Does God love Himself? Getting it right.

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InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
Does God love Himself? I've struggled my whole Christian life with this question along with the question of whether God values His own glory more than His creation. But I'm joyful beyond measure that I don't have to struggle anymore with the anxiety I've experienced with these weighty questions. I can see it clearly now.

The big problem with the question "Does God love Himself" is that it disregards the fact that God is the Trinity. When the question is presented like that, the answer must be both "yes" and "no." When we look at the persons of God the Trinity, we can see that each person of the Trinity loves each other with an eternal and holy love which has both a positive and a negative aspect to it; it is positive in that it seeks the well-being of the others, and it is negative in that it disregards its own well-being in order to accomplish the former. Does God love Himself? Yes, each person of God loves each other. No, each person of God denies Himself for the well-being of the others.

Then what about God's self-glorification? If God does all things ultimately for His own glory, and every person of the Trinity is equally glorious and deserving of worship, doesn't this mean each person of the Trinity should love themselves? Not so. God is indeed jealous for His own glory, and to be more precise, every person of the Trinity rightly seeks not only the glory of each other but also themselves. Now, is this not love? Well, it is love, but it is not love for oneself. Observe that when one person of the Trinity loves the others, this requires Him to not only glorify the others but also Himself, since they are one. For a person of the Trinity to glorify Himself is to simply delight in Himself. But if He were to love Himself, and if every other person of the Trinity would also love themselves, that would result in a chaos where no one could sacrifice himself for the others, unless one loved himself less than the others, which would suggest that the one was less glorious than the others.

The great truth, therefore, is that each person of the Trinity denies Himself and loves the others, and that this love results in them all glorifying and delighting in both each other and themselves. It is exactly this disregard that each person of the Trinity has for their own well-being (not glory!) that makes God so glorious. You see then that the difference between God's self-denial and ours is that the persons of God only disregard their own well-being, while we are to deny both our own well-being and glory.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
"Denial" does not seem to be compatible with the infinite fulness and eternal blessedness of God. "Lack" and "want" lead to the requirement of denial in order to sustain a relationship. God gives out of self-sufficiency, not out of a sense of need.

If the Father did not love Himself He could not say, "In whom I am well-pleased," when speaking of the Son. The idea of pleasure supposes self-love.

If we remove our natural concepts which are bound by creaturely limitation and sinful perversion, we might see God as God and find it is perfectly suitable to Him as holy, wise, and powerful, to love Himself.
 

Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
Does God love Himself? I've struggled my whole Christian life with this question along with the question of whether God values His own glory more than His creation. But I'm joyful beyond measure that I don't have to struggle anymore with the anxiety I've experienced with these weighty questions. I can see it clearly now.

The big problem with the question "Does God love Himself" is that it disregards the fact that God is the Trinity. When the question is presented like that, the answer must be both "yes" and "no." When we look at the persons of God the Trinity, we can see that each person of the Trinity loves each other with an eternal and holy love which has both a positive and a negative aspect to it; it is positive in that it seeks the well-being of the others, and it is negative in that it disregards its own well-being in order to accomplish the former. Does God love Himself? Yes, each person of God loves each other. No, each person of God denies Himself for the well-being of the others.
This sounds like Patripassianism and/or Theopaschitism if you're referring to the either the passion or God "suffering" .
Then what about God's self-glorification? If God does all things ultimately for His own glory, and every person of the Trinity is equally glorious and deserving of worship, doesn't this mean each person of the Trinity should love themselves? Not so. God is indeed jealous for His own glory, and to be more precise, every person of the Trinity rightly seeks not only the glory of each other but also themselves. Now, is this not love? Well, it is love, but it is not love for oneself. Observe that when one person of the Trinity loves the others, this requires Him to not only glorify the others but also Himself, since they are one. For a person of the Trinity to glorify Himself is to simply delight in Himself. But if He were to love Himself, and if every other person of the Trinity would also love themselves, that would result in a chaos where no one could sacrifice himself for the others, unless one loved himself less than the others, which would suggest that the one was less glorious than the others.

The great truth, therefore, is that each person of the Trinity denies Himself and loves the others, and that this love results in them all glorifying and delighting in both each other and themselves. It is exactly this disregard that each person of the Trinity has for their own well-being (not glory!) that makes God so glorious.
I see no reason to believe God denies Himself anything.

The. fact that God doesn't deny Himself anything He wants is glorifying to Him and good, ultimately, to His people
 

Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
Okay, friends. Wouldn't be the first time I'm wrong here. :) Now I need to think hard.

Samuel,
Like you, I am here to learn and have much to learn. Also, you are among friends and not enemies! I say think about it over a good Finlandi (?) Imperial Stout. :cheers2:
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
"Denial" does not seem to be compatible with the infinite fulness and eternal blessedness of God. "Lack" and "want" lead to the requirement of denial in order to sustain a relationship. God gives out of self-sufficiency, not out of a sense of need.

Matthew, first, that a person of the Trinity is ready to sacrifice Himself for the others doesn't mean there is a need to, and obviously there is not, since God cannot be violated. Secondly, if the idea of the Son's denial of His own well-being does not seem to be compatible with the infinite and eternal blessedness of God, how could the Son sacrifice Himself for us? This is the "chaos" I was talking about in the OP.

If the Father did not love Himself He could not say, "In whom I am well-pleased," when speaking of the Son. The idea of pleasure supposes self-love.

I think you are confusing love and delight here.

If we remove our natural concepts which are bound by creaturely limitation and sinful perversion, we might see God as God and find it is perfectly suitable to Him as holy, wise, and powerful, to love Himself.

You notice you are talking now in terms of God and not the distinct persons of the Trinity? As I've noted before, I have no problem with saying that God loves Himself.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Matthew, first, that a person of the Trinity is ready to sacrifice Himself for the others doesn't mean there is a need to, and obviously there is not, since God cannot be violated.

This creates the idea that God would sacrifice Himself needlessly. What wisdom is there in that? God gives out of His fulness. There can be no sacrifice of Godhood. He remains infinitely full after He has given Himself infinitely. Not that there is an "after," since God is an ever present reality.

Secondly, if the idea of the Son's denial of His own well-being does not seem to be compatible with the infinite and eternal blessedness of God, how could the Son sacrifice Himself for us?

At this point you have moved from relations within the Trinity to relations outside the Trinity. There is no parallel.

God became man. God did not sacrifice His Godhood. He assumed humanity in order to make the sacrifice. Once again, this flowed from His fulness.

I think you are confusing love and delight here.

Complacency is the fulness of love. To be open to pleasure one must have regard to oneself.

You notice you are talking now in terms of God and not the distinct persons of the Trinity? As I've noted before, I have no problem with saying that God loves Himself.

The persons are God. God loves wisdom; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit love wisdom; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit love wisdom in themselves as well as in each other.
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
Matthew, first, that a person of the Trinity is ready to sacrifice Himself for the others doesn't mean there is a need to, and obviously there is not, since God cannot be violated.

This creates the idea that God would sacrifice Himself needlessly. What wisdom is there in that? God gives out of His fulness. There can be no sacrifice of Godhood. He remains infinitely full after He has given Himself infinitely. Not that there is an "after," since God is an ever present reality.

Matthew, I'm not suggesting that Godhood could be violated. I'm simply stating that if it were possible for God to suffer, none of the persons of the Trinity would mind it, if it was required for the well-being of the others (which is also an hypothesis because God is perfectly blessed in Himself already). And my understanding is that the incarnation of God the Son made both of these hypotheses possible, and in the person of Jesus we can see the love of God acting exactly in the manner described above.

Secondly, if the idea of the Son's denial of His own well-being does not seem to be compatible with the infinite and eternal blessedness of God, how could the Son sacrifice Himself for us?

At this point you have moved from relations within the Trinity to relations outside the Trinity. There is no parallel.

God became man. God did not sacrifice His Godhood. He assumed humanity in order to make the sacrifice. Once again, this flowed from His fulness.

I agree with every word. However, I do not think it would change anything if the object of the Son's love was focused merely on doing the will of His Father. I'm yet to see a solution to the "chaos" in my OP. If every person of the Trinity loves themselves as much as they do each other, then they are stuck and cannot sacrifice themselves for the others or themselves. Yet the Father could sacrifice His Son and the Son could sacrifice His own life for the Father. How do you explain that? If you say that both the Son and the Father simply gave out of their fullness, then that is not love Biblically, it is goodness. However, I do not think that it was mere goodness of God that was behind their motives in the covenant of redemption. They actually did it out of love for each other, meaning they would at any moment give their own life for each other if necessary. I think it's completely irrelevant whether their Godhood was capable of suffering or not.

I think you are confusing love and delight here.

Complacency is the fulness of love. To be open to pleasure one must have regard to oneself.

Again, the persons of the Trinity do not love themselves which is the very reason why they take such a great pleasure in God's glory.

You notice you are talking now in terms of God and not the distinct persons of the Trinity? As I've noted before, I have no problem with saying that God loves Himself.

The persons are God. God loves wisdom; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit love wisdom; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit love wisdom in themselves as well as in each other.

I agree that God loves His glory and not only takes pleasure in it, but as I've shown before, I disagree how this love is displayed in the distinct persons of the Trinity. Each person of the Trinity is ready to sacrifice Himself (His own well-being) for the glory of God (including His wisdom), if necessary.
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
Imagine what the Trinity would look like if they were all human beings like Jesus. They would deny their own well-being and serve the others, but since they are the image to which everyone else should conform, they would rightly guard not only the glory of themselves but also the glory of the whole Trinity. Is it possible for a person of the Trinity to guard His own glory at the expense of the well-being of the other persons of the Trinity? Of course not. And this we can see in Jesus as well. Although He was very jealous for the glory of God, including Himself, it didn't contradict His disregard of His own well-being, but actually promoted it.
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
Matthew, just to make things more clear, I think that each person of the Trinity properly loves all God's creation; they not only give good things to the creation out of their fullness, but they are ready to sacrifice themselves in order to do this.

My mother often cooks delicious meals for our family, but occasionally she forgets her cookings in the oven and they get burned and we get nothing. Are we ungrateful because we got nothing? Of course not. We are quick to point out to her that the most important thing is that she did what she did out of love and self-denial. And I think this is equally true about the persons of the Trinity. I'm glad that they give out of their fullness, but I'm glad beyond measure that they would do it out of a disregard for their own well-being.
 

Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
Samuel,
The idea that God would "sacrifice" Himself (ie. the divine nature die, suffer,....) treads closely to Patripassianism and Theopaschitism, both recognized heresies. If any aspect of His being "suffered", it would undergo change. He would no longer be immutable. The quantitative or qualitative love God has for creatures in His image can be debated, but wherever one lands on those issues, may Gods being never come under fire, wittingly or unwittingly, to get there...... The wrath fell on the second Adam, not on the second person of the Trinity.
There is no reason given so far as to why God would deny Himself anything. To deny Himself what He wanted is to deny Himself, and all of creation, the ultimate good. It is enough that God sent Christ into the world in perfect passive and active obedience. No greater love is conceivable than that which has already been demonstrated.
 

whirlingmerc

Puritan Board Sophomore
Even hating something can be a love and protection of something else.
Hating evil can be a valuing, guarding, protection and love of holiness
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
Samuel,
The idea that God would "sacrifice" Himself (ie. the divine nature die, suffer,....) treads closely to Patripassianism and Theopaschitism, both recognized heresies. If any aspect of His being "suffered", it would undergo change. He would no longer be immutable.

I don't see that as a contradiction of God's self-glorification. God is perfectly, eternally and unchangeably blessed, and to be sure, His well-being is included in this blessedness. However, I don't see any reason in Scripture that the persons of the Trinity would want to keep themselves from suffering at all cost. Let it be pointed out, however, that I'm not including in this sacrifice their happiness and delight in themselves and each other which trancends and cannot be affected by suffering.

The quantitative or qualitative love God has for creatures in His image can be debated, but wherever one lands on those issues, may Gods being never come under fire, wittingly or unwittingly, to get there...... The wrath fell on the second Adam, not on the second person of the Trinity.

This is plain wrong. It is precisely the second person of the Trinity that underwent the wrath of God. The second person of the Trinity suffered in the human nature of Jesus.

There is no reason given so far as to why God would deny Himself anything. To deny Himself what He wanted is to deny Himself, and all of creation, the ultimate good. It is enough that God sent Christ into the world in perfect passive and active obedience. No greater love is conceivable than that which has already been demonstrated.

Again, I'm not convinced that the persons of the Trinity want to preserve their own well-being at all cost.
 

whirlingmerc

Puritan Board Sophomore
we are near the apex of His glory we are not the apex - I blot out your sin for my name sake

Language like the following shows we are near the apex of His glory
God is our crown and we are his crown
Bride of Christ
I am my beloved and my beloved is mine
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
From Wikipedia,

In Christian theology, patripassianism is the view that God the Father suffers (from Latin patri- "father" and passio "suffering"). Its adherents believe that God the Father was incarnate and suffered on the cross and that whatever happened to the Son happened to the Father and so the Father co-suffered with the human Jesus on the cross.

Theopaschism is the belief that a god can suffer.

Obviously, I'm not agreeing with either one of those positions. To reiterate myself, the language I'm using is hypothetical, and the Bible is full of hypotheses from God, especially in its anthropopathic language.
 

Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
The quantitative or qualitative love God has for creatures in His image can be debated, but wherever one lands on those issues, may Gods being never come under fire, wittingly or unwittingly, to get there...... The wrath fell on the second Adam, not on the second person of the Trinity.

This is plain wrong. It is precisely the second person of the Trinity that underwent the wrath of God. The second person of the Trinity suffered in the human nature of Jesus.

You best throw the Council of Chalcedon clean in the garbage can to assert this. The divine nature did not suffer. That is the Patripassionism and Theopaschitism you say you deny. If diety underwent mutation, we would not be here discussing the matter

Again, I'm not convinced that the persons of the Trinity want to preserve their own well-being at all cost.

What greater good is there than God do exactly what He wants in any and every circumstance?
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
The quantitative or qualitative love God has for creatures in His image can be debated, but wherever one lands on those issues, may Gods being never come under fire, wittingly or unwittingly, to get there...... The wrath fell on the second Adam, not on the second person of the Trinity.

This is plain wrong. It is precisely the second person of the Trinity that underwent the wrath of God. The second person of the Trinity suffered in the human nature of Jesus.

You best throw the Council of Chalcedon clean in the garbage can to assert this. The divine nature did not suffer. That is the Patripassionism and Theopaschitism you say you deny. If diety underwent mutation, we would not be here discussing the matter

Again, I'm not convinced that the persons of the Trinity want to preserve their own well-being at all cost.

What greater good is there than God do exactly what He wants in any and every circumstance?

I'm not in disagreement with anything you just said. I didn't say the divine nature suffered, I said the second person of the Trinity suffered in Jesus' human nature. This is why we can say that God died on the Cross.

And yes, God rightly does all His will and delight, and there is no greater good for anyone than for God to be Himself.
 

Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
The quantitative or qualitative love God has for creatures in His image can be debated, but wherever one lands on those issues, may Gods being never come under fire, wittingly or unwittingly, to get there...... The wrath fell on the second Adam, not on the second person of the Trinity.

This is plain wrong. It is precisely the second person of the Trinity that underwent the wrath of God. The second person of the Trinity suffered in the human nature of Jesus.

You best throw the Council of Chalcedon clean in the garbage can to assert this. The divine nature did not suffer. That is the Patripassionism and Theopaschitism you say you deny. If diety underwent mutation, we would not be here discussing the matter

Again, I'm not convinced that the persons of the Trinity want to preserve their own well-being at all cost.

What greater good is there than God do exactly what He wants in any and every circumstance?

I'm not in disagreement with anything you just said. I didn't say the divine nature suffered, I said the second person of the Trinity suffered in Jesus' human nature. This is why we can say that God died on the Cross.

And yes, God rightly does all His will and delight, and there is no greater good for anyone than for God to be Himself.

Samuel,
You must be more precise in your language; the second person of the Trinity is divine. Your statement is, at least, a conflation. The second person of the Trinity (divine nature) was united to a human nature in the incarnation of the second Adam, our Lord Jesus. As for "God" dying on the cross, You would find yourself on the other side of the issue with the likes of Sinclair Ferguson, R.C. Sproul and J. Ligon Duncan. By saying "God died", you confuse the two natures of Christ, as did Eutyches, in violation of Chalcedon.
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
The quantitative or qualitative love God has for creatures in His image can be debated, but wherever one lands on those issues, may Gods being never come under fire, wittingly or unwittingly, to get there...... The wrath fell on the second Adam, not on the second person of the Trinity.

This is plain wrong. It is precisely the second person of the Trinity that underwent the wrath of God. The second person of the Trinity suffered in the human nature of Jesus.

You best throw the Council of Chalcedon clean in the garbage can to assert this. The divine nature did not suffer. That is the Patripassionism and Theopaschitism you say you deny. If diety underwent mutation, we would not be here discussing the matter

Again, I'm not convinced that the persons of the Trinity want to preserve their own well-being at all cost.

What greater good is there than God do exactly what He wants in any and every circumstance?

I'm not in disagreement with anything you just said. I didn't say the divine nature suffered, I said the second person of the Trinity suffered in Jesus' human nature. This is why we can say that God died on the Cross.

And yes, God rightly does all His will and delight, and there is no greater good for anyone than for God to be Himself.

Samuel,
You must be more precise in your language; the second person of the Trinity is divine. Your statement is, at least, a conflation. The second person of the Trinity (divine nature) was united to a human nature in the incarnation of the second Adam, our Lord Jesus. As for "God" dying on the cross, You would find yourself on the other side of the issue with the likes of Sinclair Ferguson, R.C. Sproul and J. Ligon Duncan. By saying "God died", you confuse the two natures of Christ, as did Eutyches, in violation of Chalcedon.

So, you're saying God the Son and Jesus Christ have their own distinct persons. I don't buy that. They share the same person.
 

Gforce9

Puritan Board Junior
The Second Adam had two natures; one human, one divine.

Chalcedon:

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

The two natures are not to be confused, changed, divided or separated and each nature retains it's own attributes. Departure from this is departure from orthodox Christianity. The divine nature is immutable....it cannot change.....it did not die, suffer, hiccup.......
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
The Second Adam had two natures; one human, one divine.

Chalcedon:

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

The two natures are not to be confused, changed, divided or separated and each nature retains it's own attributes. Departure from this is departure from orthodox Christianity. The divine nature is immutable....it cannot change.....it did not die, suffer, hiccup.......

I'm sorry, but I don't understand how I'm contradicting any of this, but I pray and am confident that we will all be benefitted through this discussion in the end.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
Your statement that God died is what we would take exception to. God cannot and will not die. However, Jesus in his human nature did truly die.
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
Your statement that God died is what we would take exception to. God cannot and will not die. However, Jesus in his human nature did truly die.

Hmmm... I think I've heard that statement multiple times from various Reformed theologians, but I may be mistaken. It seems it would be safer not to use that kind of language. "God" should only be interpreted one way, right? It should include the Trinity's essential being and its divine nature. So, we can say the person of Christ was God because He shared in the Trinity's essential being and its divine nature. However, we cannot say God died on the cross because that would mean the Trinity's essential being and its divine nature died.

So, as I understand it, the term "God" has no reference to the personhood of God, but His essential being and its divine nature.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
It is impossible to make a statement concerning the Godhead which does not apply to the Persons in particular because the Persons are God.

The idea of God sacrificing or denying Himself is erroneous. But even were it granted for the sake of the argument, self-denial is always for a greater good. The enjoyment of the greater good is an expression of self-love. If you claim the Person denies Himself, you must also maintain that He does this in order to enjoy the greater good, which is self-love.

Altruism is a virtue in a pantheistic worldview of absorption; it has no place in the theistic worldview of the Christian faith which maintains individuality and personhood are important in their place.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I find John Piper to be especially strong/helpful in this area.

He has some good things to say, but "Christian hedonism" transfers some of the divine prerogative to the creature, and the creature tends to lose his place of inferiority under and subordination to God. This comes out in a peculiar manner in the hedonist's Christology. The prayers of Christ are called the prayers of God, which turns the Christian order of being on its head.
 
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InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
It is impossible to make a statement concerning the Godhead which does not apply to the Persons in particular because the Persons are God.

Matthew, for now I want to focus only on knowing how to properly talk about God in relation to His persons, being and nature. If we can say that the Father is God, I don't understand how "God" can mean all the persons of the Trinity (that is how I understood your response), and not just the essential being and nature of God. Sorry for wasting your time on this...

I've prayed and meditated a lot on the main topic of this thread, and I'm leaning strongly towards your view of God. However, there are many things not introduced in this thread that I've taken into consideration in my meditation, so I'll come back to this topic in another thread. Your prayers would be appreciated at this point.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Samuel, I pray the Lord gives insight on these matters.

Perhaps we could consider the Shorter Catechism answer to the question, What is God? Every one of those terms must apply to each of the Persons in the Godhead. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God; and these three are one God. If any of the attributes of divinity did not apply to each of the Persons in the Godhead, the Persons would fail to meet the description of what God is. The Persons would then be less than God (perish the thought).
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
Samuel, I pray the Lord gives insight on these matters.

Perhaps we could consider the Shorter Catechism answer to the question, What is God? Every one of those terms must apply to each of the Persons in the Godhead. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God; and these three are one God. If any of the attributes of divinity did not apply to each of the Persons in the Godhead, the Persons would fail to meet the description of what God is. The Persons would then be less than God (perish the thought).

First, thank you for your prayers. Let me clarify my question. If "God" means the Son, the Father and the Holy Spirit and their substance, wouldn't saying that the Father is "God" necessarily mean that the Father is the Son, the Father and the Holy Spirit and their substance? Can "God" be interpreted in many ways?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The term "God" clearly has a larger meaning than "Father." At no point do we say that the Father alone is God, or that everyone who is God is the Father. The statement that the Father is God allows for the addition of the other Persons to be called God.
 
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