Within the last few days I've been talking a bit about the Trinity. After finding this Thought, Word, Deed analogy on the Internet and sharing it for your feedback, I was asked to explain more about the Holy Spirit. A brief part of the post says this:
"The three Persons appear in a logical, causal order. The Father is the unseen, omnipresent Source of all being, revealed in and by the Son, experienced in and by the Holy Spirit. The Son proceeds from the Father, and the Spirit from the Son. With reference to God's creation, the Father is the Thought behind it, the Son is the Word calling it forth, and the Spirit is the Deed making it a reality."
I'm not positive this is a great illustration, but that's one reason I posted it. To see what others thought. Anyway, I can understand the Thought and Word pretty well. As I wrote in the comments section of the above-mentioned post:
If one read the Bible and accepted that Jesus is God, to me, being The Word would mean the "Thought" was being expressed. I can have many thoughts in my mind, but until it is revealed through word or action, it's unshared. . . . If we take this imperfect analogy and say God is Thought then His revealing His Word is God sharing Himself with us. (What a gift to make His thoughts known to humankind!) And, of course, I believe He did this through Jesus and is why Jesus told Philip in John 14, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." Also remember the prophet Isaiah talked about Emmanuel and then when Matthew wrote his book for his Jewish people, he hearkened back hundreds of years to Isaiah's words and said *Jesus* was Emmanuel ("God with us."). Also note how often Jesus says He does nothing of himself, but does what the Father wants Him to do. (If Word = Thought expressed this makes some sense to me.)
But what about this Deed thing? Who is the Holy Spirit? Throughout the Old Testament the Spirit of God would visit individuals to guide them, but as far as I can recollect, He did not live with them daily. This all changed once Jesus came to earth, fulfilled His mission and went back to the Father. After washing their feet in a demonstration of how we must serve others, Jesus was speaking with His disciples in John 13 and had just told them He would be soon leaving them. After three years of following Him, the disciples were puzzled and questioning, "Lord, where are you going? ... Why can't I follow you now?" Jesus assured them that He was going back to the Father, but they should not have troubled hearts. He even told them a Comforter (or Helper, Counselor) would come live with them -- and be in them! (See John 14:17)
So why is this important? Jesus called the Holy Spirit, "the spirit of truth" and He said,
26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Jesus said it was advantageous that He leave and the Holy Spirit come. Not only would the Spirit of God convict the world of sin, but there were hard things that Jesus didn't tell His followers because of their inability to bear them at the time, yet He promised that the Spirit would guide them into all truth. (See John 16:12-15)
This post is quite lengthy so I will stop talking of the Holy Spirit for now. However, I hope to address the way the Spirit is helpful to us at another time.
One of the greatest examples for me is comparing the disciples of Christ before and after the arrival of the Holy Spirit of God. Recall how most of the disciples fled and Peter denied the Lord Jesus three times when He was arrested and on trial. Then Jesus appeared to them after His resurrection and He soon returned to His Father. Then Acts records the coming of the Holy Spirit and the boldness of Jesus' followers. Although their Teacher had left, they had new-found bravery and fervor for spreading His message. The promised Helper had come!
What questions do you still have regarding the Holy Spirit? What things written above are unclear to you? Any other thoughts or comments?
For some thoughts on the Eastern perspective of the Trinity according to Karen Armstrong, please check out Wrestling With Religion's insightful post.