The Doctrine of Trinity
Advanced Tenets (Page 3)
Below I list and then explain a few of the more advanced tenets of the Christian doctrine of trinity. It’s important that you learn the basic tenets first. They are much more fundamental to the doctrine.
Advanced Tenets (Definition)
Advanced Tenets (Explanation)
1. The three Divine Persons consist of the same Divine essence, the same Divine nature.
We can think of God as (by nature) being made of Divine “stuff”, analoguous to the way that our mortal bodies are made of matter. Our bodies consist of material essence, while God consists of some Divine essence. The analogy ends there. Each of the three Divine Persons is made of this very same one Divine essence. Not three essences or three separate portions consisting of the same type of essence, but one essence.
2. The three Divine Persons are co-equal in very specific ways (not in all ways).
Explanation of “co-equal” using examples.
When the two land-owners own land to an equal degree, and the land owned by each is equal in value (quality) and acreage (quantity) to the other’s, then the two land-owners are co-equal in land ownership.
How the three Divine Persons are co-equal
- They are co-equal in divinity. No Divine Person is more God, or more of God, than the others.
- They are co-equal in power. No Divine Person is more powerful than the others in any way.
- They are co-equal in their eternal nature. No Divine Person is older than the others. No Divine Person created any of the others. All three have existed eternally and will continue to exist eternally.
life, love, wisdom, truth, blessedness, holiness, purity and joylisted in this reliable source: Footnote 4
3. The three Divine Persons are relative to one another.
- A father-son relationship exists between the Father and the Son.
- The Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit to the apostles. New Jerusalem Bible but the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. — John 14:26 New Jerusalem Bible When the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness. — John 15:26
With regard to the mission of Jesus (the Son) on Earth, the Son willingly submitted himself to
the authority of the Father during that mission.
- The Son was sent by the Father. New Jerusalem Bible and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’ — John 20:21
- The Son taught those things that he was given by the Father to teach. New Jerusalem Bible For I have not spoken of my own accord; but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and what to speak, — John 12:49
- The Son submitted himself to the Father’s will. New Jerusalem Bible because I have come from heaven, not to do my own will, but to do the will of him who sent me. — John 6:38 For example: when allowing himself to be crucified. New Jerusalem Bible ‘Father,’ he said, ‘if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine.’ — Luke 22:42
Perhaps most important here is the realization that one Divine Person sometimes gives another Divine Person authority with regard to a particular matter or even with respect to themselves, either eternally or for a limited time. This explains things like why Jesus is given authority over certain things by the Father (for example:) New Jerusalem Bible he learnt obedience, Son though he was, through his sufferings; when he had been perfected, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation — Hebrews 5:8-9 (the Father relinquishing his authority over those certain things to Jesus), and also why Jesus and the Holy Spirit in certain ways willingly relinquish certain aspects of their authority over themselves to the Father (several examples already given).
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- “The dogma of the Holy Trinity.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2nd ed., United States Catholic Conference, 1994, pp.66-67, tenets 253-256. Retrived 2017 July 27 from http://ccc.usccb.org/flipbooks/catechism/index.html#66/z
- Hopko, Fr. Thomas. “The Holy Trinity.” The Orthodox Faith. Vol. I. St. Vladimirs Seminary Press, 2016. The Orthodox Church in America. Retrieved 2017 July 27 from https://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine-scripture/the-holy-trinity/the-doctrine-of-the-holy-trinity
- “The Holy Trinity.” The Doctrine of the Orthodox Church: The Basic Doctrines. Decani Monastery, Kosovo. Orthodox Christian Information Center. Retrieved 2017 July 27 from http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/doctrine1.aspx#Holy%20Trinity
- Hopko, Fr. Thomas. “One God: One Divine Nature and Being.” The Orthodox Faith. Vol. I. St. Vladimirs Seminary Press, 2016. The Orthodox Church in America. Retrieved 2017 July 27 from https://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/doctrine-scripture/the-holy-trinity/one-god-one-divine-nature-and-being Return to Text