Main teachings of the Gospel
3. Holy Trinity
One of the main teachings found in the Gospel of John is the Holy Trinity. The teaching of the Holy Trinity is foundation of faith, service, worship and character. Although the word ‘Trinity’ does not directly appear in the bible, its teaching can be found in various places in the bible; one of the places being the Gospel of John. Holy Trinity means Godhead as one God in three persons. How amazing is our God that His oneness does not interfere with his three’ness and vice versa. This can be challenging to explain in an example as we have to redefine and comprehend the use of the term “One” or “Three” not to mean a number among many. It defines a unique, single, unutterable identity of God. God cannot be made subject to our numbering system; instead He is above all human systems, beyond space and time.
We say He is three in name, in deed, in person and He is one in essence, in divinity, in existence and in will.
Three in name: - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Three in deed: - The Father is the begetter, the Son is begotten, the Holy Spirit is the one who proceeds (From the Father).
Three in person: - The Father has a perfect person, the Son has perfect person, the Holy Spirit has a perfect person. The Father is the heart, the son is the word, and the Holy Spirit is the life (breath).
When we say three; we mean three distinct assignments of three. Names, deeds or persons are neither interchangeable nor interfere with one another. The Father is the heart for Himself, and He is the heart for the Son and for the Holy Spirit. The Son is the word for Himself, and He is the word for the Father, and for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the life (breath) for Himself, and He is the life (breath) for the Father and the Son. Even though we say the Trinity are three in name, in deed and in person; the three are one in essence, in divinity, in existence and in will; we do not mean three Gods but one God. While the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit exist in their own perfect person, they are one in existence.
The Gospel of John teaches us Holy Trinity in great detail. Our salvation was the will of the one God as the scripture says the Father loved the world and the Son became our redeemer, and the Holy Spirit brought us the comforting Truth /John 3:16/. The Son revealed the love of the one God on the Cross because the Trinity are one in loving the world. That is the reason why early Orthodox fathers often time express the events of the Cross in terms of the Holy Trinity. So goes their praise, “Glory and power unto you, with your one of a kind Son and your Holy Spirit, now and ever, unto the eons of eons. “
The Gospel of John explains the three Persons independently. It speaks about love of the Father, the Son being the Word and the Holy Spirit as comforting teacher. Contrary to the teachings of “Only Jesus” and Sabellian followers that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not three names of one Person, but rather three distinct names for three Persons. John calls the Son, “the Word”; “the Word” has heart and Spirit. His heart is the Father and His Spirit is the Holy Spirit. John has teachings for Sabellians and Arians who deny the Personhood of the Holy Spirit in detail /John 14: 26, John 15:26/. The Lord spoke of the Holy Spirit as His replacement for comfort /John 14:18/. So we say that replaces the Person of the Son is the Holy Spirit that has a distinct Personhood. These verses clearly teach us the Holy Spirit is an independent Person in the Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, not the Son /John 15:26/ to teach those who believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. Not only that, the Gospel of John has teachings of the oneness of the three Persons in glory, power and identity of being eternal /John 14:9, 10:30, 5:21/
May He help us keep our belief in the Holy Trinity!