Hello Jim. I know you remember me sending you some information on the trinity saying that the trinity is bogus and that God the Father is not The Son at all; and that the holy Spirit is not a 3rd person of the trinity. But then after considering the reality that raises a red flag to what I’m about to say. Yahweh is a Hebrew name for God and Yeshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus. If you and I both believe that there is only one God, one Lord, one Spirit, one baptism, one body and etc., then can Christ be God and God the Father be God too. Wouldn’t that contradict scripture if God the Father or LORD God-Yahweh was God as well as the Son of God being God too especially if there is no such thing as a trinity? Can I be missing something here. Aaron
Good morning, Aaron! Now, I have written quite a bit about this in the Q&A, and maybe you’ve already read it, but I’ll post the link here in case you haven’t: About the Trinity
I suspect that most of our confusion over the nature and distinctions between God, Jesus Christ and the Spirit have to do with our attempts to get it all down to a science … that is, to understand it with our intellect. There is a long history of man’s attempts at this written down for us in theology books and recorded in many sermons, Bible studies, and messages. After all, if we’re supposed to be teachers of the Word of God then we should at least understand who God is, right? And so we usually gravitate to the idea that makes the most sense to us.
I remember finding it easier to simply accept the explanations offered me because otherwise my mind would go into a tailspin with all the what-abouts or the other Bible references that didn’t seem to line up with what I had heard. Anyhow, when I was asked about the “Godhead” or the “Trinity” I simply quoted the party-line explanation. After all, it was so very official.
What if the nature or explanation of the Spirit of God or of Jesus Christ cannot be understood through something that makes sense according to intellect? What if our conclusions only seem to reflect the understanding of God as found in Greek and Roman mythology? And would that be such a surprise since it’s all built upon the same approach to intellect and reasoning? For if God cannot be understood by the empty mind of man why do we suppose we can receive “insight” into the depths of his nature by working it out through much study?
What if the understanding of God is found in that which would seem the very opposite? What if we can see more of God in the course of study only because the truth of him is found WITHIN us?
I mean, consider the very premise upon which religious man approaches the study of the nature of God … or anything about God, for that matter. Doesn’t it usually start with a “humble” acquiescence to the fact that we are not God, or that we are not as smart as God, but that he has given us his word so that we might understand him? How often have you heard it stated that we can understand God by studying the Bible? But what if that whole premise is wrong? And if it is wrong, what does that say about all the stuff we’ve learned about God in the process?
I’m not suggesting that the quotes and affirmations of God as found in the Bible are worthless or wrong, in and of themselves, but maybe that’s why those who seem to confidently stand upon the statements of God’s goodness and righteousness and grace can so easily deny it in everything else they say. While the intellectual approach to God might teach us basic concepts of truth, it also teaches us hold to the denial of those truths without even suspecting it.
God cannot be understood by the nature that is devoid of God, for all that nature can do is to grope around in the darkness for anything that seems to temporarily fill the void. Now, those who are made alive in Christ are no longer devoid of God because his spirit has been put within. However, when we listen to the spirit of this world (including or especially the religious spirit that claims to believe God), we find ourselves acquiescing to its intellectual approach to the knowledge of God … especially that which pertains to the nature of God.
But the understanding of the nature of God is found in God himself, and if I accept the false premise of those who gained their basic understanding of God through stroking and reinforcing their intellect by including the words written in the Bible then I will find myself caught up in a worse confusion than they. Why? Because the truth that is in me is now at odds with that which seems reasonable to the intellect.
We, having been created in the image of God and now filled with the one who is the very image, are given insight simply by his presence. We know because it has been revealed within us. And yet we find ourselves intimidated by those who seem to have a better handle on the truth of God that we do … and we end up in the very same confusion of the natural mind regarding the nature of God.
Because we have been made alive in God and have received the wisdom of God through the mind of God, we already know the connection between Christ and God, and between the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God. Our understanding of the relationship between the speaker and the word that goes forth has finally come into harmony. The understanding of what it would be for the very word (expression) of God to be made flesh can only be received if that same word is now within us. We cannot step back into the intellectual approaches of man to verify or valid the understanding that cannot be found through those who explain God by their intellect.
Jesus Christ himself IS the understanding of God to us because he himself is the explanation. Consider:
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. John 1:15-18 KJV
Ironically, many translators gravitate to alternative phrases that call Jesus the only begotten God or the one and only God. This is one of those rare cases where the KJV didn’t go there.