By Revival Ojedapo.
For God so loved the world that He gave His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Christian theology reveals the triune quality of God, in what is commonly referred to as the Holy Trinity. It is from this doctrine that we come to fully understand the reality of Jesus Christ, called the Son of God. Without recourse to this doctrine, the above verse, popular even among nonbelievers, would be misconstrued.
Of all the misinterpretations regarding the nature of Jesus Christ, the most farfetched is the idea that Jesus is the biological offspring of God the Father. God didn’t birth Jesus Christ, as an earthly father would a child. That’s not what happened those 2000 years ago with the miracle birth, neither did it happen prior to that time. Suffice to add—since we have mentioned time—that Jesus Christ was at no point in time nonexistent. Which leaves us with one possibility: He’s existed even before time began, that is, we couldn’t possibly imagine anyone (or anything) existing before Jesus Christ. Thus, if there’s a beginning, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was right there at the beginning. In fact, the Bible claims that all things were made through Him (John 1:3;14).
There’s another misinterpretation which is very common, and even sometimes alluded to (albeit inadvertently) by some Christians. It is the idea that Jesus Christ is called the Son of God because He’s like God, but not entirely like God. This is an idea that Jesus Christ is a little lower than God, in preeminence and greatness. It is a misguided thought birthed, perhaps, from the humanity (and humility) of Jesus Christ. Naturally, it would defeat every mind to imagine God, in all His majesty, come down into this world, and die the death He died. However, this is the very action that draws the conscious Christian to the knowledge of God. But for the manifestation of God in human form, and humbly so, we won’t be able to reconcile the idea of God’s greatness and love for mankind. However, it would be a mistake to think of Christ as lesser in majesty to God the Father.
This brings us to the doctrine that God is three persons in one: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Admitted, it would seem strange to even conceive the idea of trinity. But we can take a clue from C.S. Lewis’ exposition, when he used the three dimension system to give us an idea of what it would be to imagine the trinity of God. In his words:
“On the human level one person is one being, and any two persons are two separate beings—just as, in two dimensions (say on a flat sheet of paper) one square is one figure, and any two squares are two separate figures. On the Divine level you still find personalities; but up there you find them combined in new ways which we, who do not live on that level, cannot imagine… In God’s dimension, so to speak, you find a being who is three Persons while remaining one Being, just as a cube is six squares while remaining one cube. Of course we cannot fully conceive a Being like that: just as, if we were so made that we perceived only two dimensions in space we could never properly imagine a cube.”
This is just a rough sketch of the real truth. But it is one that gives us an idea of the distinctiveness and oneness of three Persons.
And why is it so? Why be three separate Persons, when Your individual natures point to Your being One? The answer can of course be found in one word: “Love”. “God is love”, often quoted in religious circles, including the Christian circle. To again employ the words of Lewis, “the words ‘God is love’ have no real meaning unless God contains at least two Persons. Love is something that one person has for another person…” Love is not an attribute God displayed after something (to love) had been created. It is that attribute that is as eternal and timeless as God Himself. Thus, it is the expression of a communion between two persons, in such a way that we humans can only imagine. And did God the Father not say of Jesus Christ, “My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). An expression that is epitomised in the person of the Holy Spirit. It is with this same love that He has loved us, by creating us, and bringing us salvation. And it is in our acceptance of this love that we can only begin to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the truth of God (1 John 3:24).
Many critics have found the concept of the trinity more esoteric than can be universally acknowledged. But, the more we yearn for love, the more we are drawn to God. For, He’s the epitome of love, “a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life…” It is in this life that we find the distinctiveness of Jesus Christ, for He’s God, revealing Himself to mankind, with all the love He has to offer. Being the same nature as God, Jesus Christ is called the Son of God, because there’s no expression of love without His existence. “Father” and “Son” are words that are so close to us, for we have an idea of the love a father has for a child; and those are the very words that seem to bring the fellowship within the trinity closer to our hearts. And it is from the foregoing that we ourselves can know what it is to be called children of God. For, even though we are created, we are also called to experience the same everlasting and immutable love of God (John 17:22-23).