One God in Three Forms

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Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Psalm 8
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Matthew 28:16-20

Each of these four scripture readings points to the belief of a majority of Christians, namely that God is present in the world in three forms.

The term Trinity was not used in print until about 200 AD when Tertullian first penned the word. The idea of One God in Three Forms was hotly debated until the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD adopted the Nicene Creed that has been in use since then and is still used at every service in many denominations.  It is a clear statement of the idea of the Trinity.  The Creed:

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The debate rages on and whole denominations reject the idea.  How can I believe in it?

The Bible clearly states that there is one God.  I accept that as the starting point.  The Spirit of God is mentioned in the second verse of the Bible and appears throughout the Scriptures, new and old.  While the Spirit is seen in many contexts, it is clear that it is always the Spirit of God; God in a second form, one by which God the Creator is able to do His Work in this world.

The author of the Gospel of John began his work using the format of Genesis, his template.  There can be no doubt that John was writing about Jesus the Messiah.  The image John creates in the first 14 verses is of the Word being spoken by God and being energized by the Holy Spirit to create the universe.  The Word was God, was with God, was in the beginning before creation, and became a human called Jesus.

I understand why the Trinity is a stumbling block.  It is simply not possible in our understanding of the universe.  One is one, not three.  I understand that the idea of God being reduced to a mere 140 pound man who was both man and God is impossible.  I understand that Jesus called himself the Son of Man, not the Son of God.  He also accepted the title of Messiah which includes the title of Son of Man.

For me, Jesus was born of a woman; I will leave the question of DNA to God, but I do not think that would have been much of an obstacle.  At birth Jesus thought about food, sleep, and comfort.  As he grew he became more aware of the world around him, just as the rest of us do.  But he in all that growing time knew God in a way that none of us have.  His knowledge of God grew more quickly than for any of us.  His connection to God was probably constant and unbroken until just before his death.  He could read people in a way that no one else has ever been able to do because his connection to God fed him that awareness.  I do not believe he knew Judas would betray him until the last year, maybe the last few weeks; not until God wanted him to know.  Or if you will, Jesus knew things on a need to know basis.

Does all that mean he was only human?  No.  It means he was human in the way God intended all of us to be human.  If I had stayed focused on God without ever failing, I too could heal the sick and know their thoughts before they know them.  Not by my own power, but because God gave me the power.

Then God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.  God and His Son and His Spirit created the universe.

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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