the good God

good God

“How can you believe in three gods?”  asks my Muslim neighbor.  It’s then that I come face to face with a common misunderstanding about God as I understand him.

Recently, I was given the book, The Good God (Michael Reeves, Paternoster, UK, 2012) from a pastor friend in London, England.  It is a small book.  And after a brief thumbing, it appeared to be packed with theology and quotes from church fathers.  I shrugged it off as another colorless treatise on the Trinity.  However, as I began to delve into the pages they began to delve into me.  I gained a fresh veneration and love for my God in a book I’d dub as both practical and devotional.  The fog surrounding the Trinity vanished and what appeared was God’s incomparable beauty and love.

The thrust of the book is that God is love because God is Trinity.  It goes on to say that if God was not Father he would not be loving.  “It is only when you grasp what it means for God to be a Trinity that you really sense the beauty, the overflowing kindness, the heart-grabbing loveliness of God.” (vii)  The love between the persons of God help one to understand the triune God better.

What was God doing before creation?

A Christians understanding of God is built on the Son who reveals him (4). God as Father helps you to know how he loves.  If you don’t start with Jesus the Son, you end up with a different God who is not Father.  Richard the Scot said, “If God was just one person, he could not be intrinsically loving, since for all eternity (before creation) he would have had nobody to love…being triune, God is a sharing God, a God who loves to include. His love is not for keeping but for spreading.” (14-15)  Luther said, “Only when God is known as a loving Father is he known aright.” (60) And John Owen said, “God is our most loving Father…The greatest unkindness you can do to him is to refuse to believe that he loves you.” (77)

Over the past few years, I have observed a culture of a single-person god among Muslims in North Africa.  I can echo Reeves observations when he says,

“Oneness for the single-person God would mean sameness. Alone for eternity without any beside him, why would he value others and their differences? Think how it works out for Allah: under his influence, the once-diverse cultures of Nigeria, Persia and Indonesia are made deliberately and increasingly, the same. Islam presents a complete way of life for individuals, nations, and cultures, binding them into one way of praying, one way of marrying, buying, fighting, relating—even, some would say, one way of eating and dressing.  Oneness for the triune God means unity. As the Father is absolutely one with his Son, and yet is not his Son, so Jesus prays that believers might be one, but not that they might all be the same.  Created male and female, in the image of God, and with many other good differences between us, we come together valuing the way the triune God has made us each unique.” (84; also see 1 Corinthians 12:4,17-20)

Single-person gods—having spent eternity alone—are inevitably self-centered beings.  If this is the kind of god one worships, they become like what they worship.  “If God is not triune it gets even worse: for if God is not triune, it becomes difficult, not only to account for the goodness of creation (as we have seen), but also to account for the existence of evil within it.” (39)  Thus how God the Father loves the Son helps one to understand how God loves creation, hates evil, and his love does something about it.

What is God’s work in salvation?

It is because God is triune that the cross is such good news.  Friedrich Nietzsche boldly said, “God is dead.”  By this he meant that belief in God is simply no longer viable and faith is no longer needed.  However, Reeves adds “‘God is dead’ is where true faith begins. For, on the cross, Christ the Glory puts to death all false ideas of God; and as he cries out to his Father and offers himself up by the Spirit (Hebrews 9:14), breathing out his last, he reveals a God beyond our dreams.” (105)  At the cross we see a God who is infinitely better: unconditionally loving, darkness hating, tremendously glorious.

Since God is a lover from before creation (of his Son), he created humans to be lovers too.  Created to love God, we turn to love ourselves and anything but God.  This is when sin entered the world.  Naturally, man is bent in on himself and takes hellish delight in his own supposed independence.  However, God as the supreme lover atones for sin himself via the Son. God gives himself.  What single-person god would do this? Especially when you think of the reckless and storied lives of the Greeks and Romans.

“Strip down God and make him lean and you must strip down his salvation and make it mean.  Instead of a life bursting with love, joy, and fellowship, all you will be left with is the watery gruel of religion. Instead of a loving Father, a distant potentate; instead of fellowship, contract. No security in the beloved Son, no heart-change, no joy in God could that spirit bring.” (82)

Without the Son, God cannot truly be a Father.  If God is alone, he is not truly loving. Thus he has no fellowship to share with us, no Son to bring us close, no Spirit through whom we might know him.

Reeves says, “My new life began when the Spirit first opened my eyes (light) and won my heart (heat) to Christ… And as he stirs me to think ever more on Christ, he makes me more and more God-like: less self-obsessed and more Christ-obsessed.” (73)  Again, we become like what we worship.

When I go and share the knowledge of God’s great love with others I reflect something very important about who God is.  I share the missional, generous, image of God.  As Reeves continues, “The mission (of God) comes from overflow of love, from the uncontainable enjoyment of fellowship (with himself and others).” (86) Who is to love?  What is my example to be loving to others?  It is found in God as Father.

I would highly recommend this book to a new believer, seminary student, small group, and missionary to Muslims.  It is a book that fosters love for God and greater appreciation for his love for us.  This truly speaks more to my Muslim neighbors than a powerful apologetic.  As I think of God as Father and relish in the love of the Son and the life with the Spirit, it sincerely affects my love for my neighbor.  My only caution is for those who desire a beefy book with slam-dunk comments to defeat opponents of the Trinity, it’s not that kind of book.  Neither is it an exhaustive book on the Trinity.  It is sufficient enough to give a good defense why God is triune.  It satisfies ones longing to know and love God better.

Note: The book also goes by the title Delighting in the Trinity for those who live on the US side of the pond.

thumb licks [9.27.12]

So you still think God is a merciful God?

Life’s little mysteries. I always wanted to know that!

10 Commandments for flying.

When God pulls the rug out.

Throw the ball like a girl.

What will Disney think of next? Their creativity reminds me of Someone else!

Some things to think about before you criticize your pastor.

3-2-1 how the Trinity teaches us the gospel:

Trinity File

Over the past month I have been studying the Trinity. Here are all the resources in one place touching upon the theology and practicality of the Trinity:

what does the Trinity teach us about relationships?

Within the Trinity there is both unity and diversity: unity without uniformity, and diversity without division. This unity and diversity is at the core of the great mystery of the Trinity. Unity without uniformity is baffling to our finite minds, but there are demonstrations of this truth all around us; like a symphony, the human body, ecosystems, the church, the human race, a delicious meal, or a sporting event. Unity and diversity are woven into the fabric of the world by multiple images of the One who made it with unity and diversity.

Our human relationships uniquely and divinely reminisce the relationship between the Persons of the Trinity. This is no mistake, since man’s Maker stamped each man in His image. Most people never consider where this similarity has originated, but God has innately marked His creation with creative features that mimic Him—including our relationships. Today we will look at three distinct relationships that the Bible demonstrated both the unity and diversity of the Trinity:

Marriage is a relationship that demonstrates the Trinity’s unity and diversity [Ephesians 5:22-33]

Marriage is a wonderful picture that God uses to demonstrate His character as an unconditional, faithful, and sacrificial Lover. From the beginning of Creation God made man equal in His image [Genesis 1:26-27]. Though man and woman are quite diverse in appearance and God-given roles [Genesis 2; 1 Peter 3:1-7], they are both equally made in the image of God. If only man and woman within marriage would consider one another images of God, much of the conflict and chauvinism would dissipate.

The unifying love that Jesus has for His church is a beautiful demonstration of marriage [Ephesians 5:22ff]. Marriage is pictured in Christ sacrificing Himself for His church and the church submitted to Christ, which is paralleled by the husbands love his wife, the wife submitted to her husband, and both out of reverence towards Christ.

Church Body is a relationship that demonstrates the Trinity’s unity and diversity [Ephesians 4:1-16]

There is a glorious union between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Biblical Christianity stands or falls with the doctrine of the Trinity. Within the doctrine of the Trinity there are practical Implications. First, the Trinity makes God known in Christ [John 1:18; Exodus 33:20; 1 Timothy 6:16]. Second, the Trinity makes the salvation possible [Hebrew 9:14]. Third, the Trinity is fully dependent upon Himself [Acts 17:25]. Fourth, The Trinity provides the ultimate model for relationships within the body of Christ [1 Corinthians 11:3; 12:4–6; Ephesians 4:4–7].

When believers enter into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ they are adopted into God’s family—the church. The church body is made up of members who are all equal in the eyes of God. God in His divine purposes designed the church to function locally as a means for each member to grow spiritually through mutual relations and gift-oriented ministry with one another. Within His Body, God has given all a diverse role in order for the church to be unified in its display of God’s glory. God gave to the church offices: elders and deacons from the membership who are equal, but the elders are supposed to lead, the deacon’s serve, and the membership minister. When each one is doing their part the Body is a beautiful reflection of God’s unity and diversity.

Leadership (i.e. parenting & governing authority) is a relationship that demonstrates the Trinity’s unity and diversity [Ephesians 6:1-9]

The Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit—one God, three persons, all equal but submissive. God the Son submits to God the Father and recognizes Him as the leader. There is leadership within the Trinity. This is called relational subordination.

Jesus, though He is equal with God, willfully submits Himself to the Father. He submits to the Father out of love [John 4:34; 14:31; 15:9-10], reverence for His divine authority [1 Corinthians 11:3; 15:25-28; John 3:16-17; 10:36; 6:38], and reliance upon the Holy Spirit for power and direction [Luke 4:1-2, 16-21]. Likewise, it is marvelous how the Father shines His spotlight on the Son as He purposes all things to be subject to Jesus [Psalm 2:7-9; Ephesians 1:9-10; 5:21; 1 Corinthians 15:27-28; Revelation 5:1-5, 8-9]. Likewise, the Holy Spirit pours forth the message of Jesus in the Word of God [2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Luke 24:24-27, 44, 1 Corinthians 1:18, 23, 2:2, Galatians 6:14].

Submission to leadership practically plays itself out in two ways: through parenting and governing authorities. In the government of a home: mom, dad, and the children are equal made in God’s image, but dad’s are supposed to lovingly, humbly, and sacrificially lead [Ephesians 6:1-4]. Also, God appoints government leaders and bosses, and our response is to joyfully submit as if we are laboring for God [Ephesians 6:5-9; Romans 13:1-7]. This can be difficult especially in a world that is filled with crooked politicians, unreasonable employers, and passive fathers, but we have an awesome example to follow in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In conclusion, the Trinity gives us a multifaceted look at relationships. Whether, in a marriage, church, home, business or nation God has demonstrated to us unity within diversity. Imagine if in each arena of your life you were to embrace the diversity rather than run from it, what unity could there be?

portraits of the Trinity

Let’s say I have a really beautiful snapshot of a rock. You might say, “Wow, that is a really interesting rock.” Yet you would not know where the snapshot was taken, why it was of a rock or for whom it was for. You come to find out that the snapshot of the rock is a part of a larger photo book cataloging pictures of similar rocks. When the snapshot is zoomed out to a panoramic you can see clearly that the rocks are placed in the panorama of the Grand Canyon.

In a similar fashion, God gave revelation to His people in snapshots [aka: progressive revelation]. Progressive revelation simply means that when Adam and Eve were in the Garden, God did not give them a completed Scripture. Likewise, Abraham did not know as much as Moses or David, Isaiah or Jeremiah, even Peter or Paul about redemption. He knew some components, but very few details.

Progressive revelation is closely related to the historical nature of Scripture and God revealing Himself, His purposes to His people. It can be very simply defined as God’s revealing His will in successive snapshots, each founded upon and making clearer the previous snapshots.

God’s redemptive acts were progressive, preparing the way for Christ who should come in the fullness of time [Gal.4:4]. Christ is the panoramic picture of the Bible. He is the rock and the Grand Canyon. God graciously unfolded the snapshots of His redemptive plan and His revelation in ways that fit His people’s ability to receive them.

When it comes to interpretation it is important to have the panorama in view. Each snapshot of revelation builds and defines the previous one. For example, Exodus builds on Genesis, Kings builds on Judges, and Hebrews builds on the OT. We must study in a way that builds on what was revealed by God in progressive snapshots to see the panorama more clearly. As we study the Trinity from Genesis to Revelation we must have the category of progressive revelation in mind.

SNAPSHOT #1: The OT on the Trinity’s Plurality

We find hints of the Trinity in Genesis. However, a good question to ask is: did the Old Testament Jews believe in a triune God? Did they understand the complexity of the Trinity as we do today? Not completely. The OT Jews were not as clear about the nature of God in the way that we are clear with the incarnation and the teaching about the Holy Spirit that comes with Jesus. However, you be careful not to deny that they believed in the triune God because they believed in the God of the Messiah [Jesus Christ].

In Genesis 1:26-27 [cf. 3:22; 11:5-7], there is a hint from the beginning that the Jews believed in a God with plurality. There are many ways to look at the pronoun for God here, but one cannot escape the interesting tidbit—God is spoken of in the plural. There are many allusions to the God’s plurality [Ps.45:6-7; 110:1; Is. 6:8; 11:1-2; 44:6; 48:16; 61:1; Jer. 23:5-6; Dan. 7:13-14; Mal.3:1].

The OT is animate about the fact that the Spirit of God was real, and that the Messiah who was to come is no ordinary man. Therefore I tend to lean towards the fact that the OT Jews did believe in the triune God. However, they did not have a complete panorama that He was a triune God.

SNAPSHOT #2: The OT on the Trinity’s Oneness

Discovering references to the oneness to God in the OT is not as complicated as studying the Trinity’s plurality. Jews had grown up in Sabbath School learning to prayerfully memorize the Shema [Deuteronomy 6:4] declaring God Oneness I the midst of a world of polytheist pagans. God’s oneness in the OT is quite common. In fact God’s uniqueness is a repeated pattern seen through the OT: “Who is like God?” or “There is none like God” [Ex.8:10; Ps.35:10; 71:19; Is.43:10; 45:5; Jer.10:6-7; Micah 7:18; Zech. 14:9].

SNAPSHOT #3: Jesus on the Trinity

Jesus’ favorite song must have been Psalm 110:1. He quoted it a lot. The question I have is whose son is the Messiah? And whose Lord is the Messiah?  I just don’t think it was a catchy tune stuck in His head, rather it was meaningful in relating Himself to the God as more than a mere man. Jesus compares Himself to the Trinity’s oneness by quoting the Hebrew Shema [Mark 12:28-29] and plurality [Mt.3:16-17; 28:19; Lk.1:30-35; 11:13; Jn.6:27, 57; 10:30; 14:16-26; 15:26; 17:11, 21-23]. In overabundance Jesus Christ is affirming Himself as God and being One with God.

SNAPSHOT #4: The NT on the Trinity

The are numerous places in the NT following the Gospels of Christ that describe God’s Oneness [Rom.3:30; 10:12; 1 Cor. 8:4; 1 Tim. 1:17; 2:5; Js. 2:19] and Plurality [Acts 5:3-4; Rom.1:1-4; 9:5; 1 Cor. 2:10-11; Eph. 1:3-14; Gal. 4:6; 2 Thess.2:13-14; 1 Pt.1:2-3]. As the revelation of God unfolds through history we gain a clearer and more complete picture of God. God is complex, but He graciously and patiently reveals Himself to His people over a long period of time.

When you pull the snapshots of God together from OT to NT you have a true portrait of the Trinity as seen from the whole panorama of Scripture. Today we are blessed to have a completed Canon of Scripture that gives us a wonderful and beautiful picture of God’s character and His story of redemption. Let us behold Him in all His glory—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—three in One.

why does the Trinity matter?

Is the trinity a concept for people who are really intelligent like philosophers and theologians? The Trinity to many people seems like an egg-headed doctrine that is distant from the everyday lives of people. How is the Trinity important for me today? Why does the Trinity matter?

Why the Trinity matters is like asking why does gravity matter? Or why is oxygen all that important? Or do we really need to know anything about anything? I remember sitting in Algebra as a high-school student and thinking to myself, “Is this at all practical?” Indeed, it is practical. For without mathematics the very school building I was sitting in would not have been architected, planes could not fly, time and space could not be measured.

Just because something does not matter to you does not mean it does not matter. In fact, many things we do not think about matter. Imagine you stepped onto an airplane and the stewardesses did not give a safety talk before the plane took off. You would not know what to do in an emergency. If there is information about God that is important shouldn’t we seek to know and understand Him? Why does the Trinity matter?

The Trinity strengthens our relationship with God.

Can you really love something you do not know much about? This is a good question to consider. Take something you love and test it [write a list of things you love]. I love cheese. I am not an expert coinsure on cheese, but I have grown up in Wisconsin, I’ve tasted many kinds of cheeses, I have friends who work in cheese factories that cut cheese for a living, therefore, I know cheese and can appropriately love it. As lame of an illustration as that is the things we love we often learn, study, consume, relate to, experience, and take time and energy to know and understand. This in turn strengths our love and affection for it. To love God is to know and grow daily in all His ways.

God desires us to know and understand Him [Jeremiah 9:23-24; John 16:7-15]. That’s why He was given us His Word. Knowing God might not be the priority of every human being, at least right now, but it we will all one day come to the realization that knowing God is what matters the most.

The Trinity is not about ME.

I cannot wrap my melon around the scope of the Trinity, but that does not mean the Trinity does not exist. Just because I cannot fully understand something does not nix it from being real or truth.

We live in a me-centered culture that thinks everything revolves around “me”. You can spend an entire day thinking about yourself, but oblivious to the realities surrounding you. Like people prior to Galileo concluded our world was flat, but in reality it is a globe. We must face the truth that human beings are part of a larger cosmos that God created, sustains and revolves solely around Him. He is the blazing center of our universe. Man is on earth a blip on the radar screen of history, but God remains eternally. God does not exist to meet our needs, nor did He create us because He was lonely and needed little friends to keep Him company. He did not save man by sending Christ so that we could be with Him forever. Eternity exists so that we can know God—the Trinity [John 17:3].

The Trinity shows the uniqueness of Christianity.

Christianity is not like other world religions. It’s not even kind of the same. Not all religions believe in the same God [that is a contradictory statement]. It is radically different than all world religions. What separates Christianity from other belief systems? According to Christianity God became man [Matthew 1:18-23]. This God-man became the sacrifice for man’s sin. At Christianity’s core the Trinity—God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—is unique to Christianity. Without the Trinity Christianity is dead. That truth alone helps me to understand that the Trinity matters.

3 amazing and mysterious truths about the Trinity

I remember when I first started talking with my wife in the early days of our relationship. I wanted to know everything about her: what she loved, desired, disliked, favorite foods, most inspirational books, greatest memories, fears, and more. Our phone conversations would go on for hours, as we would learn new things about one another. I really got to know a lot about Sarah and loved it. Now that we have been together over 3 years and have know each other more than 10 years we are still learning new things about each other, but not quite at the pace we did in the early years. We are familiar with one another. Imagine one day I woke up and said to Sarah, “I don’t want to know more about you.” Something is very wrong when the learning about my loved one stops.

There is a difference between knowing about someone and really knowing them. Likewise you can know more than just know something about God. You can know Him. He speaks to you and you can speak to Him. You can actually have a growing relationship with God. Like a marriage or family this relationship is a lifelong endeavor, if not an eternal adventure. Forever you will be learning something new about God.

God is a mystery, but there are things you can know for certain about God. You will never be able to solve the mystery about God or know everything about Him. It is impossible to know all about God. People often think that the Trinity mystery is contradictory. A contradiction is when two truth statements exist that cannot logically coexist. For example: “God exists” and “God does not exist.” Both of these statements cannot be truth at the same time. One must be true and the other false. The Bible declares 3 amazing and mysterious truths about the Trinity of God [John 1:1-14]:

1. God is 3 Persons.

How does John 1:14 define what the “Word” is in 1:1? The Word is defined as God who “became flesh and dwelt among us.” We would know the Word as referring to Jesus Christ. What is the significance of calling Jesus “the Word”? To a Jewish person the Word of God was spoken, not necessarily seen. God spoke the universe into being, God spoke to Adam and Eve in the Garden, God spoke to Moses in the bush and Wilderness, and God spoke to the prophets. When God spoke, man listened. John says that Jesus is the Word—the Word in visible flesh. When people look at Jesus and hear from Him they see God with skin on. He is just as God as God the Father; in fact Jesus displays the “glory” of God the Father.

According to John 1:1 notice “the Word was with God.” Why is that statement important? It means that Jesus and the Father are distinct. God is distinct in persons. The Bible clearly shows that the persons of God—Father [1 Cor.8:6; Rom.15:6; Mt.11:27], Son [John 1:3; 5:27-30; 8:58], and Holy Spirit [Acts 5:3-4]—are indeed God, yet distinct from one another [Mt.3:13-17; 12:32]. In fact, the persons are subordinate to one another [John 14-16]; the Father planned salvation [John 3:16], the Son submits to the Father [1 Cor.11:3; 15:28], and the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son [John 16:14].

How is the distinctness and oneness of God reflected in our human relationships? Marriage relationships are considered one flesh, but with two persons [Hutts / Justin & Sarah]. A family is considered a unit with many members [Hutts / Justin Hutts]. A team is typified as one with 5 or 11 players [Colts / Peyton Manny]. So it is with God—He is 3 persons.

2. All 3 Persons are Fully God.

According to John 1:1 Jesus was with God in the beginning. Jesus took part in the creation of all things. Do you notice that John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1 have a lot of similarities? “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.” Jesus is equal with God at creation. Jesus is fully God. John 1:14 tells us that He became flesh, which means that He was once not flesh. Jesus is God who became a man. [Note: The whole Trinity is involved in Jesus’ incarnation—God send Him and the Holy Spirit caused the womb to be; John 3:16; Luke 1:35]

The 3 persons of the Godhood are distinct in person, but one in essence. The 3 Persons have eternally existed as One God. Jesus is not merely with God, not merely like God, He is God.

3. All 3 Persons are 1 God.

All Jews from the time they little children learn about God—One God. Even the disciples believe in One God [monotheist] and believed that Jesus was God too [not one of many god, polytheist]. Hebrew children much like children today attended “Saturday” School at the synagogue and learned important lessons from the Old Testament. By heart a Hebrew would know the Shema: “Hear, O Israel the LORD our God, the LORD is One.” [Deut.6:4] The three-ness and oneness of God do not exist in the same respect—God has one essence and plurality of persons.

How has your view of God been too limited? How have you been reminded in your life of your limitations? When I think about the Trinity I come to a realization of my own limitations. We are the creation and God is the Creator [Isaiah 55:8-9]. Thinking about God puts Him in His place and me in mine. He is God and I am not. I am not, but I know I AM!

In my relationship with Sarah there are things I will learn about her the rest of our marriage. She is a woman—she thinks differently and is wired differently by God. She is so complex. So it is with God. He is infinitely more complex and there is an endless vat to know about our beautiful God and Savior. What a joy it is to search the mysteries of our God and get a glimpse of Him in His Word and in the world.

real questions: 3 in 1?

Ned Anzers: The idea of the Trinity seems farfetched. How can three persons be one God?

Though the word “Trinity” is not found anywhere in the Bible, the theology behind it is seen throughout. The Trinity does not follow logic, but we must understand that theology is not always logical. In mathematics 1+1+1=3, but in the Theology Proper 1+1+1=1. John Wesley once said, “Tell me how it is that in this room there are three candles but one light, and I will explain to you the Trinity.”

I believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Duet.6:4). The Trinity is the doctrine that God is one essence in three co-eternal, co-equal persons (Mt. 3:13-17; Mt.28:19-20; Gen.1:1, 1:26; Jn.1:1, 20:28; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor.13:14).

The Bible clearly states that God is One (Ex.20:2-3; Duet.6:4; 1 Cor.8:4). I do not believe in Tri-theism (three separate Gods), but only one God. However, it is correct to say that there are three members of the Godhead. First, God the Father is God (Eph.1:3; 1 Cor.8:6). Second, God the Son is God (John 1:1-14; John 8:58; John 20:30-31; Phil.2:6-8). Third, God the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-5; 1 Cor.3:16). The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united together as One as is seen in the Great Commission (Mt.28:19-20) and the baptism of Jesus (Mt.3:13-17).

In conclusion, God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God. Broken down, this amounts to three propositions: God is three persons. Each person is fully God. There is one God. In addition, it’s helpful to elaborate on the fact that when we say, “God is three persons,” we mean that he is not just one person, and that the persons of the Trinity are not to be confused. So we can also say: The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. The Father is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father. The Holy Spirit is not the Son, and the Son is not the Holy Spirit. The Son is not the Father, and the Father is not the Son.

Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, 226

The diagram is adapted from Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross by Norman L. Geisler and Abdul Saleeb