It was at a Mexican restaurant where I tested them theologically for the first time. I remember one of the first weeks I was here with my student ministry. I asked them the question: “If the Father is God and the Son is God, does that mean that the Father is really the Son and the Son is really the Father?” Most of them answered “yes.” Finally, fourteen months later, I got to talk about that very topic that I first tested them with.
When it comes to understanding God as Trinity, we must understand Him intimately within all three of His persons. We’ll kick it off with God as Father and Son. As always, let’s see what Satan is up to as he’s such a punk who likes to fool people into thinking false truths. The Jehovah’s Witnesses sincerely believe that God created Jesus first before anything else. They say that Jesus is not eternal God, but he is the firstborn over all creation. The reason I said they “sincerely” believe it is because that is straight from the Bible (Colossians 1:15). The problem is, Paul isn’t saying at all that God created Jesus first, rather Paul is saying that Jesus is receiving all the creation as His inheritance from His Father since He is the Supreme Son (Col 1:18). It doesn’t matter how sincere people are in their beliefs. They can be as sincere as possible..and be headed straight to hell. We must sincerely believe what is true about Jesus and His Father.
So then what is true? I’m glad you asked! First, Both God the Father and God the Son (Jesus) are equally God (John 1:1-3). The Father is not more God than the Son, but they both share the exact same fulness of deity (Matthew 28:18-20). We can’t think of the Father as God Sr. and Jesus as God Jr. This is also why the apple (peel, seeds, fruit), the three-leaf clover, or other illustrations like those aren’t true. Jesus and the Father don’t make up the full God, rather they are both equally, in and of themselves, fully God!
Second, the Father and the Son (Jesus) have different roles within the Trinity. They are equal in their essence, but they are different in their function. They are the exact same when it comes to being God, but they are different when it comes to what they do as God. In Scripture, God the Father is always seen as the Supreme member of the Trinity. He is the Head, the architect, the designer, the planner, the Creator, etc. He always exercises loving authority over His Son (1 Cor 11:3). The Son of God (Jesus) is always seen in Scripture as the second member of the Trinity (Matt 28:19-20). He always exercises loving submission to His Father (John 4:34). I know it’s difficult and can often be confusing, but we must see our God as a loving-authoritative Father and a loving-submissive Son. Scripture talks about them as a hierarchy of roles in the Trinity.
This has so much significance for the lives of students. Like the Son, all students should lovingly submit to their parents. It always was and is Jesus’ greatest joy to please His Father by obeying Him. But also: like the Father, all parents should exercise loving authority. Students, start praying today that you will love your children like the Father!
Here’s another connection. Like the Son to the Father, wives should submit to their husbands (1 Cor 11:3). I have heard women say, “I will never submit to my husband. My husband and I are equal…50/50.” What she really is saying: “Authority and submission is bad. Jesus should have never submitted to His Father. He should have done His own will.” No, Wives are called be like Christ as He submits to His Father! Here’s another: Like the Father to the Son, men should love their wives. There would be many more submissive wives today if there were more sacrificially loving husbands. Students, start preparing yourself today to be biblical wives and husbands as you reflect the relationship between the Father and Son (1 Cor 11:3). The best way to do this is by enjoying to submit to your parents as you understand their Godly authority in your life.