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by Tom Plonski
Since the human race began, man has always tried to come to some understanding of God. Our current understanding of God is an accumulation of the thoughts of millions and millions of men who have been working on this concept throughout the existence of mankind. We can deduce from artifacts and relics that even before men learned to write, they were trying to come to an understanding of God. Many people today believe in one God. But there are some people in the world who don't believe in any god and some people who still believe in many gods.
Abraham believed in one God who cared for him personally and protected him even though almost everyone else in the world at that time believed in many gods.
In reality it is up to each individual person to make up his own mind and make his own discoveries and conclusions about God. In reality this has always been so even though it was dangerous to say so. Throughout the ages, to avoid conflict, most people kept what they truly believed to themselves.
In the United States of America each person is free to decide for himself how he will think about God and how he will worship him or he can even openly decide not to worship him at all. This tolerance for differing opinions about God and about his nature is something new in the world. Mankind has inhabited the earth for thousands of years but this tolerance has only existed for less than three hundred years and even so it has never existed on the entire earth. Today this tolerance is found in less than half the earth. Be glad if you live in a country that allows you to express what you truly believe about God.
No matter what you think about God, one thing is for certain. Your understanding of God is inadequate. God is a mystery greater than the mere human mind can comprehend. As we grow older and think about it more, our understanding of God changes and our understanding of God grows. But even then we are always sure about one thing. We are always sure that our understanding is inadequate. In order to really understand God we would have to be God.
Jesus tried to give us a glimpse into the inner personal life of God when he taught his apostles about the Holy Trinity. We are used to seeing each human being having only one person. It is difficult for us to comprehend how there could be single being but with three persons. Many preachers have tried to explain how God can be one God and still be three persons. Saint Patrick used the shamrock in his explanation. Other preachers use other similes. The explanation that I personally like the best is the one below:
God is the creator of everything in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible. In the book of Genesis, God tells Moses, "I am who am." God is telling Moses that God's very nature is to exist. Not only did God create everything, God also continually holds it in existence.
How does God create?
When God creates something, He imagines it in his mind but God's imagination is so strong and so perfect that the creation immediately exists. God creates simply by thinking about his creation and wanting it to be real.
Does God create something and then forget about it?
Where do we learn about the Holy Trinity?
Is God aware of Himself? Because God is all-knowing, He also knows Himself. God is aware of Himself. The Bible says:
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God."
The use of "Word" in this passage is related to "knowledge" and "concept." When we know about something we communicate that knowledge by putting it into words. In this Bible passage, the writer is referring to God's knowledge and awareness of Himself. Because God continually knows and is aware of everything, He also continuously knows and is aware of Himself. Remember that when God thinks of something it immediately becomes real. God's awareness and knowledge of Himself is so strong, clear, and complete that it also is a knowing, self-aware person. God's knowledge and awareness of Himself is the second person of the Holy Trinity. Jesus said, "no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him." (Matthew 11:27)
Who is the third person of the Holy Trinity?
How do we know this?
And so we have a Creator God who is all-knowing and all-loving. God is always aware of everything. God's thoughts immediately create reality. So as God is aware of Himself then three persons are continually, eternally, and perpetually generated. And we have only one God but with three persons. This is my favorite way of trying to understand the Holy Trinity. But we must always remember that God is a mystery that is beyond our complete understanding. We must also keep in mind that that our human understanding of God is always limited and inadequate.