• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.

Need help here! Trinitarians.

Discussion in 'Traditional Theology' started by ABCthings, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. ABCthings

    ABCthings Light

    178
    +111
    Nigeria
    Anglican
    Single
    I was arguing with a non Christian and pointed out that God is greater than Jesus so it kind of like a Big God, small god thing. Anyway from me to clarify things to him.
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

    +5,604
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    There is no "big god/little god". There is only God. God exists in the form of a Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each cosubstantial and equal.

    As Philo of Alexandria put it, God exists as a divine Triad. To the uninitiated mind He appears as Three. To the initiated mind He appears as One.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  3. ABCthings

    ABCthings Light

    178
    +111
    Nigeria
    Anglican
    Single
    But God is greater that Jesus?
     
  4. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

    +4,604
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” John 14:28 (KJV 1900)

    “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5–8 (KJV 1900)

    My position is that Jesus did not stop being God, but made himself of no reputation as God, while making himself of great reputation as man. And so people naturally see the manhood of Jesus in scripture before they see his divinity. The manhood needs no special revelation, but his Messiahship does. As in the case of Peter to whom God revealed Christ's divinity (Messiahship).

    “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” John 17:5 (KJV 1900)

    Going to his Father who is greater means Jesus returns to his former greatness.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  5. createdtoworship

    createdtoworship In the grip of grace

    +1,702
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    Jesus is God, God is Jesus, Jesus is the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is Jesus, The Holy Spirit is God the Father, God the Father is the Holy Spirit. They are three persons, one God. Not three offices, not 3 departments, they are 3 persons within the exact same God. To have three divine people up there would be polygamy. But God is not greater than Jesus, but Jesus is in submission to the father. And the Holy Spirit testifies of Christ, so the pecking order is God-Jesus-the Holy Spirit. But they are equal.
     
  6. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

    +5,604
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    Jesus, the Son, is coequal with the Father. In his humanity the new testament alludes to an unequal relationship but that is not the case.
     
  7. createdtoworship

    createdtoworship In the grip of grace

    +1,702
    United States
    Non-Denom
    Married
    God is not greater than the father in essence, only in incarnation.

    here is a commentary on it:
    2. (Jhn 14:28-29) The goodness of Jesus’ departure to the Father.

    “You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.”

    a. If you loved Me, you would rejoice: The disciples were troubled at the news of Jesus’ departure. In faith, they should instead rejoice, for the sake of Jesus, for their own sake, and for the sake of the world. The work of Jesus through the sent Holy Spirit would be greater than His work during the years of His earthly ministry.

    · Jesus, when I think of all You gave up, all You took upon Yourself when You came from heaven to earth – it makes me happy that You are going to the Father to have it all restored to You
    · Jesus, when I think of all You will give to me and all Your people when You ascend to glory and from there send forth the Holy Spirit, pray for Your church, and prepare a place for us – it makes me happy that You are going to the Father, also for my sake
    b. Because I said, “I am going to the Father”: We sense a joyful anticipation in Jesus, happy in His soon return to heaven’s fellowship between Father and Son.

    c. My Father is greater than I: The Father is greater than the Son in position, especially in regard to the incarnation. Yet the Father is notgreater than the Son in essence or being; They are both equally God.

    i. It is remarkable that Jesus should even say this. “That it should require to be explicitly affirmed, as here, is strongest evidence that He was Divine.” (Dods)

    David Guzik from Blue Letter Bible
    Study Guide for John 14 by David Guzik
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  8. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

    +1,002
    Canada
    Anglican
    Married
    Jesus is a man like you and me except that in him the fullness of God's being dwells. This doesn't mean that God ceased to exist outside Jesus bec God is omnipresent.

    I think this is all the truth that you can say to a Muslim without getting into trinitarian details that he, and I, will never fully understand. Quran Sutra 4 says:

    171. O People of the Bible! Do not exaggerate in your religion, and do not say about God except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, is the Apostle of God, and His Word that He conveyed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His apostles, and do not say, “Three persons.” Refrain—it is better for you. God is only one God. Praise be to Him—that He should have a son. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and the earth, and God is a sufficient Mediator.

    172. The Messiah does not disdain to be a servant of God, nor do the favored angels. Whoever disdains His worship, and is too arrogant—He will gather them before Him, all of them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  9. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Holy family & sojourners Supporter

    +9,495
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Constitution
    John 1:1-14

    The incarnate Jesus is 100% God & 100% man/ human.

    Before the incarnation He the Word existed eternally with the Father & Holy Spirit as one substance as God.

    Then the Word became flesh= Jesus and dwelt among us He set His deity aside and fully walked as man.

    Philippians 2:6-8
     
  10. ABCthings

    ABCthings Light

    178
    +111
    Nigeria
    Anglican
    Single
    So when Jesus became man some glory was taken from and how that He's with God He has his glory back.

    Thank you all for your comments. :)
     
  11. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

    +6,858
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    This is another good passage to help with understanding if:

     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  12. Credos4Christ

    Credos4Christ 7 days without prayer makes 1 weak.

    42
    +59
    United States
    Catholic
    Private
    US-Others
    The simplest explanation I can think of is this:

    'God' - God as the patriarch creator
    'Christ' - God on earth
    'Holy Spirit' - God in all of us

    None of these three are greater or less than the others, they all comprise the three persons of Godhead.

    There are plenty of sources in Scripture and in the Apostles' Creed (Didache, c. 70 AD), and even beyond that, which affirm the Trinity. Modalism and other explanations of God and the language of the bible make nonsense of, and mince words in, scripture.
     
  13. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

    +3,953
    Lutheran
    Married
    Thanks for posting here in "Traditional Theology". In the early history of the Church, similar questions often arose regarding not only the nature of Christs Divinity and humanity, but of the nature of the Triune God. The Church searched Scripture and compiled a statement of faith that is still held by traditional Churches; particularly in Western Christianity. As a Confessional Lutheran, the Athanasian Creed, allong with the two other "Ecumenical Creeds"; Apostles and Nicene are retained in our confessions of faith, and are held second only to the Bible in authority; in that they are an exposition of doctrines revealed to us in Scripture.

    I hope you find this explanation helpful.

    Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith unless every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.

    Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Substance [Essence] of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Substance [Essence] of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood. Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood into God. One altogether; not by confusion of Substance [Essence]; but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.

    The three ecumenical creeds are in the public domain, and are easily found through a simple internet search.

    I hope this helps.

    Mark​
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  14. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

    +6,630
    Presbyterian
    Single
    That's not how classical theology puts it. The traditional way to handle the relationship between God and Jesus is the Incarnation. It says that God became present with us in human form. Humanity is less than God. But this particular human is God's own presence. Viewed as a human he is less than God. But viewed as God's presence he is God. And both are true at the same time.

    Colossians speaks of him as the image of the invisible God. Think of a picture (which is a kind of image -- though the author of Colossians was probably thinking of the imprint of a seal in wax). The picture is both a piece of paper and window through which we see something else. Similarly Jesus is a human and God's presence. As a human he is inferior to God but as God he is not.

    So it's true that as a human Jesus' glory is in some sense less than God's, but because he was God's incarnation, God's glory in him continued to be what it always was.

    However even saying that Jesus' glory as a human is less has limits. Surely as a human he was in some sense less than God. In John a number of places Jesus speaks of God's glory as something greater than him. Yet John also sees Jesus on the cross as a kind of enthronement. It's God's glory present in a very unexpected way.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  15. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

    +4,107
    United States
    SDA
    Married
    One God - Deut 6:4
    In three persons - Matthew 18:19

    God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit who is one as we are one in Christ.

    John 17
    11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

    That oneness is that of complete harmony, purpose, vision

    Jesus said at the last supper - that he who would be greatest - should be servant of all - and this Christ spoke after literally taking the position of a servant washing the feet of the disciples.
     
  16. concretecamper

    concretecamper Member of His Church

    +1,533
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Republican
    No
    No, No, No
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  17. charsan

    charsan Charismatic Episcopal Church

    +2,089
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    The Father is God, Jesus is God, the Holy Spirit is God. Three separate yet one God. God the Father is not the Son, the Father is not the Holy Spirit, The Son is not the Father, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is not the Father, The Holy Spirit is not the Son.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  18. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

    +4,107
    United States
    SDA
    Married
    The trinitarian position is "One God" Deut 6:4 in "three persons" Matthew 28:19. There is a hierarchy among the three but ontologically they are equal as all are infinite in power and knowledge and love etc.
     
  19. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

    +3,953
    Lutheran
    Married
    Actually, there is no "hierarchy"; the Athanasian Creed defines the three Persons as Co-Equal:

    ... the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity....​
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  20. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

    +4,107
    United States
    SDA
    Married
    Certainly there are creeds -- no question about it.

    I was talking about the hierarchy that Christ explicitly states in John 14 and 16. But there is always "athanasian" as you point out.
     
Loading...