“Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” John 14:10,11
Unfortunately, many people mistakenly think that because God chose to dwell in Jesus, that therefore Jesus must be God. This thinking is shown to be false by Jesus’ own words.
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.” John 6:56
Many centuries before Jesus was born, it was prophesied in the Old Testament,
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
Matthew recorded the fulfilment of this:
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” ” Matthew 1:23
Let us follow through the development of the Trinity, for it is openly recognised that the word ‘trinity’ is not itself found anywhere in the Bible, but was coined centuries later to cover the evolution in thought concerning the Godhead.
It is not known exactly when the Apostles’ Creed was written, but was known to exist in the middle of the second century (ca. 140AD):
“I believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ His Only Son our Lord, who was born of the Holy Ghost and Virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried; the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost; the holy Church; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; the life everlasting.”
This Creed is in complete agreement with what the Bible states. However, as time passed, creeds were developed with many additions and reflected progressive changes in viewpoint. The Nicene Creed, originally written in Greek in 325AD, is translated in English as follows:
“We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
“We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated on the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.”
“We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
The Athanasian Creed, the earliest known copy of which was included as a prefix to a collection of homilies by Caesarius of Arles (died 542), evolves the theme further:
“Whosoever will be saved: before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic’s faith. Which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled: without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic faith is this:”
“That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in unity; neither confounding the persons; nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost; But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one: the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father is uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal; and yet there are not three eternals: but one eternal. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated: but one uncreated and one incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty; and yet there are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God; and yet there yet there are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord; and yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian unity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord; so we are forbidden by the Catholic Religion: to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none: neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons: and one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other: none is greater, or less than another; But the whole three persons are co-eternal together: and co-equal. So that in all things, as afore said: the unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in unity is to be worshipped. He therefore that is to be saved: must thus think of the Trinity”
Jesus as Son of God
The Benefit of Sonship