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What do you consider is the nature of the relationship between the members of the Godhead and both our current and future relationships with them?
This is a wonderful question, thank you so much for asking it. I truly believe it goes to the very heart of the Christian faith. As I hope to show you, understanding how Father, Son and Spirit relate to one another in trinity is fundamental to understanding how we can relate to God now and forever. In answering this question I’ll focus on three areas: Firstly, the relationship that has, does and always will exist within the Godhead. Secondly, two possible present relationships with the Godhead you and I can experience. Thirdly and finally, two possible future relationships for all people with God. There will of course be significant areas of overlap as all three are in some way related, but hopefully this will be a helpful way of understanding it all.
To begin with God. After all this is where the Bible begins: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Often our familiarity with these words can lead us to miss an extraordinary truth: In the beginning, before all creation came into existence, there wasn’t simply ‘nothingness’ but in fact something. Something substantial, God. The obvious follow up question is of course, which ‘god’ are we talking about? Which God existed before, and what is that God like? The extraordinary answer that comes to light throughout the next 66 books of the Bible is that this God is trinity, 3 persons united in love.
The first clues are there in the first chapter as the act of creating is carried out by this multi-person God. We read that “the Spirit of God was hovering” in Genesis 1:2. We are introduced to the Word of God as He speaks everything into being from verse 3 onwards. By the time humanity is crafted in verse 26 we hear God saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” [Emphasis added]
Throughout Scripture we learn that the Godhead consists of 3 persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all united eternally in love. That’s why we call it the Trinity, Tri - Unity. They coexist, loving one another with a perfect eternal love. God wasn’t alone before things were created, He was enjoying, serving and loving Himself in trinity.
All of a sudden extraordinary claims like “God is love” 1 John 4:8 start to make perfect sense, because within this trinity, love has always been the unifying theme. And this resonates with us too. Love is something we value and enjoy, chase after and cling to, because as we are created in His image we need to be in loving relationships.
So firstly, the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the Godhead is one of perfect unity brought about through perfect, eternal love.
But what about us? We are created to be like them, needing these loving relationships in our lives, yet our experiences are often filled with hurt, pain and suffering. We don’t often feel like we’re able to love one another let alone be brought into this perfect loving relationship that has existed since before the beginning. The staggering message of the Bible is that Jesus came to show and share this loving relationship with all mankind.
Here’s the second thing: our present relationship with the Godhead. It can fall into only one of two categories. Either we can be united with God through the Son, Jesus Christ, becoming ‘children’ of the Father. Or we can be God’s ‘enemies’, strangers to this eternal union of love.
Picking up on the “In the beginning...” language of Genesis 1, the gospel-writer John (also a close friend of Jesus) introduces us to the Word. We find out that the Word is Jesus, we read, ”To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
Truly that is a wonderful statement and promise. If God has been a Father eternally loving a Son in the presence and joy of the Holy Spirit for eternity, then Christ’s gift and invitation to us to experience that love as ‘children’ alongside Him. If we believe in the name of Jesus, His life and death and resurrection, we can be brought into that perfect, eternal, loving relationship.
Conversely, for those who choose not to believe in Jesus, no such promise exists. Instead the Bible uses a number of words to describe the relationship we have with the Godhead: Strangers, aliens, and perhaps most terrifyingly, enemies (for example Romans 5 or Colossians 1). The contrast couldn’t be greater. No longer invited in to experience and enjoy that loving community but excluded, rejected, left outside, enjoying none of the benefits of a life lived under a perfect heavenly Father.
Sometimes we wrongly conclude that the opposite to having a relationship with the triune Godhead is having no relationship at all, the absence of relationship. Yet in truth the opposite to having a loving relationship with God is a relationship of hostility.
Only by faith in Jesus Christ can we be brought into the perfect, eternal, uniting love. He is “the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him" John 14:6.
Thirdly, what about our future relationship with God? Well really the same two options are available, but the reality lived out is all the more stark. We can still either be ‘children of God’ or ‘enemies of God’. For those who are God’s children an eternity of enjoying that relationship awaits. But for those who are still enemies only separation and judgement await. Jesus summed this up throughout His ministry. In Matthew 25:23, a parable, we read about a child of God, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Yet in Matthew 7:23 Jesus says of those who claimed to be children of God but weren’t, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
In summary, the relationship between Father, Son and Spirit is fundamental to the relationship we can presently and in our future enjoy. The eternal loving union that exists between the Godhead is exactly that which Jesus has come to bring us into. Yet if we reject Jesus and His work we cannot know that relationship, instead living as enemies, now and in the future.
“He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” John 1:10-12
I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey:
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world.
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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