Who can understand God? Who can grasp far less explain all that is meant by the Holy Trinity. Who can even adequately explain what is revealed. The creeds and confessions seek not so much to explain what we mean by trinity as guard against what we don’t mean. This snapshot reflection is just that, a snapshot of one revealed insight into God in trinity. No doubt it needs balanced and deepened by other revealed truth. I hope, snapshot though it is, it warms our hearts and instructs our minds. I hope it helps us worship in truth.
Man is made in the image of God. There are certain resemblances between God and a man as man made in the divine image implies. These correspondences help us grasp a little of what we mean by God as trinity. Intrinsic to human beings is an intelligence or heart that plans and purposes. To express and fulfil these plans/desires in a normal human being requires him being personally active both in words and actions. In a powerful autocratic king of the ancient world his desires and plans were expressed and realised simply by a word of command; he needed to do nothing his words were enough. In this he is but a shadow of the immense power of God who simply speaks and it is realised. God’s word in this sense is virtually an expression even extension of his identity, his personality, and his word creates what his heart desires. Of course we express words through the breath of our mouths. Continuing the analogy of a person speaking, the words we say are only possible through the breath of our mouths. The breath gives energy to the word. It is its empowerment. The Bible speaks too of the breath of God, a breath so powerful it is also synonymous with the wind.
Putting this together we can say something like this regarding the being of God: God is a divine being with plans and purposes. These intentions are expressed and realised by speaking, by words, the facility for which is the breath of God. As we read the OT again and again God acts and these actions are tied to God’s word and breath (or Spirit). Cf. Ps 33:6; Job 33:4; 4:9; John 3:6-8; 2 Tim 3:16
By the NT, these OT aspects of God’s unified being are revealed as being distinct ‘persons’ within the one God. So we can say something like, God the Father, is the fount and source of deity (as Father implies). All is rooted in him. He plans and purposes. God the Son is the divine word in deity. He is the word or speech, heard and seen, through whom God the Father accomplishes all the purposes and plans of his heart (Jn 1:1, 18; 5:19-29). Deity made visible. God the Spirit is the breath of God. He is the power, the divine energy, who enables the Son, the Word, to ‘speak’ that is to accomplish all the desires of the Father’s heart (Matt 1:18; Lk 4:1,18).