There are many questions which people from other religious beliefs ask us when they want to know about Christianity. As a Pakistani Christian in his twenties I can understand that at some point almost all of our Christian youth faces these questions. Pakistan a country where 98% of the population is Muslim and the remaining 2% is divided in to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and other religions it’s common that a youngster has to face at some point some probing questions where he or she has to answer very carefully.
The most important frequent question that is being asked to the Christians not only in Pakistan but around the world is that do you worship Three Gods and what is Trinity ?. I remember in College when I was in 11th grade my professor of Urdu used to question me the entire period in front of a class of 70 every day as I was among the only 2 Christian students in the class. He wanted to know about Christianity more and even though his tone was a little mocking sometimes his questions were directed to learn more about what Christian beliefs are. It also showed that before this the students as well as the professor didn’t had any interaction with a Christian in their life and now as they got a chance they wanted to know about things which they didn’t knew whom to ask.
At first I was a little annoyed and scared that why me? Why this professor makes a show of me by asking me questions like that? But as a Christian I had the responsibility to answer the questions about Christianity in front of a class full of Muslim students, plus being careful at the same time not to say anything as the country has very strong blasphemy laws which make the minorities very venerable. After two three days I realized that God was using me to spread His word and I was happy to answer his questions the remainder of the year. But the strange thing which used to happen was that I used to answer every question as If God was putting words in my mouth. But one day he asked me about Trinity please explain Trinity and this concept of Three Gods ?.
Now as a sixteen year old boy I suddenly found myself in a difficult position. I explained him the best I could that there is only One God which Christians worship and the Son and the Holy spirit are a part of Him, three different Beings yet One being and the best example which I could give and which I read so many times back then was of water that water is liquid solid and gas at the same time yet it’s one thing.
I don’t know if I was able make them understand what I was telling them because explaining trinity we as Christians ourselves don’t understand many things and pretend to understand them telling ourselves that something’s are just beyond human understanding. Back then I was saved by the bell. Now the question is, what do we know about Trinity? And if someone from a different religion asks us that please explain Trinity to them (in simple words) what do we tell them?
1. There is only one God
The first thing that should be clear here is that Christians worship only one God. Not two or three but only One God who is the creator of everything; the havens and the Earth. In Isaiah 43:10 God says “… I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God”. God himself is saying that He is one person not two not three. James 2:19 “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror”
2. Jesus is the Son of God, is God
Jesus Christ is God’s son who came in to this world in the form of human and as He is the son of God as God. Now we are not talking about the Greek demigods that are part men and part God. Not part of Him but whole of Jesus was both God and man at the same time. John 1:14 “So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son”.
3. Holy Spirit is God
Now the third part of the trinity is the Holy Spirit. In Islam it is referred as the angel Gabriel. In Christianity Holy Spirit is a whole person and is a distinct personality separate from God and the Son yet being a part of them. In John 14:16-17 Jesus says “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.…”. Here Jesus doesn’t say that I will send spirit of God to help you or will myself come in form of spirit but will send you another helper which is a separate entity the Holy Spirit.
Now many examples are given to explain Trinity one of them as mentioned earlier of water being liquid, gas and solid at the same time. The other is the sun, now if we think the God as the Sun Its light as Jesus which illuminates the world from sins, the Holy Spirit will be the warmth so all these are separate things yet being part of the same thing. But is it correct to explain and compare Trinity with sun and water?, in reality these seem like perfect examples to explain Trinity in simplest of terms so a common man or woman can understand and we can give countless examples but Trinity is far bigger than that.
So Trinity in simple words is God the Son and the Holy Spirit. There is one God who manifests in three persons which we call Trinity.
The Holy Spirit is a separate entity from the Father and the Son and works and acts as a helper, guide, comforter in prayer and many other roles. I had a chance to ask this question of how we can explain Trinity to the Bishop of Lahore (one of the biggest diocese of Pakistan) Bishop Irfan Jamil, He said that Holy Trinity cannot be explained in mere words it can only be felt. I once read that “We, who are finite, cannot comprehend God, who is infinite”. So there are questions the answers to which can only be known when we are with God finally.
Paul says in Romans 11:33-36
Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor? And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it back? For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen.