What's your take on the Trinity concept?

What's your take on the Trinity concept? The Father, Son and Holy Spirit? The more I read, the more it seems to me the they are three distinct individuals. The same passages referred to to emphasize their oneness are the same passages in which I see the individuality. And if they are separate then Christianity is not a monotheistic religion. So are we (as Christians) willing to surrender our "one God" concept or admit that we may have misinterpreted the Word of God in relation to His having companions?? For example in Gen.1:27, "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness", who is the "us" and "our" being referred to? Is it translation error or misinterpretation or did God really have others there with Him at creation? These are the kind of examples that truly challenge my belief in the Trinity concept.

My response is in Green:

What is my take on the Trinity? I believe it. Are they (the Godhead) three individuals? Well it depends on your definition of individuals, they are three persons, yet make up one being.

You quote Gen 1:27, but you have to realize that the Bible is written so we can understand its concepts. God didn't talk to Himself, yet for us to understand we need it explained that way. Many places in the Bible are like that; for example when God says that He was sorry He created man. Does that mean that the evil that man did surprised God? Does it mean that God wished He had never created us? No, neither of those is true. We know from other places in the Bible that God had made the plan of salvation before He created man, why? Simple, because He knew that we would choose evil, so it didn't surprise Him, but in order for us to better understand His indignation for our sins, it is worded so that we in our puny minds can understand it. The same is true of the Trinity in Gen 1:27.

But let me throw this back at you and ask you a question. Are you one person or three? We are told in the very verse you use that we were created in God's image. What does that mean? Does that mean God has arms and legs, and eyes and ears and a nose? No, He is a spirit, He has none of those things. So what does it mean that we were created in His image? And why was only man made in God's image and not the animals? The answer is the answer of the Trinity. God is a triune being, three persons who make up one being and we too are triune being.

There is the physical you, your body. If I saw a picture of you or saw you live, I might say I know you, but do I truly know you if I have never talked to you? No, but why? Because you are more than a body, you have a personality (a mind; also called a soul in the Bible). It is what makes you who you are along with your body. But that isn't all either, when God breathed the breathe of life into Adam he became a living being.

Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

This didn't happen to the animals and it is when God gave man a spirit, which is often also called a soul by people. Sometimes the Bible uses soul to mean a person and sometimes it is translated to mean the spirit, so it can be confusing, but our spirit is what will live for all eternity either in hell or in heaven. The animals on the other hand have a body and a mind but not a spirit that will live forever.

So are you one or three? Of course you are both. The body without your mind and spirit would be just a bunch of dead cells, the mind without a body would be as good as dead, the spirit without the mind and body would exist but we were created as physical being, and without all three parts we are not complete.

The Godhead equates to us and we equate to Him. God the Father is the mind, the Son (Jesus Christ) is the body and the Holy Spirit is the spirit. They are separate yet they are one just like us. I often talk to myself in my mind while I try to figure something out, does that mean there are more than one of me? Or does that mean I am crazy? I doubt that you can honestly say that you have never done something you wished you hadn't and never said to yourself how stupid that was, etc…

So I see no problem with the Godhead being three individuals or persons and yet being one being. Do we clearly understand it? No, but then I don't clearly understand the connection between my body, mind and spirit either.

Ralph

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A person's reply to this page below in blue.

Ralph,

Only just came upon the website, great Q & A, thanks for taking the time to work through so many issues.

You say Jesus is the Body?

Original question "What's your take on the Trinity concept?"
... "God the Father is the mind, the Son (Jesus Christ) is the body and the Holy Spirit is the spirit." ...
http://www.behindthebadge.net/apologetics/discuss213.html

Question: If Jesus created all and is therefore God... why would you refer to Him as the "Body"?

Were you explaining the Godhead in terms of earthly roles, but not outside of that context - because then Jesus would be less than God.

* Supporting Verses (NASB) *

Jesus existed before being on earth - so supports Godhead doctrine:
John 8:58 Jesus said to them, *Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.*

Jesus is the Word (not the Body):
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

God is Spirit - together they are God as spirit:
John 4:24 *GOD is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.*

The Godhead together at work:
Gen 1:26 Then God said, *Let US make man in Our image, according to OUR likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.*

Jesus only received a body for His earthly role:
Heb 10:5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, *Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, But a BODY You have PREPARED for Me;

Phi 2:5-7 "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the FORM of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the FORM of a bond-servant, and being MADE in the likeness of men."

* Aside: Jesus resurrected body would have been different from the physical body, according to Paul teaching:
1 Cor 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. *

Jesus physical body is no more:
Heb 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Jesus created... (Gen):
1 Cor 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

Col 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him.

We are to worship (live totally for) the creator God, who is Jesus:
Rom 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature RATHER than the Creator, who is blessed forever.
Amen.

Jesus is Spirit:
Acts 16:7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;

Phil 1:19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

The Tri-unity:
Matt 28:19 *Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, ..." ... the Godhead

Why then, in your view, is Jesus the Body?

My reply below in green.

My wife often tells me I over explain, she says I am 'wordy' meaning I use too many words to try to explain things. I often tell her that people will take anything and twist it to try to show you are off base, so you need to try to cover all the bases when you explain something. Well I failed on this page obviously. But I will tell you I have a hard time putting my finger on what you are so upset about.

Did you read the whole page? Or did you come across that one statement and decide to set me straight? I will answer your question in a moment, but I have to be honest your e-mail to me makes no sense. I think I understand what you are trying to say, but trust me it is not clear. Let me start with the statement that if Jesus is the Body then He is less than God. WHAT?

So your body is less than you? If you mean your body is not totally you, then you are right, but it is no less you than your mind is, or your spirit is. So how would Jesus being the Body be less than God? My equating Jesus to our bodies does not make Him less than God, the whole page was my defense of the doctrine of the Trinity. Did you miss that? You must have, since the very doctrine of the Trinity means that God is fully three persons in one being!!! Not two main and one lesser persons!

Let me ask you, which one of the Trinity should I have equated to the body? The Father? The Holy Spirit? I am sure you will say, none of them. That's great, except if you read the whole page you would have seen that I was trying to explain the concept of the Trinity; so do me a favor and explain it for me. Show me how you explain it to people so they can get their minds around it.

I have heard many explanations and most make no sense at all. Like the water example. You know the Trinity is like water, it can be a vapor, a solid or a liquid. Yes water can be all three, but not at the same time, and the three don't work together as one. So it fails horribly at explaining the Trinity. Yet we as humans were created at triune beings in the image of God. We are three in one, all working together, all equal.

Now let me go back to why in the world I would call/equate Jesus to the body in my example. Well which one of the Godhead do you think 'physically' took dirt and made it into a man (Adam) and 'breathed' the breath of life into him? Which one of the Godhead do you believe walked in the garden in the cool of the day? Which one of the Godhead found Hagar in the wilderness and spoke to her? Which one of the Godhead spoke to Abraham and to whom did Abraham bargain with about destroying Sodom and Gomorrah? Which one of the Godhead, appeared to Moses in the burning bush? Which one of the Godhead spoke to Moses face to face? Which one of the Godhead appeared and spoke to Manoah and his wife? Which one of the Godhead walked in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego? And the list goes on and on.

I believe all those were pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus Christ! Maybe you don't, but I do. So with that and the fact that He is the member of the Godhead that took on a Body, why wouldn't I equate Him to the body in my explanation of the Trinity?

You gave all kinds of verses, but none of them explains why you don't think Jesus equates to the body. All your passages do is support the Trinity, the very thing I was doing, if you bothered to read what I wrote without some bias!

I guess according to you I should have said; "God the Father is the mind, the Son (Jesus Christ) is the Word and the Holy Spirit is the spirit." Yep that makes a lot more sense and I am sure the person who wrote me would have understood the Trinity better from that than the poor example I gave.

I think you are trying to see doctrinal errors in what I wrote. But then do me a favor and explain to me what the Bible means when it says we were created in God's image. Does God have hands? Does God have feet? Is it that we look like God, and none of the other animals do? Of course not, it is because we too are three in one, so if I or you are going to explain that, how would you do it? Then like I said, explain the Trinity to me as if I don't understand it. It is easy to point out the shortcomings in someone elses explanation, especially if you don't bother to explain your view.

Please don't write back and tell me that I am too sensitive, or that you are sorry that you upset me, I hear that all the time when I defend myself from letters like yours. I am not mad or upset, I just want to know the bottom line, explain it to me. Explain how you would have answered the question I answered. Trust me, no explanation for the Trinity is going to be perfect, it is beyond the human mind's ability to fully understand, just like it is beyond our ability to truly understand how Jesus could be fully human and fully God, but we except it, we even try to explain it as best we can to those who question us.

I will post this discussion at the bottom of that original page, then maybe your explanation, if you can call it that, will help people better understand that Jesus isn't the body, He is the word and doesn't equate to us in any way whatsoever.

Ralph

The person's reply below in blue.

Ralph,

I'm not upset about anything and have no bias. I'm pushing or pulling any particular standpoint, but simply asked a question and had to phrase it in some way to ask a question.

Everyone is not out to get you... I'm not JW or RC, or a member of any cult. I read the passage and fully understand what you explained. I realise that my question is not in the context of that subject. It was simply a question... no need to send the attack dogs.

I take guidance from Peter when he says we should defend the Gospel with meekness and gentleness.

(Pause for thought)

Your reponse has *honestly* concerned me. Please re-read it. Are you driving people away from God with your responses? Who is the enemy? I don't know you and you don't know me. It was simply a question to clarify your understanding of the Trinity.

My boss often tells me to re-read an email the next day before sending it. When I don't things go wrong.

You've made your point clear. Thank you.

May God richly bless and guide you in your work.

My reply below in green.

I didn't send out the attack dogs, but I did ask you to explain to me the Trinity in a way you think is consistent with your view. I also asked you to explain what 'created in His image' means. You did neither. Maybe you should reread your e-mail to me. Can you honestly not see why I reacted the way I did? You didn't explain your point, other than to ask me why I would call Jesus the body and then quote numerous verses that show that Jesus is God. You also didn't answer my question about context, didn't you realize I was explaining the very doctrine of the Trinity?

I don't respond to most people the way I did you, but you e-mail was different than most people's. What was the difference? If you can't see it then there is no hope of you seeing it when I tell you, but I will anyway. Your e-mail called into question my beliefs on Jesus Christ. It could be interpreted in no other way. You even came right out and said it would make Jesus less than God. Then you give me all bunch of verses you use to witness to Jehovah's Witnesses, why? Again it implies you think I believe as they do, that Jesus was a created being, except.... They don't believe in the Trinity since the very concept of the Trinity says that Jesus is, was and always will be an equal part of the Godhead.

So if I accused you of making Jesus less than God and accused you of believing the same as the Jehovah's Witness, you wouldn't have reacted to that in much the same way I did? I find that hard to believe.

At the very least your e-mail didn't explain what you were trying to get at, or as I assumed that is exactly what you WERE getting at.

I like your " I take guidance from Peter when he says we should defend the Gospel with meekness and gentleness." Again, not an attack on me of course, just a statement of fact to show that you were gentle when you implied I don't understand the Godhead, but I was not gentle when I defended myself and asked you to do me a favor and explain how you would have handled the question I was answering.

You admit now that your question was not in the context of the page you quoted me from. Exactly. I guess I could have responded with a bunch of verses that show that Jesus did come to earth as a human being and imply that you somehow don't believe that like many other cults. I have to believe that would have upset you too.

So I am still interested in how you would explain the idea that we are created in God's image and how you would explain the Trinity to someone who doesn't understand.

Ralph

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