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What is the distinction between the Father and the Son?

Submitted: 4/15/2006
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Question: I have a question regarding the Incarnation. The doctrine of the Trinity is NOT taught in the Bible and the Bible certainly says that there is one God, the Father, and that Jesus is 'the' God, therefore making Him the Father as to His Deity. The Bible certainly teaches a distinction as well, the Father and the Son. Jesus took on human nature. That is, God became a human. So how much God is He to His humanity? The Son is a part of God forever, He will always now be a distinct nature. Why didn't the church fathers make such a distinction if they were referring to the same being? Let me say, I believe Oneness doctrine with all my heart. But I honestly study it too. Why do the apostles make such a distinction when Jesus is indeed that one being? That's the hardest thing to explain about the nature of Jesus Christ. God (all deity) was manifested in the flesh (incarnate). So I guess my question is it seemed that when they prayed to God, in their understanding they would pray to the Father and the Son in distinction, why? Why not the same person? I think I'm getting in error here, but I'm very confused right now. I understand that the Son and Father must still be in distinction today but how? If I went to Heaven, would Jesus still tell me that the Father was not Him but He indwells Him when I thought I was talking to the Father the entire time?

Answer: Your question seems to pertain to the way God is described in certain passages, such as Romans 1:7, which says, 'Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.' This verse seems to be making a distinction between two beings, which is confusing to many people. So the question is, why did the apostles talk about God in this manner? The reason is this: many people, including all Jews, believe there is one God who is the Father. But after Jesus had walked the earth in human flesh, it became necessary to differentiate between the God the Jews worshiped and the God revealed in Christ. In other words, it was no longer enough to confess that 'God is one.' It was now necessary to also confess that 'God was manifested in the flesh.'

The language of the New Testament, especially in many of the epistles, is a deliberate attempt to reiterate the truth that the true God is the One who was manifested in the flesh. This is the reason behind Paul's salutation in Romans 1:7. In essense he was saying, 'Grace to you and peace from the God who came in the flesh and died for your salvation.'

Brother, when you get to heaven and stand before Jesus, we suggest you ask Him directly, 'Lord, show me the Father and I will be satisfied.' We are quite confident that He will answer, 'My beloved, he who has seen Me has seen the Father.' Be blessed!