Three Persons in One God – “I and the Father are One” (67)

Introduction: We are going to study the “Seven Ones in Ephesians 4:3-6” In verse 3, there is the word “unity”. It is an important term in this discussion. The “ones” should be viewed in the context of unity, harmony, inclusivity,  oneness, correlation, interrelation. Not viewed in their separability, exclusivity, multiplicity, and differences. This is also true in affirming our belief in the Trinity and in the unity of Christ and the Father.  

The Problem: Muslims and INC-1914 submit Isaiah 43:10; 1 Cor. 8:8:4,6; Eph. 4:6; John 17:3; Jude 25 to shake us from our Trinitarian view. And we stand on the basis of unity, harmony, inclusivity, correlation, and interrelation. I  maintain that in the “one immersion” in Ephesians 4:4, there are two elements: born of water and born of the Spirit.  Just as in the one new birth, there are two elements: born of water and born of the Spirit. For if born of water is immersion in water, it should follow that born of the Spirit is immersion in the Spirit. If not, why not?  (By the way, I reiterate my evaluation that the Elohim-Echad-Yachid Argument is a weak position. It is not based on scholarship and documents. –ET)

But some argue that “one immersion” means immersion in water only after A.D. 61-62 when the Epistle to the  Ephesians was written by Apostle Paul. So some American preachers say that if I maintain there are two immersions,  they say, “You have one immersion too many.”  

Dilemma: If there were two immersions between 33 A.D. and 62 A.D. but became only one after the Book of  Ephesians was written, then it should follow that the three persons in one God, should have become one person in one God after 62 A.D.. If not, why not?  

Question: Do the terms “One” eliminate, exclude, and vanish others? Or we employ the meaning of the word in its unity, harmony, correlation, and inclusivity? In affirming our position that there is One God in the Trinity, we use the second meaning. Why should we change our usage when we interpret “One Immersion?” We don’t agree when  Muslims or INC-1914 will say, “That’s two Gods too many, man.” 

Explanation: Let us show the following are other bases of unity of the Father and the Son. Quotes are from the NKJV:  1. The Father Is in Me and I in Him – Attributes and emotions and plans and works intersect and intertwine, unite  and correlate make them one:  

  • John 10:38, “. . . though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know Me, believe that   the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” 
  • John 14:11, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of   the works. . .”  
  • John 17:10, “And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.” 

2. Christ Is Life and Has Life – The Father and Christ are the source of biological and spiritual life.  John 1:4, “In Him was life.”  

John 5:24, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has   everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom   You have sent.” 

  • 1John 5:11, “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” 3. Mine is Yours and Yours Is Mine – Their knowledge intersect and intertwine 
  • John 7:29, “But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.” 
  • John 10:15, “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father.” 
  • John 16:15, “All things that the Father has are Mine, Therefore I said, He will take of Mine and declare it   to you.” 
  • John 17:10, “And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.” 
  • Matt. 11:27, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the   Father. . .” 

4. His Teaching is from the Father 

  • John 8:28, “. . . I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.” 5. Same Work  
  • John 5:17, 19-20, “. . . My Father has been working until now, and I have been working. x x x the Son can   do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do, for whatever He does, the Son also does in   like manner. . and shows all things that He Himself does, and He will show Him greater works than   these, that you may marvel.” 
  • John 9:4, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one   can work.” 

6. All Authority Given to Christ but it Does not Mean the Father has no Authority 

  • John 5:27, “and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.”  John 17:2, “as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have  given Him.” 

7. Christ Is the Image of God which Shows Identicality of Attributes  

  • Heb. 1:3, “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person. . . .”  Col. 1:15, “He is the image of the invisible God. . .”  

8. All Judgment Given to Christ 

  • John 5:22, “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment in the Son.” 
  • Acts 17:31, “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the   Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

9. Bonded by Love – God is love.  

  • John 5:20, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does. . .” John 17:24, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they   may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the   world.” 

See John 1:1-3; John 17:5; Col. 1:15-16; Heb. 1:2, 10 to prove Christ’s existence before the earth was created.  

10. The Father Was in Christ Reconciling the World to Himself 

  • John 3:14-17, “. . . even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that   whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son unto   the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” 
  • 2 Corinthians 5:19, “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their   trespasses to them and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 
  • Romans 5:5, 8, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our   hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us x x x but God demonstrates His own love toward us, in   that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

11. Shepherding Is only One of the Many Items the Father & the Son are One in – John 10:22-29.  Conclusion: We use the unity, harmony, oneness, inclusivity, correlativity meaning of the word “One” in affirming the Trinity. Therefore, we should be consistent in applying this same line of argument or rule when we come to “one immersion” in Ephesians 4:5.  

 In relation to the issue of “one baptism,” this article should teach us not to separate baptism in water from the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Do not make the two as two separate baptisms. If God the Father is true God and a  distinct person from God the Son who is true God, and we insist that they are one because they are so closely related to each other, they are interconnected, they intersect each other, then good reasoning leads us to insist that baptism in water and baptism in the Holy Spirit can still be called one baptism because they are closely related in  John 3:3-8 in that they are indispensable elements in the one new birth.

(End of Lesson) 

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