Trinity—Three People make one God?
B. Hodge, Biblical Authority Ministries, October 13, 2022
Question: Regarding the Trinity, is that the belief where 3 people make one? So is God made only to be three people?
There is one God, the Creator of all things including time, the universe—including space and the physical—as well as the heavenly and the spiritual. This one God is 3 persons, not 3 people. This echoes the same teaching from the time of the apostles forward as defended in early Christian creeds. Excerpts from the Athanasian Creed help clarify:
For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is still another. But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, coeternal in majesty. What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit. Uncreated is the Father; uncreated is the Son; uncreated is the Spirit. The Father is infinite; the Son is infinite; the Holy Spirit is infinite….
Thus the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God: And yet there are not three gods, but one God. Thus the Father is Lord; the Son is Lord; the Holy Spirit is Lord: And yet there are not three lords, but one Lord….
The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten; the Son was neither made nor created, but was alone begotten of the Father; the Spirit was neither made nor created, but is proceeding from the Father and the Son. Thus there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three spirits. And in this Trinity, no one is before or after, greater or less than the other; but all three persons are in themselves, coeternal and coequal; and so we must worship the Trinity in unity and the one God in three persons.
Here is an article and chart that maybe helpful to understand this derivation biblically:
Though no analogy is perfect, many church fathers used an equilateral triangle to help explain the conceptual nature of God. Where the triangle is God and each point on the triangle is likened to the three persons of the one true God, distinct, yet identical; and yet the lines making up each point are also the lines proceeding from each triangular point to make up the lines for the other two triangular points.
There is no contradiction in this by the way. Some mistakenly see three persons and one God and misconstrue this to claim that it is three Gods = one God but this is not the case but a straw man fallacy. At any rate, I hope this helps.