The Arian Heresies Arise
.... Let’s explain why we would use the term ‘heresies’ in describing the work that was later named for Arius. As this group studied the subject of the Godhead, they had begun with something we call a position of denial. In other words, in the beginning, they weren’t really seeking so much for the truth, they were only trying to prove that other people didn’t have the truth. In other words, their premise was to prove the pagans wrong. The pagans had said there were many gods, so their own premise, by default, was to say No, that there is only one God. And as a basis this would have been fine – the Trinity itself had taken the very same basis on this subject. There is only one God! But because this group had reactionary roots and they weren’t considering the whole of Scripture fairly, other truths began to suffer as their research evolved. By the time of Arius himself, the Arians had come full circle.
.... As the Arians studied the person of God, they could see that God the Father truly was God. He was constantly referred to in Scripture as ‘God’. Ah, but then they ran into problems. Besides the Scriptures teaching that the Father is God, the Bible also taught that Jesus Christ is God. This was taught in Scripture pointedly and repeatedly, which confused the Arians because, remember, those other Scriptures taught that there is only one God.
.... Well, the plot gets a little thicker. As they continued their research they saw that the Holy Spirit was also referred to as God. So we have Father, Son and Holy Spirit all referred to in Scripture as being God – and yet there is only one God.
.... Now this was very confusing to the Arians. They ran into a phenomenon known as an antinomy, which is like a paradox. An antinomy occurs when the Scriptures reveal two things as being true, and yet those two things seem to contradict each other. How can Father, Son and Holy Ghost all be God when there is only one God? Or how can Jesus Christ be referred to as ‘God’ when He is also referred to as ‘The Son of God’? How are these things explained?
.... The Arians didn’t know the answer to such things. So in order to explain this enigma they began making a terrible mistake. Instead of accepting those teachings as God’s truth, as God was revealing Himself through those truths, and working to reconcile those Scriptures into a harmonious understand, they began to pick and choose. Soon there were certain Scriptures where they placed their emphasis, and the rest they would find novel ways of explaining away. So in other words, they began picking and choosing the Scriptures that they would disbelieve at the same time. The Arians only had half of the story, and there are a lot of people who have followed in their footsteps to this very day.
.... You see beloved, when Scripture reveals something as being true, we have to accept the truth of it whether we can actually understand it or not. Because our understanding is of no consequence to it’s truthfulness. God is not limited by what a man can or cannot understand.
.... For instance, no one knows how God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing, simply by speaking the word and it was so. But God wasn’t limited or hindered in any way by the fact that man couldn’t understand this. He simply did it. God did understand it – that was His own basis. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). So when Scripture sets forth something as being true, we must accept that it is true, even if we cannot comprehend in what way it is true – though God may decide to add that to our understanding later. Unless we are prepared to accept God at His word we’re never going to get anywhere in the kingdom of God, for to do otherwise is to second-guess Him, which smacks of hubris. Who are we, to make exceptions over God?