I have been sharing in this article, the various arguments of the great saint Athanasius against Arius, the first priest who was condemned as a heretic because of his ideas about Christ. I already shared with my readers the first of three arguments that Saint Athanasius mounted against Arius. The third is this.
The essential oneness of the Father and Son indicates that whatever is predicated of the Father must be predicated of the Son. There is one true exception. The Son cannot be called the Father. That is the title of Father. That is, if the Father is sovereign as an attribute of deity, the Son possesses that same attribute. If the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord. If the Father is Light, the Son is Light. Thussince they are one, and the godhead itself is one, the same things are predicated of the Son as of the Father, except the tile of ‘Father’”.
While this may seem simplistic at first, it is a very important point in attempting, as the Fathers did, to come to an understanding of God. As we see God, He is triune in nature, that is He is One God that has three very distinct Persons. This, of course, is a mystery and we are not supposed to understand how this is possible. It is a matter of FAITH. We know that our God became a human being, the Person of Jesus, to reveal Himself to us and to reveal how we should live as humans. This belief also indicates to us that He relates to us in several different ways.
He relates to us as Father, the source of Life. He reveals to us as Son, the revealer of how we should live as humans in order to achieve the fullness of life. He relates to us as Spirit, that force within us that allows us to freely choose how we relate to Him. While this is a mystery, we believe that God is Three-In-One. It is not for us to attempt to conceptualize what this means, but rather to believe that it is true.
We know this to be true. He actually became a human being in order to reveal to us the meaning and purpose of life and to show us how to live this life in order to accomplish all that life is intended to give to us. Life is structured in such a way that it helps us to realize its meaning and purpose. In simple terms, life is intended to help us to “mellow out” and to truly become a person who knows how to live in order to become a true child of God. This, as you might expect, means to become a SPIRITUAL PERSON – to become a person who understands how important it is to love our neighbors and enemies as ourselves.
The mystery of the Trinity also reveals to us that God is, through the humanity of His Son, directly connected to us. While we are not equal to God, we share His life and He has called us to be the heirs to His Kingdom. This means that we must do everything in our power to being about His Kingdom in the here and now. This means living as a spiritual being!