God, at least to us, in this realm as human beings, is revealed in a triune manner. This triune nature is seen in a ‘hierarchy’ if you will. Jesus said, “If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.” (Jn. 14:28) “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me (Jesus); for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.” (Jn. 16:13-1) By these passages, it becomes evident that the ‘order’ of God is: Father, Son (the Word), Holy Spirit.
Though there is order and priority, there is also balance. This balance can be illustrated by simple human speech. If I begin talking and run out of air, but my mouth keeps moving, I have all word and no spirit (breath). However, if I am speaking with plenty of air-flow, yet my articulate speech becomes slurred and finally non-articulate, I have all spirit and no word. Both scenarios are imbalanced, both fail to convey the message I desire to communicate. Similarly, the Father has a message He wants to convey, through the balance of articulation and breath: the Word (Jesus) and the Spirit, respectively.
Everything that will be set forth is based upon this pattern. The attributes of the Father flow down through every part of creation. Even though He is seen throughout the other realms of Word and Spirit, there is still a specific influence that comes from the Father ‘dimension’. The same holds true for the Son (or Word). There are specific attributes that flow down from Him through every level of existence that uniquely reflect His dimension. The Holy Spirit’s attributes of existence also fall under the patterns only observable in the dimension He holds.
“You believe God is One. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” (James 2:19) My purpose in these statements is not to ‘dissect’, if you will, God Himself, but rather to show His attributes as He reveals Himself to us throughout all of our existence. The patterns of creation reflect the Creator. The Trinity can be seen throughout all of life, not simply in a theological or philosophical textbook. He has revealed Himself to us in so many different ways throughout our life experiences, it would be impossible to enumerate every example. As the Apostle Paul states, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…” (Rom. 1:20)
It would, at this point, be fitting to remember that the Triune God has never been made, as the creation has been made. He has always existed, and always will exist. He stands uniquely separate from anyone or anything else that has ever existed, due to the fact that everything else has, or had, a definite beginning and ending. Jesus, the man in the flesh, obviously had a finite beginning. However, the seed of the Word, Who lived through the flesh has always been: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (Jn. 1:1)
In attempting to ‘paint a picture’ of the nature of the Trinity, I have spaced the categories across the page for each subject in a semi-triangular way with the Father dimension being top-most and in the center, the Son (or Word) dimension being to the left and the Holy Spirit dimension being to the right. In doing this, I am trying to depict that the Father is the One from whom the balance of the Word and the Spirit emanate. He is the One sending the message of His love. This message is communicated by the articulation of the Word and the empowerment of the breath of the Spirit. The Word and the Spirit balance each other, with the Word still holding priority. (Again, the reference of John, chapters 14 and 16 reveal this.)
The Apostle Paul also shows us this same principle, “Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or the harp? For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning. If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be to the one who speaks a barbarian (foreigner), and the one who speaks will be a barbarian (foreigner) to me.” (I Cor. 14:7-11)
He is showing us in these passages that all spirit, with no articulation, produces an indistinct sound. The same is true in the balance of the Trinity. As the Father communicates to us, He places emphasis on our understanding what He is saying (through the Word), yet He conveys this message by the breath of His Spirit. If He were to emphasize the Spirit over the Word, He would become inarticulate and the message would be lost. His perfect balance of priorities, however, carries total power. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (Jn. 1:1) “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light.” (Gen. 1:3) There is a popular proverb among church-goers: “All Word and you dry up. All Spirit and you blow up. The Word and the Spirit together and you grow up.” Through this delicate balance, however, the articulation of the Word still holds priority.
The pattern of the Trinity, with the priority and balance I have just described, again, is seen throughout all of our existence. The inter-relationship of these three areas (or, dimensions, as I have been calling them) is also seen throughout every part of creation. All of the following will be derived from these simple fundamental concepts.
(for more study, see the Trinity Concepts Key)