God the Son -- By: John H. Fish III
EMJ 12:1 (Summer 03) p. 3
God the Son
The doctrine of the Trinity is the distinctive doctrine of Christianity which distinguishes it from all other views of God. Christians are monotheists like Jews and Muslims. We believe that there is only one true God. Yet unlike Judaism and Islam, Christians believe that there is a differentiation within the Godhead. The one true God consists of three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These are not three gods. Christians are not polytheists who believe in many gods.
This is, admittedly, difficult to understand. Yet Christians have not come to believe in the Trinity because of abstract philosophical reasoning about the nature of God; it was because of the truth about God as he is revealed in the New Testament that the truth of the Trinity was accepted by the church. This does not mean that the Trinity was revealed in the language which is found in textbooks of theology. There is no statement about the nature of God which says that within the Godhead there are three eternal, co-equal persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Rather, while continuing to insist that there is only one God, the New Testament taught that Jesus Christ the Son was distinct from the Father and yet also fully God. The truth of the Holy Spirit is also taught in the New Testament, but it is not developed as extensively as that of the Son. The purpose of this article is to examine the teaching of the New Testament as to the person of Jesus Christ and his place within the Godhead.
The Foundation of the Doctrine of the Trinity
It is the teaching of the New Testament concerning the person of Jesus Christ which led to the doctrine of the Trinity. In the Gospels the question is
EMJ 12:1 (Summer 03) p. 4
continually raised as to who Jesus Christ really is (Mark 2:7; Luke 5:21; cf. 7:49; Matt. 8:27; Mark 4:41; Luke 8:25; 9:9; Matt. 16:13, 15; Mark 8:27, 29; Luke 9:18, 20; Matt 21:10; 22:42). Jesus himself challenged the Pharisees with...
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