Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Trinity, Part VI - More heresies

I thought today would be a short reading.  It was only two sections instead of the normal four to five.  It took just as long to read because there were so many Scripture references I wanted to look up.  Calvin was a master of pulling together Old Testament and New Testament Scripture so the whole story of the Bible can be understood as one.  He had an ability to recognize in OT passages that Christ was the subject, not just God the Father.

There are those who believe that Christ was a created being, created by the Father and inferior to the Father.  They believe that the Father is God alone and that He gave the Son and the Spirit just a touch of deity when He formed them, so they were almost God, but not quite.  The Spirit and the Son may be of the same essence, but it is not the same as the Father's.  Calvin's argument against people who think like this is that if Christ's essence is not the same as the Father's, then Christ's deity is non-existent.  If Christ has no deity, then he loses all power as the Mediator or Redeemer.  Therefore, since Christ is the Redeemer, his essence must be the same as the Father's.

Yesterday's reading mentioned that whenever the term God is used, it does not solely refer to the Father.  When we use the word God, we are referring to all three Persons of the Godhead.  Calvin spends more time on this topic in today's reading.  Calvin objected to the notion that "unless the Father alone were truly God, he would be his own Father."  He pulled many passages from the Old and New Testaments to make his point.  Calvin states, "From the time Christ was manifested in the flesh, he has been called the Son of God, not only in that he was the eternal Word begotten before all ages from the Father, but because he took upon himself the person and office of the Mediator that he might join us to God."  One of the last ones he used, and I think one of the most compelling, is Genesis 1:26, "Let us make man in our own image."  Who would God be speaking to if only God the Father existed?  Calvin writes, "It is certain that those whom the Father is addressing were uncreated; but there is nothing uncreated except God himself, and he is one."

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