What is the difference between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

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Our “One God” is revealed in the three distinct persons – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (1 John 5:7 NKJV). Each is God (Ephesians 4:6; Titus 2:13; Acts 5:3, 4), yet the three are one. They are one in nature, character, and purpose. And they are the same in properties, attributes and equal in power and glory.

Jesus said that He wasn’t the Father more than 80 times. While always remaining one in purpose and origin, Jesus and the Father are clearly separate and distinct persons. And on more than one occasion, the Father spoke to Jesus from heaven. “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17 NKJV).

In the Godhead, we notice that there is an order of authority concerning the three persons. The Father is the head “And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3:23). “But I would have you know, that … the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

The Son constantly receives His glory, power, throne, and prerogatives as Judge from the Father (John 3:35; John 5:22). Yet, just because the Father seems to have supreme authority, it does not in any way diminish from the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that we approach the Father in the name of the Son by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Son lives to glorify the Father, and the Spirit lives to glorify the Father and Son (John 17:1, 5; John 16:14; John 13:31, 32).

In John, we read that God the Father so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that we might be born of the Spirit (John 3:8, 13, 16, 17). The Son came to earth to reveal the true character of God the Father to a world dying in sin. Jesus prayed to His Father in Gethsemane, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world” (John 17:5, 6). Jesus is the only one who could reveal the Father, because He is the express image of the Father (Luke 10:22; Hebrews 1:3).

The Holy Spirit is the third divine person of the Godhead. Though a spirit, He has all the characteristics of a separate person. Jesus promised before His ascension that He was sending another helper; “paraclete” is the Greek word that signifies a multi-sided personal ministry.

The Holy Spirit speaks (Acts 8:29), teaches and inspires (2 Peter 1:21), guides (John 16:13 NKJV), witnesses (Hebrews 10:15), comforts (John 14:16), helps (John 16:7, 8) and can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30). These are all traits that usually belong to a person and not just a force.

Thus we learn that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have distinct roles in the Godhead. May “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14 NKJV).

In His service,

ProofDirectory Team