I was recently sent an article published in The gleaner March 13, 2020, titled “Father, Son and Holy Spirit – Do They Make a Trinity?” The author concluded: “What the facts show is that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit do not make a Trinity. I would like to look at the facts as they were reported by the writer and examine them against the Scriptures.
In the article, the divinity of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit was abandoned, and it was suggested that although Jesus can be worshiped, the Holy Spirit is not to be worshiped. The author made an assumption which was not supported anywhere in the article by the scriptures. It has been postulated that the fact that the Father sent the Son and the Son sent the Spirit, that there is hierarchical authority involved, and this precludes the belief that the three are equal. This logic does not make much sense in the context of functional authority as opposed to hierarchical authority.
JESUS IS GOD
I want to first address Jesus’ claims of equality when hearing from his counterparts in the Ancient Near East (ANE). John 5 says that those who were in the immediate audience of this discourse on Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath day concluded that “he not only broke the Sabbath, but he even called God his own father, making himself equal with God.” Jesus did not rebuke those who said this. He let it be concluded that was what he meant. This would pave the way for the Jews wanting to kill him.
What the writer seems to fail to understand are the implications of the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Colossians 1: 15-20 speaks of the Son being the image of the invisible God in whom dwells the fullness of God. But Philippians 2: 6ff says he was in the form of God (the Greek term morph the translated form speaks to more than a mere resemblance, but in its very essence, in nature. The NIV makes it stand out in its translation. He emptied himself of this equality and did not hang on to it. Jesus took the form of a slave and came in human form. It is the implication of the incarnation that must be taken into consideration when trying to speak of hierarchical authority between the Father and the Son. The proof is that the Son and the Father are equal, but the Son has assumed a functional “less than” for the sake of redemption.
The author used Hebrews 1: 7 and 9, but did not quote verse 8, which is an accurate testimony of the Son from the Father. “8 But to the Son he said, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. If the conclusion is that the Son is to be worshiped because the Father gives this edict, we must also conclude that the Son is God because the Father said so. This is the correct and logical conclusion which follows the author’s arguments. I don’t know if this was intentionally avoided or if the writer didn’t know what to think about it.
I will mention a few other verses that support the divinity of Jesus for the writer’s consideration and others who have like-minded views. “No one has ever seen God, but the Only Begotten, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” John 1:18 uses the word Monogenic, which is translated as “only begotten” in the King James version. This rendering was found to be less than ideal, linguistically. A more correct translation is “only and unique”. Why is this important? Greek manuscripts have the expression monogenic theo – and not monogenēs vios – as it is translated in the KJV by “only son”. It could not be translated as “God only begotten” since God is not begotten. The VIN in this case rendered it correct although it also takes a few steps to make it clear.
The last verse on this issue is again a proclamation that Jesus instead allows to stand or debunk. In John 20:28, Thomas, having seen the wounds of Jesus, cried out, “My Lord and my God! Thomas was not uttering an exclamation of surprise as some have said. As an ANE Jew, this would have been tantamount to taking the name of the Lord in vain, and he would have been severely rebuked. Jesus says this as a picture of someone finally turning from doubt to belief. “Jesus said to her, ‘Did you believe because you saw me? Happy are those who have not seen and who have believed. »(V29) Jesus recognizes the truth of his exclamation and congratulates those who will believe it without having seen it.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD
I also want to use the same argument for functional authority used above. Since the author has offered no proper evidence against this, I will allow him to stay here and say that not because the Son sends the Spirit means the Spirit is not equal to the Son. John 14:16 says, “And I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. A look at the word translated in another way gives us a very essential truth that can be missed if we just read an English version. The term hello doesn’t just mean someone else. HELP Word Study states: ” hello (a primitive word) – another of the same kind; another of the same type ”. The forts of the New Testament States ” hello … Denotes a numerical difference compared to a qualitative difference ”. If my above testimony regarding the Son is true, then the Holy Spirit being of the same kind as the Son is also true. Again, this logically follows.
A presupposition of Christians is that ONLY GOD is Eternal. Although the writer has stated that the Son existed before Creation, I am not sure the writer has the belief in the eternity of the Son. If this is a position held, then explain whether the Son can be eternal and not be God, and if the Holy Spirit is eternal, why is he not also God?
Biblical writers had no problem using the Holy Spirit and God interchangeably. A powerful occurrence of this occurs during the meeting with Gabriel and Mary. Gabriel said it was the Holy Spirit that would come upon Mary, and then she would give birth to the Son of God. “’The Holy Spirit will come upon you. The power of the Most High will cover you. The holy Child whom you give birth will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35) I will have to step out of the ONeness of the three to argue on this point, but please note that UNITY is far more crucial than separation. If it is because the Holy Spirit came on Mary and that she conceived the SON OF GOD, should we not, in a real way, make that GOD visited Mary during the conception? For the biblical writers, that was obviously what they meant.
Acts 5 offers yet another use of this seamless interchangeability between the Holy Spirit and God. This episode is about Ananias and his lie. Verse 4 states: “4 While he was staying, was he not yours? And after its sale, wasn’t that your own control? Why did you design this thing in your heart? You did not lie to men but to God. So even though they were standing in front of the disciples and lying, their lie was actually a lie to God. The previous verse, however, says, “Ananias, why did Satan fill your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep some of the cost of the land for yourself? The apostle Luke saw no distinction between the two. For the writer it is fallacious to avoid these verses and he should at least have struggled because they are verses used to support the Church’s pneumatological positions.
I have already alluded to the truth that the Holy Spirit is Eternal. This is supported by Hebrews 9:14: “14 How much more will the blood of Christ, which by the Eternal Spirit offered itself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” ? He is omnipotent because his power is considered the power of the Most High (Luke 1:35). He is also described as omniscient “He searches all things … teaches all things … and guides in all truth …”. (1 Corinthians 2: 10-11, John 14:26, John 16:13) These attributes are given only to God, and if God lacks any of them, he is not God. The writer would need to explain to the audience his rationale for denying the divinity of the Holy Spirit and his equality with God when the Bible does not.
During the conclusion, the author of the article made a less than articulate point. “Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is of the same nature as God and is worshiped as God the Father is worshiped…. “God is a spirit” means that God is a spiritual being. It’s His nature. We don’t worship the nature of God. We worship God, himself, as a person. Here is yet another classic point, where, as the saying goes, the rooster must kill the rooster.
If it is permissible to worship Jesus, who according to the author’s summary is only of the same nature as God and not God, why is the same point used to discredit the case of the Holy Spirit ? The priority was established by the writer and then discredited by the same. This does not follow the logical propulsion of the article. One point is redundant by the next and, as such, lacks agreement. It would be prudent to clarify this point for us.
Based on the evidence presented above, a verdict is requested, or at least an address from the author of the article that takes them into account.
The Son is shown as God and testifies that the Father is God. The Holy Spirit is called God in the scriptures, and the biblical writers did not find it necessary to make a distinction as they wrote under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit.
I would like to propose the thought of the ONeness of the three as we consider the attribution of worship. The only argument against worshiping the Holy Spirit is whether HE is not a “person” or a “personal entity” and whether HE is not God. The writer took stock for the first, and I think I took stock for the last. Since UNITY is to be preserved above it, the conclusion of the worship assignment ends on its own.