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The Doctrines of the Trinity & The Deity of Christ as revealed in John’s prologue
God’s Nature is the collection all the attributes that make something what it is. Divine Nature
ipre om n nce ote mer sen c nip om e God’s Nature: not divisible ce ess usn teo righ n cie nis om p e ic ust j Common Divine e hol lov Nature y ect erf cy
e. G od God’s Attributes: not exclusive to persons e Th ic ust j hol n cie nis om y ce
God’s Attributes: not exclusive to persons erfe p e lov ct d or cy e. W Th mer
God’s Nature: a whole, immutable omnipotence omnipresence omniscience justice perfect love mercy holy righteous
Personhood is the center of self-consciousness or self-awareness. It is more than mere consciousness. Self-conscious means to be aware of one’s personal identity as distinct from others. Unlike nature, the personhood of a being is completely void of attributes since the attributes of any being reside entirely in its nature.
One God, the Trinity e. G Th Common Divine Nature The Holy Spirit d or e. W Th od 3 distinct personhoods, 1 nature common to all
e. G Th Common Divine Nature The Holy Spirit d or e. W Th od Distinction of Personhoods
Personhood of Logos • Logos (Word) is clearly a person of the Trinity as much as the God and the Spirit. • Logos is not in any way a personification of God’s mind, intellect, desire, volition, thoughts, words, imagination, etc. • Neither would we say Jesus is the embodiment of these attributes. • He is not God’s wisdom personified in Proverbs 8. The Word (Logos) is a He, a personhood of the Trinity, like the others who possesses the whole, divine nature that is common to each of the persons.
A Personhood rd Common Divine Nature Wo Th e e Th Go d A Personhood The Holy Spirit A Personhood Distinction of personhood does not argue three Gods. God is one God, who is three distinct personhoods all possessing a common divine nature.
Error of Tritheism The Father The Son The Holy Spirit A Person with a unique Nature Three divine persons each having a distinct nature w/unique attributes. Supporting models: water, ice, steam egg apple • Fosters the idea of rank among the Trinity. • Is the Mormon belief.
Problems with Tritheism The Father The Son The Holy Spirit A Person with a unique Nature Tritheism is impossible because the True God cannot share His preeminence with any other being. With plural gods, no god is truly God. Truly divine attributes can only comprise one divine nature.
Disproving Tritheism The Father The Son The Holy Spirit A Person with a unique Nature • Jesus refuted tritheism in John 10. 30: “I and the Father are one. ” • John refuted tritheism in John 1. 1 c: “…and the Word was God. ” • Moses refuted tritheism in Deuteronomy 6. 4: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!”
Disproving Tritheism The Father The Son The Holy Spirit A Person with a unique Nature Westcott said, “It is impossible to suppose that two beings distinct in essence could b be equal in power. ” B. F. Westcott, The Gospel According to John, p. 159, 1881
Error of Modalism Perhaps the greatest error in Modalism is that it argues that the Trinity became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.
Error of Modalism The single divine person of the Trinity sometimes acts: One Person In the role of the Father In the role of the Son In the role of the Spirit THE TRINITY One Nature This view of the Trinity denies the distinction of personhood. There is one person functioning in three modes or personalities. Supporting model: • one man who is a son, a father, and a husband. • When acting as the Father, the Person uses the Father attributes • When acting as the Son, the Person uses the Son attributes • When acting as the Spirit, the Person uses the Spirit attributes
References Chafer & Walvoord[The doctrine of the Trinity] is best defined as holding that, while God is one, He exists as three persons. These persons are equal, have the same attributes, and are equally worthy of adoration, worship, and faith. Yet the doctrine of the unity of the Godhead makes clear that they are not three separate gods, like three separate human beings…the true Christian faith is not tritheism, a belief in three Gods. On the other hand, the Trinity must not be explained as three modes of existence, that is, one God manifesting Himself in three ways. Major Bible Themes, Lewis Sperry Chafer, John F. Walvoord, pg. 40, © 1974 Dallas Theological Seminary, Zondervan Publishing House
Distinction of Personhoods and oneness of Nature is key to right doctrine • John distinguishes between Personhood & Nature in 1. 1. • 1. 14 states that only the Person of the Word became flesh. • 1. 14 states that the Word, in becoming flesh, came from the Father. • 17. 5: And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. • 17. 24: “Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me; for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world. ”
Proven Points about the Trinity • The Word is a person of the Trinity just as the God and the Holy Spirit are persons of the Trinity. • Though distinct in personhood they are absolutely equal in nature because none of the persons possess attributes unique to themselves. • Each person possesses fully the common, divine nature. • All attributes belonging to the God belong to the Word and the Spirit.
od Th e. G d or e. W Th Common Divine Nature The Holy Spirit According to John’s description of the Trinity, how would you rank the three persons?