From: Washington,Tyne & Wear, UK
|My wife and I have recently started going to church again , and we have been discussing our ideas about the relationship between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. My view is that God is one entity that embodies Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
My wife is unsure as to wether Jesus exists in his own right, or outisde of God.
This troubles me as it raises questions about pluralism, and I feel more comfortable with think of God as single entity.
Would anybody care to share their views on this subject.
|The trinity is like the egg, 3 seperate parts all working together. So they all came from God, they all are God, but they are all seperate.
[This message has been edited by Mack (edited April 29, 2001).]
From: Sydney, NSW, Australia
|Love the pictures of you Mack!
This is one of the most difficult aspects of Christianity to understand.
How they all fit into one and yet are seperate is a mystery.
That is one reason why the Jews don't accept Christianity. They say that they have one God and we have 3.
To me the trinity is something we just accept, because it is a mystery to understand.
From: Washington,Tyne & Wear, UK
|Thanks for both the posts. It has been a difficult one for me to explain(I had forgotten about the Holy Trinity! It has been along time since I have been actively involed in my faith).
I work closely with someone who is a Muslim and it has been good to try and explain how three parts of God are One for Christians so do not necessarily conflict with their view and Jewish view that there is One God. Working closely with a Muslim has opened my eyes to how many similarities there are between Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths. Journalists etc are always very keen to show the differences!
When my wife questioned it too, I had to stop and think I was not expressing a personal opinion! For me a large part of Trinity is accepting it on good faith. My wife has felt moved by the Holy Spirit recently and that has helped here understand
Again thanks for the posts.
From: MD, USA
|This one baffles most people (self-included), but I did some study on this using QuickVerse (EXCELLENT program!) and here's what I've found (All of these quotes are from the New Living Translation):
Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves..."
Who's "ourselves"? I had a Muslim friend who insisted that the "our" used throughout was a "respectful singular", not plural. He didn't have any proof to back that up though.
Isiah 42:1 "Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, and I am pleased with him. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will reveal justice to the nations."
Notice that God says "I have put MY Spirit upon him." Granted, I could say "I'll you MY car" and it would show only ownership, not that I was one with my car. By the way, this verse is then referenced again in Matthew 12:18.
Matthew 12:28 "But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you."
This time Jesus specifically says that the Spirit is the Spirit of God. Being that you and I both have spirits (souls, whatever you wanna call it), if someone was to say "Joe's spirit is strong"...it would not be the same as "Joe's car is cool". Joe's car is external to Joe, whereas Joe's spirit is part of him. So, in this verse, Jesus demonstrates that the Spirit is God's Spirit, thus being one with God.
But what about Jesus? He's listed often as "the Son of God". So, is he God too? Looking back at Gen 1:26 we see that God talks about "our image", now jump to John 1:10 and read this about Jesus:
John 1:10 "But although the world was made through him, the world didn’t recognize him when he came."
Notice it says that "the world was made THROUGH him." Does this mean that he was the catalyst for the creation of the world? Did God the Father creat the world *through* his Son? Interesting questions that may build discussions here.
But there is a verse that does confuse me a bit regarding this issue:
1 Corinthians 8:6 "But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life."
Notice that Paul states "there is only ONE God, the Father" and then he goes on to differentiate Jesus by saying "And there is only ONE Lord"...and then referencing that God made everything through him. So, as I see it, Paul clearly distinguishes the Father and Son as God and Lord, respectively. Thoughts on that?
Now, going back to Jesus' speaking, we see...
John 12:44-45 "Jesus shouted to the crowds, 'If you trust me, you are really trusting God who sent me. (45)For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me.'"
Jesus clearly references that God sent him and by seeing Jesus, you are seeing God. Indicating that he, in fact, is God...the son.
John 14:6-7 "Jesus told him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (7)If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know him and have seen him!'"
Again, Jesus distinguishes himself from the Father, but also points that all that had seen him (Jesus) have seen the Father. In this, at least as I read it, Jesus is distanct from yet within the Father simultaneously.
There are a number of versus to support this and there are a number of versus that show clear distinctions on this. So it's somewhat difficult to build the image. What we do know is that Jesus clearly states that he is one with the Father. This could just mean "aligned with", but then why say things such as "If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know him and have seen him!" in reference to himself?
Anyways, that's my take thus far. Any thoughts?
From: British Columbia, Canada
|I find that ChristianAnswers.net is a great place for questions like this. They have a page that specifically addresses this question at this URL: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t002.html
Just another source of info for ya.
Their dictionary also contains a definition of "trinity" here: http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/trinity.html
Other entries of interest include http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/holyghost.html and http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/sonofgod.html