Everyone knows that each individual has specific characteristics. The one true God has given us a description of Himself that makes Him stand out from all false gods. Our God is a Triune God and all the redeemed worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. False gods are designed by mere human beings so they appeal to human understanding. The One true God is so great, so profound that the human mind has difficulty comprehending what God is truly like.
Even those who believe in the triune God often err in their understanding when they talk like we have three different God's--Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If they do this, they try to make the God of Israel into something He is not.
Anyone wishing to know what the One true God is like has to go to Scripture for his understanding. There are a number of places we could study, but we might as well go to the verse where God reveals Himself to Israel. Take a look at Deuteronomy 6:4 (NKJV) where He declares, 4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!" The Hebrew word for "one" is unusual. The word for "one" "Echod" would not be used to say I have one pen. It speaks of a plurality in one. When you look at a candle that is lit, there will be light, fire and heat. If you put out the heat, you would put out the light and the fire. If you put out the fire, you will extinguish the heat and the light. The God of Israel is this kind of "One" that is a plurality.
Jesus claims this plurality when describing His relationship to His heavenly Father in John 14:10-11 (NKJV). 10 "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. " When you look at Jesus, you are also seeing the Father though Jesus is not the Father and the Father is not Jesus. That is why Jesus could declare to His disciples in John 14:9b, ". . . .He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?" It took the teaching of the Holy Spirit for these early believers to grasp the concept of the Holy Trinity.
No one can make the claim that he understand the Trinity completely, but let me see if we can grasp a little understanding. We will return to the illustration we have already used to describe a situation where there is three in one. Once again we are looking at a candle that is lit. You have the flame, the light and the heat. The flame is not the light, and the light is not the flame. Neither is the heat the flame or the light. Yet, if I extinguish the flame, I will not have the light or the heat. If I extinguish the light, we have no heat or fire. Ultimately, we recognize our God exist in an entirely different form and in a Kingdom unlike the world we know so we can never fully grasp His existence as a trinity.
The Father is not the Son; the Son is not the Father. The Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son. Yet, we have one God not three.
The ancient Hebrew scholars had trouble with Genesis 1:26 (NKJV) "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." The scholars, Keil/Delitzsch say. "The plural "We" was regarded by the fathers and earlier theologians almost unanimously as indicative of the Trinity: modern commentators, on the contrary, regard it either as pluralis majestatis; or as an address by God to Himself, the subject and object being identical; or as communicative, an address to the spirits or angels who stand around the Deity and constitute His council. Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament - Commentary on the Old Testament – Volume 1: The Pentateuch.
This is consistent with the teaching of the apostle John in John 1:1-4 (NKJV) where we read, "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." Jesus was not the Father, but as the Word, He and the Father brought into existence all that exists. The problem with human pride is that it wants to force everything into human understanding, or something that can be explained by science. We are speaking of in existence beyond human comprehension, but the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are one God yet three persons, each Godhead having its own function.
Jesus takes is a little further into the comprehension of the Holy Trinity as he explains his relationship as the Word working with the Father. I refer to John 5:19-23 (NKJV) "19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him."
There is no escaping the fact that all Christians will acknowledge that we worship a Triune God. Any religion that denies the Trinity is revealed as man made and thereby false.
Ultimately, Christians are a people of faith in the teachings of the prophets, apostles and our Lord Jesus Christ. They agree with Peter when he made a bold claim in 2 Peter 1:16-21 (NKJV). "16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
We are not free to toss aside any portion of Scripture just because it does not fit comfortably into our way of thinking. Rather, it is impossible to claim to have faith in Jesus while denying God's word since Jesus is God's word incarnate. God's people will always insist that we worship a Triune God, and we meet this God in Jesus Christ who took on flesh to dwell amongst God's people.