Whenever people can’t understand something, they say it is not understandable, and I guess that is understandable 🙂 .
Recently a minister spent an entire sermon explaining that the “trinity” could not be explained. People are intensely polarised by “the trinity”, they either love it or hate it, and I think the explanation for this probably, again, lies with their particular view of the atonement.
Those of the old covenant school, cannot accept a God who is not defined in the singular; as one God. They cannot accept that He may be composed of three “persons”, and that is a valid viewpoint, but one which I suspect is based on the denial of the principle that “God is with us”, because the full meaning of this is that God is IN us, we are his “temple”.
They seem to have extreme difficulty in accepting that the holiness of God could actually “tabernacle” or dwell, in “sinful” man. Because of this, they have difficulty accepting that the Holy Spirit “Himself” comes to live with us, in us. They see it as the power of God, rather than God himself, through the agency of His Spirit.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”. It is this freedom that they cannot abide, because freedom implies and reinforces the concept of “free from the law”, and if you want to control people you have to place them under some kind of law structure.
So rather than have the same “Holy Spirit” that the apostles and disciples experienced, as being the very nature of God Himself come to live in them, and that there be the possibility that it was the risen Lord who had indeed returned, as He had promised “I am with you and will be IN you” IE the presence of Jesus is in us and with us, they maintain that it is only as some form of righteousness is assumed into the person by their study of scripture, that the character of Christ is formed in them, and not by “infusion” of the Spirit of God, IE it is not so much a gift as that YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR IT.
This of course cuts right across the understanding that RIGHTEOUSNESS IS A GIFT which we receive by belief, not by study. And furthermore, that because it is an infused Spirit, it relies on nothing more than a heart response to THE BASIC GOSPEL, Christ’s death and resurrection for us. On this basis are we are freed ‘from all the things we could not be freed from by the law of Moses’. [Acts 13-39]
IT IS FINISHED. Part and parcel of this is the insistence that NO it is not finished until you grow into righteousness sufficient to be judged as righteous by some authority, usually that of their own. But God has given us righteousness freely as a gift, by belief, so that IN AN INSTANT, YOU CROSS OVER FROM DEATH TO LIFE. Then you continue in that life to grow further with Him.
On the other hand, the probable extreme would be something like the catholic view which superstitiously says that they have the power to free you from your sins, by virtue of the supernatural authority they carry. So as long as you adhere to their rituals and obey their priesthood, you are OK, and we know where that has got them with a priesthood forbidden to marry, [precipitating sexual deviancy] doctrines of purgatory, and giving their priests the title of “Father”. [Not to mention the God like status of the pope and Mary].
There is also of course the reinforcement of the view that Jesus was just a man, despite everything He said about Himself. “I have come down from heaven…”. “The glory which I had with you before the world began”. “I and the Father are one” “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” “before Abraham was, I AM”.
Nowhere though, does He actually say, I AM GOD. He is always the son, even at the end, or even before that when He rose to heaven, He sat AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD. It appears that He was His “right hand man”. 🙂 All things have been given into his hands. (And at the end He will give all things into the Father’s hands)(See Revelation etc.).
Although it says that He and the Father are one, we are also given to understand that we will all be one, it is the same thing. Because Jesus had ‘God consciousness’, he could say all manner of things from the Spirit’s perspective, including knowledge of the glory which was always His, was always intended from the beginning, and in fact had never ceased to be in eternal existence.
It is because people cannot understand or explain the “atonement” that they have to insist on the trinity [or not] so that it becomes God himself who came down to earth to bear our sin. But this would seem to deny the point of it all, which is that JESUS, WHILE IN THE PROCESS OF “BEARING” SIN, AND TO FULFILL HIS MISSION OF “DESTROYING THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL”, PHYSICALLY CHANGED, RESTORED, PERFECTED HIS BODY BACK TO ITS ORIGINAL DESIGN from which it was originally corrupted by sin.
The pattern of this creational fulfilment is then, by the gift of the Spirit of righteousness, returned to us by faith in Him. Jesus was the physical gift who then became the Spiritual gift by which we “participate in the divine nature”.
[Ever learning but never able to acknowledge the truth][It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Gal. 5-1]