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God, Christ, The Holy Spirit


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#1 Anthony T.

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 03:38 AM

Dear Brothers In Christ,

My name is Anthony and I am a Greek Orthodox Christian. Although born Greek Orthodox, I am only now at 36 years of age beginning to study the faith in depth. That said, I apologize if my ensuing questions appear rudimentary and their answers simple; nonetheless, I submit the following because I want help in understanding the following:

Does God want me to love Christ with all my heart, mind and soul as Christ instructed us to love God? Am I to love Christ in some way different than I love God? How am I to understand the difference between God, Christ and the Holy Spirit? How am I to understand the interplay of the Holy Spirit?

Again, I apologize if the answers to the above questions appear simple to many of you, but I am struggling to understand and want to strengthen my faith. I think that an answer to the above questions would help me in that regard.

I thank you for time and any answers you might provide.

In Christ,

Anthony

#2 Aidan Kimel

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 01:58 PM

Greetings, Anthony. May I recommend to you the book The Orthodox Way by Met Kallistos Ware. I think you will find that many of your questions are effectively addressed in this book.

The critical point for you to understand, I think, is this: each of the divine persons of the God head is fully and equally divine. As St Gregory the Theologian declares:

But when I say God, I mean Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For Godhead is neither diffused beyond these, so as to bring in a mob of gods; nor yet is it bounded by a smaller compass than these, so as to condemn us for a poverty-stricken conception of deity, either Judaizing to save the monarchia, or falling into paganism by the multitude of our gods. For the evil on either side is the same, though found in contrary directions. This then is the holy of holies, hidden even from the seraphim, and glorified with a thrice repeated 'holy', meeting in one ascription of the title 'Lord and God', as one of our predecessors has most beautifully and loftily pointed out. (Or 38)


Because of the unity of being shared by the divine persons, each person of the Trinity is deserving of equal worship, adoration, praise, and devotion. When you worship Christ, you are simultaneously worshipping the Father and Spirit; when you worship the Father, you are simultaneously worshipping the Son and Spirit; when you worship the Spirit, you are simultaneously worshipping the Father and Son. As St John of Damascus writes, "For the Son is in the Father and the Spirit: and the Spirit in the Father and the Son: and the Father in the Son and the Spirit, but there is no coalescence or commingling or confusion." Hence the problem you have posed is a non-problem. We may not be able to comprehend the mystery of the unity of the three persons; but it is this unity that we confess as Orthodox Christians.

It all comes together in the Divine Liturgy. The key is to remember that all worship and prayer occurs within the Trinitarian life of God. I suspect that we tend to think of God being over against us, outside us; but because of our baptismal incorporation into Christ, we are made sons in the Son. All of our worship and prayer is thus a participation in the intimate life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We pray to the Father, with the Son, in and by the Spirit. This is the great and immeasurable gift of Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist: we are taken up into the Kingdom, which is the love and life of the Holy Trinity.

#3 Anthony T.

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 02:26 PM

Fr. Aidan Kimel:

I thank you very much for your post and the time you spent helping me. I believe that my father has the book you mentioned and I will look for it today.

I thank you again for your answers to my questions.

In Christ,

Anthony

#4 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 06:43 AM

Anthony, to me They are one.


And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
(John 14:16,17)

“But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you.”
(John ch 14 v26)
and, “when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth”. (John 16.13).



"As the Holy Trinity, our God is One Being, although Three Persons, so, likewise, we ourselves must be one. As our God is indivisible, we also must be indivisible, as though we were one man, one mind, one will, one heart, one goodness, without the smallest admixture of malice - in a word, one pure love, as God is Love. "That they may be one, even as We are One" (John 17:22)."

—St. John of Kronstadt

#5 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 06:50 AM

Something I like :

This is the way we should see Christ. He is our friend, our brother; He is whatever is good and beautiful. He is everything. Yet, He is still a friend and He shouts it out, “You’re my friends, don’t you understand that? We’re brothers. I’m not…I don’t hold hell in my hands. I am not threatening you. I love you. I want you to enjoy life together with me.”

- Elder Porphyrios

#6 Connie B.

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 09:42 PM

It all comes together in the Divine Liturgy. The key is to remember that all worship and prayer occurs within the Trinitarian life of God. I suspect that we tend to think of God being over against us, outside us; but because of our baptismal incorporation into Christ, we are made sons in the Son. All of our worship and prayer is thus a participation in the intimate life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We pray to the Father, with the Son, in and by the Spirit. This is the great and immeasurable gift of Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist: we are taken up into the Kingdom, which is the love and life of the Holy Trinity.


Dear Father Aiden,

Thank you for your beautiful words. I can now say, "So this is why I love and live for the Divine Liturgy." I thank God for your gift with words, for the insight you have given here.

Love to you and yours,
Connie

#7 Fady

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 04:30 PM

your question reminds me of the many misconcepts that Muslims have about the Christian Trinity and they think that we are "Polytheists".

I always remember what our Lord Jesus said : "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

we have had this truth revealed to us not only in the new testament - but also in the old testament - and it's crystal clear. now the only thing we need is to worship in spirit - the spirit of acceptance and understanding.

our forefathers in Mesopotamia "currently Iraq" have simplified the concept of trinity by bringing the example of the Sun:

the sun as planet - produces light + heat = this is the Sun.

Sun: Godhead - he is the source of all beings
Light: Son - he is the light that came to the world guided us to salvation.
Heat: Holy Spirit - it's the heat of worship - you don't see it but you feel it.

you can't separate the three - because they are in one! this is only a figurative to the understanding of Trinity.


my prayers will always be with you.

Fady




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