Last time, we looked at an overview of Thomas Aquinas’ Holy Spirit-induced revelations about the essence of who God is, as far as his finite mind could postulate. Now, let us turn to his understanding of the relationship between God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, i.e. his view of the man-made explanation (the trinitarian concept) of this Divine 3-sided cohesive.
He starts off with the premise that ‘God is Father, God is Son, and God is Holy Spirit. And these are not three Gods, but are one God.’ Thomas begins his deductive path by stating we must accept in faith that God left us His word, so that He could be revealed to us.
Moreover, Aquinas declares that God’s word is an outpouring of His essence, so it is related to God and proceeds forth as His Son:
In the beginning [before all time], was the Word (Christ) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. Jn. 1:1 AMP
First, we see that there is no ‘time differentiation’ between God and His Son. Jesus preceded time.
So, according to Aquinas, Christ was generated (begotten) by the essence of God.
Last time, we looked at the supposition that God was pure action – that He knew all things and was maintaining the entire universe through His essence. God is identical with His actions. Therefore, if God speaks, it is indistinguishable from who He is. Thus, Jesus, Jehovah’s word, cannot be anything other than God Himself:
“If you had [really] known Me, you would have also known My Father. From now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Jn. 14:7 AMP
And because everything that God does is perfect, because He is perfect, (look back to part one in this series), Christ Himself must be perfect, as He is the begotten of God…
…for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.] 1 Jn. 4:8 AMP
If God is love, according to Aquinas, then He must love Himself and expresses this love, this essence of Himself, as the Holy Spirit, living in God, as does His Son, and so also a part of the Father – in equal rank, because He is part of God’s essence.
Aquinas says, ‘…in the Godhead there is something threefold which is not opposed to the unity and simplicity of the divine essence.’
Again, God is a perfect unified essence, consisting of His thoughts, His substance and the exercise of His will (actions). God’s word (Christ) is a ‘representative’ of His thoughts, distinguished as different only with regards to the process of God’s generated words becoming Jesus’ expression of them. Otherwise, They are indistinguishable.
Similarly, God’s love is who He is, yet it is expressed outwardly through the Holy Spirit: This directed process is the only distinction if you will between the Holy Spirit and God; otherwise, the Holy Spirit too, is identical to God.
So, God expresses Himself through the Son and loves through the Holy Spirit. Seeing as how God is a unified essence, He cannot have differing views from His Son or the Holy Spirit. They must, as expressions of Him, be in complete concert with Him. Thus, there can only be one Christ and one Holy Spirit, in perfect harmony with the only one true high Jehovah God:
I will cry to God most High, Who accomplishes all things on my behalf [for He completes my purpose in His plan]. Ps. 57:2 AMP
For You are the LORD Most High over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods. Ps. 97:9
Yet, God is the Father. Jesus, the Son, emanates from the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from them both.
God, the Father, the Prime Mover, is at cause in this universe through His active will. That means He ‘begets’ from His own divine essence, whereby we have the begotten word and love – Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Aquinas is an arduous read. But I’m wacky in that way. I love to sift for the pearls of wisdom and revelation. God nudges me to help you meet Him where you are at. It’s my passion. I do so hope that you are enjoying this process.
This is foundational work.
Goodnight and God bless.