25 Important Scripture Passages to Remember

There are many times in our lives where we have questions about God, our circumstance, and just the mundane details of life. We start to get tempted with doubts. Questions arise that cause us to think about God’s goodness, His love, His justice. In the midst of the storms of life we feel alone or abandoned. Our hearts our troubled and we begin to question God, His sovereignty and His various attributes. There are times when we are stirred by the Spirit to want to know more about God, more about His name, His attributes, and the Persons of God.

Sometimes, we turn to man to answer these questions. Or we think about them for a little bit, then move on because our attention gets diverted in a different direction (or distraction). Our hearts and spirits hunger for more, but what do we do with this hunger. Do we starve it with the excuses of “not enough time”? Or do we nourish ourselves with a pursuit of God? We may not know why the circumstances are the way they are, whether that is good or bad. We may feel like we are drowning in sea of turmoil. Or we may enjoy floating and swimming in the sea of abundant grace.

God has given us a guide to seek Him. For every believer, there is the Spirit that indwells them and guides them. But for all of the world, He has given us a book of knowledge. A guide to know Him more and better. During those times of struggle and pain, I cannot describe how important it is to me to turn to God and His Word to know Him more. In seeking Him, my heart gets filled. Peace comes. Anxieties get quieter. In the stillness of seeking, a Good Shepherd guides a lost and hurting lamb. The struggles are still there, but so is God as He is always there. 

This post will focus on 25 important Scripture references that teach us about God, including His name, attributes, the Persons of the Godhead, and even our own humanity and design. For those times, when you feel God is silent, when you feel lost, or alone; when your heart breaks; when blessing comes; when doubts arise; when you see a beautiful sunset designed for a glorious purpose, with the clouds painting a brilliant picture; when you have made too little of God or put Him in a box; remember these verses. Write them on your heart, and remember there is a God that is bigger and greater than you could imagine or even fathom to understand the brilliance of His name. Some of my favorite parts of each verse I have put below in red to show what stands out to me. Finally, to break the cardinal rule of Bible Exposition and take a verse out of context, let us be still and know God (Ps 46:10). (Please note, in no way am I saying these are the only verses to remember or that they are the most important in all of the Bible. These verses mainly discuss the personhood and nature of God. They are important and good to know, but they don’t even begin to scratch the surface in what God has revealed about Himself. These are just some key verses to look to in order to know more about God and that is all this post is trying to convey.)

Twenty-Five Key Texts:

Ge 1:1-3: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Ge 1:26-27: 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Ex 3:13-14: Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

Ex 20:2-3: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.“You shall have no other gods before me.

Nu 23:19: God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Jdg 13:17-18: Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that we may honor you when your word comes true?”18 He replied, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding

1Ki 8:27: “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!

Ps 19:1-4: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.

Ps 90:2: Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Ps 139:1-4: You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.

Ps 139:15-17: My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!

Isa 6:1-3: In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Isa 45:5-7: I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.

Isa 46:10: I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’

Jer 23:23-24: “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? 24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.

Joel 2:13: Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Hab 1:13: Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

Mal 3:6: “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.

Ac 14:15-18:  “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.

Ac 17:24-25: “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

Rom 2:14-15: (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) [You may wonder why this verse is in here. This passage is the proof text for natural law par excellence. Also, The human will is in a state of enmity against God. Even Gentiles, who had not the written law, had that within, which directed them what to do by the light of nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they kept or broke these natural laws and dictates, their consciences either acquitted or condemned them. Nothing speaks more terror to sinners, and more comfort to saints, than that Christ shall be the Judge. The apostle owns that they had not the law, that is, the written law of Moses, and yet intimates that they had, and must have a law, against which they sinned, and so deserved punishment, and which they in part obeyed.]

Rom 11:33: Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

Eph 1:11: In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,

1Ti 6:15-16: which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

1Jn 4:16: And so we know and rely on the love God has for us

Rev 15:3-4: and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

The Holy Spirit: Divine Comforter

Today, we finish our series on the doctrinal statements of God, the Trinity, and each member of the Trinity, by looking at the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was another difficult subject the early church fathers had to wrestle with. There was debate about His divinity and origin. There will be more in future posts about the procession of the Spirit, but this was one area that was hotly debated. Modern Christianity has given the Spirit a little more attention over the past 20-30 years by looking at the “gifts of the Spirit,” but overall the Spirit is probably the least mentioned or thought of member of the Trinity (This will also depend on a persons denominational view). This doctrinal statement mainly focuses on the divinity of the Spirit,  His role, and His activity. 

A final note, as these are doctrinal statements, that is the reason for the “I believe” statements. Much like you would see at a church or Christian organizations doctrinal statement of “We believe.”

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, and that He is of God the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.[i] I believe that He is to be worshiped and glorified just as the Father and Son.[ii] I believe that He is the promised Counselor indwelling every believer according to the divine promise and by His baptism unites all to Christ in one body.[iii] He spoke through the prophets to produce the inspired Scriptures.[iv] I believe the Spirit is active in the world today helping unbelievers come to know Christ, empowering the church, and leading believers into holiness to exemplify Christ.[v]

[i] Athanasian Creed. The Spirit is found active in creation, bring life to the universe (Gen 1:2; 2:7; Job 33:4; Ps 33:6, 104:30). The Holy Spirit has been referred to as such in Ps 51:11 and Isaiah 63:10-11. Similar to the Hebrew word ruah, pneuma in the Greek describes the Spirit as “the Spirit of God” or “Spirit of the Father,” or “Son.” – cf F.W. Horn, “Holy Spirit,” Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed David Noel Freedman, 6 vols, (New York: Doubleday, 1992) 3:265. The clearest evidence of the Holy Spirit’s divinity comes from the baptismal formula of Matt 28:19, “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Also see John 15:26 (“the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father” KJV); 2 Cor 3:17-18. Counselor: John 14:16, 16:7. Also called Advocate and Comforter (John 14:26).

[ii] Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. All the divine attributes that God has, the Spirit has (Isa: 40:13,14; 1 Cor 2:10-13; Ps 139:7-9; Heb 10:29; 1 Pet 4:14); and likewise, the Spirit does what the Father and Son do but often times in a complementary role (Gen 1:2; Ps 33:6; Isa 40:12; John 16:8-11). The Holy Spirit may also be described as a divine Person in that He has His own intelligence (2 Cor 2:10-13), has affections and emotions (Acts 9:31; Rom 8:26; Eph 4:30), and in the same way the Son submitted to the Father, so the Spirit submits to the will of the Father and the Son. John 16:13-14; Acts 7:51, 15:28; 1 Cor 12:11.

[iii] John 14:16-17; John 16:7-15; Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 6:9; Eph 2:22; Eph 4:3-6. “Virtually all the divine ministrations to Christians are accomplished by the Holy Spirit—regeneration, baptism, sealing, indwelling, anointing, etc. Even more directly, to resist (Acts 7:51), quench (1 Thess. 5:19), grieve (Eph. 4:30) or insult the Spirit (Heb. 10:29) is to do so to God.” – cf Dr. J. Scott Horrell, The Other Comforter, ST102OL Class Notes, DTS, 15.

[iv] 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21.

[v] The Spirit “teaches us to pray, illumines us to the significance of Scripture for our lives, gives gifts to each believer for the building up of the church, and empowers our ministries with eternal consequences.” – cf Dr. J. Scott Horrell, The Other Comforter, ST102OL Class Notes, DTS, 21. 1 Cor 12:4, 8, 13:14

A Doctrinal Statement on Jesus: His Essence and Divinity

Today, we look at the second member of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. The early church fathers wrestled with several issues concerning Jesus, mainly his eternality, essence, divinity, and nature. While there were many different camps and arguments that occurred during those early years, there were two main theologians who wrestled with the divine nature and essence of Christ; they were Arius and Athanasius (from whom we get the Athanasian creed). Later on history, there were several main councils that were formed to further discuss the divinity of Christ, including the first council of Nicae and the council of Chalcedon.

This doctrinal statement will look mainly at two important issues, kenosis and the hypostatic union. Remember, the New Testament canon wasn’t agreed upon until the fifth century, so all these issues concerning Christ were important topics. It is something modern day believers take for granted but since these early church fathers were so close in time to the life of Christ and the apostles, there was a lot of discussion about what the right type of thinking was. All sort of different variations of belief in Christ and who He was started appear (these will be further examined in the post to come). Also, we will look further into the topic of “eternally begotten of God” in later posts as well since the origin and eternalness of Christ has been contested by different religions. But for now, we look at our Savior. Remember, this is not an all-encompassing statement on all the many things Jesus does. This focusing on who He was, is, His humanity, His divinity, and His relation to God

I believe in the One and Only Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord, eternally begotten of God the Father, being God from God and of the same Being as the Father, not created.[i] I believe that through Him all things were created and are sustained.[ii] I believe that Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit, became incarnate[iii] and received a sinless human nature.[iv] I believe that He was at the same time truly God[v] and truly man[vi], being at once in two natures fully human and fully God with the essences of each being preserved.[vii] I believe that the eternal Son of God came into this world fulfilling Scriptures that He might manifest God and redeem fallen humanity as a ransom for all.[viii] I believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Sacrificial Lamb that took away the sin of the world saving all those who believe in Him from the righteous judgments that God must execute to satisfy His wrath.[ix] I believe Jesus was crucified, dead and buried and on third day rose from the grave in accordance with Scripture; He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father.[x] I believe that He is the Christians’ Mediator to God and will come again to judge all mankind.[xi]

[i] Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, John 1:1-18; John 10:30. Jesus states that He has every right to the claim of oneness with the God because the Father has sent him into the world (10:36) and “the Father is in me and I am in the Father” (10:38). Also, “If the Word [Jesus] were a created being, then he would have had to create himself for any and all creation came into existence through him: ‘without him was not any thing made that was made’ (1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2)” – cf Dr. J. Scott Horrell, Chapter 4: God Made Flesh, ST102OL Class Notes, DTS, 11.

[ii] One role of Jesus Christ was His involvement in creation. Col 1:16-17 summarizes that Christ is the creator, sustainer, and the purpose of all created existence. John 1:3, “Through him all things were made.” “He was the Father’s agent in every act of making that the Father has ever performed.” – cf J.I. Packer, Knowing God, 56. “In him was life…” (John 1:4) speaks of Jesus animating, that is all things exist in and through Him, or are sustained in him.

[iii] Incarnate means to become flesh. This is God himself becoming human as Jesus entered physically into the world and became human like us. It is only God who could pay for our sins, therefore God the Son became man to provide atonement for mankind’s sins. “He [Jesus] had not ceased to be God; he was no less God than before; but he had begun to be man. He was not now God minus some elements of his deity, but God plus all that he had made his own by taking manhood to himself” J.I. Packer, Knowing God, 57. Heb 2:17; John 1:1, 14; 1 Pet 2:24.

[iv] Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, Luke 1:30-35; Luke 2:40; John 1:18; Phil 2:5-8.

[v] Phil 2:6-7: “who though he was in the form of God… made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant” (Italics mine). Of special note is the term “form” (morphē) which “denotes outward appearance that reveals an inward reality…. The ‘morphē of God’ denotes the heavenly glory… that reveals Christ’s innate deity.” – cf Dr. J. Scott Horrell, Chapter 4: God Made Flesh, ST102OL Class Notes, 17. Douglas McCready states, the only one who can enjoy the status of God is God Himself.” – cf Douglas McCready, He Came Down from Heaven: The Preexistence of Christ and the Christian Faith (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 77.

[vi] A major argument is also found in Phil 2:7 over the term “emptied” (himself), which the theological term kenosis (the “self-emptying” of Christ) is derived. Some have argued that because Christ “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,” then He could not have been God. Instead this shows the example of Jesus that because He was “in the form of God” and already existed as God, He “made himself nothing,” becoming a humble human. Kenosis says that “in order to be fully human, the Son had to renounce some of his divine qualities, otherwise he could not have shared the experience of being limited in space, time, knowledge and consciousness which is essential to truly human life.” J.I. Packer, Knowing God, 59. Packer argues why this theory is wrong by showing that when Paul spoke of the Son having emptied himself and became poor, it was not about Jesus laying aside his divine powers and attributes but of his divine glory and dignity citing John 17:5, “the glory I had with you before the world began.” Packer states that there “is no Scripture support for the idea of the Son’s shedding any aspects of his deity” (60). Regarding the controversial text of Mark 13:32 where Jesus says He does not know the time of His return, Packer insists that Jesus lived not as an independently divine person, but as a dependent one. While Jesus was on earth it was not a new relationship with the Father occasioned by the Incarnation, “but the continuation in time of the eternal relationship between the Son and Father in heaven…. The Son was utterly dependent on the Father’s will…. His knowing, like the rest of his activity, was bounded by his Father’s will. And therefore the reason why he was ignorant of (for instance) the date of his return was not that he had given up the power to know all things at the Incarnation, but that the Father had not willed that he should have this particular piece of knowledge while on earth, prior to his passion” (62). Matt 28:18, 20; John 21:17; Eph 4:10.

[vii] Chalcedonian Definition states, “the Same perfect in Godhead, the Same perfect in manhood, truly God and truly man, the Same [consisting] of a rational soul and a body; one essence [homoousios] with the Father as to his Godhead, and one essence [homoousios] with us as to his manhood; in all things like unto us, sin only excepted…. One and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, made known in two natures [which exist] without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the difference of the natures having been in no wise taken away by reason of the union, but rather the properties of each being preserved, and [both] concurring into one Person (prosopon) and one hypostasis— not parted or divided into two Persons (prosopa), but one and the same Son and Only-begotten….” The hypostatic (meaning personal) union is the personal union of Jesus’ two natures. This doctrine of the hypostatic union teaches that these two natures are united in one person. Jesus is not two persons, but one. It is the joining of the divine and the human in the one person of Jesus. This means that Jesus is not half God and half man. He is fully and completely God and man. He never lost His divinity. Athanasian Creed formulates it as, “Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man… perfect God, and perfect man…who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.” Col 2:9; Heb 1:3. For more on hypostatic union see J.I. Packer, Knowing God; Matt Perman, “How can Jesus be God and Man,”desiringgod.org, October 5, 2006 (accessed October 8, 2014).

[viii] John 3:16; Phil 3:20-21.

[ix] John 1:29; Rom 3:25-26; 2 Cor 5:14; 1 Pet 3:18

[x] Acts 2:22-24; 1 Tim 2:6; John 20:20.

[xi] Athanasian Creed, line 40. Apostles Creed, line 7. Jesus as Mediator: 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Tim 2:5; Heb 9:15.

God the Father: The Name and Essence

This is part 2 of our 4 part series on a doctrinal statement about god and the Trinity. This post will focus mainly on God the Father providing information and definitions for Him, His names, and attributes. This is again trying to be a high-level overview about God the Father. Because He is infinite and infinitely holy and good, there are not enough words to capture His glory or glorious qualities. Nor even if there were enough words, would they be adequate to describe Him. For many, a bigger discussion would be needed to describe what each means or comes from. The last part on “essence” could be a book on its own.

You will notice that the section on God the Father is the shortest, mainly because there is the least controversy about God and Hime being a Father. Many forms or variations of monotheism will recognize God  or God as Father, but throughout history, some of the greatest debates and controversies have surrounded Jesus and His diety and the Holy Spirit and His Diety.

I believe in one God, the Father[i], the all-powerful Lord and Master, the Glorious and Majestic God of all. I believe that God is the Creator and Maker of heaven and earth, and all that is seen and unseen.[ii] He is the only God, the Creator and Sustainer, the Most High One, the Lord.[iii] The Father is completely self-existent, self-sufficient and free.[iv] I believe the Father is the Divine Source[v], Sovereign Ruler[vi], Lord Chief Justice[vii], Compassionate Reconciler[viii], Him to Whom All Things Return[ix], and the Father of the Son.[x]

[i] Deut 32:6; 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 68:5; Jn 6:27, Rom 1:7, Eph 4:6. “[T]he term God or theos generally denotes the person of the Father, with only a few important exceptions.” Dr. J. Scott Horrell, Chapter 3 God the Father who Draws Near, ST102 class notes, DTS, 7. “Everything that Christ taught… is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God. ‘Father’ is the Christian name for God.” J.I. Packer, Knowing God, 224.

[ii] Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.

[iii] God reveals His name most frequently as Yahweh (LORD, I AM), Elohim (powerful ones or God, gods), and Adonai (Lord, master).

[iv] God does not originate from or depend on anything outside of Himself. He sustains all things and is necessarily self-existent. Job 41:11; Acts 17:24-25; Rom 11:35-36.

[v] Acts 17:24-25, 28; Eph 1:11, 4:6; Rev 4:11.

[vi] Deut 10:14, 17; 1 Chron 29:11-12; Matt 11:25; 1 Tim 6:15.

[vii] Gen 18:25; Ex 12:12; Lev 18:4; Luke 23:34; John 8:15-16.

[viii] John 3:16; Acts 14:15-17; 1 John 4:8, 16; 2 Cor 5:18-19.

[ix] 1 Cor 15:24-28; Col 1:20; Rev 1:8, 21:22, 22:13.

[x] To explain the doctrine of the Trinity more fully, a distinction between essence and persons is helpful. It is helpful to remember that each member of the Trinity is present in every act of God, either in a primary or a secondary role. The one divine essence includes attributes that are equally shared by each member of the Godhead, but these six roles are predominantly ascribed to the Father. Other roles and activities of the Father include: God as husband and Judah/Israel as wife (Hos 2:2-16; Jer 3:1-14); the potter with human beings as the clay (Isa 45:9-10; Rom 9:21-24); the good Shepherd of the sheep (Ps 23; John 10:11-16); and the Vinedresser, with Jesus as the vine, and the believers the branches (John 15:1-8) – cf Dr. J. Scott Horrell, Chapter 3 God the Father who Draws Near, ST102 class notes, DTS, 13. In reference to God as the Father of the Son, see: Luke 23:24; John 3:16, 8:15-16, 17:5, 24.

A Doctrinal Statement on the Trinity

As part of affirming a Trinitarian doctrine, it is important to put together a synthetic definition. So over the next few post, we will be working through a synthetic definition of God. What this means is essentially creating a doctrinal statement about God. This is something you might find at a church that could be called a statement of beliefs as well. This is mainly to provide a summary statement (if possible for a completely infinite God) on the names and attributes of God, specifically focusing on the Trinity and each member of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

This is not meant to be an apologetic or argument, but a definition or creed like the Athanasian creed. At the same time, this is not meant to be long, the main body should fit on a page, while the footnotes will handle the biblical references, bibliographic annotation and theological notes and observations. In the endnotes, there will be a couple of arguments that are elaborated on to provide clarity on a topic that has seen much debate. The main body is just a definition, while the footnotes are the background and grounds for that definition.

Today, we look just at the Trinity and what the Trinity is or defined as.

Definition

I believe in the Holy Trinity. I believe in one true God that eternally exists as three Persons –Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and that these three are one God.[i] I believe that God is one in essence, three in Person each fully God and equally God each equal in nature, attributes and glory, and worthy of worship and obedience.[ii] I believe that none is greater or less than the other but all equal and united.[iii] I believe that the Bible has revealed the name and person of God for His creation to call Him.[iv]I believe that the Triune God is perfect[v], immutable[vi], eternal[vii], omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.[viii] In God being very God, He is true, holy, just, good, faithful, loving, merciful and gracious.[ix] God is beyond what humans can comprehend. [x]

Endnotes

[i] J.I. Packer, Knowing God, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1973), 20. “…[S]ince ‘God is spirit,’ ‘Holy Spirit’ can be predicated of the whole Trinity; the Father and Son both being ‘spirit,’ and both ‘holy’… But the Holy Spirit, as a proper name in the Trinity, is relative to the Father and the Son, since the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Son.” – Augustine, De Trinitate 5.12, in Henry Bettenson, ed., The Later Christian Fathers: A Selection from the Writings of the Fathers from St. Cyril of Jerusalem to St. Leo the Great, trans. H. Bettenson (London: Oxford Univ. 1970) 231. Deut 6:4-5; Matt 28:18-19; Mark 12:29; John 14:6-17; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor 13:14; Col 1:13-19.

[ii] Athanasian Creed lines 3-20. The Creed speaks to the Father, the Son and the Spirit each uncreated, incomprehensible, eternal, almighty; yet they are not three “almighties,” “eternals,” “uncreateds” and “incomprehensibles” but one. Each is God and Lord. “It is most important that we think of God as Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the Substance.” – cf A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy, (New York: HarperOne, 1961), 20. “Within God’s one, undivided being is an ‘unfolding’ into three personal distinctions. These personal distinctions are modes of existence within the divine being, but are not divisions of the divine being.” – cf Matt Perman, “What is the Doctrine of the Trinity,” http://www.desiringgod.org, Jan 23, 2006 (accessed Oct 8, 2014). Also see Dallas Theological Seminary Article II from Doctrinal Statements, http://www.dts.edu/about/doctrinalstatement. John 1:14; 2 Cor 13:14; Heb 1:1-3; Rev 1:4-6.

[iii] Athanasian Creed lines 25, 27. “The Persons of the Godhead… have one will. They work always together…. Every act of God is accomplished by the Trinity in Unity…. It is a real if understandable error to conceive of the… [Trinity] as conferring with one another and reaching agreement by interchange of though as humans do.” – cf A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy, 22. “When we speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together we are not speaking of any greater being than when we speak of the Father alone, the Son alone, or the Holy Spirit alone.” And “the being of each Person is equal to the whole being of God.” – cf Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 255.

[iv] Ex 3:13-15; Jdg 13:17-18; Gen 2:4. Other sources for the doctrine of the Trinity include acts of God in history such as the resurrection, the apostolic and Christian tradition such as the Nicene Creed, and the threefold experience of the Christian God. While God has progressively revealed Himself to creation, the Bible is the foundational source for the doctrine of the Trinity and God’s revelation about Himself.

[v] God is the definition of the measure or standard of all that is right, excellent, worthy and complete. Deut 32:4, Hab 1:13; Ps 18:30; Matt 5:48; 1 Tim 4:4.

[vi] God never differs from Himself. “God cannot change for the better. Since He is perfectly holy, He has never been less holy than He is now and can never be holier than He is and has always been. Neither can God change for the worse. Any deterioration within the unspeakably holy nature of God is impossible…. All that God is He has always been, and all that He has been and is He will ever be.” Any attempt to think of God as changing, that object is no longer God and becomes something less than He is. A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, 49-50. Ps 102:27; Mal 3:6.

[vii] God exists infinitely before when time began, everlasting (in time) but also stands outside of time.

[viii] Incommunicable attributes of God. “God is at once far off and near, and that in Him men move and live and have their being….There is no limit to His presence…He surrounds the finite creation and contains it. There is no place beyond Him for anything to be.” – cf A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, 74. God is both transcendent (beyond and outside of creation; 1 Kings 8:27; Isa 40:12-28) and immanent (God is everywhere sustaining creation but is not creation itself; Jer 23:23; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:3).

[ix] Communicable attributes of God. True: Job 9:4; Ps 33:10-11; John 17:3; Rom 11:33. Holy: Lev 19:2, 21:8; Ps 24:3, 99:3. Good: Ps 25:8, 34:8. Faithful: Deut 7:9; Ps 25:10. Loving: John 17:24; Rom 5:8; 1 John 4:8, Merciful: 2 Sam 24:14; Ps 86:16; Luke 1:78. Gracious: Ex 34:6; Ps 103:8; Eph 2:4-5.

[x] Athanasian Creed, line 9. “The intellect knoweth that it is ignorant of Thee because it knoweth Thou canst not be known, unless the unknowable could be known, and the invisible beheld and the inaccessible attained.” – cf Nicholas of Cusa, The Vision of God (New York: E.P. Dutton & Sons, 1928) 60. Job 36:26; Ps 139:6; Rom 11:33.

Three Basic Worldviews

On of the most interesting parts of seminary has been learning about other religions and their view and beliefs in a God (or reasons for lack of belief). As I have learned more about my own Christianity and other religions, it has strengthened my own beliefs. It has caused me to think of the why or how that different religions believe what they do.

All struggle with some common themes and each religion tries to answer these common questions. As individuals struggle to find meaning or reason behind their existence or the problem of evil, they typically turn to some type of belief system, whether that is in some type of god or no god. So, I thought I would share this table graphic that shows how the three basic worldviews handle the 14 most common questions about life. (I apologize for the quality of the look but this was taken from some notes and the original could not be found.)

three basic worldviews 1 three basic worldviews 2

 

Open or Free Will Theism

One area of disagreement between theologians is that of something called “Open” or “Free Will” theism which tries to provide an answer to the question over the problem of evil and why does it exist. This is a very brief snippet of what Open or Free Will Theist believe. 

Open/Free Will Theism: The open view of God is self constrained in time-bound relations with humankind. emphasizes God’s granting of libertarian freedom to moral creatures. rejects classical theology’s assertion that God is impassible, immutable and atemporal. see God as a God of change, flexible and everlastingly working within time. acknowledges that God is not dependent upon the world and, while he usually limits his intervention in the world by choice, God can occasionally act unilaterally against moral creature’s free will. emphasizes that God has chosen to enter into dynamic personal relation with creation and mankind. God lacks knowledge of the future because the future does not yet exist. Hence, he takes risks, changes his mind, and works creatively amidst the choices of humanity. Paramount among the divine attributes is love, by which God relates to man as a partner and friend, thereby granting each person genuine freedom.

Open theism offers challenges generate from four arenas of scholarship: hermeneutical, biblical, philosophical and practical. emphasize a literal hermeneutic, one free from extra-biblical assumptions. rejects “reinterpretations” of the biblical text by stating that the passages in question never declare that “it appears that” God were performing an action resembling human actions. Biblical: Open Theism claims fidelity to the revealed Word of God. Free-Will theists eschew external influences—whether historical church tradition or philosophical biases—as they read texts, for example, about the divine person and nature. Open Theism attempts to answer the problem of evil: if God is all powerful, all loving, and all knowing, would he not foresee the evil to be done in the future and prevent it? The Free-Will response is that God cannot prevent evil in the future because the future that does not yet exist. God is defended as all-powerful, all-loving and all-knowing, but God willingly constrains his knowledge of the future in deference to the personal freewill of his creatures. for true relationship to exist, God and man must relate to one another without coercion; genuine freedom must be mutual. God does not preordain human activity. Open theists allow room sometimes for God to override a person’s free will, for example, so that prophecy will be fulfilled. Open theists observe the future as non-existent but simultaneously both determined and undetermined. That is, what God knows he will do is already settled in the future.

What remains undetermined is everything else as only possibilities. All freedom, Clark Pinnock argues, takes place within boundaries, which are not chosen. One might respond that if the future does not exist, how can it be in any way settled? Open theists see time as co-temporal with God’s own existence; that is, God has always existed in time. Open View is not strong in biblical and historical arguments, it offers compelling arguments in certain practical matters. One area is that of prayer. They have domesticated and treated classical Christian faith reductionistically. Open theists are guilty of ignoring straightforward didactic teaching of Old and New Testaments regarding the transcendent nature of God, notably regarding divine foreknowledge and sovereignty. Free-Will theists have sought to take seriously the passages that speak of divine repentance, changing mind, frustration with and testing his people, so-called failed prophecies, and conditional statements. unfair to the majestic texts that point beyond our limitations, and to the theology of believers who have trusted a greater God through two millennia. As outer space gets larger, how can our view of God become smaller.

Free Will and Classic Theist Similarities: Both positions argue that God is “sovereign.” – Both contend that God intervenes. – Both base positions on a method of literal biblical interpretation. – Both contend that divine human relations are genuine.

Basic Objections/ Critiques of the Open View: the charge of falsehood of God (cf. Jn 3:4, 10);— petitionary prayer implies an actual change in God; — allegation that God sometimes reverses and regrets what He has done (Ge 6:6); — allegation that God learns (Ge 22:12); — it appears that the Open View’s use of anthropomorphisms is exaggerated (1Sa 15:11) and distorts other statements regarding God’s nature.

EVIL & HUMAN SUFFERING: Missing is the higher view of providence required: God’s purposeful permission or ordination of all things—which is the great confidence of millions who pass through suffering.

DIVINE HUMAN RELATIONS: God relates to us as God, not merely another finite personal being. The Open View reduces the divine-human relationship to either-or, rather than both-and, in terms of divine sovereignty and freewill.

SCRIPTURE LITERALISM: a natural hermeneutic should be applied across the whole Bible, not only for selective favorite texts as is seen from critics of this view. Also avoid elevating a single attribute or certain attributes as more central or governing (love, relationality, etc).

To find out more info on the Open Will or Free Will theist debate against the Traditional View can be found here. This is mainly for informational purposes of different views on what other theologians believe and follow. This is not my personal viewpoint, but it is enlightening to see how others are wrestling with the common problem/question over why does evil occur.

Final terms and concepts for Trinity Doctrine

Today, we will finish up our series on terms and concepts needed to pull together a Trinitarian doctrine. We look at reasons for God, His attributes, an alternate view of God, and finish up by looking at a recent chart of world religions

Process Theism: Trying to Work things out. God in loving cooperation with the world. developed from the philosophy of Alfred North. Integrating philosophy with physics, Whitehead’s seminal Process and Reality (Macmillan, 1929) based ultimate reality on the primacy of what he called occasions (or “events”). God is the process that carries the memory of the past and is in process with the world.

  • The “ideal” character of God is transcendent; but the reality of God is in becoming (approaching that ideal) through process with the world.
  • God is Love: Love necessarily gives room for genuine choices of the other. God is persuasive, not coercive; humankind is absolutely free before the force of love.
  • God’s purpose is to promote the creatures’ own enjoyment. Since God is not in control, divine love is not contradicted by the great amount of intrinsic evil, or “disenjoyment,” in the world.
  • The exemplary man Jesus is one who actualized the divine Lover’s aim for his life; his death on the cross is utterly meaningless.
  • The future is contingent on the world’s response. There are no guarantees of any Omega Point. The world could destroy itself.!

Simplicity (Divine); Divine Oneness: a harmony within the divine nature rather than dichotomies, tensions or contradictions (e.g., love vs. holiness). “This means he is wholly and totally involved in everything that he is and does, and his nature, goals, plans, and ways of acting do not change, either for the better (for, being perfect, he cannot become better than he is) or for the worse.” everything in God’s nature exists in undivided coherence. Unity (oneness) Each of the three persons shares precisely the same characteristics because, together, they constitute the one infinite God. That is, there is full unity of nature. All that the Triune God does is in the fullness and harmony of the divine attributes. West begins with nature, East begins with relationship.

Sources for Doctrine of Trinity: the Scriptures as God’s inspired revelation; the acts of God in history (such as the resurrection); apostolic and Christian tradition as the Nicene Creed; and the threefold experience of the Christian God. All these sources are important, as are other contributing factors. Nevertheless, the Bible itself is foundational

Teleological Argument: The apparent purpose, order and design in the universe would necessitate an intelligent Creator. centers on intelligent design. Intelligent design demonstrates an Intelligent Designer (thus a personal Creator) who has made himself known.

Tetragrammaton (YHWH)LORD, I AM; Jehovah,” probably from (rooted) the verb “to be,” it is found 6,828 times in the OT. Generally it is God’s personal name in covenant with his creation (Gen 2:4) and his people, especially Israel (Exod 3:13-15). In the LXX and NT, it is typically translated Lord, related to “I AM” in Ex 3:13-15; cf. John 8:58). translated “LORD”, or “Jehovah.” rooted in the verb “to be, become” indicating existence or development, perhaps “He Is”; it is the standard verb for “to be” in biblical Aramaic. Whereas Elohim normally denotes the more universal idea of God, YHWH designates God’s personal name in covenant with creation (Ge 2:4) and especially with Israel (Ex 3:13-15). It reflects God’s power to work on behalf of his people and to keep his covenant with them. Self-existent, ever active

Trinity: Definition – The one true God eternally exists as three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each equal in nature, equal in glory, and distinct in relations.

World Religions Pie Chart (percentages) This chart was published in April of 2014 in an effort to show the world population and the breakdown of different religions around the world. (Please note, there appears to be an error [or its just not easy to read] in the Islam number with where the comma is placed. The correct way should be (at least) 1,660 million, or in other words 1.6 billion)

world religions chart

Foundational Terms and Concepts for Trinity

We continue building a foundation for where we are going in the upcoming post by giving more brief descriptions over different terms and concepts. Today, we focus on a couple of attributes of God, arguments for God, and an alternate view to a Christian God.

Impassibility (Divine)basic meaning is, as the Westminster Confession puts it, that God is “without … passions” (emotions), therefore is im-passionate or impassible. Influenced by Greek philosophy. It shifts the concept of immutability from the divine nature (attributes) to the divine persons. Thomas Aquinas understood passio as the relinquishing of an essential divine quality; consequently, anything said of God’s emotions in Scripture is metaphorical (Summa Theologica 2A.22.1). Spinoza argued that any divine emotion implies change and any change compromises divine perfection. impassibility implies complete indifference. God’s beatific joy is finally above all human or other finite influences. Process theologians and Open View theists attack it very strongly, based especially upon the supposition that God is primarily characterized by love. Biblical evidences: God and heaven rejoice, God shows powerfully emotional love as divine Husband to Israel, other aspects of human activity are also attributed to God—remembering, laughing, hissing, repenting, breathing, walking, being jealous, etc. Because the self-revelation of God is authentic to who he is, we deduce that God’s emotions are both similar and different from our own. The Triune God reflects a fullness of balanced emotions, without caprice or uncontrolled passions. Whereas the Triune God is independent of creation, complete and fulfilled in himself, he chooses to enter the created arena of personal and emotive relationships, showing forth caring, yearning, sadness, anger and joy—emotions consistent with his entire nature.

Names of God: The significance of names: 1. Reveals God’s Person (Ex 3:13-15):- Revelatory of God’s character (I AM, The Almighty, The Holy One); Often couples God’s function with identity (Lord of Hosts, Fortress, Husband, Redeemer); God’s names reveal progressive revelation (Lamb of God, Alpha & Omega); 2. Represents God’s Person (Ps 8:1):- Metonymy for the whole person sometimes indicates the will of the person (“In Jesus’ name” sometimes invokes presence); 3. Therefore it is sacred – not to be blasphemed or taken lightly. Strong cautions regarding oaths. Safeguarded as a revelatory instrument.

Nicene CreedThe definitive standard of Trinitarian faith set forth at the Nicene (or 1st Ecumenical, 325) Council that declares the consubstantiality (homoousios, meaning “of one and the same substance or being”; it is used in the Nicene Creed to describe the essential divine equality the Son with the Father) of the Son with the Father, while anathematizing the views of Arius

OmnipotenceThere is nothing that God cannot do. He has all dominion, power and might. As completely sovereign, no one can defeat his counsel, thwart his purpose, or resist his will. Definition: As sovereign Creator of the visible and invisible universes, God is able do anything he chooses and he always does so in accord with his plan and character. there are certain things that God cannot do: “it is impossible for God to lie”. Doctrines of sovereignty and predestination do not affirm that God is the first cause of all that happens (he is not the author of evil). Yet if we affirm elements of human freedom (and it seems we must), we must be careful not to negate biblical texts that declare divine sovereignty over finally everything

OmniscienceGod knows all past, present and future, together with the trillions of possibilities and contingencies. If there are things that “catch God by surprise,” then chance, not God, is at the back of the universe

Ontological Argument: Anselm (Proslogion) in the 12th century set forth the fascinating a priori argument that because man has a concept of a Being who is the greatest of all conceivable beings—perfect, holy, loving and just, therefore that Being must exist, or else he would not be perfect. We can conceive of a greatest or perfect Being. A real Being is more perfect than an imaginary being. For such a Being not to exist is inconceivable. Ergo, such a Being must exist. We have an idea of a Perfect Being. Since God is the greatest Being who can be thought of, He cannot be conceived as not existing.

Pascal’s Wager: in his classic Pensées that—given the options of belief in the Christian God with a life of obedience versus disbelief in God with a life of pleasure—the reasonable choice would be obedient belief in God. Let us weigh us the gain and the loss involved in calling heads that God exists. Let us assess the two cases: if you win you win everything, if you lose you lose nothing. That leaves no choice; wherever there is infinity, and where there are not infinite chances of losing against that of winning, there is no room for hesitation, you must give everything. And thus, since you are obliged to play, you must be renouncing reason if you hoard your life rather than risk it for an infinite gain… EITHER GOD IS or HE IS NOT (and ) You MUST wager

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s Concept of God: Alpha to Omega. God the Force of Evolutionary Consciousness. Teilhard understood God as the divine force of evolution drawing the material universe through three states: (1) biological life (biogenesis); (2) human self-conscious thought (noogenesis); and (3) spiritual oneness with God (Christogenesis). Jesus Christ is seen as God’s promise of the end, the eschaton, when God will become incarnate not only in all humanity but also in all matter (“cosmic convergence”). This Omega Point of history, then, will be a complete hypostatic union of God with all creation; the universe will become God’s body. He believed that God is at the bottom of the human psyche and that humankind is evolving toward a new form of humanized Christianity in the flow to complete fulfillment.

Names, Attributes, and Concepts of God and the Trinity

Today, we continue to look at different terms and concepts that are foundational to building a Trinitarian doctrine. This post will focus on some of the easiest and least controversial subjects for the early church fathers (this is a shot at humor)! As we continue to build this foundation for terms and concepts, we will begin to see how other religions deny certain ideas for various reasons.

Difficult Terms for Christ: Firstborn, Beginning of Creation: not an obvious doctrine, appears to complicate and contradict matters of using Scripture as the primary and foundational source for the doctrine of the Trinity. Other times the Spirit appears to be little more than the power of God in action. With these kinds of challenges, uncertain readers hesitate to embrace a doctrine of the Trinity that seems to conflict with the biblical texts before them. He declares “the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28); only the Father knows the time of Jesus’s own return (Matt. 24:36). IF the Trinity is the central doctrine of the Christian faith, why is Scripture not more clear. Logos Christology: The conception of Christ that sees the Son as the pre-existent divine Word (Jn 1:1-3) or expression of God, especially based on the Prologue of the Gospel of John. With both Gk and Heb entailing rich conceptions of logos, 2nd and 3rd century Apologists speculated that the Son was originally only latent in the Father, implying the personal inferiority (subordination) of the Son. Nicea insisted on coeternal equality of the Son’s nature and person as God. Generation: Owing to Origen, the Nicean and Christian tradition affirms the eternal generation of the Son from the Father, as expression of Ps 2:7 (“today I have begotten thee”) and its citations in the NT and, again, the Gk. monogenes (trad. “only begotten”; lit. “one and only”). Some question the exegetical bases of eternal generation; others see it as broadly expressing the ontological relations of the Son and the Father. This will be discussed in further detail in upcoming posts, so hang in there with me as we look at a controversial subject for the early church.

Divine Presence: Aspects of God’s Presence, Transcendence, Immanence: Transcendence: distinct, above, and separate from all dimensions of finite existence. Beyond all creation; superiority of God over and apart from his created world; God is uniquely “other” from all created existence; immanence: pervading presence of God; all present; God’s omnipresence in and with his creation. Be in the presence of God: 1. God is present only to Himself, 2. God is present in heaven, 3. God is present in sustaining creation, 4. God is present in theophanies, 5. God is present in the temple on Mount Zion, 6. God is present in the Incarnation, 7. God is present in the regenerate believer, 8. God is present in the church, 9. God is present in the filling of the Holy Spirit, 10. God is present in the future.

Economic TrinityExpressed as early as Hippolytus and Tertullian, it is a view of the Trinity focused on the functional acts (economies) of the Godhead in the creation and salvation of the world; this perspective is distinguished from that of the immanent Trinity (the Godhead in itself, transcendent, and outside all created reality); contemporary Trinitarianism debates the relation of the two. See Immanent Trinity. describes the Godhead’s engagement in creation and the history of salvation

ElohimElohim, ’elohim, OT, “God, gods”; lit. “the powerful ones” or possibly “mosthigh ones,” lit. “powerful ones or God, gods or most high ones,” found 2,602 times in theOT, it describes God as Creator-Sustainer of the universe, usually translated as “God” inthe NT, yet used of pagan deities (Ps 97:7, Exod 20:3) and even humans (Exod 21:6). Typically Elohim stands in direct relation to Yahweh and Adonai (Deut 10:17, such phrases as “the LORD God,” “the LORD is God” and “the LORD your God [’elohim + suffix] is God [’elohe] of gods [’elohim] and Lord [’adhone] of lords [’adhohim]”). usually considered a “plural of majesty” is a way of expressing the grandeur and infinite greatness of God. Reveals God as Sovereign over heaven and earth, Creator-Sustainer, Judge.

Eternality (two understandings)Is God everlasting, without beginning or end but in some sense “in time” as is finite creation? Or is God atemporal and above and outside of time? Repeatedly, too, Scripture affirms that God created all existence outside himself.

  1. Everlastingness. Having been created in the divine image, man is given immortality. He has a beginning, but does not have an end; it seems this can be said of angels as well. Mankind and all finite creation exist in some form of time and space—and always will (cf. Rev 21:2; etc.). Whereas the dimensions may change, God has committed himself to creation forever. When man receives “eternal life,” it connotes something both present and future: we receive “everlasting life” together with a heightened quality of life infused with the presence of God. This stands against the neo-platonic idea that when we die we become timeless. The Triune God enters dynamically into time and into the finite dimensions of creation. One might say that God flows through history with us. This is unmistakable in the whole of Scripture.
  1. Outside of time. Nevertheless, time (like space, energy matter) is a dimension of God’s creation. Pinnock and others who argue that God is restricted within time do not appreciate the interrelatedness of creation’s physical dimensions. God is, of course, everlasting. But it seems God also exists outside the dimension of time. While entering into time and relating personally with us, God also stands above all history instantly, seeing all time as present (cf. Ps 90:4; 2Pe 3:8). Carl F. H. Henry (God, Revelation and Authority, 6 vols., Nashville: Word, 1982, 5:235-267) defends God’s timeless eternality as the historic position of classical Christian faith. God, time being a dimension of His own creation, is not to subject to time, but stands beyond time, and so God has no past or future. This is sometimes called the static view of God. God exists infinitely before what we know as time. Time is not only cylical but also linear, with a beginning but no end. God is everlasting (in time) yet seems also to stand outside time. As Trinity, God has a time unto himself

Feminist Theism: three categories. God is not male and may be female: 1. Rejectionist (Non-Christian) Feminism: Hostile to Christianity. rejects Scripture and historic Christianity as promoting an oppressive patriarchal structure. 2. Reformist (Liberation) Feminism: While resenting traditional chauvinism in Christendom, these find human liberation a central theme. God must be reconceived in images relevant to contemporary culture. Adopting a “hermeneutic of suspicion” they argue that God must be reconceived in images relative to women in modern culture. 3. Loyalist (Evangelical) Feminism: Affirming authority of Scripture (refuses to deny what appears to be the objective teaching of Scripture and finds in it little if any oppressive sexism.), these theologians scatter between egalitarian and complimentarian positions. Differences relate to use of inclusive language about God and gender equality. And issues of equality of functions and roles in conjugal, familial, ecclesial, and societal relationships.

Holiness (Divine): God is declared holy more than 600 times, far more than He’s declared “love”. we cannot look at the other attributes through the lens of simply one. There is, again, that simplicity of God. Trisagion = “holy, holy, holy”. Something that is set apart, consecrated for sacred use. Signifies separation from sin and evil. God is often termed “the Holy One” for his moral perfection, a title ascribed to Christ as well; and the Spirit is the Holy Spirit. Said to be beautiful. the crowning attraction of His nature.

Illustrations of Trinity, Usefulness: like water because H2O can assume forms of ice, water, and vapor: One essence in three forms. Others suggest the egg, threefold with  yoke, white, and shell. Some appropriate fruit to demonstrate God’s unity and plurality:  a tangerine, a grapefruit, or even a banana (the flesh divides into three parts). The sun: the sun itself, the rays of light, and the radiant heat. quarks. three dimensional cube (width, height, depth),55 others a pyramid, as illustrative of the Trinity. A person who wears 3 different hats (father, employee, husband). Good illustrations elucidate aspects of who God is, while not intending to say everything. figures and examples, if sensibly balanced, serve to hedge in a general conception of the triune God—even if all illustrations are inadequate. Recognize the inadequacy of visual aids, illustration, symbols, and images. Yet it is through these means that we can know anything at all about the infinite God. illustrations of the Trinity may be beneficial, but these never adequately capture the transcendent mystery of the tripersonal God.

Immanent TrinityThe view that centers on the Trinity in and of itself, i.e., as present (immanent) only to itself—a view occasionally expressed in Scripture (Jn 1:1-2,18); thus it focuses on the internal relations between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Traditionally, the Immanent Trinity is assumed as the ontological basis for the Economic Trinity, a posture being questioned by some today. See Economic Trinity. denotes God apart from creation. the Godhead in and of itself, transcendent, and outside all created reality