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The Godhead

The Godhead

adapted from an article by Wayne S. Walker

In our last article in this series, we looked at some moral perfections of God, such as His truthfulness, holiness, righteousness, faithfulness, mercy, and love. There is another important characteristic of God which must be recognized. In Genesis 1:26, we read, "And God said, Let us make man in our image...." The word "us" indicates more than one person. To whom was God talking? Some have tried to explain this away as a plural of majesty, a plural of modesty, or simply an "editorial we." Others have suggested that God was talking to angels, though there is no other scripture that would lead to that conclusion since angels are nowhere else said to have a part in the creation of man. So in this article we shall be examining what the Scriptures teach about the Godhead.

First, we must emphasize the unity of God. There is only one God. "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD" (Deuteronomy 6:4). However, what is meant by the concept of "one"? Does it necessarily imply that there is only one person in the Godhead? In Genesis 2:24, the husband and wife become one, yet they remain two distinct people. In John 17:20-21, Jesus prays that all believers will be one, yet they all continue to maintain separate personalities. Thus, the idea of "one" does not always mean absolute mathematical unity, but can refer to a spiritual unity of more than one person in aim, purpose, and goal. Now, let us look at each of the three members of the Godhead.

Jehovah the Father is God. We are taught to address Him in prayer as, "Our Father which art in heaven" (Matthew 6:9). He is quite often referred to as "God the Father" or some such similar term (Matthew 11:25; John 6:27; Hebrews 12:9; James 1:17,27). In contrast to the one Lord and the one Spirit, the apostle Paul tells us also that there is "one God and Father of all" (Ephesians 6:6). However, it should also be noted that calling the Father Jehovah is not intended to deny those prophecies in the Old Testament where the name "Jehovah" is applied to the coming Messiah as a divine being as well.

Jesus Christ the Son is God. He is called God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). He was with the Father and was deity as was the Father. Christ Himself claimed to be divine in nature. "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore, the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God" (John 5:17-18). Either the Jews were right or they were wrong in assuming that He made Himself equal with God. If they were wrong, Jesus could have corrected them and saved Himself a lot of trouble. Yet He never corrected them. The apostle Paul also taught the deity of Christ (Philippians 2:5-6; Colossians 2:9).

The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is God. In Acts 5:3-4, when Ananias lied "to the Holy Ghost" he had "not lied to men, but unto God." Just as the Father is God and the Son is God, so the Holy Spirit is God. Paul wrote, "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?" Yet he immediately continued, "Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2:11). So, the Spirit is on an equality with God Himself.

Thus, in the Godhead we have three distinct persons yet with an absolute unity of essence. At Jesus' baptism, the Son (in human form) came up out of the water, the Spirit descended upon Him in the manner of a dove, and the voice of the Fat


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