Section 1: God
Week 3: God Exists As Trinity
Day 2: Each Person in the Trinity Is God
John 1:1-5, Acts 5:1-15
The Father, Son, & Holy Spirit Are Each God
The early Church faced a number of challenges over the issue of whether each member of the Trinity was fully God. There was never really any debate about whether the Father was God. However, that was not the case with the Son. Arianism, for example, claimed the Son was a created being. Jehovah Witnesses make a similar claim today.
Many biblical passages demonstrate that the Son is, in fact, God. Since our focus is on the practical implications of the Trinity, we’re not going to delve too deeply into the debate. But several verses bear mentioning.
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning, was the Word [a reference to the Son before the incarnation] and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Heb. 1:3 refers to the Son as the exact representation of God’s being. Col 2:9 affirms that in Christ “all the fullness of Deity lives in bodily form.” And in John 20:27, upon seeing Jesus (the incarnate Son), Thomas declares, “My Lord and my God.”
Similar passages point to the deity of the Holy Spirit. One of the clearest is Acts 5:3-4, where Peter addresses a man named Ananias, who lied about the amount of money he gave from the sale of his land. “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit…You have not lied to men, but to God.”
Practical Implication: We Are Called to Imitate Christ
What are we supposed to do with that knowledge, though? There are some obvious applications. Because all three members of the Trinity are God, for example, our prayer and worship doesn’t have to focus on the Father alone. Because the Son and the Holy Spirit are also God, we can pray to and worship them as well.
But here’s one application we can miss if we don’t look closely enough. We know that Jesus is the Son and the Son is God himself. That means, as he lived his life, Jesus was able to reflect God’s image to the world in a way no one else could. That fact has practical relevance for us because we were created to reflect God’s image. When we realize Jesus is God himself, we learn that we can fulfill our purpose by following him. That’s why the New Testament is full of calls for believers to imitate Jesus. It’s not just that he is a good example for us to follow; he is THE example because he is the very image of God himself. (We’ll run into this truth again in the section on Humanity).
Read Philippians 2.
Do you find the call to follow Christ intimidating? If so, why?