Affirmation: We believe in the existence of the one True God, Elohim, Maker of the whole universe, indefinable, but revealed as Triune Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit – One in nature, essence and attributes – Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, etc (Gen 1:1; Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14).
(I). His Form : God is one yet there are THREE persons who form the Godhead. God is one, undivided and indivisible Essence, but in the one true God, there are three eternal distinctions, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who form the eternal Godhead.
Trinity: Tertullian, one of the early Church fathers was determined to define the Godhead and came up with the word Trinity. It simply means “Threefold” or “Three-in-one”.
(II). His Being and Essence: He is self-existing, self-conscious, self-determined and self-sufficient infinite spiritual Being. He is eternal Life and Light, the source of his own existence. He is within Himself. He depends on nothing outside of Himself (Ex 3:14; Is. 40:28-29; John 1:4-9; 5:26; 1Jn. 1:5-7).
(III). The Attributes of God: Attributes are the characteristics or qualities belonging to someone. In relation to God, they are those characteristics that make God who He is. The attributes of God fall into two main groupings: Essential and Moral.
(a). Essential Attributes
They are those characteristics that belong to God only. These essential attributes can never become attributes of man because man would then become God.
These attributes are also known as non-moral or incommunicable attributes of God.
1. He is Immutable – Unchanging (Mal. 3:6; Heb 13:8; James 1:17).
2. He is Omnipotent – All powerful (Gen 18:14; Matt 19:25, 26; Rev 19:6).
3. He is Omnipresent – Everywhere at the same time (Psalm 139:7-10; Prov 15:3; Jer 23:23-24; Acts 17:27).
4. He is Omniscient – Knowing all things (Isa 46:9-11; Matt 10:30; Heb 4:13; 1 John 3:20)
5. He is Eternal – Never dies (Ex 3:14; Deut 33:27; Ps 90:2).
(b) Moral Attributes
These are characteristics that belong to God in relation to His creatures. They are called communicable attributes because God intends man to possess them.
They include: 1). Perfect Holiness: Absolute purity. That one cannot tolerate sin (Lev.19:2; 11:44-45; 1Pet. 1:16).
2). Perfect Righteousness: Righteousness is the Holy God acting in a just and upright manner towards His creatures. This justice is seen in both punishment and reward (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 2:7-11; Heb 11:26).
3). Perfect Love (Agape): The perfection of affection God has which moves Him to give Himself to His creatures continually. An act of God’s will. The love of God is expressed to man, not only in creation but also more perfectly and fully in redemption (Deut. 7:6-8; Rom. 5:5-6; 2 Cor. 13:11). The other aspects of God’s love are:
a) The Goodness of God: It is the providential care for all His creatures (Ps. 36:5; 104:21; Matt. 5:45; 6:26).
b) The Grace of God: The undeserved, unearned and unmerited favour of God bestowed upon sinful men (Eph. 1:2-7; 2:5-8; 2Tim. 1:2).
c) The Mercy of God: It is the pity of God upon the miserable condition of the sinner because of sin (Ps 102:13; Lk 6:36; Rom.11:30-31; Eph. 2:4).
d) The Compassion of God: Compassion is sorrow for the suffering of another with the urge to help (Matt. 9:36; 14:14; Ps 78:38; 86:15)
e) The kindness of God: Kindness is the gentle benevolence of God (Tit. 3:4-7; Col. 3:12; Eph. 2:7).
4) Perfect Faithfulness:
God’s faithfulness means that He is absolutely trustworthy, loyal, reliable, and true to His Word. God cannot lie (Ps129: 86, 138; 2Thess. 3:3; 2Tim. 2:13; Heb 10:23; 11:11; 2Thess. 5:24).
(IV). Deity and functions
1. The Father His Identity: The Father is God, who is revealed by the Son as the ‘Father’ (Matt 23:9; John 1:18; 14:6, 1; John 20:17).
Functions: He is the Master Builder, Originator, Creator and Sustainer who sent His Son to die on the Cross for our sins. He gave the Spirit to the Son and the Church (Gen 1:1; Neh. 9:21; Ps 127; Ps 55:22; Matt 3:16; Lk 24:49; John 14:16, 26).
2. The Son His Identity: The Son is God, who became the God – man, Jesus Christ (John 1:1; 14; 8:58-59; 10:30; 14:9; 20:28; Rom 9:5; Phil 2:6-8; 1Tim 2:5; Tit 2:13).
Functions: He is the Creator and the Mediator of all things (John 1:3; Col 1:16; 2 Tim 2:5). He is the Sustainer and Upholder of everything (Col 1:17; Heb 1:3). He forgives sin, gives life, and is the coming Judge and King (Matt 9:2-6; Lk 7:47, 48; John 6:39-40; 11:25; 2Tim 4:1; 1 John 5-12.). He is the baptizer in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33; Matt 3:11). He gives Eternal life (John 10:28; 17:2). He is the Head and Governor of the Church (Isa. 9:6; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:8-16).
3. The Holy Spirit His Identity: The Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of God, bears the name of Deity hence He is also God (Gen 1:2; John 4:24; 15:26; Acts 2:33; 5:3,4; 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Cor. 3:17). He is a perfect Person Personality He has an intellect (1 Cor. 2:10-11). He has emotions (Isa 63:10; Acts 5:3; 6:9; Rom 15:30; Eph 4:30; Heb 10:29). He has a will (Acts 16:6; 1 Cor. 12:11). Masculine pronouns are used for Him (John 16:13).
Functions He is involved in creation (Gen 1:2; Job 33:4; Psa 104:30). He teaches (John 14:26; 16:13; 1 John 2:20-27).
He guides (John 16:13; Acts 8:29). He prays and intercedes (Rom 8:26, 27) He convicts (John 16:8). He restrains (Acts 16:7-8). He appoints (Acts 20:28). He calls (Acts 13:21). He comforts (John14:16, 26). He imparts spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-11). He leads (Matt 4:1; Rom 8:14). He gives power for service (Acts 1:8). He regenerates (John 3:5, 6; Tit 3:5). He sanctifies (1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Thess 2:13). He enlightens (2 Tim 3:16, 17; John 14:26). He searches (1 Cor. 2:9-11). He testifies (John 15:26)
Emblems/Symbols The nature, character, and functions of the Holy Spirit permit His being symbolized as:
Wind—Ezekiel 37:5f; John 3:8; Acts 2:2
Fire—Isaiah 4:4; Matthew 3:11 c.p Luke 3:16; Acts 2:3
Water—Isaiah 44:2-3; Ezekiel 47:1-9; John 7:37-39
Seal— 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30
Wine—Mark 2:22; Amos 9:13
Oil—1 Samuel 16:12-13; Luke 4:18; 1 John 2:20
Dove—Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22
Dew—Ps 1333:1-3; Hosea 14:5
Other Attributes: As the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit may be called: Spirit of Wisdom (Is 11:2; Eph 1:17) Spirit of Knowledge (Is 11:2) Spirit of Counsel and of Might (Is 11:2) Spirit of Burning and Judgment (Is 4:4) The Breadth of the Almighty (Job 32:8; 33:4)