The Father, Son, and Spirit are God

The Father is God

Having established the three-in-oneness of God, it is necessary to establish that Scripture also teaches that each member of the Godhead is equally and eternally God, no more and no less than the others. This begins by recognizing the deity and eternality of God the Father. From Genesis 1:1 and beyond, general references to God throughout Scripture normally refer to the Father (i.e., John 3:16). Still, Scripture also provides explicit references to the Father as God. The OT prophet Malachi identifies the one true God as Father (Mal 2:10), and in the NT Paul likewise affirms that there is one God called the Father (1 Cor 8:6). Isaiah repeatedly alludes to God this way (63:16; 64:8), and James does the same (1:17), as does Jesus himself (Matt 6:923:9Luke 10:21-22). Furthermore, God the Father is eternal, indicating both that he must be God and that he has always been God (Deut 33:27Ps 90:2).

The Son is God

Though critics abound, Scripture strongly attests to the deity of the second person of the Godhead. John begins his gospel by declaring that Jesus has always been God, and as such has always been in perfect union with God the Father (John 1:1). Matthew also declares that the Son, in his earthly, human existence, was named for who he was, that is “God with us” (Matt 1:23; cf. Isa 9:6). What’s more, Jesus himself claimed to be God, the God who revealed himself to Moses as Yahweh at the burning bush (John 8:58; cf. Exod 3:14). Furthermore, the writer of Hebrews provides explicit, emphatic evidence for the deity of the Son by recording that the Father also called him “God,” a declaration that originates in the Old Testament (Heb 1:8; cf. Ps 45:6-7). Furthermore, the Son is eternal, indicating both that he must be God and that he has always been God, just as the Father (Mic 5:2John 8:5817:5Rev 1:8).

Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the deity of the Son, claiming that this identity as a “son” proves he is not equal to the Father as God. They misunderstand the meaning of this title, however. In fact, the antagonistic rabbis agreed that the claims that Jesus made for God as his Father were direct claims to personal deity, fully equal to the Father (John 5:1810:30). One theologian says this: “The designation ‘Son of God’ when used of our Lord means of the order of God and is a strong and clear claim to full Deity.”[21] Knowing this, Jewish authorities rejected his claim and made plans to execute him for blasphemy. Thomas, the doubtful disciple, also recognized the divine claims of Jesus, but he responded by giving him worship instead, which Jesus willingly accepted (John 20:28).

The Spirit is God

In addition to the Father and the Son, Scripture also provides evidence for recognizing a third person, the Holy Spirit, as God. Luke records a clear affirmation by Peter that to lie to the Holy Spirit is to lie to God, identifying the Spirit as God (Acts 5:3-4). Furthermore, Paul calls him “the Lord” (2 Cor 3:17). In the Old Testament, Job claimed that the Spirit created him, an activity that only God can perform (33:4). David ascribes to him the exclusively divine attribute of omnipresence (Ps 139:7), and Paul does the same with the divine attribute of omniscience (1 Cor 2:11). Furthermore, the writer of Hebrews calls the Spirit eternal, indicating both that he must be God and that he has always been God, just as the Father and the Son (Heb 9:14).

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