Tag Archives: Trinity

God: Two Arms, Two Legs, and a Head?

(This is a reaction to the January 28 bible study lesson at http://www.ssnet.org/lessons/13a/less05.html.)

Yes, the Bible says we’re made in the image of God. But does that mean we look like Him? That doesn’t make sense in the context of the rest of the Bible. The Bible says over and over how different God is from us. He is in the midst of fire and turning wheels and eyes and beasts. David says that He is everywhere at once.

All the New Testament writers say that God is three Persons at the same time but one Being. So that doesn’t sound like He looks like us, like a guy with two legs and two arms and a head. And how could a Being who existed before time and who exists even now outside of time and space look like a human?

Now, that isn’t to say that He is a cloud, something indefinite. C.S. Lewis points out that God is actually more real than we are, more solid. He is reality itself, and He has a definite shape and form that is unique to Him. Maybe that’s why in the Old Testament He says that He has a specific name (YHWH); the name shows that He is not just a cloud of energy.

So in one sense, it seems like He could be human-shaped for all we know, but at the same time, He is a Being who is outside of our universe of shapes altogether.

Well, we know that Jesus is a human now, and He’s God. So maybe that’s what the image of God means? Maybe it’s part of it. Along with that, the Bible, especially the book of Revelation, rejoices in the fact that God will live on our planet now forever. No other race will have that privilege, and no other race will have God become one of them in the flesh.

But it also makes sense to say the image of God is in our moral and relationship qualities. We have a sense of what is right and wrong that the animals don’t have. We have a moral responsibility to take care of totally different species; animals can’t think that way in general. And we have loving relationships chosen through intelligence and will rather than animal instincts. God created humans not to live as individuals but as pairs and groups.

OXYGEN VOLUME 13

And it’s amazing that God Himself has existed as a group in all eternity outside of time. Their relationship has always been, and always will be, the Son being subordinate to the Father by loving choice and the Holy Spirit being the servant of both.

So God is not a lonely Being wishing He had some friends; no, He has always been, and always will be, in an environment of perfect harmony and love. And that type of experience is what He has for us – one of the main purposes for which He created us.

~Lemuel Bach
(Praise Team Leader at New Horizons SDA Church in Republic, MO)

 

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I Love the Trinity, Because They First Loved Me

Nail-Scarred Hands

That’s fascinating that we could almost say, “In the beginning, Jesus created the Heavens and the Earth.” (This is a reaction to the January 2 bible study lesson at http://www.ssnet.org/lessons/13a/less01.html.)

I remember a friend of mine arguing hard against the concept of the Trinity. I said that even in Genesis, God was already calling Himself “we.” That’s just the start of all the clues in the Bible, and it is revealed more fully later: in the New Testament, it was really obvious to the Apostles (eventually) that God was Three. They talk freely about Jesus being fully God, and about His Father God, and the Holy Spirit Who is God.

But maybe people really rebel against this concept because it is so different from our experience. It is simply impossible in human life for one being to be three different persons. We can only be one being and one person.

What does that mean? It means that your existence is expressed through one person, your identity is one person. But God is expressed through Three Persons. That’s a totally different way of existing.

Now, this makes our salvation possible. If God only expressed as one Person, He wouldn’t be able to die as Jesus while still living as the Father and Holy Spirit. If Jesus’ death was necessary, it wouldn’t be possible without the Trinity.

What I wonder is this: if God the Son completely left eternity behind and all of His eternal self was confined in Jesus, was there any of Himself left to do other things in other times in history besides just being in Jesus? For example, could God the Son still be in the Garden of Eden sculpting Adam as Himself before being Jesus, or would the hands forming Adam’s face already have nail scars? The Bible does call Jesus “the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.”

Well, God has many mysteries in Him; no wonder we believe we will study the science of salvation forever.

~Lemuel Bach
(Praise Team Leader at New Horizons SDA Church in Republic, MO)