A.H.Strong; "In the nature of the One God there are three eternal distinctions…and these three are equal. "The doctrine of the Trinity does not on one hand assert that three persons are united as one person, or three beings in one being, or three Gods in one God (tritheism); nor on the other hand that God merely manifests himself in three different ways (modal Trinity of manifestations); but rather that there are three eternal distinctions in the substance of God." (Theology p.144)
The Trinity is not three substances but three persons existing simultaneously, which are the one essence. These person's are not separate from the essence, they subsist in it. Nor are there three essences that would make them three God's. God is tri-une as persons but in nature one God. As Athanasius coined the phrase "not dividing the substance nor confusing the persons."
Each person has a position and a relationship to each other. the essence is not exclusive to only one of these at a time such as the Father and at another time the Son. All three have existed throughout eternity. If the Son owes his existence to the Father, or either change's to become another, then neither of them are eternal or self existent. the essence is not divisible among the distinction's of persons but indivisible.
While we must guard against separating the three personages (tritheism ) we must also be aware of the flaw of their being numerically one, they are Distinct but not separate. The church has always maintained the indivisibility of God, being so united that they are three inseparable persons.
The traditional doctrine called the perichoresis means the mutual indwelling of the three persons, in that each person permeates the other being united in substance. This guarded against any teaching that there are three separate Gods as in tritheism.
That if God were deduced to a mathematical formulae he would not be 1+1+1=3 which would be tritheism, but would be 1x1x1=1, a unified one. None of the persons can exist without the other, they all make up the one God in unity. that each person dwells in the other two which makes God indivisible and unquantifiable, so that wherever one of the persons of God is, all of God is there. What we are not saying is that they separate nor physical.
This is why Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead bodily by himself, God cannot be divided, he is one God in his nature but three in persons. Its not a matter of opinion because this is the only conclusion one can come to from the overall body of literature in the scripture. All three are called God, the Father calls the Son God in Heb.1 the Son calls the Father God. All three simultaneously exist.
Today we hear "How is it possible," for Jehovah to be three and one both at the same time? It is illogical, unreasonable, and God is not the author of confusion!"
It is a fact of chemistry that plain water, when placed in a vacuum under gas pressure of 230 millimeters and at a temperature of 0 degrees Centigrade, Will solidify it into ice at the bottom of the container, the liquid will remain in the center and at the top it vaporizes! At a given moment the same water is both solid, liquid and gas, yet all three are manifestations of the same base substance H2O - hydrogen/ two parts; oxygen/ one part.
Can’t the Creator of this substance be Father, Son and Holy Spirit - three Persons and one Nature as Spirit without violating the law of logic or reason ?
The Bible never says there is only one person in the Godhead such as the Father only, which the J.W.s and other anti Trinitarian cults claim. Nor is it Jesus only, as Oneness Pentecostals claim describing the three as temporal offices appearing one at a time and then changing back to another. There is a distribution of three personas expressed throughout eternity.
To dispense of any of the two persons, to have only one at a time is to eliminate essential beings who comprise the nature of God. The Trinity is not in the one God, it is the one God. Each person is equal in essence with none being superior or inferior in that essence of their nature. Positionally they are different, having an ontological order in the Godhead. ( the Father sent the Son ,the Son sends the H.Spirit, the Spirit points back to the Son, and the Son glorifies the Father.) The titles Father and Son are descriptive of persons not roles or offices.
They are relationship terms, one cannot be a Father without having a Son nor vice versa. These do not describe what they are but who they are as persons.
"The doctrine of the Trinity is not a result of mere speculation, nor a theory of hypothesis spun by theologians out of their own fancies, still less, as some eminent writers would maintain, the result of the importation of Greek metaphysics into Christian theology…. The triune conception of God is justified, when it is shown to be the conception which underlies the triune revelation God has given of himself, and the triune activity in the work of redemption" (Dr.James Orr the Christian view of God and the world p.303-304)
God is described as love (which is his nature then it too is eternal) to have love there must be a giver and a receiver, love is reciprocal, there needs to be an exchange, otherwise it's self love which is not real love. If God were to be only one person he would have need of the creation as the object of his love which would contradict the love and sufficiency that God is by himself. Jn.17:24 Speaking of the Father. "for thou loved me before the foundation of the world."
Here we find the Son as the object of his love before anything existed. This is not a love of the future but was active and real just as much in eternity past, as it was in the N.T. time and as it is today. The Son is pre-existent just as the Father is. To change this is to lose the Biblical God of the scriptures.
Let us Reason
1854 Samuel Prideaux Tregelles - From Tregelles' Preface to his 1854 *An Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament*. A bit on the importance of knowing Biblical languages and ...
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