We believe, teach, and confess the Biblical description of God, also known as the Trinity. God is one divine essence who is eternal, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness. No one and nothing else shares this divine essence. He is the maker and preserver of all things, visible and invisible. (Nehemiah 9:6). Scripture is clear that there is only one God (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:6). We are strictly monotheistic (believe in one God).
Yet the Bible also clearly teaches that there is a plurality of “Persons” that make up the Godhead (Genesis 1:1, 26; 11:7; Matthew 28:19). In many places the Bible calls the Father, God; the Son, God; and the Holy Spirit, God. (Genesis 1:1, 26; 11:7; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14) And yet there can’t be three gods because Scripture is clear: there is only one God. We have to give equal weight to the texts of Scripture that declare God to be one and also to the texts that reveal the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to be God as well. Since we believe Scripture cannot contradict itself, to resolve (or explain this mystery clearly spoken of in Scripture) we use the word, “Trinity.” Trinity is simply a word the church uses to speak of how God reveals Himself to us in Scripture.
We also believe, teach, and confess that these three “Persons” are of the same divine essence or substance and power – in other words each are and can rightly be called “God.” By the word “Person” we simply mean that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not a part or a quality in each other, but that which subsists of itself.
“One substance” is what the three persons are in common, and what no one else is. God is one in substance. In other words, there is no division of God. The Father is not one third God or part of God; the Father is God. The same is true of the Son and the Holy Spirit. All three persons share in the divine substance. They are equally, truly and fully God. In other words, they’re all the same God. There is one God, one divine substance. God is triune, one God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Or, as we confess in the Athanasian Creed, “We worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance.”