The Three in One
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, othe heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.
Matt. 3: 16-17
God is three persons, each person is fully God, and there is one God. Three distinct individuals/persons, each with all of the full attributes of the Godhead, yet one in essence/substance. Each person is equal in being, but the Son and the Holy Spirit are subordinate to the Father in role.
The Father is the Heavenly Vinedresser, the Son is the Vine, and the Holy Spirit is Life itself (John 15: 1-4, 7:37-38). The Father outwardly prunes, the Son indwells us, and the Holy Spirit works through us. The Father sovereignly directs our circumstances, the Son’s work redeems the circumstance, and the Holy Spirit transforms us in the midst of our circumstances.
In summary, the Father directs, the Son performs, and the Holy Spirit applies. The Holy Spirit does in us what the Son did for us on the Cross by the will of the Father. Peter Leithart recently wrote, “God is one as Trinity.” In other words, the Lord is a Trinity of one.
No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the Splendour of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish Them than I am carried back to the One. When I think of any One of the Three I think of Him as the Whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking of escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of That One so as to attribute a greater greatness to the Rest. When I contemplate the Three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the Undivided Light.
Gregory of Nazianzus, Theological Orations, XL, 41, located in Phillip Schaff, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series, Vol. VII. (Oak Harbor : Logos Research Systems, 1997), S. 375.