1. The Fatherhood of God:
Countless passages in the Gospels where Christ refers to “the Father.”
2. The Deity of the Incarnate Son:
3. Personhood and Deity of the Holy Spirit:
Gen. 1:2; 6:3;
Acts 5:3-4; 8:29; 13:2
1 Cor. 2:10; 3:16; 6:19
Works ascribed to the Trinity
Father: Gen. 1:1
Son: Col. 1:16
Holy Spirit: Job 26:13; Ps. 33:6; 104:30
Inauguration of Christ’s Ministry (Baptism was fulfillment of High Priest’s washing)
Father: Acts 2:23
Son: John 10:17-18
Holy Spirit: Rom. 1:4; 8:11
1 Peter 1:2
THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE PERSONS
A. The Three Persons are co-equal
1. There is no rank
a. Our use of the terms “first, second, third” Persons does not mean that the Father is higher, more glorious, more exalted, more powerful than the Son or the HS (John 5:23, that all men honor the Son).
b. Because the Trinity is the perfect union of love there is no rivalry for supremacy
2. Therefore, we are to understand that the Father, the Son and the HS are equally God and equally to be worshipped. Thus we reject all subordinationism within the Godhead. None is above another, or under another.
B. The Three Persons are co-eternal
1. There is no temporal sequence
a. In our families, the father is older than the son, and the grandson is younger than the son, but the Trinity is not like that.
b. Our use of the terms “first, second, third” Persons does not mean that the Father was before the Son, and the Son was before the HS.
2. All three Persons, then, are eternal, co-eternal
a. The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, the HS is eternal; none are created, none have a beginning.
b. This must be the case if God is love: the Father was Father eternally; He never was without His Son, and He always loved His Son in the HS.
C. The Three Persons are co-essential or con-substantial
1. This means that the Three Persons are of the same essence, being or substance
a. It is not true that the Father is of the divine essence, but the Son and HS are of a different, although similar, essence.
b. The Father, the Son and the HS are one, true, eternal and Almighty God
2. This means that they possess the entire being or essence of God together
a. They share equally the divine being so that the Father, Son and HS are in one another, and are inseparable from one another. This is what the Greek theologians called the perichoresis.
b. It is false to say that the Father is 1/3 part God, the Son is 1/3 part God and the HS is 1/3 part God.
THE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS (personal properties of Father, Son and HS)
A. How do they relate within the Godhead?
1. The Father begets or generates the Son
a. Begetting is a father’s action: “X begat Y and Y begat Z, etc” The Father is not begotten, He begets.
1) Begetting is not the same as creating. The Father does not create the Son. He begets Him. That is why the Bible calls Jesus the only begotten Son; He stands in a unique relationship to the Father.
2) Begetting is an act of love whereby the Father brings forth one who is of the same essence as the
Father but is personally distinct from Him.
b. But the begetting of the Father is eternal
1) This is different from our begetting: a human father begets a son who comes after him, and is younger than he is; such a human father exists before his son, but the Father and the Son always existed together. Prov. 8:22
2) The Father can never be without the Son; John 1:1
2. The Son is begotten of the Father
a. The Son is begotten; not made; not created. He always was in the Father’s bosom (John 1:1, 1:18, 8:58)
b. The Son does not beget, because He is not the Father. He is begotten!
3. The Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son (Filioque)
a. The word “Spirit” means breath. The HS is the breath of God, which the Father breathes forth in love to the Son and the Son breathes forth in love to the Father. This breathing forth is called “procession.” The Spirit proceeds. The Spirit is the bond of perfect love between the Father and the Son.
b. The Spirit does not beget (He is not Father); He is not begotten (He is not Son); He is not made or created (He is not a creature), but He proceeds from the Father and the Son. See John 15:26
c. What is the difference between being begotten and proceeding? Who can tell? The HS comes forth from the Father and the Son in a different way in which the Son comes forth from the Father.
d. This procession is eternal. The Father eternally begets the Son; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and the Father and Son together eternally breathe forth the Spirit so that the HS eternally proceeds.
B. This begetting, being begotten, proceeding is the loving fellowship of God in Himself.
1. The three persons dwell in close, intimate fellowship and communion of love
a. The Father loves the Son in the HS, and the Son loves the Father in the HS.
c. The Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father by the Holy Spirit (John 10:37-38; 14:10-11).
d. The Father seeks after, delights in and gives Himself to the Son in the Holy Spirit and the Son seeks after, delights in and gives Himself to the Father in the Holy Spirit.