Gen 1:26, “Then God Said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…”
So who is the “us” this verse refers to? My friend Jay explained to me the three common positions:
- It’s a reference to the Trinity
- It’s a literary technique showing glory through what’s known as a “majestic plural” (yeah, news to me too)
- God is speaking in front of a celestial audience. Therefore, the “us” refers to man being created in the image of God and other spiritual beings.
I prefer the first explanation.
Then the next day I heard Hank Hanegraaff talking about the Trinity on his Bible Answer Man radio show. A caller was arguing with him about whether the concept of the Trinity was really in the Bible. Hank gave the following mnemonics for some supporting verses. I didn’t find his mnemonics that easy to remember, but had fun looking up all these verses:
The Father is God
Several verses with 1:3 references:
1 Corinthians 1:3, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ephesians 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing…”
1 Peter 1:3, “Praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”
The Holy Spirit is God
The acrostic ACTS:
Acts 5:3-4, “Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."
2 Corinthians 3:16-17, “…whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
1 Timothy 4:1, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”
Supplementary passages such as Psalm 139, “Where can I go from your Spirit? … If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there…”
Jesus is God
The first chapters of John, Colossians, Hebrews, and Revelation.
Take the letters: J C H R and think, “Jesus Christ Has Risen!” I made this mnemonic up.
“He [Jesus] was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him…” (vs 10)
“No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” (vs 18)
Verse 18 is interesting because it talks about there being only one God, and yet that God is at that God’s side. Confusing!
Jesus is the image of invisible God – Firstborn of all creation – By Jesus all things were created in heaven and on earth – Jesus is before all things, and in him all things hold together – God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Jesus (vs 15-20)
“… but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” (vs 2-3)
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (vs 8 )
“Then he [Jesus] placed his right hand on me and said, ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.’” (vs 17-18)
These two verses prove Jesus is God by substitution:
- The Lord God Almighty = Alpha and Omega
- Jesus Christ = Alpha and Omega
- Therefore: Lord God Almighty = Jesus Christ
wow, can’t believe I’m using something from my logic class in college.
But wait, there’s more!
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the Same Verse
All three persons of the Trinity are referred to in the following verses, which you can remember by the mnemonic: ABC
Luke 1:35, “The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’”
Luke 3:22, “…and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’”
Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
And lastly, a verse alluding to the Trinity concept from the Old Testament:
Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”