The Father’s Distinct Action From the Son in John 8:54

“Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’;” John 8:54 NASB

Those Who make the Father and Son the same one God, the same individual being, cannot assent to the teaching of the Lord here; for the distinction between God and His Son here is too clear to escape. For the Lord says that if He glorifies Himself, His glory is nothing; that is, were He to glorify Himself, He would have no glory at all. Instead, the Father glorifies the Son. Now this will be impossible, if the Father and Son are the same individual being; for both being the same individual being, and all the actions of one being equally the actions of the other, for the Father to glorify the Son will be the same as for the Son to glorify Himself, and visa versa, since their actions are all one and the same. But for the Son to be glorified by the Father, without glorifying Himself (and so nullifying His own glory), the action of the Father in glorifying the Son must be an action which is performed by the Father, and not by the Son. If, then, the Father acts without the Son sharing in that same action, then it is shown that the Father and Son are not one and the same individual being, but two distinct individual being, truly distinct from one another.

They are not then both the same individual being, but the Father only is the Supreme Being, and the Son is another distinct individual being besides Him, glorified by Him. And this is made all the clearer by the last clause of the verse, where the Lord mentions that the Jews worship the Father as their God. And Who then, did the Jews worship, but the one God, the Almighty, the Supreme Being? Yet we know these Jews the Lord spoke to, who were about to attempt to stone Him momentarily, did not worship Christ. The Son then identifies the God of Israel, the God of the Old Testament, not with Himself and the Father, but only with the Father; and proclaims Himself not to be the one God, the Supreme Being, the God of Israel, but the Son of that one God, another individual being distinct from Him, in proclaiming that the one that they worship is His Father.

This passage proves that the Father can, and did, act distinctly from the Son, then, and so is not the same individual being as the Son; and also, that the God of Israel, the one God of the Bible, is, according to Christ, not Himself, but the Father, as it is the God of Israel Who glorifies the Son, and not the Son Himself.

This poses an insurmountable difficulty to modalism, then, as they conclusions here drawn are unavoidable corollaries of what the text of scripture says. And so all the modalists, whether they openly proclaim themselves such, or falsely call themselves trinitarians, will be rebuked by this one small verse. Let us leave behind the doctrines of Sabellius, Marcellus, Photinius, Augustine, and the scholastics; and instead drink of the pure milk of the word of God, truly believing in Christ as the Son of God, which He so clearly proclaimed Himself to be.

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