There are many things about God that stand out and make Him different from other gods throughout history. For one thing, He is a God that is not subject to human passions like the gods in pagan mythologies such as the Greeks, Romans or Norse gods. God is also not a god that can be tricked into doing anything and there is nothing He does not know. There is no question you can think of that God would have to respond by saying “I don’t know the answer to that.”
While these are all things that cause God to stand apart and above all the other so-called gods, there is one key element that makes Him truly unique and separates Christianity from all other faiths. This key element of God is plainly declared in Scripture, yet despite its plain teaching, it remains a teaching that although believed, cannot be fully explained and understood. This is the doctrine of the trinity.
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one (1 John 5:7).
The apostle John wrote in his gospel that Jesus was God and that He became flesh and dwelt among us. This teaching has also caused great consternation with groups that call themselves Christians denying the divinity of Jesus.
This teaching on the trinity and the deity of Christ is one of the key stumbling blocks that sadly cause Jews to reject His Messiahship. At first this is understandable, after all the bible declares in (Deuteronomy 6:4) “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one LORD.” When the word LORD is in all capitals in the King James Version it is an indication the word is translated from the word Jehovah. This is the basis for the Russellites, or Jehovah’s Witnesses proclaiming that Jesus is not God.
A key thing to remember is that part of understanding Scripture is to always take a verse in conjunction with other verses that speak on the same subject. To be fair, at the time Jesus walked the earth the Jews did not have the book of I John available to read, but we do.
Notice that (1 John 5:7) does not contradict the verse in Deuteronomy, it also states that there is one God when it states “these three are one.” What was unknown to those in the Old Testament that there were three separate members of the godhead who were separate, yet one.
To be sure, this is certainly confusing. After all, how can three different and distinct entities be one while maintaining their unique identities? Theologians have attempted a variety or explanations over the centuries. The explanations range from the absurd to some that make some sense, but in the end all of them fall short.
An old preacher once told the story of how when he was in bible college their final test on doctrine consisted of just one essay question, “how can you explain the trinity?” He went on to say that all of the class went into multi-page answers explaining the trinity. At the end of the day, everyone received an ‘F’ on the test. The teacher said the correct answer was “no one can fully explain the trinity.” This answer is still the best one.