Beyond Comprehension

“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me”

John 14:11

The way we speak of the Trinity may sometimes give cause for others to think that we believe in three gods. The Bible is clear that there is but one God who created all that exists apart from Himself. He has revealed Himself as three Persons who are One but how do we understand that and can we explain it to others?

In the Bible God does use several aspects of creation to help us understand Him. John records seven of Jesus “I AM’s” that do that: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), “I am the door” (John 10:7), “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11), “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6) and “I am the true vine” (John 15:1). However, God does not give us anything in creation that helps us grasp the concept of the tri-unity of God. Many have attempted to use various physical things to explain this aspect of God but all fall short or may even be misleading.

In the passage John 14:7-11 Jesus does give us some important revelation concerning His relationship with the Father. Bear in mind that we can only know what God has revealed. We cannot discover truth that He chooses to keep from us. Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father (v 8) and Jesus’ response reveals that Jesus and the Father are inseparably one. We cannot have the Son and not the Father or the Father and not the Son. This also includes the Holy Spirit (v 16). Nor can we love One and not the other (15:23).

Jesus says that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him (vs 10-11) and He told Philip that seeing Him is seeing the Father (v 9). Jesus speaks in these terms again when He says “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home in him” (v 23). The unity of the Godhead is not just one of kind or agreement of purpose and philosophy. We cannot receive Jesus without receiving the Father and the Holy Spirit as some seem to believe. We cannot give favour or focus to one member of the trinity to the exclusion of the others without distorting our view of God. There is but one God and through the new birth He has made a way for us to share in the oneness (John 17:20-23).

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