THE HOLY TRINITY
THE THREE HYPOSTASES
There are three substances or hypostases in the Holy Trinity, and they are of the same essence and nature. One in three and three in one, it is the Holy Trinity for it is co-essential and inseparable. The three persons are differentiated one is the Father, the second is the Son and the third is the Holy Spirit. The Father exists of himself because He possesses within himself the reason for His existence. The Son and Holy Spirit are not persons who exist of themselves for their reason for existence are not in themselves but are in the Father. If the Father did not exist neither would the Son or Holy Spirit exist, thus the existence of both is from the Father.
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united in their one nature and one essence which are common to the three persons. Thus the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God – one God of one nature and essence in three hypostases. The Father is able to have other persons proceed from Him. The Father is being itself and the first cause from which the other two persons, the Son and the Holy Spirit derive their being. The Father is the first person; He is the Lord. The Father has life in himself and gives life to the Son to have life in himself.
The Son of God has His origin in the Father who is the cause of the Son and the Holy Spirit, but the Father himself alone is without cause. The Son is called God by the Psalmist David: “The Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right hand . . . (Psalm 101:1). Isaias says of the Son: “angel of great counsel, wonderful counselor, mighty God, Lord and master, prince of peace, Father of the age to come” (Isaias 9:6).
The Son, Jesus Christ, has an abundance of life. He speaks of this: “For as the Father has life in himself so has he given life to the son to have life in himself” (John 5:26). Also: “I live by the Father” (John 5:26). “ . . . . no man knows the Son, but the Father, neither knows any man the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him” (Matt. 11:27).
The Holy Spirit is called Comforter and life-giving Spirit. The third person of the Holy Trinity is able to create life and comforts our souls; He is also called God and Lord just as the Father and the Son are called. The Holy Spirit has His origin and cause and proceeds from the Father.
There are three wills in the three hypostases, but only one will in the essence, three in one and one in three. The relationship between the Father and the Son is that of begetting and of being begotten. The relationship between the Father and the Holy Spirit is that of projecting and of proceeding.
Those who consider in their imagination that God is a single person, fabricate a pseudo-god who is non existent, for their thoughts are entirely in opposition to the unerring teaching of Jesus Christ. Orthodox theology demonstrates that God is one, that is one in three hypostases – the Father from whom are all things, the Son through whom are all things, and the Holy Spirit in whom are all things. Whoever does not correctly accept and believe these great dogmatic truths of the Holy Trinity, cannot be a Christian, and as St. John Chrysostom says, we need both the correct dogmatic belief in true dogmas and correct moral and ethical belief and action for are both necessary in order to be saved.