Whenever the New Testament writers are referring to God the Father, they use the word God. Whenever they are speaking about Jesus, He is referred to as Lord. For example, the Apostle Paul says, “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him” (I Corinthians 8:6).
The counterpart to this in the Old Testament is Psalm 110:1 – The LORD (God the Father) said unto my Lord, ‘You sit at My right hand, until I make your enemies Your footstool.’
So we can see that Jesus is not God the Father, they are two distinct “persons” or souls. Jesus is “God” through His union with God the Father. To understand this concept and what theologians refer to as the “Trinity,” let’s examine Isaiah 42:1. In this reference we see the Three of scripture all in one verse. –
Behold My servant, whom I uphold; My elect, in whom My soul delights; I have put My Spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
God, who is speaking, gives His Holy Spirit to the Messiah.
Jesus said, “God is Spirit” (singular – John 4:24). God the Father is one Spirit, which is His substance. Whenever we have God as more than one spirit, we have more than one God and we have jumped over the fence into polytheism.
God the Father is one Spirit and He has a soul or person, which is His being. We saw an example of this in Isaiah 42:1. God’s soul delights in the Messiah. Other examples that show God has a soul/person are found in Jeremiah 6:8, 32:41, Leviticus 26:11 and Psalm 11:5.
So we can conclude from the scriptures that God the Father is two, soul and spirit, without being more than one.
Jesus also said that the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of the Father” (Matthew 10:20). God directs the operations of His Spirit. –
You send forth Your Spirit, they are created (Psalm 104:30).
In the scriptures the Holy Spirit is likened to the elements of wind, cloud, fire and especially water and the form of it as rain. –
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He (God the Father) shall come to us as rain, as the latter and former rain to the earth (Hosea 6:3).
The writer makes no distinction between God and the Spirit which is manifesting as rain; God and His Spirit are the same element, or substance.
God is never disconnected from His own Spirit. Therefore in Isaiah 42:1, we see God unifying Himself with the Messiah, making the two one.
Jesus said, “For as the Father has life in Himself: so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself” (John 5:26). To have life in oneself is a quality that only God can have.
This union with the Messiah through the Holy Spirit is the Biblical Trinity. The word “trinity” comes from the Latin word, “trinitas” which means “a union of three.” We clearly see this union taking place in Isaiah 42:1.
We are shown in Leviticus 17:11 that the life of anyone is in the blood. - For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul.
The “life in Himself” that is given to Jesus from the Father is His life source which distinguishes Jesus from Adam and the rest of us. Adam was given life by the “breath” (nashamah in Hebrew), not the Ruach, the Holy Spirit. Jesus was given life by the Ruach, the Holy Spirit. This fact was recognized by the Apostles. – And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening (life giving) spirit (I Corinthians 15:45).
This “life in the blood” of Jesus, which is God’s Holy Spirit, is where Jesus’ deity is found.
As a man, Jesus is constructed as three. He has a body, (compliments of Mary), a begotten or birthed soul/person, and a spirit which animates the body and soul. Jesus’ begotten soul unified with His body makes Him fully human and subject to the desires of the flesh; His soul unified with the Holy Spirit makes Him fully God.
All three, God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are one through the union of the one Spirit that is God the Father.
The Only Begotten Son
Anyone who is “begotten,” or birthed, must come from a pre-existing substance. Jesus is begotten, not made. In other words, His soul/person was not created out of nothing as was the rest of creation. While Jesus always existed eternally within the Father, there was a specific time in infinity when His soul was brought forth or birthed directly from God’s Spirit or substance. Then everything else was created by God through the Messiah as the scriptures maintain (Colossians 1:16, Ephesians 3:9, Hebrews 1:1.2, John 1:1-3). Thus Jesus is the only begotten Son, which distinguishes Him from the angels, the sons of God (Job 1:6), who were created.
Jesus stated very clearly that He pre-existed in heaven. – For I came down from heaven (John 6:23. See also John 3:13, 6:51, 6:62, 8:23,). Therefore He was God’s firstborn only begotten Son prior to His incarnation, then His previously begotten soul was placed into Mary’s body. The orthodox doctrine of the early church was that Jesus was twice begotten, once prior to His incarnation and then again through Mary.
In order for Jesus’ soul to be the offering for our sins, fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 53:10, His soul had to be a district begotten entity from the Father. Therefore we can see the begotten soul of the Messiah being unified with God through His Spirit in Isaiah 42:1.
The New Testament writers clearly recognized that Jesus’ Spirit is the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9, I Peter 1:11, Galatians 4:6, Philippians 1:19, John 14:18, II Corinthians 3:17,18). That’s why Jesus could say, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30), they are the same omnipresent Spirit. And that’s also why Jesus could say He would come to us (John 14:18), come into us (Rev. 3:20), and without Him we could do nothing (John 15:5). Therefore because Jesus and God are the same Spirit, it is not idolatry to worship God through the Messiah. That is why the prophet David, who is used as a similitude for the Messiah in the scriptures, is worshipped with God in I Chronicles 29:20 and it is not idolatry.
Because God has designed the Spirit to operate with the soul, like bone and marrow that are two distinct elements that are one, the person of the Holy Spirit is the soul with which it is unified. The person of the Holy Spirit is the person/persons of God the Father and the Messiah Jesus operating as one, as is evident from the scriptures, specifically John 14:16-18 and verse 23. In these verses we see Jesus telling His disciples that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, will be sent to them. In the same breath Jesus tells them that He will come to them, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (verse 18). How does the person of Jesus come into the believer? Through the union of His person with His Spirit. In verse 23 we are told that if we love Jesus and obey Him, then we will be indwelt by both the Father and the Messiah Jesus. –“We will come unto him and make our abode with him.” The persons of the Father and the Son can indwell a believer through their souls’ union with the Holy Spirit, which as we have been shown is God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the conduit through which the persons of the Father and the Messiah Jesus operate. Again, all three are distinct from each other, all three operate simultaneously, and all three are inseparably one God, a tri-unity of three – a Trinity.
Amidst all the debate about the Trinity, one vital point is often missed. The entire concept is all about one issue, the salvation of mankind. No one can be saved without the Three: God wills our salvation, Jesus procures it and the Holy Spirit seals it.
We saw in Isaiah 42:1 that God’s two of soul and spirit “became” three, a tri-unity, when God unified Himself with His only begotten Son, who was ordained to be the savior of mankind (John 3:16). Therefore, the Trinity is all about salvation, and all about God’s love for you.
In John 20:22, we see Jesus as Creator breathing His Holy Spirit into His disciples. …He breathed on them, and said to them, you receive the Holy Spirit.” The only other time this word breathed is used in the scriptures is when God breathed the breath of life into Adam (Genesis 2:7). Because humans were designed to live on earth, the breath (nashamah) was not made to transport the soul into heaven after the death of the body and the soul is released. Therefore, when we receive the Holy Spirit, it overrides the breath. Our souls are then unified with this Holy Spirit of eternal life that we can receive only through repentance and faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, God’s plan of redemption that He instigated from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). This union of soul with the Lord’s Holy Spirit is what enables our souls to ascend into God’s presence.
So we can see the practical application of why salvation through the Messiah Jesus is so essential. It is only through Him that we can receive the Holy Spirit, the life in His blood. And this is why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6).
Copyright 2021 by H.D. Shively
For more related content please see - Understanding the Trinity from the Scriptures
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