How are Christians Monotheists if God is a Trinity?

I love a good riddle. There’s something so enjoyable about pondering over a riddle while anticipating the relief of the answer – digging more and more as the pieces slowly come together. Finally, something inside “clicks”, and the answer suddenly becomes all too obvious. The satisfaction is amazing.

But not every riddle and puzzle has an answer that simply “clicks”. Some puzzles go beyond our ability to reason. It’s not that they don’t make sense, or even that they aren’t logical. Rather, they exceed our ability to think. There are people who are intellectual geniuses, whose ability to comprehend things exceeds our own (Einstein, Mozart, Plato, etc). But there are mysteries that even geniuses can’t comprehend.

As a Christian, I see many objections raised against my faith. There are many mysteries, puzzles, and seeming contradictions arise in Christianity. At the very top of these mysteries is the belief that God is a Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). How can a single God be three persons? This begs another question: If Christians believe God is a Trinity, why do they call themselves monotheists?

After all, Christians say that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Sounds an awful lot like three Gods, doesn’t it? And if a polytheist is someone who believes in multiple gods, then why aren’t Christians polytheists?

To answer this question, we will need to do a little ground work to make sure we understand how Christians understand God as a Trinity. To begin, let’s look at the origin of this belief: we start with Jesus’ own words.


The Trinity is Revealed

Jesus did a lot in his earthly ministry. To name everything would be like trying to count the sand on the beach. But there is one thing in particular that he did that concerns our question: Jesus revealed who God is. Sure, God revealed himself to Israel through the Old Testament, but Jesus came to complete what was being revealed in the Old Testament.

There are many references to God’s identity throughout the New Testament. For instance, we see this in the Lord’s Prayer, as Jesus instructs us to address God as “Our Father in heaven…” (Matt 6:9). We also see Jesus revealed as God in Thomas’ famous exclamation to the risen Christ: “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Similarly, we see the “Spirit of God” (the Holy Spirit) descend upon Jesus shortly after his baptism (Matt 3:16).

Just before his ascension, Jesus put a bow on the topic when he told the Apostles to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19, emphasis added). Notice that he didn’t say “in the names…”. It’s a singular name, with three persons.

Jesus told us these things so that we could know God as he is: a Trinity. But at this point we should put up some caution tape. When I say Jesus “revealed” God, I mean that we couldn’t have figured this out on our own. We can use our reason to know that God exists, but we would never be able to figure out that God is a Trinity without Jesus having revealed it. We accept the doctrine of the Trinity by faith in Jesus’ words (for further discussion about faith, click here).

Some might be questioning the math here. Jesus revealed three persons, yet Christians say that there is only one God. What gives?

That’s a fantastic question. But before we can answer it, we need to do a little groundwork. We need to look at the difference between a “person” and a “nature”.


Person vs. Nature

I’ve been told that I’m freakishly similar to my father (a fact that I, too, agree with). We have the same build, tastes, and we both think that engineering is cool. But we have something even more fundamental in common: we share the same nature.

This can be said of all humans. We’re human because we all share our human nature. That’s what separates us from other creatures, like horses and cats (though some might disagree with me when it comes to cats…).

So what is a nature? Essentially, a nature defines what we are and what we can do. My human nature contains the fundamental characteristics that make me human.

What is a person? If a nature is what we are, then a person is who we are. A person is an individual, a “self”, distinct from others. Frank Sheed best sums up the distinction between person and nature:

Nature answers the question what we are; person answers the question who we are. Every being has a nature; of every being we may properly ask, What is it? But not every being is a person: only rational beings are persons. We could not properly ask of a stone or a potato or an oyster, Who is it? [1]

With that distinction, we can begin to make some sense of our math dilemma. There are three Persons in the Trinity: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But there is only one Divine Nature that each Divine Person possesses. The three Persons are completely distinct from one another, but they are completely (and mysteriously) unified, possessing the one Divine Nature.

If you find this confusing, don’t worry. There is more to the story. We need to understand (with our limited human abilities) how the three Persons of the Trinity are related.


How it Works

The Father is the Origin
God the Father is the first Person of the Trinity, and our starting point. He is all knowing and all powerful. He completely possesses the Divine Nature and is rightly called God.

But his name, Father, also tells us something important about him: He is the source, the origin of everything, including his Son, Jesus.

The Son Proceeds from the Father
“Now wait a minute,” some might argue. “I thought you said Jesus was God. Now you are saying God the Father created Jesus?”

The short answer is no, God didn’t create Jesus. But Jesus proceeds forth from the Father. Allow me to explain.

This is where things get technical (bear with me). God is all knowing. To know everything infinitely, that means he must know himself perfectly and infinitely. So his own knowledge, or thought of himself would also be infinite in nature. And his idea of himself would be divine in nature, since he is divine. And his self-knowledge would also have to exist with him for all eternity, since God can’t, even for a moment, stop being all knowing.

Let’s piece together what we have so far. God the Father has an infinite, eternal, and divine knowledge of himself. God’s self-knowledge is so infinite and real that it (he) becomes a person. At this point, the beginning to St. John’s Gospel might make more sense.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2).

We see that the Word (Jesus) was with God for all eternity, and was God. Some might object that “Jesus is referred to as God’s word, not his ‘thought’ or ‘idea’.”

This is a good point. But we need to rethink our understanding of what “word” means. A word expresses a thought, but it does so by creating a sound; it requires a medium (usually air) to carry its sound waves. But Jesus was with the Father before anything was created (including air). So by calling Jesus God’s Word, we can rightly think of him as God’s idea or thought. Frank Sheed echoed this when he said:

So God utters a word – not framed by a mouth, of course, for God has no mouth. He is pure spirit. So it is a word in the mind of God, not sounding outwardly as our words sound, akin rather to a thought or an idea. [2]

We need to be careful here. I’m not calling Jesus a figment of God’s imagination (that would be heresy). Jesus is more real than the screen you are looking at. You see, God’s image of himself is infinite. It’s so much greater than anything we can comprehend. It’s so real that it (he) takes on personhood. He becomes a person. He is not the Father, but he is real, eternal, infinite, and divine. He is the second person of the Holy Trinity.

The Father and the Son exist together in heaven for all eternity, both completely possessing the Divine Nature. The Son proceeds from the Father through the Father’s intellect. They are a family together.

The Spirit Proceeds from the Father and the Son
The third person of the Trinity emerges when we consider that God is all powerful. His ability to do all things with infinite power includes his ability to love. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in.

Like any good family, the Father and the Son love each other, as a father loves his son, and a son loves his father. The Father infinitely pours his love onto the Son. The Son, in response, returns that love back to the Father. This mutual love is continual and eternal. We saw how immeasurable this love is when, in perfect, loving obedience, the Son gave up his own life on the cross.

This infinite exchange of love between the Father and Son is so great, that it takes on an infinite, divine nature. It’s a nature that is so powerful and real that it becomes a person. This is the Third Person of the Trinity: The Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the very love that flows between the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son. He is distinct from them both, yet he (as the Son is to the Father) proceeds forth from them. Frank Sheed sums this up well as he wrote:

As the one great operation of the spirit, knowing, produces the second person [Jesus], so the other, loving, produces the third [Holy Spirit]. But be careful upon this – the second proceeds from, is produced by, the first alone; but the third, the Holy Spirit, proceeds from Father and Son, as they combine to express their love. [3]

Don’t feel intimidated if you are having trouble wrapping your head around this – it’s deep stuff. The inner workings of the Holy Trinity make rocket science look like second grade math homework. God is a mystery, and we will never fully grasp the whole of his being, for we are finite beings trying to understand the infinite.


Final Thoughts

In short, Christians believe in one God, though he is three persons: three persons who share completely in one Divine Nature. Each person is completely distinct from the others, yet inseparable. The Father can’t simply cease to be the origin of the Son any more than he can cease to be infinite. And the Father and the Son can’t cease to infinitely love one another.

The Catholic Church echoes this teaching in the Catechism of the Catholic Church when it says:

The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the “consubstantial Trinity”. The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire: “The Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, the Father and the Son that which the Holy Spirit is, i.e. by nature one God. [4]

Each Person is entirely eternal and divine. Each Person is God. This sheds some light on Jesus’ words when he said to baptize that nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). God is one. Yet God is made of three Divine Persons.

So Christians aren’t polytheists. We believe in One God. He is mysterious to us, yes, but shouldn’t we expect that of the infinite God of the universe? When Jesus revealed the mystery of the Trinity, he revealed something that we can only begin to grasp; he left us a great puzzle.


Sources

[1] “Theology and Sanity.” Frank Sheed: Author’s Page at Ignatius Insight. N.p., n.d. Web.          17 Apr. 2017.

[2] Sheed, F. J. Theology for Beginners. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant, 1981. Print.

[3] ibid

[4] Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 253

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17 thoughts on “How are Christians Monotheists if God is a Trinity?

  1. Hi Levi,

    I’m not sure that I am clear on your understanding. If I am correct, you believe that Jesus is God, but you do not believe that God is a Trinity. Is that correct?

    If that is correct, what would you say about Jesus’s last words in Matthew’s Gospel? “Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. God gave his Torah to Jews. Jews, Jesus or apostles does not preached Trinity. If Father and Holy spirit has person, then Son of God also has a person. Don’t limit Son of God to ‘just’ word of God, to hide his person. After Jesus is born, he has person.

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    • Hi Levi,

      I would agree with you that Jesus is a person. That is the conclusion that I reach in the section title above: “The Son Proceeds from the Father”. Jesus is the Son of God and the Word of God, the second person of the Trinity.

      I would have to disagree with you, however, when you say that Jesus and the Apostles don’t claim that Jesus is God. Jesus said as much during his discussion with the Jews:

      “So the Jews said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.’ So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple” (John 8:57-59).

      Jesus addressed himself with the divine title “I AM” (in Greek, “ego eimi”). And we can know that this was significant, because the Jews tried to stone him to death after he said it.

      And later, Thomas (an Apostle) exclaimed “my Lord and my God!” (John 20:28), when he encountered the risen Jesus. Notice that Jesus did not correct Thomas.

      If you don’t think Jesus is God, then what do you believe about him?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You did not get the point. I will make it clear.
        1) Son of God existed much before Jesus was born. Father created everything through him. The deeds and words and behavior of Son of God identified him as an eternal person.

        Jesus Christ born about 2017 years back and is a complete man with a human soul, spirit and body. His soul is eternal, and identified as a person.

        Then how come Trinity is limited to 3.

        2) I just states that The Jews, Jesus and apostles never taught Trinity. Not even a chapter in Bible is written by a non Jew. Gentiles who accepted Christianity now going to preach Jews about Trinity and 3 persons in God.

        Trinity is against Shema of Israel.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Levi,

        1) I too believe that the Son of God (the Word of God) existed before the birth of Christ. After all, the opening of John’s Gospel starts:

        “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3).

        From these verses, John is clear that the Word was God, and that the Word of God created. And by referring to the Word of God as “He”, we also see that John is treating the Word of God as a person.

        But if we keep reading, we see something very telling about who the Word of God is. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). So the Word of God (also identified as “the only Son from the Father”) became flesh. The Word of God made flesh is Jesus.

        We can confirm this in Luke’s Gospel. The Angel Gabriel told Mary that she would bear the Son of God. “And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God’” (Luke 1:35). This is what John wrote about when he said that the Word became flesh. And the Angel told Mary that she shall call his name Jesus (Luke 1:31).

        So the Bible teaches that Jesus is the Word of God, the Son of God, who was with God in the beginning, and who was God. Just because Jesus was born into this word doesn’t mean that he didn’t exist before. He received his human nature when he was born of Mary. But he always has existed, and he has always been divine.

        Jesus being God does not add a 4th person to the Trinity. He is one of the three persons of the Trinity: the Eternal Word and Son of God, Jesus.

        2) The word “Trinity” is never used in the Bible. But “Trinity” is a word that was later used to describe what God revealed about himself. For instance, at the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus commands his Apostles to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). Notice that Jesus didn’t say “in the names of”. It is a singular name. It is the name of a singular God, who exists as three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).

        When Jesus revealed God to be a Trinity, he did this as part of a new revelation. Consider how God revealed himself in the Old Testament: It wasn’t until the time of Moses that God revealed himself as the great “I AM”. Abraham did not know God as “I AM”, as it was not yet revealed. The revelation of God as “I AM” took place as God grew in his relationship with Israel, many years after Abraham.

        So too, when God came to give us the final covenant (the New Covenant in Jesus’ blood), he revealed himself further. Not only is he the great “I AM”, he is a Trinity. This is consistent with how God has slowly revealed himself in the past, and it is fitting that the final covenant with humanity would reveal an even greater truth about who God is – a Trinity.

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      • Not only Son of God existed before Jesus, he is a person. He is the visible image of God from eternity. Consider from Genesis instead of ‘gospel of John’. Adam was created in the image of Son of God. The scripture does not limit Son of God to just Word of God, he has a person and visible form with eternal personality. Son of God has power and knowledge. He is worshiped by Angels

        Jesus was born as a man some 2017 years ago. He has a personality.

        Jesus taught God is one. Mark 12:32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

        Jesus is God even without Trinity. Trinity is a conclusion based on few New testament scriptures.

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  3. Pingback: Today’s thought “nonsense surrounding the many gods” (July 28) – Belgian Ecclesia Brussel – Leuven

  4. Real Christians would never say that Jesus id God. When one believes Jesus is God than one does not believe in one but more than one God. The Divine Creator is an all-knowing God Who is an eternal Spirit Being Whom no man can see and live, whilst Jesus was born, lower than angels (God is, was and always shall be the Most Highest), seen by many people (who all stayed alive), tempted (God cannot be tempted), had to learn everything and at the end of his life still did not know a lot, was killed (man can do God nothing and God cannot die).

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    • You bring up many good points, my friend. But I would have to disagree with you on your conclusion. It’s mysterious how the God of the universe could take on flesh and become man, that he could be tempted, that he had to learn things, but it does not mean that Jesus wasn’t God. The incarnation is a mystery, not a contradiction.

      By taking on a human nature, Jesus was both divine and human. In his humanity, he could be tempted (Matt 4), he became for a time lower than the angels (Heb 2), and he even died (John 19). But of Jesus’ divine nature, Thomas could exclaim “my Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). When Jesus was challenged by the multitude he addressed himself with the divine title, saying ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58). The people picked up stones to kill him for this. In John’s Gospel, we hear that “in the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2).

      The Trinity is one single, Divine being, containing three persons. Jesus is just as much God as the Father and the Spirit, but he proceeds from the Father, just as the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. And Jesus revealed as much when he commanded his Apostles to baptize in “the name [singular] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19).

      If you don’t think Jesus is God, then who is he?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dear Eric, Jesus did not use the or a divine title when he said “I Am” the same as when you are questioned if you are Eric Shearer would reply with “I am”, we not having to consider you to be God, plus also on the many occasions people say “I am” they not claiming to be God or “The I Am that Is”.
        Of lots of our members is said that they have seen Abraham, which is a common expression Jesus used too, though he was much younger, though he rightly tells people he was already foreseen before Abraham came to live. Jesus, namely was already promised in the garden of Eden, and like you and me was also written in the Book of life and death, long before Abraham was born.

        You pointing to the saying of John should come to see that the apostle who wrote his gospel in the same manner Moses wrote his pentateuch and opening the Book of Genesis every time say “And God spoke” , now that speaking of God (= the Word) brought forth a new world in the eyes of the apostle, who looked at the New World, of which Christ was the beginning, the new or second Adam and the first born.

        Do not forget a word is not a person, but a result of letting the air go out of the mouth and resulting in speaking.

        You also seem to forget that God, Who is an eternal Spirit does not tell lies which means He speaks always the Truth. That God Himself tells us that Jesus is His sent one and His only begotten beloved son. Nowhere says God that He is Jesus or that He would have come to the earth to fake His death (because God cannot die). Also may we ask what use it would have been to have waited such a long time to perform such a charade and to have us suffer still so much, whilst we are so called saved?

        You ask us who we think Jesus is. We believe Jesus is the son of man, the sent one from God, son of God, the Kristos or Christ, the Messiah who managed to put aside his own will doing the Will of his heavenly Father (the Only One true God) and presented himself to God as a Lamb and peace offering or ransom, dying for the sins of mankind. We believe Jesus is the one who got authorised by God to handle and to speak in His Name and to tell the world Who God is and how we can come to Him Who is the God of Israel. We also believe the sent one from God is the prophet who is appointed by his heavenly Father to judge the living and the dead and to become the King here on earth of God’s Kingdom and to be the cornerstone of the Church of God (the Body of Christ) as well to be the High Priest in the order of Melchizedec and our mediator before God. This and the answer to your question(s) can be found in the Bible.

        “5 Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous {1} Branch, and he shall reign as king and {2} deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. {1) Or [Shoot]; Or [Bud] 2) Or [prosper]} 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called: {1} Jehovah our righteousness. {1) Or [Jehovah is our righteousness]}” (Jeremiah 23:5-6 ASV)

        “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, {1} a {2} virgin {3} shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name {4} Immanuel. {1) Or [the] 2) Or [maiden] 3) Or [is with child, and beareth] 4) That is [God is with us]}” (Isaiah 7:14 ASV)

        “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king cometh unto thee; he is just, and {1} having {2} salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, even upon a colt the foal of an ass. {1) Heb [saved] 2) Or [victory]}” (Zechariah 9:9 ASV)

        “3 So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the {1} rudiments of the world: {1) Or [elements]; 2 Pe 3:10, 12} 4 but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 So that thou art no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:3-7 ASV)

        “30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found {1} favor with God. {1) Or [grace]} 31 And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob {1} for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. {1) Gr [unto the ages]} 34 And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also {1} the holy thing which is begotten {2} shall be called the Son of God. {1) Or [that which is to be born shall be called holy, the Son of God] 2) Some ancient authorities insert [of thee]}” (Luke 1:30-35 ASV)

        “21 Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that, Jesus also having been baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form, as a dove, upon him, and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. 23 And Jesus himself, when he began [to teach], was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the [son] of Heli,” (Luke 3:21-23 ASV)

        “And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is {1} my Son, my chosen: hear ye him. {1) Many ancient authorities read [my beloved Son]; See Mt 17:5; Mr 9:7}” (Luke 9:35 ASV)

        “and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, {1} This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. {1) Or [This is my Son; my beloved in whom I am well pleased.] See Mt 12:18}” (Matthew 3:17 ASV)

        “While he was yet speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Matthew 17:5 ASV)

        “{1} Behold, my {2} servant whom I have chosen; My beloved in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit upon him, And he shall declare judgment to the {3} Gentiles. {1) Isa 42:1 ff 2) See marginal note on Ac 3:13. 3) See marginal note on Mt 4:15}” (Matthew 12:18 ASV)

        “1 Now late on the sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first [day] of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it. 3 His appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 and for fear of him the watchers did quake, and became as dead men. 5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Jesus, who hath been crucified. 6 He is not here; for he is risen, even as he said. Come, see the place {1} where the Lord lay. {1) Many ancient authorities read [where he lay]} 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples, He is risen from the dead; and lo, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 8 And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring his disciples word. 9 And behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and took hold of his feet, and {1} worshipped him. {1) See marginal note on Mt 2:2} 10 Then saith Jesus unto them, Fear not: go tell my brethren that they depart into Galilee, and there shall they see me. 11 ¶ Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city, and told unto the chief priests all the things that were come to pass. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave much money unto the soldiers, 13 saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 14 And if this {1} come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and rid you of care. {1) Or [come to a hearing before the governor]} 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying was spread abroad among the Jews, [and continueth] until this day. 16 ¶ But the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they {1} worshipped [him]; but some doubted. {1) See marginal note on Mt 2:2}” (Matthew 28:1-17 ASV)

        “40 One of the two that heard John [speak], and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He findeth first his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah (which is, being interpreted, {1} Christ). {1) That is [Anointed]; Compare Ps 2:2}” (John 1:40-41 ASV)

        “25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh (he that is called Christ): when he is come, he will declare unto us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am [he].” (John 4:25-26 ASV)

        “The stone which the builders rejected Is become the head of the corner.” (Psalms 118:22 ASV)

        “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bare the sin of many, and {1} made intercession for the transgressors. {1) Or [maketh]}” (Isaiah 53:12 ASV)

        “And they made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death; {1} although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. {1) Or [because]}” (Isaiah 53:9 ASV)

        “18 I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18-19 ASV)

        “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, {1} Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end have I been born, and to this end am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. {1) Or [Thou sayest] it, [because I am a king]}” (John 18:37 ASV)

        “5 For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, [himself] man, Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony [to be borne] in its own times;” (1 Timothy 2:5-6 ASV)

        “in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” (Ephesians 1:7 ASV)

        “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ASV)

        “9 Herein was the love of God manifested {1} in us, that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. {1) Or [in our case]} 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10 ASV)

        “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that {1} obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. {1) Or [believeth not]}” (John 3:36 ASV)

        “And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 ASV)

        “On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that {1} taketh away the sin of the world! {1) Or [beareth the sin]}” (John 1:29 ASV)

        “To him bear all the prophets witness, that through his name every one that believeth on him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43 ASV)

        “9 After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of [all] tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 and they cry with a great voice, saying, Salvation unto our God who sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9-10 ASV)

        “14 And I {1} say unto him, My lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that come out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. {1) Gr [have said]} 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God; and they serve him day and night in his {1} temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them. {1) Or [sanctuary]} 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any heat: 17 for the Lamb that is in the midst {1} of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes. {1) Or [before]; See Re 4:6; compare Re 5:6}” (Revelation 7:14-17 ASV)

        “who is on the right hand of God, having gone into heaven; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” (1 Peter 3:22 ASV)

        “20 which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly [places], 21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this {1} world, but also in that which is to come: {1) Or [age]} 22 and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church,” (Ephesians 1:20-22 ASV)

        “Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name;” (Philippians 2:9 ASV)

        “22 For neither doth the Father judge any man, but he hath given all judgment unto the Son; 23 that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father that sent him.” (John 5:22-23 ASV)

        “And the seventh angel sounded; and there followed great voices in heaven, and they said, The kingdom of the world is become [the kingdom] of our Lord, and of his Christ: and he shall reign {1} for ever and ever. {1) Gr [unto the ages of the ages]}” (Revelation 11:15 ASV)

        As you can see the Bible let us know also the importance of believing in that son of God, the man of flesh and blood who proofed after his death and resurrection to his friends that he is not a ghost or spirit (like God is Spirit) and told them to go to that Father Who is greater than him, going into heaven not to sit on God’s throne but next to God.

        Hopefully those verses may shed some light.

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    • For some reason I wasn’t able to reply to your latest comment. So I just replied to this one, knowing that you will see it.

      I have no problems with the many Biblical texts that you cite. I affirm that Jesus was 100% man, having a human body, who literally died on the cross for the salvation of mankind.

      John’s Gospel certainly draws from the wording in Genesis 1, but it is clear that John is equating Jesus to the Word of God. Let’s parse out the beginning of the Gospel:

      “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2). This is important. The Word was God. This can’t be said any more clearly. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John1:3). So not only was the Word God, but the Word is a “him”, a personal God. And, the Word created. You said that “a word is not a person, but a result of letting the air go out of the mouth.” When speaking about the Word of God, you are incorrect. The Word of God is a person, and that person is God (John 1:1).

      “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). John next tells us that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. So the Word literally became flesh and came down to earth. And if John 1:1 tells us that the Word is God, then we must conclude that God took on flesh and dwelt among us. There is no other option here. John is very clear in his meaning. God took on flesh and came down to earth. Jesus is God incarnate.

      You said that Jesus’ use of the phrase “I AM” in John 8:58 was in the same way that I might say that “I am Eric.” Read the passage:
      “So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple” (John 8:57-59).
      Jesus is not using the phrase “I am” in the sense that one might say “I am hungry”. He is addressing himself with the divine title “I AM” (in Greek, “ego eimi”). #1: Jesus was speaking about Abraham in the past tense (was), but then he went on to say that BEFORE Abraham was, he is (present tense: is). This change of tense makes no sense unless you realize what Jesus is doing. He is identifying himself with the divine title “I AM”. Furthermore, the people picked up stones to kill him. If Jesus was merely using the words “I am” in the sense that I may say “I am Eric”, then the people would have no reason to be angry with him, much less kill him. If Jesus is not God, then he is either a lunatic or a liar. I believe he is neither of these things.

      Also note that when the band of soldiers came to take Jesus away to be crucified, Jesus asked “‘Whom do you seek?’ They [the band] answered him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them, “I am he’” (John 18:4-5). Then notice what happens next: “When Jesus said to them, ‘I am he,’ they drew back and fell to the ground” (John 18:6). In Greek, the phrase “I am he” is the same as in John 8: “ego eimi”. Notice that the men fell to the ground as he said this. This isn’t your typical “I am Eric” kind of response. This is an invocation of God’s divine title as Jesus says, “I am he”.

      You also said that God cannot die. This might sound like a true statement, if you don’t understand what death is. Death simply refers to when the spirit and the body part ways; the spirit leaves this world and the body remains (dead). Death in no way implies that a person ceases to exist. If we hold that there is life after death (Rom 6:23), then surely man can have eternal life even after his death. How much more so, then, would God have eternal life if he were separated from his earthly body?

      Why then, if God has a body, can’t he die? God would not cease to exist if he dies. Rather, he would only pass from this world to the next, leaving his body behind. We see this when we hear that “when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit” (Matt 27:50). Notice that the Bible doesn’t say that Jesus ceased to exist. It said he “gave up his spirit”. Luke affirms this when he writes: “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46).

      So when Jesus died (when God died), he did not cease to exist – he parted from his body, which is the correct understanding of death. There is no contradiction here.

      When you say that God cannot tell a lie, I agree with you. So when Jesus reveals himself to be God, and tells his apostles that he must suffer and die, I believe him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jesus Christ, like the Father, is God, and always was. Jesus Christ is the Word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      You are judging Christ to be one dimensional. Christ is the God-man who repaired the damage done by man through sin. The sin of Adam destroyed the perfect relationship between God and humanity. Only God can repair that. If Christ was not God, then we all are still waiting for a Saviour.

      Like

    • I believe that Jesus is God’s son. Why would I not? I believe that God is the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19). But consider this: if the son of a dog has a dog nature, and the son of a cat has a cat nature, then what type of nature would the son of God have?

      True sons bear the nature of their parents. And because God’s nature is divine, God’s Son’s nature would also be divine.

      But this is where we have to be careful. Jesus is not God the Father. The Father and the Son are both God, but they are different persons. As I discussed in my post, Jesus (God’s Eternal Word) proceeds from the Father, by way of the Father’s intellect. Thus the Son is truly begotten of the Father, as a human son is begotten of his earthly father.

      The fact that Jesus is God’s Son, if anything, supports that Jesus is God, rather than hinders it.

      Don’t get me wrong – the fact that God exists as a Trinity isn’t easy to comprehend. But it’s not a contradiction, and it is revealed in the Bible.

      Liked by 1 person

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