The Miracle Of The Trinity

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The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:18 pm

The orthodox teaching of the Trinity is that there is one God in three persons. These three persons are in love relationship with each other. The circle of love is complete and therefore God is self-sufficient in love. It's a unity in diversity and this indeed reflects Reality in the universe in which we live. This is where the term university comes from. While we can experience this circle of love the mind doesn't understand this wonder of God. This should be expected for one of the signs of a true revelation from God is that it transcends the finite and selfish nature of man and His reasoning abilities. It's a true miracle attesting to the truth of Christianity. The love within the circle is self-giving. Man by nature is selfish and has a hard time understanding true love. The natural tendency of human reason is to reject Divine Revelation because of his finite and limited understanding. But once the duality of man's thinking is broken opposites come together and he is ushered into the circle of love. The understanding and the paradox come together in a happy relationship called faith. In a happy love affair self-love transcends itself. The selfish person tries to move away from this passionate love for he does not understand it and refuses to dare to love. He is embittered by this love because not only is it unselfish but because it says to love the enemy. Actually, a person who has this passionate desire of faith finds his reason fulfilled as he believes that which surpasses human understanding. Far from disproving Christianity, the paradox of the trinity confirms it's supernatural accuracy. As Thomas Aquinas says, the fact that humans can come to believe is the greatest of miracles. The natural tendency of man to disbelieve is a confirmation of the truth of the revelation. We should expect a miraculous revelation from God to be surprising, impossible to understand, and difficult to believe.

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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby LLC » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:43 pm

St. Michael, I have to disagree. I don't believe in the Trinity. I find it to be an incomprehensible theory. Neither do I think that man is selfish by nature. I see a lot of good hearted, loving, giving people in the world. I also see many who are looking for love in all the wrong places so to speak. I think this may come from not being able to see anything good in themselves and therefore have no self love. Why should we love ourselves? Because God created us in His image and has given us many divine qualities as gifts. I believe that in order to fulfill the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves, we must first love God and then come to love ourselves as we see His spirit inside of us.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:11 pm

Hey LLC,

Nobody has reached perfection in this life. If they have they would literally be God. All have sinned. Motives count too. If we are doing good by loving others and not loving God then we are not loving perfectly. I try to worship God first (love with all my soul heart mind) and then my neighbor as my self. I'm not perfect though and I do mess up. But I'm a lot better than I used to be. As a Christian I am a partaker of God's Beauty. He gives His own Beauty to me giving me His joy and happiness. I am a partaker of this infinite fountain of joy of which He is Himself. These streams of water waves and raindrops of glory are His Divine light and love. I am swept up in His heavenly Beauty as I participate in His Trinitarian circle of love and joy. The love between the three persons of the Trinity isn't irrational. It does however transcend human logic because it is experienced and not pieced together or something you try to figure out with logic. We can enter into this circle of love through faith because relationships are based on trust. God isn't something I try to figure out but experience. You can experience paradoxes from different frames of reference. Here's an example from Proverbs:

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. - Proverbs 26:4


On the one hand it says answer NOT a fool according to his folly. Yet in the next sentence it tells us TO answer a fool according to his folly.It depends on the context and frame of reference you are in. Within the circle of the Trinity there are three persons in a love relationship. Within another frame of reference we see this one circle of love. The one love circle is God who is love. The only way this can be so if is there is more than one person within the Trinity in a self-giving love relationship. For this makes God self-sufficient in love and needing nothing. If God lacked He wouldn't be God. His love is a flowing stream of water waves and raindrops. God wants to seduce us with the beautiful paradoxical mystery of Himself and bring us into union with the paradox of love. I hope that helps. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby LLC » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:02 am

St. Michael, I see what you are saying, but If God needs another in order to exist then He is not self sufficient. If one needs another "person" in order to love then why is a third "person" necessary? Who says that love cannot exist by itself? One can love things other than "persons". For example, one can love beauty, truth, wisdom, imagination, creativity, etc. etc. If God is all of these things, then I suppose He would be loving the things of which He is.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:49 am

St. Michael, I see what you are saying, but If God needs another in order to exist then He is not self sufficient. If one needs another "person" in order to love then why is a third "person" necessary? Who says that love cannot exist by itself? One can love things other than "persons". For example, one can love beauty, truth, wisdom, imagination, creativity, etc. etc. If God is all of these things, then I suppose He would be loving the things of which He is.


That's what I'm trying to say. God doesn't need another. This can only be true because within God there is a self-giving circle of love between three persons. The love between the Father and Son is the Spirit. Yes you can love Beauty but within God there is this circle of love that makes His love perfect and complete. He is perfect love. Perfectly self-giving and self-sufficient. His love (Spirit) spills over and fills the universe. This is the beautiful water flow of the Spirit. The impulse of God is that He overflow with love like a fountain.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby Paidion » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:12 am

If God is a compound of three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, then why does not one of the over 3800 Scriptural occurrences of the word "God" clearly refer to a Trinity? Indeed, well over 90% of the occurrences of the word "God" refer to the Father alone.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:28 am

Paidion,

When The scripture say things like "I am one with the Father" and " He [Christ] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb. 1:3)" We can deduce that "God is the Savior of all - Especially of them that believe" This is clearly referring to Christ as the Savior of all in the New Testament. For in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. You may say that this isn't the correct translation but we know it is because God is perfect self sufficient and self giving love. This can only be if there is more than one person within God. Love requires one loving an another object that is being loved. Moreover, it is a self-giving love. The self giving love within the circle makes God complete and self-sufficient. He needs nothing and lacks nothing. He is perfect love. His Spirit of love overflows like a fountain filling the universe.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby Paidion » Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:59 pm

Michael, there is nothing you have written that indicates God as a compound being consisting of three divine Persons.

When Jesus said, "The Father and I are one," He referred to the fact that He and the Father are in one in thought, in purpose, etc. Also that HE is the exact imprint of the Father's essence, in other words another divine Individual who is exactly like the Father, but yet a different Individual. Suppose I take a picture of myself out of my left pocket and show it to you. Then I say, "I am going to show you another picture of me," and I bring out from my right pocket another picture of me made from the same negative. You might exclaim, "But that's the same picture!" Then I might say, "No, it's not. And holding up the first, I might say, "Here is one picture," and then holding up the other, "And here is the other picture. Two pictures!" The Father and the Son are like that. They are two Individuals, but are exactly alike, so that Jesus was able to say, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father."

As for John 1:1, this sentence is not affirming that the Logos (the Son of God) was both with God and was God. That is illogical—and I mean truly illogical, not merely unreasonable. It would be analogous to a boy saying to you, "My father is with me today. In fact I AM my father." The construction of John 1:1 indicates that the first occurrence of the word "God" refers to the Father. For it has the article. The second occurrence of the word "God," in the same verse, does NOT have the article. If the sentence were in natural order then the New World Translation of Jehovah's Witnesses would be correct, "And the word was a god." But the order of the words is, "God was the Word (Logos)." This means that "God" or "Deity" is the kind of thing (the essence) that the Word was. For our modern day it might better be translated,"And the Word was divine" or perhaps more accurately, "The Word was divine Essence."This was a way of saying that the Word, the Son of God, was of the same divine essence as God. That was because God begat his Son as his first act, and then using his Son as his Agent, created the Universe THROUGH Him.

Second-century Christian writers affirmed that the begetting of the Son was the first act of God, and occurred "before all ages."Indeed, even in the fourth century, the original Nicene Creed stated that Christ was "begotten before all ages," and the early Trinitarians of that period accepted the statement. But later Trinitarians saw the statement as inconsistent with Trinitarianism, and so they changed it to "eternally begotten" (whatever that means).

As for the Holy Spirit, Paul affirms that the Lord [Jesus] IS the Spirit (2 Cor 3:15). As I see it, the Persons of the Father and the Son are not confined to any place, but They can extend their Persons to any place in the Universe, and that is their Spirit. That Spirit is ONE because the Persons of the Father and Son are fully united. The phrase "spirit of God" occurs 12 times in the New Testament, and the phrase "spirit of Jesus" occurs twice, "spirit of Christ" twice, "spirit of Jesus Christ" once, and "spirit of his Son" once.

In one sense there is only one God, that is, the Father. In a prayer to God, Jesus said:

And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3)

In saying this, Jesus distinguished Himself from "the only true God."

But in the sense of being divine, Jesus may also be said to be "God" but not in the same sense that the Father is the one true God. However, Jesus and his Father are not joined together into one compound God (Binitarianism); they are two distinct divine Individuals, but are of the same divine essence. You and your son are two distinct individuals but are of the same human essence. (However two human beings can never be exactly the same as is the Father and the Son—not even "identical twins)."

The apostle Paul wrote:For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1 Cor 8:6)
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:21 pm

Paidion,

Your interpretations of those scriptures isn't the interpretation held by the Holy Catholic church. They can be interpreted in another way and as I showed above they should be interpreted another way. For one, God is self-sufficient and perfect love. For there to be love there must be a lover and a beloved. This only makes sense with there being more than one person in the Trinity. It's a perfect self-giving love within the circle and therefore also held together in unity making the One God self-sufficient and overflowing with perfect love. Moreover, your view doesn't reflect Reality. What we see in the Reality of the universe is unity in diversity (university). This is exactly what the Trinity reveals - a unity in diversity. It's hard to hold to because the circle is perfectly self-giving love and a paradox to the human mind. When the duality of the mind is broken we are united to the circle of love. It's no longer us or them - black or white polarity. It is here that the miracle of loving the enemy takes place. This is truly Universalism. For with opposites united the fires of God's love will unite saints and sinners. It's not heaven or hell but heaven and hell. For all will be salted with the purifying and blazing light of God's fire as they are united and welcomed into the charming circle of the Trinity of Love.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby LLC » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:04 pm

St. Michael, you mentioned that God transcends human logic, yet you say that God cannot exist alone, that He needs another "person" to love in order to complete the circle. This sounds like logic trying to explain why God cannot simply exist as the one and only.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:07 pm

LLC wrote:St. Michael, you mentioned that God transcends human logic, yet you say that God cannot exist alone, that He needs another "person" to love in order to complete the circle. This sounds like logic trying to explain why God cannot simply exist as the one and only.


No. I never said that. There is one God in three persons. God doesn't need another person within the circle. The circle is complete and overflows drawing others in as they drink the water of Life.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby LLC » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:28 pm

I'm still not getting it. To me, God is the Spirit of love, the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of forgiveness, the Spirit of compassion, etc. etc. Basically speaking, He is the Spirit of the heart and mind, all of these things coming from one Spirit. Without any of these things, we have no life as humans. God gave us these gifts so that we can know Him. When we love truth, we are loving God. When we love the beautiful things he has created, we are loving God as the Creator.When we love all the good things inside of our own hearts and minds, we are not only loving the Spirit that God has given us, we are loving ourselves as well.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:54 pm

Hey LLC,

A lot of what you say is true. My point is that the overflow of that Spirit is the result of the perfect circle within the Trinity. God is self-sufficient and doesn't need anything. This why there are three persons that make up the circle of the one God. The circle is complete. The Beautiful overflow and current of love is what you are referring to. The duality of the mind separates things into either/or. When this duality is broken it becomes both/and as faith arises. This is when opposites unite. God is both 3 and 1. Moreover, this is when we become forgiving and loving. Remember the Bible says love your enemy. When duality is broken faith arises and we are ushered into the circle of love. Faith brings us into the charmed circle. We love God with our mind through contemplation and meditation on the beautiful and lovely. These bring one into union. Even admiring the self-giving love of Christ in the gospel. When you extremely admire someone greatly (worship) you will become like the one you admire. Charity and acts of service can also bring one into closer union. Faith without works is dead. Once you get out of your head of logic you can live from your heart. Of course we need logic in math and science and some day to day activities. But when it comes to spiritual realities they are better understood through experience. Logic can take you so far.
Last edited by St. Michael on Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby Dandelion » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:23 pm

https://youtu.be/qPVf-exCgEo

This is a link to a YouTube video of C.S. Lewis.

It is a 3 hour video, but the intro. gives the best explanation of the Trinity I think I have ever heard or read.

If anyone is up for listening, I believe it is worth it.

I do believe in the Trinity. I believe it is an incredible piece of the character of God. A circle of love, based on love, as only our mighty God could reveal. Though elusive, it is worth getting the glimpses we are able to, from this side of Heaven.

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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:30 pm

Hey Dandelion,

I didn't listen to all but I wanted to comment on something in the beginning. I started out as a babe in Christ and I think it's good to study theology and philosophy and go to another level. After doing that I came to find a whole other level of consciousness as well. I've come to see like the Catholic mystic Richard Rohr that at the heart of reality lies mystery and paradox. Yes there are spiritual truths but those truths clash and contradict. They can be understood though within their own frame of reference. I experience one spiritual truth and understand it within a certain context and can experience the exact opposite truth as being true in another context or frame. Take an example from Proverbs:

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. - Proverbs 26:4


It depends on the reference frame. I understand spiritual truths better now by experiencing them rather than trying to piece them together. In a sense I've come full circle and returned to a childlike faith. As Albert Einstein says, " If you can't explain it to a six year old you don't understand it yourself". This is the same for me with the Trinity. There is one God in three persons. Each person shows perfect self-giving love to another. They hold each other up and are complete in the circle. When we step outside this frame we see the one perfect circle of love. God is love and complete and self-sufficient in the Trinity. This is because of the perfect circle of perfect self-giving love within the circle. The Spirit of love overflows like a fountain bringing the water of life to all. When we drink the grace and are satisfied God is glorified.
"A poor man is better than a liar” (Proverbs 19:22). No matter how rich, how clever, how successful, how handsome, how famous, how powerful. ~~ John Piper
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby LLC » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:47 am

When we look at the world around us, we see that there is only one of everything. By this I mean that no two things are exactly alike. I believe this to be true of God as well. We can be as one by being in agreement with one another, serving the same purpose, or following the same Spirit that is inside of us. So to me, Jesus was either the one and only God in the flesh, or he was not God. In this Trinitarian theory, God obviously lacks something if He is not complete without the other two ''persons". If we divide God up into separate and distinct Spirits, then why stop at three?
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:06 am

LLC wrote:When we look at the world around us, we see that there is only one of everything. By this I mean that no two things are exactly alike. I believe this to be true of God as well. We can be as one by being in agreement with one another, serving the same purpose, or following the same Spirit that is inside of us. So to me, Jesus was either the one and only God in the flesh, or he was not God. In this Trinitarian theory, God obviously lacks something if He is not complete without the other two ''persons". If we divide God up into separate and distinct Spirits, then why stop at three?


Hey LLC,

I agree that when we look at the world around us what we see is one. But we also see a diversity - races, genders, types, classes etc., etc. Everything has being. But there's different types and kinds of being. So, It's a unity in diversity. Which is what we see in the Trinity. In the Bible 3 signifies unity, completion and perfection.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby LLC » Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:53 pm

I believe the following verses. Isaiah 45:5 "I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me." Isaiah 45:18 "For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited; I am the Lord and there is no other." These verses, as well as hundreds of others in the Bible, state that there is only one God. When speaking of God, He is mentioned as singular, not plural. For me, this does not change.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:55 pm

Hey LLC,

I agree that there is one God but there is more than one person within God. Check this out:


Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven. - Gen. 19:24


Notice the more than one person. The Lord rains down FROM the Lord of heaven

I overthrew some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were as a brand plucked out of the burning; yet you did not return to me,” declares the LORD. - Amos 4:11


Notice one person is talking within God saying "I overthrew some of you as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah". Clearly there is more than one person here


Here is another where God is speaking in one person talking saying "I am stirring up the Medes"... and then He goes on to say: "it will be like when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah".

Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them,
who have no regard for silver
and do not delight in gold.

Their bows will slaughter the young men;
they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb;
their eyes will not pity children.

And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
the splendor and pride of the Chalde′ans,
will be like Sodom and Gomor′rah
when God overthrew them

Isaiah 13:17; 19


Clearly more than one person as God is saying this. God is also mentioned in plural:

"Let US make man in OUR image. In OUR likeness. Male and female. The image is an image based on both male and female stressing the relationship between the two. Jesus declares:

If you've seen me you've seen the Father


In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:02 pm

Just to sum up. God is self-sufficient and perfect love. For there to be love there must be a lover and a beloved. This only makes sense with there being more than one person in the Trinity. It's a perfect self-giving love within the circle and therefore also held together in unity making the One God self-sufficient and overflowing with perfect love. Moreover, this reflects Reality. What we see in the Reality of the universe is unity in diversity (university). This is exactly what the Trinity reveals - a unity in diversity. It's hard to hold to because the circle is perfectly self-giving love and a paradox to the human mind. When the duality of the mind is broken we are united to the circle of love. It's no longer us or them - black or white polarity. It is here that the miracle of loving the enemy takes place. This is truly Universalism. For with opposites united the fires of God's love will unite saints and sinners. It's not heaven or hell but heaven and hell. For all will be salted with the purifying and blazing light of God's fire as they are united and welcomed into the charming circle of the Trinity of Love. It is the impulse of God to overflow like a fountain. This fountain is His blood (love) that we drink and become one with. That is, we fall in love with agape love as it become our number one lover. What we love the most is what we worship. The idea is to fall in love with the Trinity who is love (agape). We see this in the Holy Eucharist. Drinking the blood of Christ is drinking the wine of His love. Hence, falling in love with love as we come into union with Christ. He becomes the number one icon that is worshipped and loved more than anything. When He's at the center all planets orbit in their proper balance. It's a crazy love. An obsession. It's like how people worship their icon football players at a football game. They dance, sing, paint their bodies, wear the names of their favorite players. And even have their teams materials hanging on their wall. We are united to Christ and the Holy Trinity. When we extremely admire and fall in love with self-giving love the more we reflect Him. Christ was for showing love and compassion for the mentally ill, children, poor, outcast, alcoholics. Even the woman caught in adultery was shown compassion. Christ said let him who has no sin cast the first stone. Become drunk on the wine of love. In drinking His water and blood we come into union. Christ is love. So, even eating His flesh is an act of being in love with love.
"A poor man is better than a liar” (Proverbs 19:22). No matter how rich, how clever, how successful, how handsome, how famous, how powerful. ~~ John Piper
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby Paidion » Sat Apr 09, 2016 4:17 pm

Michael, you wrote:
Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven. - Gen. 19:24


Notice the more than one person. The Lord rains down FROM the Lord of heaven


Interesting that this is the precise verse that Justin Martyr used in his "Dialogue With Trypho." Only, he didn't use it to try to show that Yahweh (or the LORD) consisted of two or more persons, but rather that the Father and the Son shared the name "Yahweh."

Both Justin and Trypho throughout their dialogue had been referring to the Holy Spirit. Clearly Trypho didn't mean another divine Person, since as a Jew, he believed that God was ONE divine Individual. The question is, "Did Justin mean another divine Individual? The following exchange suggests that he didn't.

Justin asked Trypho this question:
“Do you think that any other one is said to be worthy of worship and called Lord and God in the Scriptures, except the Maker of all, and Messiah, who by so many Scriptures was proved to you to have become man?”

Trypho replied, “How can we admit this, when we have instituted so great an inquiry as to whether there is any other than the Father alone?”

If Justin had been a Trinitarian, this would have been a perfect opportunity to present the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Trinity. But he didn't. Instead, he said:
“I must ask you this also, that I may know whether or not you are of a different opinion from that which you admitted some time ago.”
(Dialogue With Trypho, ch. LXVIII)
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Sat Apr 09, 2016 4:19 pm

Paidion,

The other verses I gave correspond to that one and are referring to the same event. They show that my interpretation is the correct one,
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby LLC » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:06 pm

Isaiah 44:24 says this: "Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb:" I am the Lord, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself."
Again there are hundreds upon hundreds of verses in the Bible that speak of God as singular. If one uses the text of the Bible to say whether God is singular or plural, I would have to say He is singular.
St. Michael, you say that God has to have a lover in order for love to exist. Again, this is logic from a human perspective. God says Himself, "I AM".
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:47 am

Isaiah 44:24 says this: "Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb:" I am the Lord, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself."
Again there are hundreds upon hundreds of verses in the Bible that speak of God as singular. If one uses the text of the Bible to say whether God is singular or plural, I would have to say He is singular.
St. Michael, you say that God has to have a lover in order for love to exist. Again, this is logic from a human perspective. God says Himself, "I AM".



No. To love there must be a lover and a beloved. This is what we see in the circle of love that makes God one self-sufficient God. One God - three persons. The three persons are self giving in the circle making God self-sufficient. I never said God needed anything. It's because of the complete circle that God is self-sufficient and doesn't need anything. That's the paradox. Jesus also said of Himself "I AM". In John 8:58 Jesus declares, "Before Abraham was, I AM. This statement not only claims existence before Abraham but also equality with the "I AM" in the Old Testament. The Jews understood this when Jesus made the statement because they wanted to stone Him to death for blasphemy after He said it. The New Testament also ascribes titles to Jesus that can only be attributed to God. Rev. 1:17 calls Him the first and the last:

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,


Thomas declared to Jesus:

My Lord and my God - John 20:28


Moreover, the Holy Spirit is referred to as "him" with personal pronouns showing His personhood:

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. - John 14:26


The Bible also calls the Holy Spirit God:

But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” - Acts 5:3-4
"A poor man is better than a liar” (Proverbs 19:22). No matter how rich, how clever, how successful, how handsome, how famous, how powerful. ~~ John Piper
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby LLC » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:53 pm

Yes, I believe that Jesus was God, the one and only who appeared in the form of a man. I don't see what is so difficult about that. To say that He is God, but He is not God sounds to me like someone who cannot make up his mind. To me, God does have a love. He loves Himself, and He loves all of His creation, which includes man. This is what we are also instructed to do.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:34 am

I never said Jesus wasn't God. Again, One God - three persons

Jesus = God

Father = God

Spirit = God

You say God loves Himself. This is the difference between your God and mine. Within the Trinity there is perfect self-giving love. This makes love complete and God self-sufficient overflowing with self-giving love. We see this in how Christ laid His life down for His friends and enemies.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby Neil » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:25 am

I believe in Universal Reconciliation (I don't like the term 'Universalist') . I also believe in the Triune nature of God (the Trinity) as far as it is revealed to us in the Bible. I know there's a lot about this we cannot comprehend or explain at the moment. When we get to heaven we will understand far more no doubt.I am sure there's far more to God's nature than revealed to us in the Bible as truths about God transcend human language.It's a bit like trying to explain this world to a baby...a baby simply does not have the capacity to understand this world.That's not to say we cannot get some idea of it.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby LLC » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:52 am

St. Michael, I think that we do believe in the same God for we both believe that Jesus is God. The difference is in how we view Him. You say that there three Gods in one. I say that there is only one. If there are no two things exactly the same as is evidenced in the world around us, it leads me to conclude that there can only be one God. I don't really see the Trinity that people speak of. Yes, we are diverse, but we come together as one in the Spirit of one God because we have the spirit to do so. We can agree that the Father(God) is not the son. But, that is as far as I go. To me, the son is man, and man is not God. However, for a brief moment in time the Father(God) was the Son (man)-Jesus. In Jesus we see the man/woman that God has created us to be. As I believe in simply one God, and man as the son, I interpret the passages in the New Testament much differently. The son is not referring to some other divine being, but to man. As you explain, there are three separate spiritual beings operating as one in a circle of love, each self-giving to each other. You've also pointed out that Jesus (the Son) is self-giving in that He gave His life for His friends. Then in what way is the Father or the Holy Spirit self-giving in this relationship? Where does man fit in? Are we just outsiders looking in? You also say that in order to have a love relationship, one must have a lover. However, I come from a different viewpoint. Yes, I believe that God does love Himself. To me, one cannot have a loving relationship if one does not love Himself. This may sound selfish, but I believe it to be true. If you do not value your own life or have no love for who or what you are, then what would you have to give? If we have no pride or honor in ourselves, then how are we to stand? I suppose we would be satisfied in being kicked around. Some say that it is possible to love someone without loving yourself, but I don't really see how.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby DaveB » Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:02 pm

LLC wrote:You also say that in order to have a love relationship, one must have a lover. However, I come from a different viewpoint. Yes, I believe that God does love Himself. To me, one cannot have a loving relationship if one does not love Himself.


Actually a very good point LLC. God the Father would still be Love, were there nothing else and noone else. I know all the counter-arguments to this, but I'll just kinda stick with what I've said.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:24 pm

This may sound selfish, but I believe it to be true. If you do not value your own life or have no love for who or what you are, then what would you have to give? If we have no pride or honor in ourselves, then how are we to stand?


How do you interpret this? It seems to contradict what you just said:

"For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy" (II Timothy 3:2).



When I'm standing in front of a great splendor like the Grand Canyon I don't say "What a wonderful person I am" I say "Look how wonderful the grand canyon is" The same with God. Christ is the rock on which I stand. I love God above all else. That is, I worship God and love my neighbor as myself. To love one's self is to seek one's own good. Take all your longing for joy and hope and focus it on God. When you find your fulfillment in God love and God seeking let it overflow into your neighbor. The Father gives Himself to the Son and the Son gives Himself to the Father. This Spirit of self-giving love overflows to others in self-giving love. The circle is complete and God is self-sufficient in love. I guess you could say in this sense God loves Himself. But He gives Himself to His creatures as He seeks His glory because He knows in doing so He will satisfy the hearts of those who give Him glory.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. - 1 Cor. 10:31
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby Paidion » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:58 pm

We don't need to be instructed to love ourselves. Everyone does. It is human nature. Even the woman who says, "I'm so ugly I hate myself!" doesn't actually hate herself. If she hated herself, she would be glad that she's ugly.

Our Lord assumed that everyone loves himself. But in order to live righteously, we need to love others just as much. As Jesus instructed:

"And the second [commandment], like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these."
(Mark 12:31)
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:18 pm

Agreed Paidion!! :D
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby LLC » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:39 am

Thanks for your comment, Dave.

Paidion, No. I don't think everyone loves themselves. It is said that we are our own worst enemy, and I see truth in this. When I look at the world around me, I see many who are out to destroy their own selves simply because they do not love themselves. People do drugs, get lost in alcohol, over eat, starve themselves, commit suicide, change genders, cut themselves, stay in abusive relationships, end up in financial ruin trying to buy love and happiness, etc. etc. The list goes on and on. Some even look to their lover to make them happy. However, you can love someone all you want to, but if they do not love themselves even this will not work.

St. Michael, the passage you quoted does not contradict what I said. The Lord says to love your neighbor as YOURSELF. No. we are not to be egotistical and self-righteous. There is a difference. I just don't see where another person is required to have this overflowing self- sufficient love you are talking about. Try going out as a single person with a married couple. Three's a crowd begins to make sense. On the other hand, a doctor who has a passion and a love for medicine is able to use his talent to help many people. Again, the teacher who loves to teach draws many students into the classroom. People who have a love for who they are and what they do can give to others.
Yes, the Father also loves the son(man). This is why He gave us life in ourselves as John 5:26 says "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself." God created us as individuals and has given each of us gifts of His Spirit. I believe He wants us to have a sense of accomplishment in ourselves as well.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby Gabe Grinstead » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:21 am

LLC wrote:
Paidion, No. I don't think everyone loves themselves. It is said that we are our own worst enemy, and I see truth in this. When I look at the world around me, I see many who are out to destroy their own selves simply because they do not love themselves. People do drugs, get lost in alcohol, over eat, starve themselves, commit suicide, change genders, cut themselves, stay in abusive relationships, end up in financial ruin trying to buy love and happiness, etc. etc. The list goes on and on. Some even look to their lover to make them happy. However, you can love someone all you want to, but if they do not love themselves even this will not work.


I definitely agree with you here. Though, that said, "lovers of self" in my opinion, means that people only care about themselves and their immediate needs. It has a very negative connotation and it should have one. That isn't self-love, that is just selfishness. Love by the worlds definition = Instant gratification. For example, imagine a kid saying 'Dad, if you loved me, you would provide me with drugs' - No, that would not be love. Likewise, if you are taking drugs for yourself that isn't loving yourself. That is abusing yourself.

I remember reading recently that people who neglect their health are viewed poorly by others. They should be, because why should I love someone who doesn't even love themselves? People see value in others when they take care of themselves. People who are slothful and let themselves fall apart, well... Everyone can see it out in the open. If you want someone to care for you, you also have to care for yourself. That is just how it is. Right or wrong, it is 'reality'.

It is the same reason that giving people thinks who don't take care of things is a bad idea. For example, if you watch Mr Jones never take care of his house, lawn mower... Lets say you buy him a brand new lawnmower. He won't take care of that one either. Why? If he doesn't take care of the the things he has acquired, he isn't going to value or take care of the things given to him. People tend to only appreciate things that they work for. Sometimes giving items away to people like that is the worst thing you can do, because it is 'all for nothing' they don't appreciate it, and the gift is neglected.

I think the best quote I have found to be truthful on the matter is something like this: "People can see whether you value yourself and if they find you don't, they why should they? If you don't even value yourself, it doesn't make sense that another would. For you have basically told them you are not worth valueing." I know this is a touchy one, because we are called to love others even when they don't love you back... But it isn't that you don't love others, it is that loving others cannot impact others alone. The person that is loved must come to love themselves. MacDonald even touched on this when he said that the love of God was lost upon Judas. Clearly, Judas did not love himself. He was certainly selfish, but that is different than love - having your own best interests at heart. Drugs, Partying, Overeating, Sexual Addictions - These are not examples of self love. They are self abuse.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby Paidion » Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:50 pm

Self-love is the bane of our self-seeking society.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:03 pm

LLC,

Only God is self-sufficient. There are ways we are like God and ways we are not. Because of the self-giving circle of love within the Trinity God is self-sufficient. It's in this sense that God loves Himself. Jesus worshipped God therefore I worship God. God's love is a holy love. He is infinitely greater than we are. When we love ourselves and others with a holy love, in God and mainly for His sake, we overcome the inordinate love of self that is egoism. For we have been created to give glory to God eternally. The more we give glory to God the greater our glory becomes.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us: but to Thy name give glory (Ps. 113:1)


God loves Himself and He loves us. Therefore, God gives Himself to us in seeking His glory because it destroys the selfishness in us when we give God the glory as it satisfies our hearts. We glorify God by trusting Him for all we need, thanking Him for what we have, and obeying His revealed will.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby LLC » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:40 pm

Gabe, Paidion, I agree.There are many in society that overly abundant in self- love. We can neither have too much nor too little self-love. I find that the answer seems to always be in the middle. I think loving someone is helping them to see the beauty that they have inside themselves, that they are not worthless but have something of value to give to the world; as Jesus said, helping them find that hidden treasure more valuable than gold.

St. Michael, I don't think that God created us to give all the glory to Him. On the contrary, I believe that He wants us to shine in our own glory as well. John 17:1 says this: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify you." When my children accomplish something, I praise them. I don't say that it is all because of me or expect them to give me all the glory. They also worked for it. It makes me happy just to see the joy they have in realizing they could actually do it. God created us as individuals, and I think that He wants us to be able to stand on our own two feet, just as we would or own children.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:43 pm

LLC,

I've already answered you in my last post about God's glory. I think you missed it. Our glory shines like the sun the more we glorify God. When we are focusing on Christ and not ourselves we are glorified. Seeing Him face to face we are transformed from glory to glory. God alone is intrinsically glorious. Yet extrinsically He shares His glory. We are dependent creatures who need God. The more we depend on God the more independent we become and able to stand on our own two feet. It's joy and stability found IN God. It's a union as we enter into the charmed circle. Submitting and abandoning oneself to the Divine Providence. He's not a human parent. There are ways He's like one and ways He's not. He's self-sufficient, all-knowing, infinite in wisdom and in control. In control in the sense of guiding. He's flying the airplane.
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Re: The Miracle Of The Trinity

Postby St. Michael » Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:04 am

Self-love is the bane of our self-seeking society.


Love seeks not it's own. This means seeking your own private pleasures at the expense of others. But the Bible tells us to seek God and we will find Him. It's seeking our fulfillment in Christ not ourselves. Moreover God seeks His glory but this is a self-giving act on the part of the unique self-sufficient being. For in doing so He's satisfying the heart of His creatures as they do all to the glory of God. God is the pursuer. He seeks after His lost sheep.

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? (John 5:44)


Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory. (Isaiah 43:6-7)


Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24)


So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (l Corinthians 10:31; cf. 6:20).


God raised Pharaoh up to show his power and glorify his name:

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Romans 9:17)
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