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Thursday
Sep182008

Theological Term of the Week

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Defining a term used in defining the Trinity

being or essence
what God is; his nature; “the stuff of diety, if we may call it that.”1
  • From the Bible:
    Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Deuteronomy 6:4 ESV)
  • From the Second Helvetic Confession, Chapter 3:
    God Is One. We believe and teach that God is one in essence or nature, subsisting in himself, all sufficient in himself, invisible, incorporeal, immense, eternal, Creator of all things both visible and invisible, the greatest good, living, quickening and preserving all things, omnipotent and supremely wise, kind and merciful, just and true….

    God Is Three. Notwithstanding we believe and teach that the same immense, one and indivisible God is in person inseparably and without confusion distinguished as Father, Son and Holy Spirit…. For according to the nature or essence they are so joined together that they are one God, and the divine nature is common to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

  • From Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem:
    Scripture is abundantly clear that there is one and only one God. The three different persons of the Trinity are one not only in purpose and in agreement on what they think, but they are one in essence, one in their essential nature. In other words, God is only one being. There are not three Gods. There is only one God.
Learn more:
  1. Fred Sanders: A Top Ten List of Books on the Trinity
  2. The articles and mp3s recommended here and here.
Related terms:

1From J. I. Packer in Concise Theology.

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion, and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

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