Didymus the Blind (AD 313–398) wrote: “For things of the same substance—ὁμοούσια—have the same activities, and things of a different substance—ἑτεροούσια—have discordant and distinct activities.”
This is a key basis for the doctrine of the Trinity.
Gregory of Nyssa refines the concept here by arguing that through Power, the Father’s activity produces works. Through the Son who is the Power of God, then, the Father and Son share the same activity and so works. See Contra Eunomium 3.4 or Michel Barnes.
So far, all of this sounds like chaotic gibberish! Yes, I know. It is not, however, anything less than a description of the Bible.
So in simpler terms:
God does god-stuff like creating. Humans do human-stuff like being created. Since God has the Power to create and since humans do not, when the Father and Son create, they share something proper to God: the ability to create.
So their activity to create and the work of creation show that they are the one God that the Bible proclaims. John 1:1–3 makes this case. Scripture calls the Son the Power of God (1 Cor 1:24). God creates through Power, the Son.
That is what the Bible said.
So why do Didymus and Gregory sound weird? Because they use Greek Bible words and we are used to English Bible words.
And because they are trying to explain rationally why the Son is truly divine against those who use Scripture improperly to demote the Son to something less than the Power of God.
Mark Matthias says
Absolutely, Wyatt — I would like to interject something I read a long time ago.
They have been in my notes for a while…
Matthew 18:18: Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you lose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
“So far as the Ecclesia was true to its Lord, and guided by His Spirit, it was not to think that its decisions depended on any temporal power.” True!
“The Greek and exegesis make the idea, for example, that the Pope being the Vicar of Christ or the “reincarnation of Peter” completely unacceptable.
I’m taking the basics of this from my old notes. This is the 1st time “Ekklesia” (church) is mentioned in the entire NT.
“And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of the heavens. And whatever you shall bind on earth shall be as having been bound in the heavens. And whatever you shall loose on earth shall be as having been loosed in the heavens.”
The church in verse 18, being the earthly side of God’s kingdom and the kingdom of the heavens in verse 19 which refers to both the Church on earth and the kingdom of God within the believers (Luke 17:21). Of the kingdom has a far larger implication than the Church on earth. The teaching here is that those things which are conclusively decided by the King in the kingdom of heaven having been decided upon and emulated by the Church on earth — the Church being the true believers whose testimony is the Rock, even like Peter’s testimony concerning the deity of Jesus Christ upon Whom the Church is built (1 Cor. 3:11).
No reference is made here to the binding or loosing of persons but of things…ὅς”, indicating neuter forms.
So in light of ‘bind’ and ‘loose’ — perfect passive participles, which should have been translated as “having been bound and as having been loosed already in the heavens.” Notwithstanding our Lord’s use of two words for Rock…
Thus, believers on earth can only confirm what has already taken place in heaven.
“God does god-stuff like creating. Humans do human stuff like being created. Since God has the Power to create and since humans do not, when the Father and Son create, they share something proper to God: the ability to create.”
This can be reckoned as the ability to possess the indwelling Spirit who happens to be the One creating. — our role is to obey Jesus. And, I would say, since we are made in His image we can obey and emulate Him (John 16…).
“So their activity is to create and the work of creation show that they are the one God that the Bible proclaims. John 1:1–3 makes this case. Scripture calls the Son the Power of God (1 Cor 1:24). God creates through Power, the Son.”
Thus the Son was able to do the impossible — exegete God, John 1:18.