Unexpected Outcome Of Study
The outcome of a recent study about the Holy Spirit initiated a number of questions that I could not answer satisfactorily. Most of the unanswered questions surrounded the teaching of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit who are referred to as the trinity. I have been taught in the church, that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are co-equal.
The first question, if God is three co-equal persons why are they numbered by person? Why do men refer to the Son (Jesus Christ) as the second person or the Holy Spirit as the third person of God, when the Bible does not? If they were all co-equals, then numbering them or giving them rank by number would be saying that the second person has more authority than the third person. It also makes me wonder, are men adding substance to the written word of God?
We also find that God sent the Son and the Holy Spirit into the world. Being sent by God would reflect a higher authority. When I think of God as co-equal, each member of trinity should have the same attributes, authority, and rank. However, Jesus Christ did not consider it as himself equal to God even though he was the image of his father in heaven.
God wants to be known as part of a family relationship. In the family relationship God is seen as the father and head of the house. Jesus Christ is seen as Godís son. Fathers and sons hold a kindred relationship. The question coming from this kind of relationship is the role the Holy Spirit plays. How is the Holy Spirit related to God and the son in a kindred fashion? The only relationships available in the family unit are sister, mother, aunt, uncle, niece and nephew, but God said nothing about this.
Another question is about the thrones of God. One is described for the Father and another for the son. Where is the Holy Spiritís throne described? John painted a picture of heaven and of God being high and lifted up. However, here only two persons of the divine nature are providing light for the new Jerusalem.
If the Holy Spirit is equal with God and why isnít he one of the lights, lighting the streets of heaven?
Finally the last question arose, Am I being overly critical or interpreting the scriptures? Surprisingly a number of commentaries had similar questions that questioned the trinity? Its not that I want to open a can of worms or go fishing in the word of God, but I do expect to find the truth. The problem seems to escalate as I study the Holy Spirit further and the can of worms seems to have worms then when the can was first opened.
Perhaps it is the style of study that I employ. When I go to the bible to read or study I make every effort to shut the world out of my mind during the time I spend with God. The purpose behind shutting the world out is to listen to God.
God expressed his thoughts through the prophets and his son for a specific reason that you may know the truth. When anyone reads and studies Godís word, he is opening his mind to hear God tell his side of the story. Having a personal relationship with God means that Pastor Jones or Deacon Smith is a part of the relationship. Personal relationships should remain between you and God. Iím not saying that you can not share your relationship with others but knowing God personally should be personal. So when I study I let Godís word do the shaping of my beliefs and because I allow Godís word speak for itself I take a lot of heat from the members of my church.
Today, there is a wealth of information in the religious community about God. Some are the opinions of men so it is no wonder that some oppose sound doctrine. Taking these opinions with you when you study Godís word can be like walking downstream. The problem of going downstream is that every step makes the water downstream muddier. Muddy water does not leave a clear view of what lies below the surface of the water.
In the same way opinions are not reliable evidence when compared to the truth. Opinions muddy the truth with personal beliefs especially when the end times are discussed. Jesus said, do not be deceived. Some of the end times views have to be wrong? Why do so many views of tribulation period come from the same inspired word of God? The purpose of study is to derive the truth straight from God, establish a personal relationship with God, and use his word as a guiding light for your path.
Truth is absolutely essential when we are told to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. God makes the claim that his word is the truth, which I have found to be absolutely true in my own life. No one but God can answer the questions found at the beginning of this article. Therefore, I will accept Godís word over the opinions and doctrines of the religious community.
It has been the belief of the church leaders ever since the first ecumenical council in 325 AD that the Holy Spirit is God. To me the Holy Spirit is God and yet when I read Godís word and question him about the Holy Spirit sometimes he confirms what the church believes and sometimes he makes me wonder why the church canít be right.
Paul was the most decorated Apostle of the church era. Chosen by God to take the gospel to the gentiles he was given revelation after revelation about God and his Kingdom. God chose Paul to write the majority of the New Testament and he greeted the church in the following manner.
James, Jude and John greeted the church as the servant of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Of these four men Chosen By God to write the New Testament, none of these men ever greeted the Church in the Name of the Holy Spirit?
It is my understanding that God spoke through men as carried along by the spirit. To defend myself against being deceived I focus my mind on Godís word and take them to heart. At the same time a part of my ministry -ThinkGodly- is to ask the annoying question that makes people think. In this case I have to ask why the Holy Spiritís name was omitted from the greetings of the books written by these four apostles?
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