God In Three Persons 

Explaining the Trinity to Children

use water to explain the trinity

The Trinity Twister craft goes well with this lesson!

I was inspired to write the following lesson after overhearing my eleven year old daughter trying to explain to my six year old niece that God was born into the world as a baby. My niece understood that Jesus is the Son of God, but didn't understand that Jesus is God; that he was born as a human baby. My oldest son piped in saying, "Water can help us understand the Trinity! Water can be three different things, a liquid, a solid, and a gas, but remains water."

(Keep in mind, though, any explanation of the Trinity falls short of the magnificent reality of one God revealing himself in three persons. Ultimately, it requires faith to accept what God says in his Word to be true! May the following lesson help you explain this wonderful truth to the children you teach!)

Props Needed
Water, ice, jar of water covered in plastic, (allow the water in the jar to set for a few hours in the heat so that water droplets form on the inside of the plastic top) or use a cup of very hot water so the steam can be seen. 

Class Discussion

The Bible teaches us that God is three unique persons, yet he is ONE GOD. He is God the FATHER, God the SON (JESUS), and God the HOLY SPIRIT. We call this the Trinity or triune nature of God, because trinity or triune* means having three parts. This is hard to understand, even for adults. Water is a great way to explain how something can be three different things, yet remain one thing. Water can be a liquid, a solid (ice), and a gas (vapor/steam). 

(Show the different props as you name the different states of water. When you get to gas, show the jar with water droplets and explain that the water is vaporizing or becoming a gas. You cannot see the process of water turning into a gas, only the effects of the gas after it rises to the top and lands on the plastic, or if using the cup of hot water, allow the children to feel the warm steam rising to touch their hands.)

These three forms of water can also remind us of God's unique qualities:

Ice, the solid form of water reminds us of God the FATHER. Ice is hard. It is solid. In the same way, God the FATHER is our solid foundation. "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you" Psalm 89:14. "You, LORD God, are my fortress, that mighty rock where I am safe" Psalm 94:22. (CEV)

Liquid form of water reminds us of God the SON. We use water to clean ourselves. In the same way, God the SON, died on the cross to cleanse us of our sin. Jesus is called the Living Water! (John 4:10) "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God" Hebrews 9:14.

Vapor, the gas form of water reminds us of God the HOLY SPIRIT. Gas cannot be seen, but you can see its effects; as we did when we saw the water droplets on the plastic or felt the warmth of the steam. In the same way, the HOLY SPIRIT cannot be seen, but the effects of his presence can be seen and felt in our lives as the HOLY SPIRIT works to make his will known to us and changes us to become more like Jesus. "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you" John 16:12-15.

The next time you eat an ice cube, wash your hands with water, or feel the warmth of steam, let this lesson on water remind you that God is three Persons in One!

* The word trinity or triune nature of God is not mentioned in the Bible. However, there are plenty of Scripture references that display the nature of God and interrelationship of the Trinity such as those listed, below:

Genesis 1:1-2 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." 

Genesis 1:26 " Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'" 

John 1:1-2, 14 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made...The Word became flesh (Jesus) and made his dwelling among us."

Matthew 1:23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, (Jesus) and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us." (also, Isaiah 9:6)

John 14:9,11 ". . . Anyone who has seen me (Jesus) has seen the Father. . . Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. . ."

John 14:25-26 "All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name (Jesus) will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

Ephesians 1:13-14 "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."

Colossians 1:15-20 "He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." 

Copyright 2001 Sarah A. Keith

Find more lessons on the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

If you like this Bible talk for kids, then you'll love Sermons for Kids: It's In The Bag - 52 Bible Talks for Children's Ministry
Big Book of Children's Sermons Bible Talks

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