Response to a recent posting by a Mormon (part two)

When I came out of Mormonism, I left a system of thought that called the Father “God” and referred to Jesus as the Christ or as the Savior but never as God.  The Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost, as Mormons say) was never referred to as God. I see shades of this among Christians who when using the name God are referring only to the Father””but Jesus and the Holy Spirit are equally God. Here is a simple little diagram, whose origin I cannot remember, that might help with this dilemma:

However, Jesus is not the Holy Spirit; the Father is not Jesus, and the Father is
not the Holy Spirit.

Thus, properly when we speak of God, we should have in mind that Highest One who encompasses our understanding of Him as Father, and as Son, and as Holy Spirit. And Scripture lets us see that God at times demonstrated a distinctiveness of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. In each case that such a distinction is illustrated, it is always for the benefit of humans to observe, so that they can understand something about each.

Consider three examples from the gospels. The first and most obvious example of this manifestation of the Divine ONE as three Persons was at the baptism of Jesus. All four Gospel writers record that when Jesus was baptized, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove, while the voice of the Father was heard giving His approval and identifying the Person in the water as His Son.

Though both Mark and Luke indicate that the voice spoke directly to Jesus, it is safe to assume that this statement was not just for Jesus’ information but for those present at the time, and for us as well. This impression is strengthened by an incident recorded in John 11 where Jesus standing outside the tomb of Lazarus prayed, but indicated that the prayer was not just for the Father’s ears, but for the benefit of those who listened to Him praying (42). Later, when Jesus asked that the Father’s name be glorified through his obedient suffering, people heard the voice of God. Though different ones interpreted what they had heard in various ways, Jesus said that the thundering voice they had heard was for their benefit (12:30). A final example of this illustration of the three-in-oneness is seen in Philippians 2 where the ideal of being like-minded and servant-hearted is illustrated by Jesus, who though He was in the form of God, emptied Himself and became like a man.

The Holy Spirit, likewise, should be seen and referred to as God””not just coming from the Father (though He does) and not just representing the Father to us (though He does that too).  Scripture is replete with examples of the personality of the Holy Spirit”” Someone who can be grieved and angered and sinned against; Someone who listens carefully to the Father and conveys information in a role similar to that of the Son while He was on this earth.

Then in the ministry of the Son, He went about all He did, visible to””and vulnerable to””human beings, but always insisting that He, Jesus, was submitting to the personality of the Father and perfectly representing the Father to humankind.

These Scriptural facts demonstrate a foundational principle upon which representational research is founded.  Just as God Himself is triadic in nature, we can expect to see that all He created””reality, language, the physical objects of creation that surround us””all reflect a triadic or trinitarian structure too. (Thus the subject matter of a lot of my writing — as you can see on –)

Blessings to Trevor and all who have honest and sincere hearts.

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