Ho Logos and Ton Theon
March 30, 2023
Recently I had a friend over who has been a sharpener of irons in my spiritual life and who I have really come to appreciate. The doctrine of the Trinity came up and we’ve had many discussions between friends about this topic before. Is the Trinity biblical?, What about Modalism?, Was Jesus the Archangel Michael?, Is it neither of these things? The other question which naturally arises from this conversation is there grace in differences of belief over the Trinity or is it a salvation issue?
The conversation started and I of course brought up the bread and butter John 1:1, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He then began to tell me how it’s laid out in the Greek shows there is the Word who is God but the Word was with Ton Theon and it didn’t say the Word was Ton Theon.
We had a good hearty conversation about it but as always in my life when I get into deep discussions I’m left with the aftermath of the things I couldn’t think of when in discussion. I can feel so inept at defending the things I hold to know true or at least believe to be true. In some senses this is nice because when I’m wrong I believe I don’t know complete 100% truth but at the same time it can make me feel as if I don’t stand for any of my beliefs.
A simple answer would have been, “Yes, but what does the next verse say?” Kai Theos en Ho Logos or and God was the Word. If we continue on through the next couple verses John states the Word was with God in the beginning and all things came into being through Him not even one thing came into being without Him.
This leads me to conclude if God is the creator of all things and nothing comes into being without God and John is here giving Jesus the credit of creating all things then wouldn’t this mean that Jesus is God. Now even if you believe within the Trinity there’s a separation of hierarchy this shows Jesus’ equality with Ton Theon or Elohim or God (Yahweh) because even if you are to believe out of the essence of Yahweh Jesus came forth this verse shows through Him all things came into being which means He Himself would’ve had to have come from Himself.
Confusing as it may be simply put John is saying nothing created has come from anyone but God (Theos) Himself, Therefore if Jesus (Ho Logos) is Theos He is not just in the beginning with Him He is Him. The intricacy of the Trinity is not one I think we will ever fully understand, maybe not even when we get to Heaven. Maybe it will be a wonderful mystery which gives us an admiration of the God we serve even in eternity.
The last part of our discussion which we always end on is, does this preclude us from salvation if we have differing views on the Trinity? Can someone who is genuinely seeking after Jesus in the capacity they know Him in their wisdom and life be excluded from the promised land because they didn’t fully comprehend the concept of the Trinity.
I think there is, just as with most things, grace in these areas. I don’t believe just because you are seeking after God with your whole heart, trying to live a life in which His word and spirit says would be written off for not having a 100% accurate view of the Trinity. If it would I think we could all be in danger. I do also believe it’s important to view God as He is in the best way we can understand and I believe the Trinity is revealed through the scriptures Old Testament and New.
This is one of the hardest things we work through when discipling people or evangelizing. How do I bring someone up in God who is a completely different person than me with different ways to worship God than I but who is wholeheartedly seeking after God? Just like teaching someone how to play baseball I can’t expect them to hit home runs right away or make a perfect throw from center field to home plate. The intricacies of the double play and tagging up are all learned through play and experience.
We must be willing to grant people grace while seeking God but also giving them truth. I believe John continues to show throughout His gospel how Jesus is God being the only begotten withing God’s bosom, if you have seen me you have seen the Father, God no one has seen but He has revealed Himself through His son, and so much more.
I may never fully comprehend the Trinity but I do believe Jesus is God. I know my salvation rests on believing in God’s son and what He did through Him on the cross and I couldn’t do it without His sacrifice because according to the Law I’m already condemned. I know His grace is sufficient for me and I’ll continue to allow the Spirit to work on me and grow fruit from my life.
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