Ice, Water and Steam
I am often asked about God the Father, God the Son and God, the Holy Spirit. Are these three distinct Gods or are they truly one? Do they have different ministries and which One is the most important? Is Jesus really God? And what about this Holy Spirit thing? Is there really a Holy Spirit – or in my grandparents’ words, the Holy Ghost? After all, ghosts are imaginary, aren’t they?
Well, to start with, before we look at whether they are the same God or not, let’s re-visit God’s interaction with His people. Way back in the Garden of Eden, God the Father walked with Adam and throughout the early years, had relationships with the people of Israel as He guided them through the desert. God was perceived as above us, protecting us, living somewhere in heaven – up there, wherever there is…
As God the Father put His plan into effect for His people to be redeemed through the blood of His Son, God sent Jesus to earth in human form, still fully God and yet fully man. Jesus was to be among us and be a model for us to follow that was easier to comprehend than God the Father who still was more ethereal than Jesus in the flesh. While Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, we aren’t able to do that and after the resurrection, when Jesus was about to ascend to the Father, He announced that the Father would sent another to take the place of Jesus.
Remember that it was difficult for people to comprehend that God, as Jesus, was really among us. To them, God was a spirit – always above us but not one of us. That changed when Jesus took human form. And then, when Jesus left, God sent us the Holy Spirit who indwells believers. In other words, God the Father is above us, God the Son (Jesus) is among us and God the Holy Spirit is in us. Imagine how difficult that is for the people of God to believe that God actually lived in them.
In the Greek, the place where the Holy Spirit resides is called the “naos” – the innermost part of our body where the Holy Spirit lives in us. And when we have God in our “naos” there isn’t any room for Satan to try to get to us.
So the attributes of the members of the Trinity are different from one another – and they each have different ministries. It is known though, once again from the Greek, that they are One God. How can that be? Well, think of steam, water and ice. They are all of the same “essence” – they are all H2O, but at different temperatures they have different forms. If it is hot enough, you get steam, at room temperature you get water and below 32 degrees F, you get ice. But they are fundamentally the same – all share the same molecule – H2O.
That’s how it is with the Trinity. They are of the same essence – the same DNA if you will. As such, they are collectively God – three members of the Godhead that co-exist, but one God. And it’s interesting to note that even within the Godhead, there seems to be a hierarchy. Jesus tells us that He was on earth to do the will of the Father, which seems to indicate that Jesus serves the Father. And when Jesus ascended the Holy Spirit took His place – so it seems that both the Holy Spirit and Jesus serve God the Father.
The verse for this evening is from Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” Notice how all three members of the Trinity are mentioned? And how about the really important times in the life of Jesus, like during His baptism by John, that all three members were also there? There’s no denying it – they are One…
My encouragement this evening is that God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit all desire to have a relationship with you. My prayer is that you will come to know each one in all their glory and that you will live with all of them through all eternity – safe in the knowledge of the One true God – manifest in three distinct personas. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…