Lingering Doubt

I have a claim stuck in my mind since the winter of this last year, when I was extremely doubting my faith. I need some help getting rid of it so I can throw off my bonds of doubt.

“God cannot change. However, God necessarily changes Himself by bringing into God the Son the person of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Christianity is easily refutable and falsch.”

The divine and human natures of Jesus are never mixed, never lose their distinctiveness. God did not “bring into God the Son the person of Jesus Christ”. Rather, God, through Jesus Christ, became united with Man, without changing or intermingling the two natures.

God did not change. God was always Triune, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Catechism on the Trinity:

scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s2c1p2.htm

But God is still changed because God wasn’t united with man through Jesus as God the Son, and now Jesus is God and God is united with man.

“now Jesus is God” - Jesus always was God. He was not always named Jesus and was not always man.

Imagine: You are a human being, an American citizen. Then, after graduating a seminary, You become a priest. Does this mean You changed as a personality? Not necessarily. Does this mean You ceased to be a human being and an American citizen? It does not.

Or another example, a simpler one. You were not a friend of another person. Then, You became friend with him. Does this mean You Yourself changed? No, not necessarily.

The same with God. God’s becoming Man did not change Him. The Incarnation changes our relationship with God, but it does not mean that God changed in His Divine essence.

I think, the problem of Your syllogism is that You say that “God wasn’t united with man”. You are applying the category of time to God. But God is beyond time. Incarnation is something He planned beyond time. We perceive it as a change of our relationship with God, because we live in time. But in reality God’s attitude never changed, as He lives out of time.

Not sure if this will give some help:

God remaining what he was, assumed that which he wasn’t.

I suggest you read about the Incarnation:
newadvent.org/cathen/07706b.htm

But if Jesus wasn’t always God then He became a part of God the Son, them…

You could ask as well about any intervention of God in the lives of men. How about the action of the Holy Spirit, who was sent to assist and guide us?

You may arrive at a solution to your problem by examining what it means for God to be eternal and unchanging. This is a bit of a mystery, because we humans (and everything in the physical universe which God created) are time-bound, but God is not. That is to say we live in time. We have a past which is knowable to us, a present which we perceive and experience in the moment, and a future which we cannot know. God is not restricted in that way. God created time and is not subject to it. God’s intervention in our world and in our lives is eternal and unchanging, but it is revealed to us and we experience it as events in our timeline.

The incarnation of Jesus is like this, but probably harder to fathom, since God became man and lived a lifetime “like us in all things but sin.” How can God do that? Good question!

The way you phrase your questions seems to indicate that you think God exists in time. I can tell from your use of terms like “was” and “now”.

There is no “before”, “now” and “after” for God. There was never God “before” the Incarnation and “after” the Incarnation. That may be how we humans perceive it but that’s due to to our limitations from existing in time. God does not exist in time; there is no past, present, or future for him. His plan, will, and act are all the same.

The Incarnation did not change anything in God because any change happened to Jesus in his human nature. That that human nature was hypostatically united with the divine nature does not change the divine nature. Jesus as a man lived in time just like we did, but upon his ascension entered eternity, and eternity is always “Now”. Therefore one can say that God has “always” (scare quotes, used loosely because we need to necessarily account for our limited linear temporal existence) been united with the human nature due to Jesus’ eternal act.

And the notion that Jesus wasn’t always God is wrong. He has always been God; the Second Person of the Trinity; from the first moment of his existence his human and divine natures had been hypostatically united.

Hi!
…you misunderstand Scriptures… God is Eternal and Immutable; hence God Existed as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit from the Beginning… here are Revelations about Creation, God, and God’s Divine Plan:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ: 4 As [size=]he chose us in him before the foundation of the world[/size], that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity. (Ephesians 1:3-4)

1 [size=]In the beginning [/size]was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were **made by him: **and without him was made nothing that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (St. John 1:1-4)

8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but labour with the gospel, according to the power of God, 9 Who hath delivered us and called us by his holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was**[size=] given us in Christ Jesus before the times of the world**[/size]. (2 Timothy 1:8-9)

God Existed as God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) from the Beginning–before Creation!

Maran atha!

Angel

…it seems you could be right… but have you considered that God does not change to become as man but changes man to become as God? Jesus takes man into God’s existence making man of the essence of God–not the reverse!

Maran atha!

Angel

I repeat - Jesus always was God. Why would You say He wasn’t?

God did not change. Only our relationship with God changed when timeless God incarnated in the temporal world.

Not following the idea of God changing because of the incarnation.

It’s not like God was caught by surprise by anything and changed course…the Word always existed John 1. And from the beginning God has always appeared to His creation. Go back to the book of Genesis when it says He was walking in the garden. And speaking of Genesis, you can see it was all His plan from the beginning Gen 3:15

And like Augustine says, in the incarnation, humanity was attached to God, but God was not detached from Himself.

Great thread! :thumbsup:

There is a pillar in the ground, and a horse walking by.

The horse is first on the left. But then, the pillar is on the left of the horse. Did the pillar change?

Creation changed with relationship to God at the Incarnation, but God does not and cannot change with relation to anything. Once you jump the gap, in fact, into these kinds of discussions, we would say that strictly speaking, “relation” is something creation has with God, but that God does not have with creation. That is difficult to understand, as it is not able to be reconciled with the common usage of the word in preaching and teaching.

Put another way, it is the flesh that is being changed, in the instant of its creation, to be united to the Divine Person of the Son… God does not need to change for this to happen. His will and intellect remain as they are, but the human body and soul have conformed to it as they come into being.

A more basic question is, “How can God will anything? That would seem to imply a change.” But this misses the transcendence of God - He does not deliberate, and His will is simply convertible with reality… there is no “intermediate” step that would involve change.

Further, his will, as with anything of the divine, is immutable. It cannot change.

For God, will and act are inseparable.

Genesis 1:26 , all emphasis mine
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; …

How do you understand that huge statement?

I’ll take a different angle.

If you are at 14 years working on things like this I think that is EXCELLENT!:thumbsup:

Be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself, and don’t expect to clear up everything before you graduate high school.

Keep working on things, but realize you are years (decades actually) ahead of where I was, and God (and many of the kind folks here) did not give up on me.

God bless and keep trying.

Maybe this will help and maybe it won’t, but let’s try since this seems to be important to you right now.

Did God really die on the cross, or did God’s humanity only die?
The correct answer is … God really did die on the cross and it wasn’t just his human nature. Why? Because it was the second Person of the Trinity that really died, alltho thru his human nature.

Now you might say then God was changed because God really died.

But it is important to note that the Second Person died as man but the Second Person did not die in his divinity since there are still three divine persons before, during, and after the Second person’s human death. The fact that the Second Person died as man does not translate into the Second Person dying as God. Man is one nature, God another nature. These two natures are united in the one person of Jesus but the two natures are still distinct.

You may have to read this several times to get the understanding you need.

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