Understanding the nature of God by Faith and Study
The Bible does not ask me to thoroughly comprehend all that it reveals. For example I cannot explain the mechanics of how God spoke and things were created from nothing, nor how He made things without speaking.
The Bible declares throughout its pages there is only one true God and all other gods are false. It also explains that within this one being, the eternal creator and sustainer, there are three distinct identities, called persons who are eternal and share in the Characteristics and attributes that are God’s nature.
There is a difference between the being God and three that share in the one being God.
A being is what identifies the “what” of something, the “who” identifies they are. For example, we are all human beings sharing in our humanity, our species has a common nature. Yet we are all different in person, we have distinctions in our commonality of nature.
The being of God is the what; He is - Uncreated- eternal, infinite in knowledge, Omniscient, Omnipresent.
Ps 102:25 “Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.”
Isa 48:13 Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together. ”
Heb 1:10 And: "You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. ” (Speaking of Jesus, the Son).
John 17:5 O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
V.24 "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
This love is an active and real love that was occurring before anything was made and continued while the son came to earth and became man.
In Micah 5:2: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler (shepherd) in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
This is exactly what it says happened. 1 Tim 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh.” In the Greek kata sarka in the flesh, revealed, made known to humanity.
The reason is - 1 John 4:14 states, “The Father sent the Son as Savior of the world.” Two persons are described acting in unity and purpose having different functions. The Bible says the Son was sent from heaven
The relationship of the Son to the Father transcends time. It did not have its beginning in Bethlehem, his humanity did.
The father, the Son and Holy Spirit are united in the category of being God, there is no other like him. He is unique in that He alone exists eternally, before anything was created, He alone has infinite knowledge that no other being has or can attain. That all OTHER beings derive their existence and life from this one being called God.
When scripture identifies God as one (singular) it is making the distinction of his being, it is not speaking of the persons that make up the being. The bible describes God not only in singular as that being but in the plural. It uses, we, us, and our for God.
Trinitarians are monotheists, we believe there is only one God. This is the foundation of the Christian faith that is a fulfillment of Judaism.
The text of Scripture explains, in no uncertain terms, that there is a differentiation of the Father and the Son (called the word) and the Holy Spirit (called the comforter). No one denies the Father eternally existed as a divine person, (not a manifestation) but that to be called this necessitates a Son who we also see eternally exists as a divine person. (this is the crucial point).
The Bible teaches the Son is a person who is divine in eternity past who is distinct from the Father. This is what is called Christology and it is here where all the debating begins.
Does the Scripture say the Son was begotten? To be begotten in human terms carries the implication of having a beginning. Scripture does not teach the Son of God was begotten. As the Son of Man, a human being he had a beginning. Let me explain. The word used for Jesus is ONLY BEGOTTEN.
Which is monogenes in Greek. Meaning he is the unique, one of kind human where God was incarnated through.
Jn.1:1 John presents that the logos (word) is eternal that it always existed that it was there from the beginning. The very same phrase is used for God in Gen.1:1 in the beginning God. John is making a comparison to connect the two. "the Word" an expression (metaphor) which is applied to the Son is said to be "God." In both places it clearly means God existed BEFORE creation, before the world was made. This is not spoken of the MAN Jesus who is yet to come in the future, (now our past) which "became" a man, in his incarnation, John 1:14.
He was there in the beginning. In Greek the verbs are more intensely expressed than the English they have greater impact. The verb en expresses its continual existence it has no point of origination or source it makes it clear what has always been there from the beginning. The word who is and was is differentiated from everything else that came into existence. As v.3 states “All things were made through Him.’
“The word” (logos) is not, a "creature" a created being, since it has existence before Gen.1:1 and created all things. The “word” is uncreated and eternal. There is only ONE living being that is uncreated, that “who” we identify as God.
He was WITH God and Was God. The question that needs to be answered is how is this possible? John explains this concept in the prologue.
The Greek construction, placing God before the word and not putting an article in front of it John is stating that the word referring to its nature is God, deity. He is explaining the nature of the Logos.
The term "word" was used by the Jews as an identification of the Messiah. In their writings he was commonly known by the term "Memra," that is, "Word." In the Targum on Deut. 26:17-18, it is said, "Ye have appointed THE WORD OF GOD a king over you this day, that he may be your God."
The name Logos (NT:3056), or Word, is given to Christ in reference to his becoming the Teacher or Instructor of mankind; the medium of communication between God and man. That God has always sent His word, he being the representative as the one sent.
John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word (2) was with God (1), and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
The second person in this portion of Scripture called the word is "distinct" from the first person but united with the first person in essence, so that he is also called God. There are not two Gods but only one God.
The second person is called by the same name of Yahweh (Mt.28:19 “in the name”). Because he shares the same essence of being, having the same attributes; perform the same works; he is entitled to the same honors with the first, because he is "the same in substance with God.”
This word was WITH God. The word is eternally with God therefore “He was in the beginning with God.” Jn. In 1:18 tells us whom this is in the conclusion of his narrative that he began with. No one has ever seen God, the only son who is God makes the Father known.
Now some may say but it does not say the word is with God the Father, so it is a presupposition on our part to state this.
But that is what John is saying by stating the word is God the only son 1:18 identifying whom the son is with before anything was created. “The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (meaning the place of deepest affection)
So this word is not a god,” but The God. There is no variation here in the manuscripts, and critics have observed that the Greek will bear no other construction than what is expressed in our translation-that the Word "was God."
4. There is no evidence that John intended to use the word "God" in an INFERIOR sense. It is not "the Word was a god," or "the Word was `like God,'" but the Word "WAS God."
And the word WITH God; the Greek word is pros (with) it expresses the idea of face to face communion. The word (Logos) and God "And the word was God." John states the word was, He always was this, He did not become this at a certain place in time.
Jn.17 Jesus is about to complete his mission and emphatically states to the Father to glorify me with the glory I had with you before the world began. Two personal pronouns showing one person speaking to another person. So he is not talking to himself but another. I and you is our way to express this. It is the Son sharing glory with God from eternity past. (John later explains the Son is the true God as well) Glorify me Together with yourself. This a person presently speaking to another person saying about the past, before the world was.”
He is referring to something he shared in before time, creation began. So if the Son was not there in the past what is he talking about? He would be lying. And if he is not be there why should we understand the Father is there.
A.T. Robertson, probably the greatest Greek scholar America says it means "by the side of thyself” as the literal rendering of the language.
He is asking for restoration of the glory he shared before He was incarnate, and became man, a servant to the Father (Phil.2:5-8). This is a statement of his deity as well. Robertson says this is actual conscious existence at the Fathers side.
The prayers of Jesus is not the human side praying to the divine side but the incarnate deity communing with the Father who is not incarnate, and is still residing in heaven.
Although he existed (was existing, a present participle) in the form of God. Phil 2:6-7
“who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”
Taking (aorist participle) the form of a bondservant and being made (aorist participle) in the likeness of men. The Synatax is the relationship that words bear to one another.
Vs.7 He changed his position, He made himself off no reputation.
The key word is empty, and it takes place after the Son explains of his equality; he then took the form of a servant. It shows the means of how he emptied himself. This being a voluntary action to be made in the likeness of men. How? By His incarnation, through a virgin conception. This is the only single time the Son (who is the word) entered humanity, came in the likeness of men. He came and was fully human but without a sinful nature, therefore the likeness is applied.
The equality with the Father is before this occurred. So this passage teaches both the deity of Christ (being in the form of God) and also identifies his personhood as the Son existing prior to the incarnation.
This is the testimony of the scripture and to ignore the teaching of personhood in these passages is reading into the scripture, isogesis, NOT exegesis, which is extracting what it actually says.
It is not to be truthful to the scripture to deny the person[s] of God (plural.)
The word of God brings us to these conclusions not because of traditions or philosophy. But because of careful examination of the text in context along with the Greek definitions and their tenses.
Jn.10:30 I and the father is one. We both believe in the absolute unity of Father and Son but in what way is this defined. Jesus is not identifying himself as the father, JW's say he is in unity of purpose with the Father. The Greek language actually has this in the plural form of the verb "we are" one. It is a claim of deity saying what the Father is, he is also in nature, what the Father does, He does as well.
Jn.14 when Jesus said I go to the Father and the Father is greater than I (it carries the meaning of greater in position, since he took on human flesh and came as a servant temporarily.)
Heb.1:3 he is the express image of the father. The Son who is like the Father in nature reveals the Father perfectly.
Just as the Son was pro (toward, facing) to the Father, having fellowship we too can have fellowship with the Father and the Son. And we can fellowship together by the Holy Spirit.
Now we can better understand 1 John 2:23:
“Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
And 2 John 9: “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”