I answered a question on a FB site regarding an analogy for the Trinity and this is how the conversation between another person and me transpired.
My original comment: I think human analogies are insufficient because they aren't divine. We simply don't have anything in this temporal world which adequately relates to a single supernatural being who functions in three capacities. There are aspects of a life of faith that are unique to believers which unbelievers will not grasp. If pushed for an actual analogy, I'd have to say I'd use a male teacher who has kids of his own. He's a father, a son and a teacher. He is the same person who serves three separate functions WITHOUT being everywhere at once, all powerful and all knowing. Like I said, no analogy is sufficient because God is God, and we aren't.
This man wrote and asked me: So are you saying that these are titles and not names and that it is just one God doing many things? How refreshingly true and easy to absorb. I wonder If that is what God has been telling us all along?
My response to him: Please note that my explanation is a basic one. It is in no way exhaustive, just the 'cliff notes' version. In Exodus 3:14 God says His name is I AM. In Exodus 20, in several of the Ten Commandments, God refers to Himself as "Lord your God." God nearly always refers to Himself in the singular (with a couple of notable exceptions for reasons God explains!). So, my understanding is that God is one supernatural being, who has chosen to divide His work among three expressions of Himself. There is some overlap, but by and large, God, the Father, is the Planner of life (Ephesians 1:4), Creator of life (Genesis 1:1) and Judge of those who will spend eternity in Hell (Revelation 20:11-15).
Jesus is the Word of God (John1:1), the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) in human form (all four gospels) who came as a living example of God's thought process, to serve as the sacrifice for our sins, so that we might be saved (John 3:16). He will also judge those who have trusted Him for salvation and distribute rewards for the service they’ve rendered to God and His Kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 14:10).
The Holy Spirit is God Himself living within us (Acts 2 and Romans 8:26-27) to serve as a source of strength (Ephesians 3:16), as proof of our salvation (Romans 8:14-17, 23 and Ephesians 4:30), as a helper (John 14:15-18), as a teacher (John 14:25-26, 16:7, 12-14, Luke 12:12), as power to resist temptation (Galatians 5:16-17, Romans 8:12-13), to convict us of sin (John 16:8) and to give us hope against the dark days of this life (Romans 15:13).
There is one God who expresses Himself in different ways because, let's be honest, people are needy, and God loves us enough to provide for every single need we have.So, each of the three expressions of God meets a need of humanity. First, if people were going to exist there had to be a Planner, someone to orchestrate a finely tuned world in which to live. Then, there had to be a Creator, one to create or make the world/universe so man could live. So that sinful man might not perish for all eternity, there had to be a Redeemer, in this case a Son, God’s only begotten, to die a horrible death while carrying the cost of our sins upon His shoulders, who was risen and now sits at God’s right hand advocating for us. Then, to meet the need of strength, protection and instruction, there had to be an expression of God, His Spirit, who could live within us, day by day, providing God’s promises in our lives until it’s time to bid this world goodbye. Finally, to bring Justice to our experience as people, God and Jesus will share in the Judgment of this world. God will judge the works of those who do not belong to Him (Revelation 20:11-15), and Jesus will judge the works of those who accepted Him as Savior (2 Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 14:10). God’s love is so vast that He meets our every need no matter who we are or where we are in our walk of faith. One God, three expressions (the state of being three), Trinity.
Thanks, Gerald Altmann, for the stunning pic! Seems like I gravitate to your beautiful work!