Perichoresis… dancing in a circle… what a joy. Alright, we’ll get back to that.
So the Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Spirit is God. Do we worship three gods? This was what the early church had to deal with. Some people said Jesus, being born of a woman, could not have the same quality as the Father who was not born of a woman. So they created a hierarchy in the trinity, saying God the Father is higher and then God the Son, and God the Spirit. But there’s no such thing. The trinity is not a hierarchy, it’s God, pure essence, one love, three persons. Like a circle, it can’t be broken.
When you dance in a circle (which was the Old Greek term used, perichoresis), at every different point in time, different parts of the circumference would be manifest. So God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit is one God, one essence, but three persons blending in sweet harmony of love.
Now just for background, in Genesis chapter 1, God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning, and we find the Spirit of God brooding upon the face of the waters and God said, “let there be light.” So we find the Spirit, we find the Father saying, and we find the word manifesting in what the Father said. Over scriptures, you will find that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. We know that the Word refers to the Son, God refers to the Father, and we could just find a plethora of verses that pinpoint three distinct persons in the baptism of Jesus. In Matthew 3, we would find that when the Son, who was the Word now become flesh, was dipped into water, the Spirit of God came upon him like a dove when he was lifted off the water, and the Father spoke, “this is my beloved Son.”
So we find a plethora of verses in scripture that point to three distinct persons, and these three persons are not in hierarchy. They are in relationship showing that our God is a relational God. In Genesis, it says, “God said ‘let us make man in our image.’” “Us” suggests that God is not just one person. The Hebrew word used there is Elohim which suggests a plural of spirits.
So God is not just one person, God is three as one; one as three; one essence, one consciousness, three persons, but one personality of the three. It’s no hierarchy; they’re blended in a sweet communion of love. So the Father, Son and the Spirit are all co-equal; the same substance. The ancient Greek fathers will say homoousios meaning one substance in the Father, the same substance in the Son, and the same substance in the Spirit. No one is subject to the other; they are all mutually submitted to each other in sweet fellowship of love.
Now you see that our God is relational, He always wanted to have a relationship with us. Time after time in Genesis before the fall, you would see God coming into the garden to fellowship with Adam. God has always wanted a relationship with us. He wanted them to build a tabernacle in the Old Testament that he might dwell among his people. In the New Testament, our bodies have become the temple of the living God and He dwells in us by the Holy Spirit, and it is amazing to find out, that in Christ, does the fullness of the God-head dwell bodily. That means the revelation of the Father, and the Spirit, and the Son are fully expressed in the person of the Christ. God never had Jesus suffer just because he wanted to vent and show how angry he was. There’s a verse mistranslated in Isaiah that we just capitalize on, it says that “it pleased the Father to bruise him.” No, no, no. Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani was not Jesus crying out that the Father forsook him. God never leaves nor forsakes anyone. It was Jesus stepping into our depravity and our thinking, that God forsakes us. Meanwhile he really never forsakes us, it was him taking our place. The Son, the Father, and the Spirit were always together. We find this in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 where it said “to wit, that God was in Christ Jesus, reconciling the world to himself.” They were always together in this plan of salvation, they created man, and they rescued man.
The trinity is an amazing revelation of God as relational; Son and Father and Spirit, seemingly different assignments, but one purpose, and one essence. The only revelation of God is love and throughout the Old Testament, they had a progressive and continuous revelation of God as love. The greatest of the commandments is love, and how else could God be love if he wasn’t relational? So you find the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, all one God, all love, because God is love, bringing to us an amazing revelation of the relational qualities of God in the trinity.