How can you maintain Oneness when Scripture itself makes clear distinctions between the persons of the Trinity with language like “we” and “our”?
While an exhaustive treatment would be profitable, we have limited space here, so I will distill my comments by using one of the clearest examples in Scripture to show how these types of scriptural distinctions should be understood. John 14:23 quotes Jesus in this regard, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Here is a CLEAR case of “we” and “our.” This is unquestionably a distinction. But what type of distinction?
Oneness believers say this is a distinction between roles, including the humanity of Christ and deity, the one God incarnate in the man Jesus. Our Trinitarian friends claim in opposition that it is speaking of “persons” in the “trinity.” The question of who is seeing truth is simple then. What type of distinction does the Bible make and how do we know?
Is this referring to physical or bodily entrance of persons of a trinity? It can’t be, even according to Trinitarian doctrine, because the doctrine of the trinity says it’s the third person “God the Holy Spirit” who indwells believers physically. This passage shows it’s the Father and the Son who make their “abode with” us when we believe. Notice not IN us, but WITH us. That’s fellowship or communion with God. The only way we can have communion with God is through the sacrifice of the man Jesus as our substitute. That allows the “Holy” to come to us without judging us. Further, if this is about persons, we’d have both the Father and the Son in us and the Spirit isn’t even in the mix here. There would be two Spirits in us and neither is the Holy Ghost!
To worsen the position of Trinitarians, Eph. 4:4 declares there is only one Spirit. On top of that, if this is about “persons” and not the man Jesus, how can John say, “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:20)? Are we included in the trinity? No. Scripture is teaching when we are one with JESUS (applying by faith Acts 2:38 as death, burial and resurrection), we are one with GOD!
These types of distinctions show us consistently that Jesus is not just the one God incarnate, He’s also the man who is our door, our priest, our only way to the Father (notice not the trinity). To get the “we” and the “our” of abiding fellowship with the Father and the Son, we must have the perfect man to get into fellowship with the one holy God. Both roles are necessary for reconciliation. That distinction is biblical. Other claims on these types of distinctions run quickly afoul of the Bible’s claims itself. Then we have to decide between claims of people and what the Scripture says. You see my dilemma, right? We must side with God’s revelation about Himself in Scripture period.