How Well Do You Understand the Trinity? This Quiz Might Surprise You

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Do you truly understand the Trinity well enough to explain it to another person? (CreationSwap/Jon Ashcroft)

1. Which of the following is/are God?

Answer: The Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are all God.

In our everyday language, we usually use the word "God" to refer to God the Father (as does the Bible, very often). But while the Father is indeed God, God is not just the Father. God is one, yet consists of three distinct Persons.

2. How many Gods are there?

Answer: One.

The foundational teaching of Judaism and Christianity has always been monotheism, expressed in the shema ("Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one" [Deuteronomy 6:4]). The Trinity is not the belief in three Gods, but that the three divine Persons are together one God (tri-unity). No true Christian has ever believed in three Gods; to do so would make him a polytheist.

3. How many Persons of God are there?

Answer: Three.

This is the heart of the doctrine of the Trinity; that there are three divine Persons in the Godhead (Father, Son, and Spirit).

4. Jesus is God.

Answer: True.

Jesus, as the human incarnation of God the Son, is full God and fully man. More accurately, Jesus is God the Son; Jesus not, however, the physical incarnation of entire Godhead. Yet Jesus, as the second Person of the Trinity, shares in all the divine attributes of God. See John 1:1-18.

5. Jesus is the Father.

Answer: False.

Jesus (the Son) and the Father are two distinct Persons of the Trinity. While they are both party to the one being of God, they are not the same Person as one another. To claim that Jesus is the Father would be Unitarianism, which makes no distinction between any divine Persons. When Jesus said "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30), He was referring to the unity of Himself with the Father in divine nature and purpose. He was not denying that there is still a distinction between the Father and the Son.

6. The Holy Spirit is God.

Answer: True.

This is a basic tenet of the Christian faith. When Jesus said that the Father would send "another Helper" after Him (John 14:16), the Greek term used refers to one of the same nature—that is, the same divine nature.

7. The Holy Spirit is the same Person as the Father.

Answer: False.

To fail to distinguish between the individual Persons of the Trinity is to commit heresy.

8. Fill in the blank: God is ____.

Answer: One.

This is a basic restatement of Deuteronomy 6:4. God is one being consisting of three Persons.

9. Jesus is Yahweh.

Answer: True.

The Hebrew tetragrammaton (יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh) is the powerful name of God most often interpreted as a reference to His eternal self-existence ("I Am that I Am," Exodus 3:14). This self-existence is a trait belonging not only to the Father, but to the Son and Spirit as well. It seems accurate to say that the entire Trinity is Yahweh God.

John 12:41 and Hebrews 1 are just two of the many passages in the New Testament identifying Christ with the God Yahweh of the Old Testament. These passages do not claim that Jesus and the Father are the same Person. Interestingly, the word "Lord" in small capital letters, the term used in most English Bibles to replace the Hebrew יהוה, is the same word in Greek most often ascribed to the "Lord" Jesus Christ (κύριος). Thus, to say "Jesus is Lord" is not only to say that He is Master, but also that He is God and in fact that He is the Yahweh of the Old Testament.

10. God is one Person manifested in three forms.

Answer: False.

It is tempting to answer "yes" here, because that would certainly simplify the doctrine in our minds while maintaining the whole three-in-one underpinning of the Trinity. The above statement is false, however, because it expresses the position of modalism (which characterizes Oneness Pentecostalism). Modalism teaches that God is one Person who has manifested Himself in various manifestations (or forms, modes) throughout time and space; initially as God the Father, during the first century as Jesus Christ, and presently as the Holy Spirit.

It's convenient, but completely unbiblical and heretical. Modalism also makes tremendous light out of deep spiritual truths such as Christ's intercession for us before the Father, the Son's total submission to the Father, and so forth—truths which do not make sense unless one grants that the three Persons of the Trinity eternally co-exist.

For more information, see this excellent article from Matt Perman of Desiring God. You may also find this humorous video on St. Patrick's attempts to explain the Trinity to be enlightening.

Alex Kocman is a recent media graduate with a background in biblical studies. A writer and editor for Christian Life News and Charisma News, he resides in Virginia with his wife. You can follow him on Twitter via @ajkocman.

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