The Holy Trinity Essay Sample
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The Holy Trinity Essay Sample
The doctrine of the Blessed Trinity states that there is one God, who is three equal and distinct persons. It must not be imagined that the three divine Persons are three Gods, nor three parts of the one God. The divine Persons are relations which subsist in the divine nature. The one God is Father as begetting the Son and breathing the Spirit; the same God is Son as begotten of the Father and breathing of the Spirit; the same God is Spirit as Breath of Father and Son (Duck & Kastner 137; Gunton 22; O’Collins 178; Torrance & Torrance 200).
The three persons of the Holy Trinity are equal. It is not true that God the Father came first than the two. All three of them, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are equally eternal, having no beginning or end (Duck & Kastner 137; Gunton 23; O’Collins 178; Torrance & Torrance 200).
It is often forgotten that “father” and “son” are relational terms, and presume that the father comes first, and then the son. But this is not true. A man is a person and a husband but not a father until he has a son or daughter. Father and son are co – relational terms: one exists in relation to the other. So God the Father and God the Son relate to each other and are equally eternal. One does not come before the other. The same is true for the Spirit who is the Breath of the Father and Son. Breath and Breather are simultaneous. Neither comes before the other (Duck & Kastner 135; O’Collins 178; Torrance & Torrance 200).
The Divine Persons are distinct. Jesus affirmed that God the father and he as God the Son are one. By this he did not mean that he is identical with the Father, but rather that he is perfectly united with the Father. God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, are distinct Persons, but altogether united in love which is God the Holy Spirit (Duck & Kastner 136; O’Collins 175; Torrance & Torrance 200).
In creating man, the three Divine Persons freely shared themselves, their own divine life of love, with all of humanity. Moreover, man is raised from being creatures of God to being His sons and daughters. The Father adopts man as His children by sending His only begotten Son to become one of them, and the Holy Spirit to dwell within us as the inner source of divine life. That is what is properly meant by grace (O’Collins 176; Torrance & Torrance 200).
As with Jesus himself, God as our Father grounds our own self – identity. For man are all essentially children of God, destined for life eternal with Him. “Abba, Father” captures in a word that unique relationship to God enjoyed by Jesus Christ. In this relationship Jesus invites us all to share. To be a Christian, then, means to acknowledge that all persons are called to be adopted sons and daughters of the Father in Christ Jesus. Thus filial love of God our Father calls for loving service of our fellowmen (O’Collins 176; Torrance & Torrance 200).
The essential core of the Christian is God, the Alpha and the Omega. The apostolic creed presents a Truine God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God the Father is described as Almighty, the only divine attribute cited in the creed (O’Collins 177; Torrance & Torrance 200).
Being the creator and ruler of all things visible and invisible, the power of God the father is universal. It is a king of power infinitely transcending any human father in the world made known to man. God’s almighty power is manifested as universal in that he is both utterly beyond us and yet more intimately within us than we are to ourselves (Torrance & Torrance 200).
To create means to put and keep something in existence. God is creator because He puts and keeps something in existence. He is the maker and final goal of everything that exists, all things visible and invisible. The Truine God: Father, Son and Spirit, is the Creator. The Father creates through his Word in their Holy Spirit (O’Collins 179; Torrance & Torrance 200).
God, as the creator of all things visible and invisible is possibly the most essential image the faithful can have of him. This image sets him apart from all things as being the sole uncreated reality there is. God the Father is both transcendent and immanent as the chief source of everything in existence (O’Collins 175; Torrance & Torrance 200).
God the Son became one of us for our salvation, that is: to save us from the slavery of sin. He became one of us to reveal to us God’s unending love for us. He became one of us to be our role model, as the Way, the Truth and the Life. He became one of us to actually share His divine sonship with us (Duck & Kastner 135; Gunton 24; O’Collins 178; Torrance & Torrance 200).
The New Testament proclaims Jesus as the unique Mediator of the New Covenant between God and humankind. Jesus is not just the spokesman for God like Moses, Aaron or Elijah; he is God made – man, Emmanuel, God among us, in whose very being the New Covenant – the perfect union of God and man – is fully realized (Duck & Kastner 137; Gunton 23; O’Collins 177; Torrance & Torrance 200).
Jesus Christ is the Son of God made – man whose Paschal Sacrifice redeemed the world. It revealed in his being and activity the perfect and definitive features of the Priesthood of the New Covenant (O’Collins 177).
Scripture grounds this confession in two ways: First, Jesus as God’s Eternal Word coming down to take on human nature in the incarnation. Second is Jesus’ rising up on the third day, as he preached, fulfilling his mission to save humanity from the pains of hell. Both approaches lead to Jesus Christ, one person who is truly man and truly God (O’Collins 176; Torrance & Torrance 200).
The innocent Christ’s personal pain and suffering brings home to us, in a way nothing else possibly could, the evil and ugliness of sin and its power in creating poverty, disease, hunger, ignorance, corruption and death. A truly Christian sense of sin is a grace received at the foot of the cross, within the felt – experience of God’s overwhelming forgiving love in Christ Jesus (Duck & Kastner 135; Gunton 22; O’Collins 177; Torrance & Torrance 200).
Clearly, it is not the very sufferings and death of Christ that saved us, for this would make his tortures and executioners our saviors. Rather, we are saved by Jesus’ perfect self – giving love for his Father and for us, a love lived out to the death. Today’s liturgy expresses how Christ, in fulfillment of his Father’s will, gave himself as a ransom for the sins of the world. The cross where Christ died is the transformation of suffering and weakness through his active, total self – giving love (Torrance & Torrance 198).
Christ saved us not by the physical sufferings taken separately but by his perfect love for his Father and for humanity which was expressed in his suffering and death. Jesus freely and consciously went to his death to fulfill the mission he had from his Father. Christ removes man’s subjective guilt by bringing his Father’s pardon and forgiveness closer to them. Christ died because of the sins of the world, and to overcome humanity’s sinfulness and its effects in the world. Thus he made possible humanity’s own repentance and sacrifices, to share in his redemptive work (O’Collins 177; Torrance & Torrance 200).
There is no salvation apart from Christ Jesus. He won for humanity objective redemption for the sins of the world. He did so by his loving obedience to his Father’s will and his love for all of humanity. He calls everyone to a true subjective repentance for sin and loving service to their neighbors (Duck & Kastner 136; Gunton 21; O’Collins 177; Torrance & Torrance 200).
Jesus alone did not save us. It is the Father who sends His only begotten Son to redeem humanity from sins, and to give meaning and purpose to their lives through the fellowship inspired by the Holy Spirit. Thus humanity’s redemption, like their creation and sanctification, is a work of the Truine God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Gunton 23; O’Collins 179; Torrance & Torrance 199).
Christ descending from the dead means that he really and fully entered into the human experience of death, that his salvific ministry is universal, extending to all who had died before him, and that he is truly the Savior of all, including even those who have never heard of his Good News (Duck & Kastner 137; O’Collins 177; Torrance & Torrance 200).
In the Nicene Creed, the faithful proclaims their firm Catholic belief in the Holy Spirit, who together with the Father and the Son is the living God, the Blessed Trinity. As the giver of life, the Holy Spirit gives life and empowers the Church, its sacramental life, and resurrection to life everlasting (Duck & Kastner 135; O’Collins 178; Torrance & Torrance 199).
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Son, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. As giver of life, the Spirit vivifies the Church, humanity’s sacramental and moral life, and their resurrection to life everlasting. The Holy Spirit is experienced by humanity within their minds and hearts, in their loving relationship with family and friends, and in their social life in the Church and society (Duck & Kastner 136; O’Collins 176; Torrance & Torrance 200).
God’s Holy Spirit is active in creating and sustaining everything in existence. He is active in the salvation history, drawing all to the Father. He is active in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. He is active in the Church, giving her life, unity and inspiration. He is active in the faithful, sanctifying, uniting and empowering them to follow Christ in word and deed. He is active in all people of good will who follow their conscience and try to serve God (Duck & Kastner 132; O’Collins 176; Torrance & Torrance 197).
The Holy Spirit empowered Christ’s very conception in the Virgin Mary, was active in his baptism at the River Jordan, his saving mission of bringing the Kingdom of God among the faithful, his Transfiguration, and especially his Passion, Death and Resurrection. Moreover, the Risen Christ himself sent the Holy Spirit upon his followers at Pentecost, and continues to do so (Duck & Kastner 134; O’Collins 177; Torrance & Torrance 200).
The Holy Spirit sanctifies Christians by drawing them to share in Christ’s very life as adoptive sons and daughters of the Father, inspiring them to love God and one another, bear witness to Christ, come to know the Truth and live in loving service to their neighbors (Duck & Kastner 134; Gunton 23; O’Collins 179; Torrance & Torrance 199).
In the Spirit, the faithful already experience something of the new heavens that await them. The Spirit of God’s pledge is within them and their heavenly inheritance. In faith, it is recognized that the good things experienced on a daily basis, like the love of family and friends, are blessing from God that will be perfected in heaven. What happens in the man’s daily existence bow has meaning for eternity (O’Collins 165; Torrance & Torrance 189).
The Holy Spirit is not created, but proceeds from the Father and the Son s the Breath of their mutual love. He is divine because through him, the Father and Risen Christ are presence in the midst of humanity (O’Collins 177; Torrance & Torrance 190).
The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person equal to and distinct from the Father and the Son. He is the very love of the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Man, created in the image and likeness of God are called to share forever their divine life of love (O’Collins 180; Torrance & Torrance 195).
Duck, R.C. and Patricia Wilson Kastner. Praising God: The Trinity in Christian Worship. U.K. Westminster John Knox Press, 1999.
Gunton, Colin E. The One, the Three, and the Many: God, Creation, and the Culture of Modernity. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
O’Collins, Gerald. The Tripersonal God: Understanding and Interpreting the Trinity. Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1999.
Torrance, Forsyth Torrance, and Thomas F. Torrance. The Christian Doctrine of God: One Being Three Persons. London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 1996.