The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.’”
- Isaiah 7:9
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- Matthew 28:18-20
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
- Genesis 1:1-2
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
- John 1:1-5
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
- John 10:27-30
“Two other major works of Augustine must be mentioned. Between 399 and 419 he wrote his greatest dogmatic work, The Trinity. In it he draws together the achievements of the early Fathers before his time and presents a systematic account of the doctrine of the Trinity. But he does not content himself with stating the doctrine.
“ ‘Let us believe in a trinity of persons mutually interrelated and a unity of equal essence. And let us seek to understand this, praying for help from him whom we seek to understand … Faith seeks, understanding ﬁnds. This is why the prophet says, “Unless you believe, you will not understand” [Isaiah 7.9].’ (The Trinity 9.1; 15.2)”
- Tony Lane, A Concise History of Christian Thought
Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430), born Aurelius Augustinus, was bishop of Hippo in northern Africa. We have already looked at his fight against heresies. He is largely responsible for the expulsion of the Gnostic heresies, but oddly, some of the Gnostic writings are resurfacing, causing theologians to repeat Saint Augustine’s arguments. (Does it ever end? When Jesus returns, it will end.) We then looked into his confessions and other writings that defined the basic words describing Christian faith, such as Grace and Mercy. Now Saint Augustine tackles the explanation of the Trinity, three persons in one God.
The Scriptures show some of the distinctions of the three persons and that all three are of the “I Am”, meaning they have always been and will always be. Thus, at whatever point in our time, “I AM” in referring to God. In the Great Commission at the end of the book of Matthew, we are commanded to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. To start the Bible, it states “In the beginning God …” But then it says that the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. Then to start John’s gospel, the Word (Jesus) was with God and was God from before time began and nothing was made without Him.
Some people argue that God cannot come to earth and be with us because then God would either not be in Heaven as the sovereign God of the universe or the Heavenly Father would be diminished by some of His power leaving with Jesus. This shows a total lack of understanding about infinity. God could grant Jesus infinite power and still remain infinite Himself. That is what infinite is. You cannot place limits on limitlessness.
To illustrate with two things that are finite. You go to the ocean and the ocean seems to go on forever. You then take a teacup and scoop out a little water. Does the ocean still seem to go on forever? Of course, it does. Now you take five trucks that are hauling tank wagons. You pump sea water into each tank, filling them all. The ocean still looks limitless. But now, if the ocean was the size of our universe, you could never, with earth’s limitations, take enough water from the ocean to amount to anything.
But God is even greater than our universe.
He is powerful enough to set the planets into motion around various suns throughout the universe. And while outside time and space, He has the power and the love for us to count the hairs on our heads and make sure all the little machines within each of our cells of our bodies are working properly.
And while all that is going on, Jesus is at the Father’s right hand, interceding on our behalf and the Holy Spirit is guiding us, that is, if we are listening.
And we have Saint Augustine to thank for being the first who put the previous theologians thoughts into a philosophical argument, explaining the concept that has troubled many over the 1600 years since he wrote The Trinity.
If you like these Tuesday morning essays about philosophy and other “heavy topics,” but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Tuesday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
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