Is there a hierarchy in the trinity?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    Do you believe that within the trinity there is a hierarchy meaning that the Father is basically the ultimate ruler and above Jesus?
    I think that there are a few verses in the bible which seem to indicate this for example where it says that the man is the head of the woman just as the Father is above Jesus. Or another verses which seems to indicate this is that only the Father knows when Jesus will return. And why does Jesus refer to the Father as God and not to himself? When Jesus was on earth why did he not say that he is God instead of the son of God?
    I mean son of God sounds smaller than God.
    And the bible also often refers to Jesus as servant. When I read these verses then I get the impression that Jesus somehow had to earn the position and the glory which he has now. Now he is sitting to the right of the Father but was he also sitting there before he went to earth?
    And why is Jesus always refered to as "The Lord" but not as God? Like "My God said to my Lord...." this seems to make a separation between the Father and Jesus.
    This creates a problem in my opinion because when I think of the word "God" then God is the highest and the most powerful but if the Father is actually above Jesus and has even more power than Jesus then how can we say that Jesus is as much God as the Father? We can of course solve this problem by just saying that Jesus belongs into the Godhead just like the Father does but this is not a real solution but rather an escape.
    I simply wish the bible was clearer and in a way I can understand how people could be lead to believe that Jesus somehow worked himself up and earned his position or that Jesus was just a man who attained a higher position it's because of those verses where Jesus is called servant. This gives you the impression that he worked himself up by obeying.

    And what about Yahwe? Is Yahwe the Father or Jesus? It cannot be both. Is the God of the old testament who talked to Moses the Father or was it Jesus?
    This is consufing.

    Here a few verses:

    Why is there a distinction between the Father who is called God and Jesus who is called Lord? This really sounds as if only the Father is God.

     
  2. Cutter

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    1 Corinthians 15:24 Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
    25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
    26 The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.
    27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
    28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
     
  3. xdisciplex

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    You mean Jesus is subjected to God?
    But then how can Jesus be God at the same time? This is confusing. :(
    This makes Jesus look "small" somehow.
     
  4. Crabtownboy

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    No, there is no hierarchy in the trinity. If a person hold to that belief then they are saying there are three Gods. That is exactly what Moslems accuse Christians of, believing in three Gods.

    The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three ways in which God, the one and only God, has shown himself to us. An elementary way to view this is:

    Father = God as understood in the Old Testament
    Son = God on earth in physical form.
    Holy Spirit = God with us now.

    This analogy, as all analogies does not answer all the questions that can be raised regarding this subject.

    In Greek drama an actor played a number of parts in any production. When playing a roll he held a mask in front of his face. When he changed roles he set that mask down, picked up the mask representing the new character and held it in front of his face. This, in a way, is what God did as he revealed himself to us in three ways.

    But rest assured, there is only one God.

    Perhaps the question needs to be restated: "In the trinity is there a hierarchy in the roles God played?"
     
  5. jdlongmire

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    This is exactly why I put this together:

    [​IMG]

    Each person of the Trinty is equally God with each person acting in different roles.

    Briefly - and not nearly comprehensively.

    God the Father is first among equals.

    Jesus the Son is equally God and Man in His role as Judge and Savior.

    The Holy Spirit is fully God and resides within the elect, empowering, regenerating, guiding and comforting.
     
  6. BobRyan

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    Here is what the Bible says --

    John 14
    28"You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you ' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

    John 16
    7"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
    8"And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;
    9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;
    10and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;
    11and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
    12"I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
    13"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
    14"He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15"All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.


    There are a any number of reasons as to why they choose to represent themselves this is -- but this is what the Bible says on the subject.

    Interesting Bible text.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #6 BobRyan, Jun 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2008
  7. xdisciplex

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    @ Crabtownboy

    I don't share this view. This would mean that God is basically shapeshifting and when he appeared to us as Jesus on the earth and prayed to the Father then he was praying to himself, what sense does this make? And if God is only 1 person which can appear in 3 shapes then how can Jesus sit next to the Father?

    @ jdlongmire

    So you basically mean that Jesus being God does not depend on Jesus being no1 in the hierarchy but it is simply based on Jesus being unique and of the same nature as the Father and the Holy Spirit and this is basically what connects them?

    @ BobRyan

    Good verses. I guess it's undeniable that there is a rank order in the trinity.

    But somehow this is still hard to grasp. I mean why does God exist in 3 persons? And why is Jesus called begotten? Sometimes I think about this and ask myself if it's possible that Jesus was created at a point before time existed which would also make him eternal. For example that the Father simply wanted to have a son and then he created Jesus. There is also a chapter in proverbs about wisdom which could be interpreted in such a way. This could be interpreted to be Jesus.

    Pro 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
    Pro 8:23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
    Pro 8:24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
    Pro 8:25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
    Pro 8:26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
    Pro 8:27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
    Pro 8:28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
    Pro 8:29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
    Pro 8:30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
     
  8. mrtumnus

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    There is only one God, but the doctrine of the Trinity is that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct persons. I'm not sure, but I think what you've just described is Modalism, which denies that they are indeed three distinct persons in favor of three 'representations' of the same person.

    It also leaves a lot of scriptures that don't make sense. For example, how can only the Father know the day and the hour the world will end if He is not distinct from the other two?
     
  9. xdisciplex

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    Exactly. This makes no sense at all. God = 3 persons. I just ask myself why God exists in 3 persons. I mean why 3? But I guess this will stay a secret.
     
  10. Thinkingstuff

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    It is definately a mystery. There can be no exact model to use to explain it. Water for instance can be Solid, liquid, and a gas but it still H20. The same essense. It's still a poor example since they can't exist at the same time like God does. However, The Father is God. The son is God of the same essense and proceedes from the Father also known as the Word of God. The Holy Spirit proceedes from the Father and the Son. In Western Christianity we have a hierarchy in positon but all are equal in a sence. In Eastern Christianity they believe that they are all God of the same essense however divinity flows from the father to the son and the spirit.
     
  11. Cutter

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    Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, (Jesus) and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God.
    2 The same was in the beginning with God.
    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
     
  12. Crabtownboy

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    Disciplex - There is only one God, but the doctrine of the Trinity is that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct persons. I'm not sure, but I think what you've just described is Modalism, which denies that they are indeed three distinct persons in favor of three 'representations' of the same person.

    See my explanation below. There definitely are three distinct persona that God has shown us.


    Mrtumnus - I don't share this view. This would mean that God is basically shapeshifting and when he appeared to us as Jesus on the earth and prayed to the Father then he was praying to himself, what sense does this make? And if God is only 1 person which can appear in 3 shapes then how can Jesus sit next to the Father?


    What I forgot to put in the first post is the Greek mask was called the "persona" and from this word we get the word "person." But one person, actor played say three, four, or five parts or persons. Here is three definitions:

    Let me give you another analogy. All of us are many persons in the following way.

    If you are a man you, married and have children you are the following persons, you play the following roles:

    You are a son
    You are a husband
    You are a father

    You play three persona, but you are one human being.

    God is one essence, but has manifest himself to us in three ways, or three persona. God the Father was/is not limited in time nor space. Jesus Christ, God on earth in a physical form was limited in time and space, at least his physical body was. So he could pray to the father and not be praying to himself as one was spirit and one was physical, human.

    I wish I could put a graphic here that is pretty neat. It is like a three spoked wheel. The hub in the center is labeled GOD. There are thee highlighted places on the rim. They are labeled Father, Son and Holy Spirit. On the parts between the labels are the words "is not." On the spokes is labeled the word, "is." It is a very understandable graphic way of showing God and three persons/manifestations and yet being only one God.
     
    #12 Crabtownboy, Jun 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2008
  13. xdisciplex

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    Hi everybody!
    I think Thinkingstuff explains it pretty well.

    This is a misunderstanding. I don't believe in Modalism. I think that they are 3 different persons and not 3 different kinds of expressions of the same thing.




     
  14. jdlongmire

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    yup - Jesus is "very God of very God". The key thing to remember is that He humbled Himself of His own free-will. (and THAT may be the only place you ever see me use that term!;))
     
  15. jdlongmire

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    This the heresy called Sabellianism. If you truly believe this, you are certainly not a Baptist - and potentially, not a Christian.
     
  16. JFox1

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    According to the Athanasian Creed, there is no hierarchy in the Trinity. It states: In this Trinity, there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less. The entire three Persons are coeternal and coequal with one another. :godisgood:

    http://www.creeds.net/ancient/Quicumque.html
     
  17. jdlongmire

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    "The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible."
     
  18. Crabtownboy

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    I find your statement a very interesting one as everything I said in my post I have learned from Baptist preachers.

    Here is what I found at Wikipeida:

    That is not what I am saying at all, that is I believe in the trinity, the threeness of God being three ways he has show himself to us, but that God is one God. We do not worship three Gods. If you hold that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate, distinct persons, person here being used in the modern sense of the word, than that person is guilty of polytheism ... and that is exactly what Moslems accuse Christian of believing.

    The word used in scripture is 'persona' which in Paul's day meant 'mask.' It is mask in the sense of the word that you as are multiple simply because you are a different person to different people, i.e. friend, son, father, employee or friend, daughter, mother, employee, etc. A person can appear as many different persons to others simply because of their relationship to them.

    But, as I said, all I have learned as stated in the post was taught to me by Baptist preachres.
     
  19. DHK

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    Please answer these questions:
    Do you believe:
    That the son is a manifestation of the Father, and
    Do you believe that the Spirit is a manifestation of the Son?

    Please explain this passage:

    Matthew 3:16-17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
    17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

    The trinity is: One God in three distinct persons each one co-eternal and co-equal with each other; each one possessing deity, and yet at the same time one God; One God existing in three separate persons--the triune Godhead.

    In Christ's baptism, was Christ present?
    In Christ's baptism, was the Holy Spirit present?
    In Christ's baptism, was the Father present (the voie of God)?

    In Christ's baptism were all three persons of the triune Godhead present, and yet there is still only one God?
     
  20. Crabtownboy

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    Jesus was God on earth in the form of a human.
    The Holy Spirit is God with us now.


    You are implying a question ... I am not sure what your question is.

    God the Father is spirit and is not hinderedd or trapped by time and place. God can be in all time in any place at any moment.




    That is correct.

    And, if you check scripture you will see that the word that we translate as person is persona. There is meaning lost in the translation. As God is only one god the rest of your description is a given.

    As scripture shows all were present ... but God the father and God the Holy spirit are spirit and not limited by time nor place.


    That is correct, God was shown in all three persona. Do not let youself be tricked by a deficienty in the English language here.
     

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