use the word "trinity" to describe the triune Godhead. Those who do so are making an incorrect assumption about the beliefs of JCOG7. JCOG7 firmly teaches a triune God, but rejects the usage of the word "trinity" because that word is not used in the Bible to describe the triune God.
Many Christians today mistakenly believe the word "trinity" is found in the Bible. It is not directly stated in the Bible. Martin Luther explains:
"It is indeed true that the name 'Trinity' is nowhere to be found in the Holy Scriptures, but has been conceived and invented by man."1The word "trinity" was invented to describe a theology about the Godhead that was derived from the Bible.
From a biblical standpoint, the Holy Spirit is God, just as much as the Father and Son are God. The Holy Spirit, along with the Father and Son, share the same name as God (Matt. 28:19). When Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit, he lied "not to men, but to God" (Acts 5:3-4). This demonstrates the apostles regarded the Holy Spirit as God. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit shares the attributes of God. For example, Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit is omnipresent (John 14:16). Also, the Holy Spirit has the knowledge of God (1 Cor. 2:10,11). Finally, the Holy Spirit is mentioned alongside the Father and Jesus in some greetings, benedictions, and other passages in the New Testament (1 Cor. 12:4-6, 2 Cor. 13:14, Eph. 4:4-7, 1 Pet. 1:2, Jude 20-21).
Because there is not a whole lot written in the New Testament about the Holy Spirit, there was some debate in the early church about the role of the Holy Spirit in the Godhead. However, the majority of orthodox churches held the Holy Spirit to be a member of the Godhead. For example, in the Diache, an early Chrisitian document, the church is instructed to baptize new believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (9:5). After significant debate, the matter was finally settled with the adoption of the doctrine of the Trinity at the Council of Constantinople in 381.2
Some regard the Holy Spirit as an inanimate force, or an extension of God. This is a false perception. The Bible clearly speaks of the Holy Spirit as a person:
Thus, the New Testament evidence is that the Holy Spirit is not merely a force or power but a divine being.
JCOG7 does not use the word "trinity" because it is a man-made word, invented to describe what the Bible already adequately describes. The Bible uses the word Godhead to describe the triune nature of God. This word, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is sufficient to describe God, and there was no need to coin a new word, "trinity."
There is plenty that humans do not know about the Holy Spirit or the Godhead. We see through a glass dimly. For humans to attempt to comprehend the Godhead is like ants trying to comprehend a human. All of the mysteries of the Bible have not been explained. Therefore, Christians should extend grace to one another, recognizing that legitimate disagreements may exist in regards to the exact nature of the Godhead.
1. Luther, Martin, The Sermons of Martin Luther, Church Postil, 1522; III:406-421, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.
2. Codex Theodosianus, xvi.1.2.
2. Codex Theodosianus, xvi.1.2.