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Elaborate on the Persons of the Godhead? Who outranks whom?

Hello J,

Thank you for contacting BibleAsk.

The OT declares that God is One (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:6, 8). And the NT affirms that same truth (John 17:3;1 Timothy 2:5). But the One God has three united, fully divine Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the OT, it starts “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). The Hebrew word here for God is Elohim. It is a Plural noun that is used more than 2,700 times in the Old Testament. Also in the NT, the three persons of the Godhead appear in the following verses: (Matthew 3:16,17; 1 John 5:7; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 9:14; Revelation 1:4–6).

Father

It was God the Father that “gave” the Son. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). In fact, while it might not be wrong, we are never told to pray to Jesus or the Spirit – but instead to the Father in the name of the Son.

Son

Jesus is God the Son ((John 1:1–4; 14:6; John 20:26–29; Revelation 1:8; 1 John 5:11, 12, 20; Colossians 1:16; John 10:18; John 11:25).) Jesus is equal to the Father (Philippians 2:6) but in order to save us He had to lay aside the full dimension of His divinity when He came to earth (Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2:5-8; John 17:5). Because Jesus veiled His divinity and became human the Father in heaven was greater than Him while in the flesh.

The Holy Spirit

Though a spirit, He has all the characteristics of a separate person. The Holy Spirit speaks (Acts 8:29), teaches (2 Peter 1:21), guides (John 16:13), witnesses (Hebrews 10:15), comforts (John 14:16), helps (John 16:7, 8), and can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30). These are all traits that belong to a person and not just a force.

Who outranks whom?

Although all three Persons of the Godhead are the same in properties and attributes, and equal in power and glory, it appears that the Father is recognized as the ultimate authority. “The head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3 also 1 Corinthians 3:23). Yet,  just because the Father seems to have supreme authority, it does not in any way diminish from the divinity of Jesus and the Spirit. The Son constantly receives His glory, power, throne from the Father (John 3:35; John 5:22). The Father, Son, and Spirit always seem to be trying to out give and glorify each other (John 17:1, 5; John 16:14; John 13:31, 32).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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