Word@Work, Let God's Word energise your working day!

How do I relate to God?

The Bible teaches us that God is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) and there are no other Gods beside Him (Deuteronomy 4:35, Isaiah 45:5-6).

However, in Genesis 1:26 God says Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and the plural words "us" and "our" which are used here, are Hebrew plural words which means "more than two". As we read through the Bible we are introduced to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, all of whom are one God (Deuteronomy 6:4).

We first see the Holy Spirit in Genesis 1:2 where we read that the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (NIV). Numbers 11:29 tells us that God put His Spirit in His prophets, and in the New Testament, 2 Peter 1:21 tells us that the prophets spoke words from God carried along by the Holy Spirit.

We do not see Jesus Christ clearly until His arrival on earth at the beginning of the New Testament. However, John 1:1-2 tells us that Jesus was God, and had been with God from the beginning, and we also learn that all of creation was created through Him (John 1:3). Jesus Himself confirms that He is God when he says I am the Father are one (John 10:30 NIV).

The relationship between the Father, Son and Spirit is not like anything that we know. Some people have tried to describe it by using examples from nature where you find three parts that are one, for example:- one egg has three parts (The yoke, the white and the shell), a peach (which has an outer layer of skin, the inner fruit and a solid core), or water (which can be ice, liquid or steam). None of these pictures adequately explain how the three persons of the Trinity can be one God, but they are pictures that can help us to begin to understand the Trinity.

We know that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit each have distinct personalities. However, we also know that they are each fully God, they think the same thoughts, want the same things, act in the same way and have the same character. How is this possible? We do not know that!

So, how do we relate to God?

The Bible teaches us that we gain access to God through the sacrifice of the Son on the cross (John 3:16, Colossians 1:19-20), we have intimacy (closeness) with God through the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22, Romans 8:14-16) and we are in awe of the majesty of Father God (Isaiah 2:10,19,21, 6:1-4, Ezekiel 1:1-28).

The model of prayer in the Bible is that we pray to the Father (Matthew 6:9), in the name of the Son (John 14:14, 15:16, 16:23, Ephesians 5:20), with the help of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26-27, Jude 20). There may be times when we feel that it is appropriate to speak to one of the persons of the trinity about a particular subject (For example:- We might ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit, we might thank Jesus for saving us from our sin, and ask Him for continuing strength to live a holy life), and the Bible does not discourage this.

If you would like further information on this subject, there is another pastoral answer on this website entitled "What is the Trinity", which also looks at this question.

All scripture quotations from NIV84.