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Definition of God within the Godhead


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#1 Loga

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:32 AM

There are many scriptures indicate Father God was not only the father but also God to Christ in his humanity. Does Father God is God for Christ in his divinity? I know many of you will say yes to this according to the new testament. But how do you explain this aspect in relation to trinity? Regards, Loga.

Edited by Olga, 18 October 2011 - 02:40 AM.
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#2 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 02:55 PM

Dear Loga,

As far as I understand it Christ is bettogon of the Father and is in every way equal to the Father by nature, (a bit like how a child is in no way less human beacuse he is the son and not his parents). However, He still comes from the Father, He is begotten of the Father. In Orthodox Theology God the Father is the source of the Holy Trinity (unlike western in which it is the nature), and so in that way God the Father is the God of God the Son. This does not mean that Christ is in anyway less or unequal to the Father. Also beacuse He fully united our nature to Himself in that way God the Father is His God beacuse Christ is fully man as well as God.

In Christ.
Daniel,

#3 Father David Moser

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 03:04 PM

There are many scriptures indicate Father God was not only the father but also God to Christ in his humanity. Does Father God is God for Christ in his divinity?


What you describe here sounds a lot like LDS teaching. It introduces a division between our Lord's humanity and His divinity that is not in accord with the Orthodox faith.

The relation between the Son and the Father is beyond our ability to comprehend - it is that the Son is begotten of the Father, but how that "begetting" occurs is not explained, nor can be comprehended. We say that the Son is begotten of the Father is simply to indicate that the Son and the Father share the same essence and that the Son is not in any way created. There is no difference between the human and divine nature of the God/man Jesus Christ. Speaking strictly humanly, He has no father - His conception was accomplished in a manner that is unknown to us for He was born of a Virgin (that is He was conceived and born without the normal physiological/animal process of conception and His birth was miraculous in that it also protected the physical virginity of the Mother of God.) The God/man Jesus Christ is Himself God. He continues to relate to the other persons of the Trinity as He has throughout eternity. That relationship is at the fringes of our ability to understand (Did not St Gregory the Theologian say that if we attempt to delve too deeply into this mystery with our fallen reason we will go insane?) but we can say that the Jesus Christ did not ever "give up" his divinity or deny His essential oneness with the Father and the Spirit at any time as a result of His incarnation.

Fr David Moser

#4 Loga

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 03:24 AM

The God/man Jesus Christ is Himself God. He continues to relate to the other persons of the Trinity as He has throughout eternity.


Many thanks bro. Daniel & Fr. David. By the way I am not an LDS member. I believe in only the word of God. If I have any incorrect understanding I am always open for corrections. I like to write about my current understanding of the scripture to help you answer my question precisely.

Christ was the only begotten son of God before incarnation. In his incarnation he obtained a human body (spirit, soul & body) from a descendant of David called Mary. Christ the divine son of God became a son of man in his miraculous conception in his mother’s womb. In his human living on the earth he submitted his will to the will of his Father God, even unto death. For this reason God raised him from the dead and crowned him with all glory and honour and made him Lord of all. He subjected all things under his feet. Father God did not (and cannot) subject himself under him. Now, in his essential aspect Christ is God and in his economical aspect he is Lord of all the creatures (though it is not outwardly manifested yet). For the redeemed people (body of Christ)he is the head. This was not the case before his resurrection.
Lordship indicate authority and power over the creatures, while Christ’s headship signify the oneness with the body (Body of Christ) by sharing the life of the Father God in Christ which he obtained through shedding his own blood.

Now my question is based on the scriptures that speak that the Father is God to the Son. I list only a few here.
Ps 45:7, John 20:17, Eph 1:3,17, Eph 4:5,6 Rev 1:6. Am I correct in my view or missing something?

Loga

#5 Robert F.

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 05:39 AM

Dear Loga,

May I suggest you read Fr. Meyendorff's "Christ in the Eastern Christian Thought" (available at amazon.com and other bookstores) for a detailed treatment of christology?

Going about it peacemeal and out of (theological) context is really counterproductive and not a good way to go about it.

I commend you for inquiring! This is a good thing. May the Lord bless your studies.

#6 Rob Bergen

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 05:40 AM

What you are implying, Loga, is that the Father is somehow separate from the Son. St. Gregory of Nazianzus puts it this way, The Father is the Unbegotten, Christ the Begotten, and the Holy Spirit the Emission. Think of an allegory of a stream, where the source is God the Father, the stream is the Son. The Son could not exist without the Father, and vice-versa. If we divide the trinity, we are left with a three gods, not one. Here is a link to St. Gregory of Nyssa's letter to Abalbius on "Not Three Gods but One." I think part of the problem that many have is the wording used. The term "Son" refers to the mode of operation of the second person of the Trinity, not to what we understand as the term "son." The Second person of the Trinity is described as "Begotten before all time" and therefore we muster the term "Son."

The verses that you have indicated refer to Jesus, as he shows his subordinate will to God. This is complicated to explain, and I will try my best to do so. Jesus was fully man, and possessed all that a human has, will and intellect. He was, at the same time, God. The Disciples were shadowed from this truth, until the Transfiguration, where Jesus revealed his glory as the Son of God to only a few present. But Jesus tells them to keep this a secret. Jesus' human will will ultimately defer to that of God's will, as in the prayer he made in Gethsemene. It is improper to say that God "obtained" a human body, but rather, God was made a human body, or God was perfectly united to a human body. This is why we say that Christ Jesus was one Person and two natures (the nature of God and of Man).

I hope that you find an answer to your question, and may God guide you on your journey!

Pax,
Rob

#7 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 02:02 PM

One thing to add to Rob's excellent presentation above in post #6. Christ according to His human will always accords with the will of His Father. But as you suggest, this is accomplished through the agency of His own divine will, as the pre-eternal Word of God, always being in accord with the will of His Father.

In other words the obedience of the Son of God towards the Father is not a moral union of humanity with God, as ours is (ie a union by grace, not by nature). Rather the Son's obedience reflects first the fact that as the Son of God He is one in essence with the Father, but also that as Christ incarnate His humanity is in full accord with that of His Father. All of this as you say occurs because Christ is indeed the pre-eternal Word of God; one Person, two natures. Not two natures standing along side of each other, which when looked at together makes up Who we call Christ. This would be pure Nestorianism.

In Christ-
Fr Raphael




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