God is like ...

Published under the title "God Is Like An Egg" in the December 2010 issue of Faithlink, the magazine of Faith Methodist Church

Have you wondered what is God like? Or have you ever tried to teach kids about the Trinity? Many of us would use analogies to explain the Trinity.

God is like an egg
For example, I would say, "God is like an egg." An egg is made up of shell, white and yolk. God is like an egg in that He is 3-in-1 ... God the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit.

God is NOT like ...

But God is NOT like an egg in that He is not made up of three parts ... one part (⅓) the Father, another part (⅓) Jesus Christ and a third part (⅓) the Holy Spirit. The Father is fully God; Jesus is fully God and the Holy Spirit is fully God. Each one is fully 100% God. Yet we do not have three gods but ONE God. The Trinity is not 1 + 1 + 1 but more like 1 x 1 x 1.

You can throw away one part of an egg (e.g., shell) and still have essentially an egg. But we cannot do that (assuming we can) with God. One cannot remove the Holy Spirit and still have the God as taught in the Bible.

God is like H2O. What is H2O? If you say, "water" then you are incorrect. H2O is a combination of two particles (atoms) of hydrogen and one particle of oxygen and this compound can exist as water (liquid), ice (solid) and vapour (gas). Who is God? If you say, "Jesus Christ" then you MAY BE incorrect1. When the Bible talks about God, it may be referring to Jesus Christ in a specific instance, the Holy Spirit in another and God the Father in a third occasion. H2O can exist as a solid, a liquid and a gas but they are all still H2O. God is like H2O in that the Bible may refer to a specific person of the Trinity but that person is still God.

No analogy is adequate to explain God. He is much bigger and more complex than any illustration. God is much bigger than what we can understand yet ...
Alan S.L. Wong
But God is NOT like H2O in that while water can change into vapour or ice, Jesus cannot change into the Father or the Holy Spirit.

Some people think that H2O cannot exist in all three states simultaneously but that is not true. There is what is called the 'triple point' ... the combination of pressure and temperature at which H2O can exist simultaneously in all three states: solid, liquid and gas. God is NOT like H2O in that He does not need the right pressure and temperature to exist as three persons. He is one God in three persons, all at the same time. The following verses attest to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Corinthians 13:14).

The angel answered (Mary), “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High (referring to the Father, italics mine) will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
One of my Sunday School students said, "How could Jesus (God) enter Mary's stomach (womb) and be born? She would explode!" Indeed, how can an infinite God be contained in a finite human womb! This is the Christmas paradox.

Do you know why I keep saying God is like an egg (or H2O) but God is not like an egg (or H2O)? No analogy is adequate to explain God. He is much bigger and more complex than any illustration. God is much bigger than what we can understand yet He is close enough to us so that we can know some things about Him, though not completely and not everything. But based on what you know ... that Jesus is born so that He can save people from their wrongdoings, will you trust Him to forgive you?

1 While the statement "God is Jesus Christ" is not always true, the inverse (Jesus Christ is God) is always true. Similarly, the Father is God and the Holy Spirit is God.

2 Postscript: Another illustration used to explain the Trinity is one man playing three different roles e.g., I am a son (to my parents), a husband (to my wife) and a father (to my sons). God is not one person playing three roles. There is only one God, and He exists as three Persons. In the above illustration, the son (I) would know what the father (I) knows. In Matthew 24:36 states, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only."

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Alan's Gleanings | Copyright © November 2010 by Alan S.L. Wong