Theology is a fancy word for the study of God (theos). People carry many different ideas about who God is and what his nature entails. There is a plural nature to God seen very early in the Bible, “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). The narrator uses these plural words (us and our) to describe God. Some theologians explain these plurals used in Genesis 1-11 and other places in the Bible to portray a divine counsel of sorts that includes celestial beings. Since God and the Spirit of God are mentioned in the text, that suggests that the plurality of the one God is solely at work in this creative act. As seen in Christology, God’s son was present during the creation process and is an entity of the unified Godhead seen at work in creation and certainly part of these plurals.
The study of God encompasses the Trinity. One cannot get around the idea of three “persons” in one substance when Paul writes things like, “…be filled with the Spirit…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Ephesians 5:18c, 20). There are truly three parts of God and man has come up with countless metaphors to try and explain this. Sometimes metaphors can be very dangerous though because they may leave someone with the wrong idea. Let us stick to the Bible when trying to explain the plural nature of the one God. Deuteronomy 6:4 does this beautifully, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Trinitarian Christians are not polytheists or tri-deists, but believe in one God that has different roles that are named in the Bible as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
A temptation might be to make God modal who puts on different masks through history to play different roles. The problem is we see all three “characters” on the seen at Jesus’ baptism. The Son was baptized, the Spirit of God descended on him, and the Father spoke from heaven declaring favor for his son. (Matthew 3:16-17). We must be careful to explain God to others and not give the impression we worship three different gods, but only the one God who is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.