Greek mythology includes the story of Prometheus who was imprisoned by Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. His crime was a deep personal friendship with lesser mortal beings. He was being punished for his “phil-anthropy”, his goodwill acts towards the members of the human race. Bound by chains Prometheus cried, “Look at me, the unlucky god who is chained up for exaggerated affection for mortal beings!”
There are some who would say that the account of Yeshua’s life contain nothing more than the Jewish embellishments of pagan mythology. However, as the second person of the triune Godhead, the Son of God’s love towards His creation eclipses the faint glow of all the man-made gods fashioned as substitutes for the one true God.
In response to a request on the last night of His life among men to be shown the Father, Yeshua told His followers:
He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. – John 14:9b-11a
Perhaps one of the most difficult concepts taught by the Bible for the mind of man to grasp is that of the Trinity. While the term is not to be found anywhere in Scripture, “Trinity” is the commonly used word denoting the mysterious three-in-one nature of the God of the Bible. The New Testament explains that the Father sent the Son followed by the Son sending the Holy Spirit.
Generally speaking, the Old Testament speaks of this unity with the first term used to identify God in the creation account (Genesis 1:1). Elohim is a plural name that hints at God’s triune nature. Genesis 1:26a tells us that on the sixth day “God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likenes.” Clearly, something more than the “royal we” is implied in this passage. While the inflated egos of human kings and personalities may cause them to even claim deity, there is only One to whom this really applies. That One is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
This unity is also taught in the New Testament. John 10:30, Colossians 1:15, and a number of other passages including the one quoted above from John 14 are examples. In John 8:58 Yeshua plainly stated, “before Abraham was born, I AM.”
Jesus went on to say in John 15:26, “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.” He was speaking of the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, whose job it is to cause Yeshua’s disciples to remember everything that He teaches us through His Word at the appropriate time. It is the Holy Spirit that empowers those individuals once in opposition to God’s will to accomplish the works He created for them to do from before the foundation of the world. This empowerment manifests itself five different ways:
1. John 16:12: The Holy Spirit teaches us spiritual truth.
2. Romans 8:14: The Holy Spirit guides us.
3. Romans 8:16: The Holy Spirit provides us with assurance of our salvation.
4. Romans 8:26 & 27: The Holy Spirit prays for us.
5. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7: The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts to help grow the Church.
How must it sadden God that the Church, the primary vehicle for the glorification of Himself in the world during this age, is so fractured and splintered in its understanding of the Trinity. It is very apparent that the various “faith brands” tend to emphasize and prioritize the work of one or two members of the Trinity while virtually ignoring the work of another. This leads to an unbalanced practice of our Christian faith. Our walk is crippled and our witness is made without knowledge, direction, or power. Without a comprehensive understanding of the triune nature of God, our feeble attempts to tell others about Him is disjointed. We mutilate our presentation of Him to others.
This tendency to focus on one or more members of the Trinity at the exclusion of another creates a mythological god. He becomes a god of our own making, no different than any of the other pagan gods of the world. In our attempt to fashion a god that fits our own world view and understanding, we place Him among the pantheon of fictional deities. Prometheus and Zeus were at war. The more powerful imprisoned the lesser for his philanthropy towards mankind.
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are never at war. All that they have done, are doing, and will ever do is for one purpose alone, to bring glory to God. As part of His plan to do this, the world was created. In it man was placed as the brightest jewel, knowing full well that rebellion would break out and that He would have to intervene.
Why would He do this if not to glorify Himself through providing the purest and highest expression of philanthropy?
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. – John 3:16-17
Our triune God, stands alone!
“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! – Deuteronomy 6:4