Further Study: The Triune God
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In the doctrine of the Trinity, we do not find three different divine roles displayed by one Person (that is modalism). Nor are there three gods in a cluster (that is tritheism orpolytheism). The one God (“He”) is also, and equally, “They,” and “They” are always together, always closely cooperating. The Holy Spirit executes the will of both Father and Son, which is also His will. This is the truth that God reveals about Himself all through the Bible.

Some people struggle with the divinity of Christ because of how, while here in the flesh, Jesus had subordinated Himself to the will of the Father. Many see this as “proof” that He was somehow less than the Father. This reality, however, does not reflect the inner structure of the Godhead. This subordination reflects, instead, how the plan of salvation was to operate. Jesus was to come into humanity, becoming “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8, ESV). Also, “though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:8, 9). These statements reveal that the subordinate role Jesus played resulted from the Incarnation, which was crucial to the plan of salvation. They don’t prove that He is anything other than fully divine and eternal.

“‘His name shall be called Immanuel, . . . God with us.’ ‘The light of the knowledge of the glory of God’ is seen ‘in the face of Jesus Christ.’ From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was ‘the image of God,’ the image of His greatness and majesty, ‘the outshining of His glory.’ It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 19.

Discussion Questions:

   Some early Adventists struggled with the doctrine of the Trinity. Today, the church has taken a firm stand on the doctrine. How does this change over time reveal to us the unfolding nature of truth? In your own experience, how have you grown in your understanding of truth? What beliefs did you once hold that, today, you no longer accept?  

 John 8:58 reads: “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.” How does this text powerfully reveal the full divinity of Christ? 

Summary:

If we want to deepen our love for the great infinite God we serve and be drawn to worship Him, we first must try to grasp what He tells us about Himself. The Trinity is a mystery, but in Scripture “mysteries” are deep truths that an infinite God reveals to us on a finite level. Thus, we can safely speak of God only from our knees. “ ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!’ ” (Deut. 6:4, NKJV).

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Further Study: The Triune God — 6 Comments

  1. The lesson states:

    "These statements reveal that the subordinate role Jesus played resulted from the Incarnation..."

    Personally, that's not the way I see the divine arrangement portrayed in the Scriptures. I do not believe that subordination necessarily means inequality.

    God bless!

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  2. I think that Trinity and Godhead are no the same. What Catholics call trinity is so different of the Godhead. The words co-eternal, and coequal, that Catholics use imply that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are creatures and not God. So I think it is important to make the distinction and be separated from this apostate church. Catholics also call the trinity a mystery, but the Godhead is not mystery, we need to know whom God is because John 17:3 says that life eternal is to know whom God is, which is different to know the mind of God.

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    • Iisa I got curious and looked up the word "coequal" in the dictionary and in Merriam Webster's online dictionary their definition was "equal with one another." So when we hear the terms coequal and co-eternal it simply means both are equal.

      As for the mystery. I remember a preacher by the name of John Carter that once said, "I can understand something that has no end but how do I understand something that has no beginning?" In other words there a lot about God that we simply don't know anything about.

      Paul speaks of, "the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations" (Rom 16:25-26 NKJV). So there are indeed mysteries and God is the biggest one of them all.

      According to John 17:3 which you reference we are to know what God is like. That is what Jesus shows us, but to know the substance of God is beyond our understanding. We don't even know ourselves or the majority of the workings of biology within our own bodies. God and His creation will be a study throughout all of eternity - there is that much to learn.

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  3. Tyler I like your comments, I agree with you, I did the same thing, checked the dictionary on both words, but what I mean it's that if we do a study on the Catholic doctrine of the trinity, we can found out that theirs is complete different from the Godhead. They give Jesus a beginning, meaning then that He is no eternal, neither God; contradicting 1 Timothy 3:16 that states God was manifested on the flesh, so this verse put all discussion of Jesus not being God out. He is God. They say that all three have the same substance, meaning they can not be separated, and if you say they are three different persons you are an anathema, and God the Father with Jesus were contemplating themselves so The Holy Spirit came to an existence, and all this confusing concept they say is a mystery. When one study the whole trinity of the Catholic church have to come to the conclusion that is necessary to do the distinction in both terms Trinity and Godhead. In that sense we can understand why E.G.W never used the term Trinity neither her husband and both made statements against Trinity. But we can be sure they believe in the heavenly trio. So That is my understanding on the words co-eternal and coequal. Jesus made himself equal with the father, no coequal. My question to all will be: Is Trinity the same as Godhead or they are different? As a special church who carries a different message to the world, should we mingle with pagan concepts, or should we have a correct understanding on what is Trinity and Godhead.

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  4. The Word of God is chrystal clear on the Triune God we serve. Three separate persons; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. With this simple understanding in mind, the whole Word of God on this subject make sense. When we attempt to push beyond of what is simple and clear, we are bound for uncertainty and venture down a slippery path. Unite with Christ daily for the victory we need. Cheers!!!

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  5. P. S. For me, this brings to mind the words of Jesus in John 5:26 (NKJV).

    "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself..."

    To me, this says that even the eternal self-existence of Christ is something which He possesses by the will of the Father. Yet I do not understand this to mean that there was ever a time when the Son was not the Self-existent One. I believe that we shall never fully understand the deep mysteries of God, so we should be very careful of our assumptions.

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