Immanent and Economic

Click the mp3 link below to listen to this message. When leaving a comment for your NRTC assignment, please summarize in your own words what you learned or how you were blessed. Use your full name so that your Leadership Pastor can find your comments.

Immanent and Economic
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Sunday Service (Hillside Campus 1pm)
Speaker: Christian Lee
Passage: Matthew 3:16-17, 2 Corinthians 13:14
In this message, Pastor Christian uses the doctrine of the Trinity to reveal wisdom into our relationship with church leaders.

Comments

  1. Orji Noble says:

    I consider this to be a call for submission to authorities and to call for me to know who i am both in function and in being, before God tand before fellow men. Untill we submit to spiritual authorities and become part of God’s work in humility we won’t feel peace in our hearts, we can only strive and struggle but our heart is far away from God. Accepting one as spiritual father and at thesame time accepting him as fellow son before God is highly spiritual and takes divine revelation to see beyond the surface

  2. Kayla Vezeau says:

    The trinity is both immanent and economic. Its important that we learn and understand this as leaders because when Jesus was on earth, he was seen as dependent or subordinate to God as well as the Holy Spirit. But their subordination was out of function not substance, meaning that they are immanent, fully God but have distinct roles. We also have to understand that we not only carry the title of leader but need to carry the substance. Jesus doesn’t want us to be like the pharisees who didn’t practice what they preached. I have fallen into that mindset of taking on a title but not fully carrying the substance or at least trying to get the title without having much substance. God humbled me during a significant time in my life but out of it taught me humilty. Still growing in many areas but so thankful for God’s grace. Thank you PC for your wonderful teachings and working hard to interpret the passages.

  3. Sindy Montgomery says:

    This can be one of the most difficult biblical concepts to explain, yet it was done with amazing clarity and powerful application. When churches deny the emmanent or economic aspects of the Trinity, they are missing the mark. The Bible clearly reveals God’s triune nature. Without the emmanent trinity the three persons cannot be fully God. On the other hand, leaving the economic view also unables us to see the distinct qualities of the trinity.
    There was a hierarchy in the church of old. Many churches have tried ti become more modern and worldly but in doing so have lost the emmanent and economic relations within the church. Western society focus entirely too much on emmanent identity. They don’t like the idea if submission or authority. Allowing someone that much power over them causes fear and resentment to well-up in their hearts. Yet without structure and authority the church becomes weak with no vision or direction to follow. It becomesito focused on votes and fairness instead of discipleship and direction. However, Korean churches tend to lean heavily on the economic identity. The pastor is the ultimate leader and in some churches treated like God. Their word is law,and no one is allowed to question his authority. But who shepherds them, there isn’t any acountability and so room for corruption and abuse are able to enter.
    I have grown up in Korean American churches my whole life and have experienced both sides of this. There is a great need to be balanced and have both the emmanent and the economic within church leadership and how the people of God relate to leaders.

  4. Anna Suber says:

    Now I understand why New Philly teaches on these different identities. It gives better understanding to our purpose in the church, and even outside of church. Yes, their is a hierarchy in the church but it’s there to bring awareness the different anointing God has given in through the Holy Spirit. Shifting into the different functions of how we see our Spiritual Father and our fellow leaders/members can strengthen our maturity in the faith. I’ve always seen spiritual pillars in the church as super Godly people who could never relate to me on “my level.” But what an orphan mindset that was because I missed opportunities to be spoken into. I purely saw them in the economic identity as someone higher than me on all levels. I completely missed that they could speak so much into my life! I totally missed the big picture…I was only looking at the techancalities. Same went for those I saw “under my level.” I knew I was farther in my walk but knew I had authority over them. This made my heart hardened because I only saw people in the church in their economic identities. I didn’t see that God has established these roles but they didn’t define their identities 100%. Seeing leaders and members as people desiring to be closer to God is a sign of maturity in order to grow respect for those who has been appointed to lead you.

  5. Sofia Kim says:

    I was surprised by how fromTrinity, Pastor Christian ended up explaining the relationship between church leaders and the community. That our identity is not only our emmanent identity but also the economical identity and how New Philly try to make a balance of both. For me, after listening to the sermon I understood why Sonship was taught at the beginning. To understand our emmanent identity as a Son of God and Sister, and our economic identity as a servant,leader and Spiritual Son. So we respect and submit to the authorities of our church leaders because God has given them that position. And the importance to honor them because they are will going to be use by God to give us freedom, truth, clarity so we can experience the Father’s grace in a differente level.

  6. Jin Kim says:

    This message really hit home for me. Growing up in both church environments, I was able to see faults in both the economic and immanent identities. One left my family, especially my father, deeply hurt and the other caused the church to become a place where the leadership became very vague. I remember seeing the elders have more authority in making administrative decisions just because my father had the ‘spiritual’ decisions. This type of ‘church politics’ that was rooted in the church caused division and people leaving. So seeing this balanced system here at New Philly is very encouraging and makes me more excited and motivated to serve with a healthy balance both identities, with humilty and servanthood.
    I now fully understand the core values and why it is so important to understand and accept the concept of ‘sonship’ when it comes to joining and being a part of a church. IT ALL CONNECTS AND MAKES SENSE :)

  7. Kristian Doncillo says:

    What a mind opening message. Had to replay parts over again to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I really liked the way Pastor Christian distinguished the differences between Immanent Trinity and Economic Trinity as it wasn’t a topic I was too familiar with before. When he explained how in the church, both immanent and economic aspects are required in our relations with one another, it really got me thinking. As Pastor Christian explained, a church that emphasizes economic aspect is more prone to being functionally oriented and stress hierarchy/role which often times can create a divide as leaders and pastors may be perceived as untouchable. This in itself presents many weaknesses as it can lead to issues such as accountability and transparency. On the other hand, a church that’s too focussed on the immanent aspects may dilute the importance of leadership and authority. A church that heavily uses democratic approaches positions themselves in often times, unfavourable situations. If everything became a round table discussion and was up for debate, the leader/pastor loses spiritual authority. At best, they become a facilitator of a discussion, but not someone who is able to steer the church towards God’s vision. As Pastor Christian said, a balance of both is needed in churches. There should be a sense of equality within the church but at the same time submission is required as well. Immanently, yes we are all sons of God but at the same time there is a functional/economic aspect in our relationships with one another. There should be a certain amount of respect and submission to our leaders and pastors. If we really trust in God, then we should be able to trust that the leaders and pastors He has put in our lives are there according to His purpose.

    When sonship is brought in, immanently we are all sons of God but economically our sonship is to our spiritual fathers. Our spiritual father is in no way a replacement for God, but is there functionally to manifest the Father in loving, disciplining and speaking over our lives. Pastor Christian’s explanation of Matthew 23:8 where Jesus tells us not to call anyone father or teacher was spot on. Contextually, this verse was addressing Pharisees who were abusing their role/authority for their own gain and were in no way acting out of love. The verse therefore cannot be used as a blanketing statement. It is important that leaders are not just their role/title, but have the substance of being a leader, which comes from a heart of servanthood.

  8. David Albano says:

    Immanent and economic trinity are two ways that are used to describe the triune God. The immanent trinity describes he eternal being/nature out side the limiting time and space. Economic trinity discusses the god head and its distinct role in gods economy of gods salvation in man kind. How god interacts with man kind. Jesus is dependant on God but it doesn’t mean he is lesser but this subordination is one of function, in the economic trinity. Need both the Immanent and the economic trinity as the scripture teaches. They are equal in being but subordinate in role. Matthew 3:16-17 is a great example for the immanent trinity. 2 Corinthians 13:12-13 is an example of the economic trinity because Paul refers to all 3 and what they do.
    I really liked the point of how voting/democracy is not a good option for church leadership and decisions. There needs to be order and function. I personally have heard this exact same thing from my father who is a pastor. He told me last week that voting is not the way they make decisions in church because it’s not biblical.
    Picking and choosing what you want from church is very easy to do and that is something I’d like to stay away from. I want a Pastor and a leader. I need it and this message nails it.

  9. Valerie Ng Hui Sze says:

    I really appreciate how P.Christian explained the concept of trinity as a balance of both immanent and economic. The fact that they are equal in being but subordinate in role blew my mind. The immanent identity is unquestionably important because we need to acknowledge that before God, we are ALL sons. Therefore, before each other, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Nonetheless, I learnt that the economic identity is just as important. By recognizing the economic function of a leader, submission follows. Thus, honouring and respecting the economic identity of P.Christian as a spiritual father or Bernadette as my familia leader, I am trusting their authority to oversee and speak into my life. This leads to breakthroughs and covering so that I am no longer a spiritual orphan.

  10. One of my recent prayers was for a wise mentor sent by Christ who I could grow spiritually and emotionally in. I think God answered with my CG leaders. I always grew up doubting those with authority and priding myself on being the lone orphan, the rough pioneer who was going to make it on his own and didn’t need anyone giving him orders. I got my West Point sergeant relieved of his command and was actually kind of pleased with myself. It was unintentional but I certainly relished in that episode, giving myself some credit for “uprooting the system.” I always found a selfish desire to argue with leaders, pastors, often for the pure sake of arguing and stroking my own ego. I tried to prove them wrong or outwit them, etc. I could never admit that I was broken and need a loving father. I still find it hard to be vulnerable and reveal my inner-self to people, but I certainly do recognize my basic need for these things. It’s time for me to be the son God designed me to be and put my faith and trust in a true spiritual Father, so help me God.
    Teach me how to love and be loved.

  11. Christine Kwon says:

    The distinction between immanent and economic is really helping me better understand the trinity and also my place in the church. It’s exciting to know that I can personally experience God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in their specific functions in my daily life, and that I can walk out not only my immanent identity but my economic identity as a son to my leaders at New Philly. I found myself nodding in agreement with a lot of Pastor Christian’s explanations about what can happen when one identity is emphasized at the expense of the other, and I’ve personally seen how unconstructive and even damaging it can be. It was so interesting to think about the immanent identity as something that will last forever, and the economic identity as something that is temporary yet crucial and powerful for our lives on this earth.

    The clarification that economic identity doesn’t have to threaten immanent identity, that both are meant to be exercised and walked out in balance, was as freeing as Pastor Christian said it would be, because it showed me that I don’t have to be anxious or frightened about the loss of my immanent identity. Going further than that, I’m encouraged to know that the more I open my heart, as I believe God has been giving me the faith to do, and the more I behave and walk as a son to my leaders, the more I will experience the love and freedom and healing of God, and everything else that He wants to do in and through my life. Like probably lots of others, I’ve never had a spiritual father, but I know that I need one, and God knows how much I’ve wanted one since before I even knew the concept existed. After listening to this message, I feel challenged and empowered to honor my CG leaders in my heart even more than before, not just as sisters but as people anointed by God, in whom God’s love and power is truly made manifest. I know I have been seeing the fruit of their leadership in my life already, but this message helped me to grasp more clearly that our relationship and our roles are the “graces” that God has designed and given to us to set us free, and that embracing this truth even more eagerly will be so good for me.

  12. Rochelle Watt says:

    This message talked about the immanent and economic identities of God, and of each member within the church. For God, His immanent identity describes His essence and state of being, and His economic identity describes His role and interaction with mankind. As members of the church, our immanent identity is our sonship to God – this is our true nature and who we are called to be. Our sonship to the pastor is our economic identity because the pastor cannot replace God, but can only reveal Him.

    This message has really challenged me to better understand who I am both to God and to the church. It has also challenged me to better understand how I should relate to those in the church. As PC mentioned, we need to honour economic identities within the church and the different functional roles of our leaders. Although we are all called to be brothers and sisters and we are all equal sons of God, we still have to submit to leadership and honour those who God has called into authority. Similar to the persons of the trinity, I think as members of the church, we are equal in being but subordinate in role. If Jesus was able to humble Himself by coming to earth and submitting to God, we too should have a heart of being equal to our brothers and sisters, but knowing when to submit to our spiritual father and those called into positions of leadership. This subordination is due to function and economic identity, not one’s essence or nature.

  13. Sarang Park says:

    Before starting the sermon, I spent some time looking up “immanent trinity” – mostly because I thought there was a spelling error, haha. What I got was a slew of words I’ve never heard of before: Ontological, revisionism, Rahner’s Rule… So to hear Pastor Christian’s simple explanations was definitely appreciated, and have encouraged me to do some more learning.

    Also, being someone who’s really really really into history, I thoroughly enjoyed the beginning of the sermon regarding early church history. Learning about the different nuances between arianism and modalism compared to trinitarianism woke me up – I cannot risk the single letter difference between “homoousios” and “homoiousios.” There’s too much at stake.

    It was surprising to hear Pastor Christian swing Immanent Trinity and Economic Trinity to myself and to my pastors and leaders and how I relate to them in terms of identity. It greatly challenged me to honor people for the anointing they carry. To honor their positions. To respect and follow their guidance in my life. Yet being subordinate is not a state of being under leadership, it is a function. I cannot be consumed with just one identity as spiritual fathers/leaders do not replace immanent identity. Balance is key – so being settled in my identity in God’s sight is as important as submitting to my spiritual father and to my leaders.

    • Hi Sarang, I’m blessed to hear about what you got out of this sermon! You are being firmly established in your identity! I also love how history unpacks how certain doctrines have been passed down to us. It causes me to treasure the truth and to worship Christ for the fullness of his glory.

  14. Diana Park says:

    This sermon was about immanent and economic identities of God and the church. I thought it was interesting how this teaching connected to relational wisdom with church leaders. It gave me more clarity about the distinction between my identity in Christ and role in the church. Often, these two can become blurred and lead to a function-based church. I love how PC pointed that submitting to him as a spiritual father doesn’t replace, but rather reveal our heavenly Father. Hierarchy is not a threat to our immanent identity, but is a biblical system in which love and grace flow from top down. My immanent identity secures me in Christ; my economic identity leads me to submit to leaders and serve the church in freedom and love.

  15. Ryan Vogel says:

    Eminent Identity churches: Tend to have a lack of understanding and respect for structured leadership and authority. They fail to clearly identify leaders in the church. This often leads to confusion and lack of orderly authority.

    Economic Identity: Tend are the exact opposite. They are far too functional and lack a proper relational atmosphere. As a member you probably will never meet the pastor or receive prayer from him/her. Also the people in the church fail to relate to one another in love because their identity is completely focused around what they do, instead of who they are.

    We need a balance of both! We need a spiritual father and pastor, to give us oversight in our lives and lead us closer to Christ. Until we truly recognize this truth we will continue to go out as naked orphans.

    • Ryan Vogel says:

      Eminent and Economic are both very important roles in the Trinity and in the church. However, often times churches tend to take ONE identity more seriously than then other… this is not okay and it misguides the leaders and the congregation away from the perfect image of the Trinity (Father, Son & Holy Sprit). An example of this is the Korean or Catholic church. Often times these churches place far to much Economic identity in their leaders and they end up being viewed as more “Holy” or “Godlike” than anyone else in the entire church and they are often “puffed up”. Their word and interpretations of the scriptures are far above anyones. This is a problem because their is no accountability for these leaders. We all need accountability, even the highest leaders God appoints.

      On the other side though western churches today seem to take on the Eminent role more than Economic. This causes a whole lot of chaos and orphan like theology because no one wants to submit to a leader. These type of churches dislike the idea of submission to authority. However, God commands it and the Trinity is a beautiful example of it. Even Jesus followed the line of authority, as he looked to the Father 1st.

  16. Tom Lim says:

    We need to find ourselves in the position God has intended. It is important to know our immanent identity as well as our economic identity to grow the way God has designed. Our generation seeks to shepherd our own souls because we think we know what is best for us. We want everything customized to us and in the same way we pick the identities that seems convenient to us. We don’t like the concept of having someone over us yet the bible commands otherwise.

    I pray for humbleness to recognize the Spiritual relationships God has put in my life immanently and economically to follow the structure God wants for me.

  17. Hope Schaeffer says:

    Two ways we should understand the Trinity are in immanent and economic terms. The first describes the essence or nature of God, that he is one being with three distinct personalities that interact with one another and are co-eternal. The second describes the functions or roles of each person in the Trinity, their different interactions with humanity. Thus, Jesus and the Father are in essence the same and equal, but Jesus took on the role of a submissive son on earth.

    If we accept the economic theory but not the first, we end up with doctrines like Arianism that reject Jesus’s full divinity and say his essence is similar to God’s but not the same. If we accept the immanent theory but not the economic, the distinctions are lost. That is like Modalism, which claims that one God manifests in different personalities at different times. However, throughout scripture, such as in the Genesis creation account and the account of Jesus’s baptism in Matthew 3, Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are clearly present at the same time.

    Similarly, spiritual authorities have both immanent and economic identities. PC is in essence the same as other believers, a brother in Christ. But economically, his role is as a pastor and spiritual father to his congregation because he was anointed and called by God to fulfill that function on earth. This concept seems useful in a variety of applications, including to an individual. It’s easy to slip into defining myself according to my career or my activities, but if I keep in mind that my identity is in my essence as a child of God I won’t have to deal with an identity crisis even if my roles change.

  18. Both the immanent and economic identities of the Holy Spirit are essential for having a healthy understanding of the Holy Spirit. The immanent view attempts to explain the godhead in his eternal nature, that is, his ontological nature. The economic explains the godhead in his functional role; how God interacts with mankind. Even though the Holy Spirit and Jesus seem to be subordinate to God the father in scripture, it does not make them subordinate in character; they are equal in being. in order to combat heresy and false teachings, it is important to have a healthy understanding of the immanent and economic identity of the Holy Spirit. Pastors also have immanent and economic identities within the church. The church needs to also teach on the immanent and economic roles of the members of the church as well. the church needs relational wisdom and we can acquire this by understanding the ontological and functional roles of the Holy Spirit and applying them properly to the church.

    What really stood out to me was when PC said that only our immanent identity will last forever. I gained a lot of perspective from this because I know how easy it is to base my identity on my functional role which is actually quite foolish as it is not eternal.

  19. Seojung Ha says:

    When the sermon started, I was a little overwhelmed by the vocabulary. However, when PC started explaining the difference between immanent and economic relationships, I started to understand God’s heart through PC’s explanation. It was great to be reminded what the Trinity is again. That Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are of the same essence,,; not similar. Also the scripture 2 Corinthians 13:14- Grace of the Christ, love of God, and fellowship of the Holy Spirit brings the unity.

    Who is Paul in my life?

    When this question was thrown at the end, my heart was aching for my previous pastor. I wish I could’ve known this earlier but this also gives me a chance to honor my pastors here at New Philly better. I’m thankful for the last few sermons I listened to because of membership class and NRTC. It is getting more clear how I should honor my leaders and spiritual authorities.

  20. InnGee Kim says:

    Listening to the historical debates about the trinity was interesting! I learned that Christ is subordinate to the Father and the Holy Spirit is subordinate to both the Son and Father in regard to function but not in regard to their nature. This distinction helped me understand how a church leader could be both a spiritual authority and a brother in Christ. On Earth we need not forget that we need spiritual authority to take us to the next level spiritually.

  21. Grace Ng Chia Huei says:

    Starting off as a very theologically-based message, I need to pause and relisten several parts of what PC said to grasp the idea behind it. Modalism and trinitarianism are two very important but totally distinct concepts that I have to make clear about.

    As the sermon goes on, the immanent and economic identities are slowly made clear to me. I understand that Jesus is subordinate to God but that is not because Jesus is less than God the Father but instead, the subordination is one of function and not of essence, or simply put, equal in being, but subordinate in role. Our relationships are also divided into these two different categories. Focusing or choose and pick either one of them can lead to a very imbalance and unhealthy relationshipin the church. I understand that a good balance must be sought between these two. My economic identity with my familia leader and my immanent identity in God does not clash but it can be at a balance. Amen!

  22. Daniel Lee says:

    Immanent is positional, economic is relational – and both are needed.

    Immanent identity within the church is as a son of God, while economic is as a son of the house, in submission to the church leadership.

    A key part of the explanation for me on this subject was how spiritual fatherhood and discipline cannot really take place from a position of equality and friendship placed first – something Pastor Robinson had shared excellently in describing his sonship relationship with Pastor Daniels. I’ve also been experiencing how immanent identity as a child of God is often bolstered and supported by the economic authority being spoken into and prayed into as a son of the house.

    I also thought it was very meaningful to be able to pray to the Holy Spirit as part of the triune God. I was practicing it this week, asking for how to keep the Holy Spirit’s presence tangible, and felt in response that the cultivating the fear of the LORD within myself was key in this regard. I look forward to this practice and discipline.

  23. Tanisha Cosby says:

    PC started the message by discussing the new man versus the old man and how we have to feed the new man by forming good habits. When you are continually seeking to grow and form new habits, you are feeding the new man. In this message PC discussed the importance of the role of the economic trinity(how God relates himself and interacts with mankind) in the church. We are all equal in being but subordinate in role. If we only focus on our immanent identity, we lose distinction in church leadership and spiritual authority.

    When PC stated that only focusing on the immanent identity makes everyone a brother or a friend, it reminded me of the time I was invited to a Quaker worship service one Sunday. At this service everyone literally refers to each other as “friend”. There were no other titles given besides the word friend. I understand the vital importance of having positions of authority in the church. If the church becomes a “round table” then leaders can’t lead with authority.

    • How fascinating! Having grown up in Philly, a city and state that was established by the famous Quaker, William Penn, I’d love to hear more about your Quaker worship service! And I think the reason why the Quakers hated any economic identity other than friend is because they had an intense disdain toward the corrupt hierarchical structures of the Catholic and Anglican church. It was most likely an overcompensation. Overreaction never leads to balanced theology.

  24. Lee-Anne Davis says:

    This message spoke on the trinity and its two identities – the immanent trinity which describes the Godhead in regards to His eternal being outside the limiting frame of time and space and the economic trinity which describes the Godhead in regards to the distinct human role.
    I learnt that these identities need to be balanced as they are both equal in being but subordinate in role. My immanent identity is this – I am a son before God and a daughter before men. My economic identity is that I am a servant before God and a spiritual son before the church. If I focus on the immanent identity, I rob myself of the riches that can be gained from the economic identity. If I focus on the economic identity, I miss the full benefits of who I am before God and men. The balance between the two creates a healthy sense of worth, belonging and direction to where & who I need submit to in the structure God has set up for his people.

  25. Chai Kim says:

    I had to listen to this sermon a few times, because the theory part in the beginning was difficult for me to understand. Now, I understand immanent and economic trinity. Immanent (Essential) Trinity regards God as an eternal being/nature outside of the limiting conditions of time and space, how God is known outside of time and space. It is anthological. Economic Trinity distinct God’s roles in Human history, and considers how God interacts with mankind. It relates to functions and roles.
    The same applies to identities of church leaders and members. My immanent identity before God is a son of God, and before other people I am a sister. On the other hand, my economic identity before Pastor Christian and Pastor Erin is a spiritual son. Pastor’s economic identity for church members is a spiritual father, and it is appointed by God. Pastor Christian said what we need today in church is a good balance of immanent and economic identity. Now I am fully understanding my identity in church, before leaders and pastors and other members, and before God. I am now entering a new relationship with pastors in this church. They will be my spiritual father and mother, and I won’t be a spiritual orphan anymore, but a faithful and humble spiritual son to them.

  26. Grace Lee says:

    It was very interesting to hear how immanent and economic trinity have been morphed and interpreted over the years across all christian denominations. I can definitely relate to the economic trinity as I was brought up in a korean church where to this day I conceive the moksanims to be quite intimidating. Thinking back, I can see that the hierarchy system which was quite prominent made it difficult for me to relate to them personally and spiritually. Through this sermon, I have found a whole new level of respect and honour for all who serve! I can clearly see that the pastors and leaders at NPSydney all have humble hearts with the mindset and substance to serve the church where they have been called to, as well as the spirit of sonship to father all in the house. I think it’s important to practice an equal balance of immanent and economic trinity as it would either lead to authoritative segregation with the lack of a (spiritual) father son relationship or no level of authority to facilitate the house of God.

  27. Jason Jung says:

    It was very interesting learning about the historical views of the Trinity. The view that we hold as a church can be summarized by the statement “equal in being but subordinate in role”.
    Immanent trinity means that all the persons of the Godhead are fully God (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) while the economic trinity is functional and demonstrates subordination and hierarchical order.

    I appreciated PC’s application of this concept to the modern church. Through our immanent identity, all members of the church are equal in the eyes of the Lord, as we are all His sons, but that doesn’t mean an economic identity doesn’t exist. Within the church, there should be hierarchy and roles and we should submit to these positions because they were given by God. PC isn’t trying to replace the role of absolute father by being a spiritual father, but he is allowing us to know the Father better through him. I am excited to be in the transition of changing roles within my economic identity and gaining a bit more authority by becoming a leader of this house.

  28. Alyssa Fung says:

    “God is one in essence or substance yet three in persons”. Immanent trinity (essential trinity) describes the ontological nature (state of being) of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and that they are co-eternal. Economic trinity describes God’s distinct roles for economic salvation of mankind (describes how God interacts and reveals himself to mankind). These are difficult concepts to grasp, but PC explained it very well in his sermon. Jesus’s submission and obedience is a function of the economic trinity. Both immanent and economic trinities are indispensable to the view that our church has, which is “equal in being but subordinate in role”. PC explained the relational wisdom with church pastors and leaders using immanent and economic trinities. Church leadership has a hierarchy and positions of spiritual authority. It is important that we learn to be humble and submit to spiritual authority in the church.

  29. Danny Fung says:

    This sermon is interesting as it is so important for leaders to understand the need to establish a balance in immanent and economic entities in order to maintain a healthy church. When a church focuses too much on immanent identity, it leads to a chaotic church where the congregation fails to recognise the spiritual authority and leadership bestowed on it’s pastors and leaders. On the other hand when a church focuses too much on its economic identity, creates a divide between the congregation as there is a distinct lack of relationship as the pastor and leaders are defined by their role and what they do within the church rather than seen as a person.

    As leaders, we will constantly struggle to find the balance between our timeless immanent identity of being a Son before God and our temporary economic identity recognise the economic function of a leader, submit to our Spiritual Father. We need both to co-exist so that we are able to lead with a heart of servant hood.

  30. Yong Chan Kim says:

    After listening to PCs sermon a few times, I have learned the importance for understanding both immanent and economic trinity and how it correlates to our identities within the church. Immanent trinity attempts to describe the godhead in regards to his eternal nature where as the economic trinity discusses the godhead and regards to their distinct roles in human history. By this I have I realised that there needs to be a healthy balance between immanent and economic identity within the church. I haven’t been in an environment where the church focused more on immanent identity but definitely emphasised heavily on economic roles of individuals. This made it harder to build intimacy with the leaders of the church and made it harder for me to see them as my ‘spiritual father’. PCs sermon taught me that although we are all equal as children of God, there needs to be clear leadership, a ’spiritul father’, to provide guidance and teaching for all ’sons’ of the church.

  31. Jessica Jin says:

    This message was conceptually difficult for me to take in however, after listening through it I am becoming more familiar with immanent and economic trinity. I believe that church leaders are called to a place of authority but this does not mean it has to threaten the way we relate to each other and develop relationships with our leaders. Growing up in a Korean church, I was always made to feel like they were “more holy” but in an unapproachable and in a way where I couldn’t relate to them or feel comfortable sharing my life with them. I understand the need for a balance between the immanent and economic trinity within church leadership and embrace spiritual authority and understand that it does not take away from our ability to relate to one another on a genuine, personal level.

  32. Young Cho says:

    I listened to this sermon a few times because it was initially a difficult concept to understand at first. After listening to it the third time round, everything PC was preaching all came to my understanding and I found it one of the most powerful message yet! The immanent trinity The identity of how God is known and His nature outside of time and space. Economic trinity is how God reveals Himself and interacts with mankind in His economy for salvation of men. Both Immanent and Economic needs to coexist and have a balance so that we don’t lose the distinction of the Godhead. This also allowed me to understand Jesus as our Father because He had the same essence as God however was subordinate to Him in his economic identity.
    I used to attend a Korean church where the economic identity within the community distinguished how to respect one another and also judge on their spirituality. During the early stages of attending NPC, I found it personally difficult to show respect to some of our leaders because I was friends with them before as well as it was more of a western cultured setting, we were able to address each other’s as all equal sons and daughters of God. However through out my walk with Christ church, I realised where I was in my journey and what my economic identity was in the church community, and grew a level of respect and appreciation towards the leaders. As PC mentioned, “we are equal in being but subordinate in role”. I think it’s important to honour both immanent and economic identity at the same time and know when to submit to our spiritual leaders and father!

  33. Sooji Skye Kim says:

    Growing up seeing divisions within many Korean churches due to ‘church politics’, and people being hurt from it which lead them to leave church and turn away, this message made me feel how much I am thankful to know and understand the balanced system at NP. I understand that we respect, honour and submit to the authorities of our church leaders because God has placed them that position. I feel encouraged and motivated to serve with a healthy balance in both economic and immanent identities with joy, humilty and servanthood.

  34. Mike Oh says:

    A nice little teaching to challenge the mind a bit! Immanent and Economic trinity are definitely new terms for me and it introduced for me another layer of understanding God.
    It was good to learn how the two identities describe God, but also how it applies to us in relating to one another. I really resonate with PC when he says that you can’t focus on one or the other. There needs to be both equality in being, and distinction in role.
    And in regards to a focus on the immanent, I have seen this in western churches where there is an overemphasis on this identity to the point where the ability to the leaders to lead becomes difficult due to lack of economic distinction.

  35. Michael Kang says:

    I had to go back and forth with the podcast – it was so rich in topics I was totally unaware of but so important within the church body, and in particular church leadership.

    The weight of the two identities; economic and immanent, needs to be present in equal proportions. I have been apart of ministries that have focused and overemphasised on the economic identity of leadership, and it was a difficult journey. When leaders are focused solely on the functional role of leadership – you lose love, you lose relationship and you lose fellowship within the body.

    On hindsight and reflection – although they may have been topics that I have never heard before – I have definitely observed them without understanding or knowing, and I’m glad that God has used this time to speak into my heart and embrace that I can still serve in a house that does not only focus on function but on the Father.

  36. Ujin Lee says:

    What a great message… immanent trinity and economic trinity.. the immanent identity and the economic identity! The state of being, who I am and then the function while we are here on earth doing what we are called to do.
    I love how PC practically applied this concept into our relationship with the leaders. This message allowed me to re-assess how blessed I am to have leaders and spiritual parents over me that are so invested and commited to possessing their economic role and identity and sowing into me.
    On another note, what also blessed me about this sermon was the reaffirming of my immanent identity purely as a son before my economic identity as a servant! As one who’s past few years have been serving more as a servant, God continues to remind me that I am a son first. And its from that place I will serve my God <3

  37. Lexie Okosa says:

    This one was interesting. Overall I grasp the concept of my eternal identity vs my functional finite identity in the church on earth. Since the first time I learned the idea of sonship from membership sermons I have been on board with the idea. I don’t feel too prideful to call pastors or spiritual leaders fathers. Actually when I have went church hopping in the past I had been looking for spiritual unnies whose wisdom I could submit to. But I realize now that desire came from a desire to no longer be a spiritual orphan.

    But I still got a lot out of this sermon. I think I am building a case slowly against my brothers church . I have mentioned in prior smart comments that my two eldest brothers are in a cult of sorts. They are called the Israelites of God and they believe that black people are the lost tribes of Israel and they are super super legalistic and judgemental and aggressive. They like to throw the bible at you and whack you over the head with it until you submit to their doctrines. Sometimes from just their sheer confidence and passion I question if maybe their church is just dynamic like new philly and from the outside can me misconstrued as a cult.BUT they also don’t believe in the trinity. Because they take the bible super literally they say that the trinity was not mentioned in the bible and invented by religion. They think that the holy spirit isn’t God at all but just an angel. Which sounds a lot worse than modalism which pastor christian said could be erroneous enough to lose your soul over.

    I have been really passive about my brothers’ involvement in the cult for fear of being abused with bible, but this message highlighted the dangerous fallacies my brothers are learning and teaching to their families. I need to contend more for the kingdom and understand these kinds of higher theological ideas so that I can disabuse my brothers from their churches’ brain washing.

  38. Dean Legomina says:

    Equal in being but subordinate in role. The peraon must experience first the attoning work of Jesus to experience Love of the Father and the fellowship of The Holy Spirit. Immanent and economic position: Jesus, Father and the Holy Spirit are equal in essence but different in function and their role, thats the order God established, there is also order of authority in the church, me and pastor or leader are same in essence but different in function and role in church. Pastor’s role is to lead and stir the vision given to him by God, and he is also responcible for shepherding the congregation, and for that he accountable before God, church member’s role is to see pastor as a man set by God for this church and viewing and honoring pastor as a man set by Gid will open me for blessings and revelations that God wants to pour in my life through him.

  39. Jonathan Yoo says:

    In contrary to PC’s sermon that I heard before this one, it was a little bit more difficult to listen to. There were a lot of words that he mentioned that I have never heard before and I had to constantly make sure I was giving my full attention especially for the first half.
    It became a little bit easier to understand as he used the immanent trinity and economic trinity as an illustration for our identity and relationship with the members of the house such as my CG leader and pastors. It helped me to develop a greater respect and honoring mentality for my CG leader and pastors with a greater mind of submission and obedience. God has a plan for me. He did not bless me with random pastors and leaders over me in my life and I came to believe even more strongly that I am under those handpicked people for a specific reason and purpose. Just as PC is elected by God as a spiritual father over all the houses of New Philly. Everything PC spoke during this sermon has really reinforced the teachings of my CG leader, not that I disregarded any of his words, but it helped me to understand the importance of this structure and believe better. Not for the sake of just merely honoring my leaders more or being able to receive more because I submit, but ultimately because this is how God has intended it to be and because it ultimately glorifies Him.

  40. Sarah Al Homadi says:

    The Trinity was the hardest concept for me to comprehend when I was a new believer. I am aware that it proves a stumbling block for monotheists outside of Christianity. I am grateful that Pastor Christian drew our attention to the baptism of Jesus where we see the Father, Son and Holy Spirit pictured together. It’s beautiful: word, flesh, spirit. I will behold this image in my heart.

    Many experiences in my life have taught me that hierarchy is good. It makes me feel sad to think that NP pastors might be hesitant to use their title “pastor” for fear of being seen as lording it over others. Rather it is an acknowledgement of the weight of responsibility and accountability they carry.

    • Sarah Al Homadi says:

      Pastor Christian presents the concepts of immanent and economic trinity. That the God head is equal in being but subordinate in role. He applies these concepts to the church in order to impart relational wisdom. That he is the spritual father and we are spritual sons. Therefore, we should not be too casual in our attitides towards leaders in authority but honor them for the annointing they carry.

      If we can cultivate relational wisdom in our church it could foster greater unity which is creates a joyous atmosphere that pleasing to God.

  41. Shannon Chien says:

    Whoa. The first part was definitely a struggle to comprehend; I kind of wondered where Pastor Christian was going with the theological dissection, but once he put it all together, everything made sense. We only have one immanent identity, and that is sons of God. In terms of our economic identity though, we really embody the body of Christ, and that is so powerful for me. We have our spiritual mother and father of the church, AND we ourselves also possess more than just one economic identity in the church. Some are called to be pastors, some lay-leaders, some workplace missionaries, some cross-cultural missionaries…the list goes on and on. How awesome is it that we can step into our roles with full confidence and grace, knowing that when we honor the economic identities here on this world, our relationships with God and our fellow immanent brothers and sisters are made that much stronger.

  42. Sooky Park says:

    This addressed an issue I had long been thinking of concerning leadership at New Philly. When PC said he is a brother to the other believers it confirmed something I felt was rarely talked about at New Philly—immanent identity.
    I feel it is true that Western churches focus too much on immanent identity. For example in my college bible study group it was emphasized that everyone was equal and there was a lack of respect for the leader.
    I am so thankful NP teaches on both immanent and economic sonship.
    I cried when PC quoted Jesus: “I will not leave you as orphans.”
    “God sent His Spirit so we could experience sonship.” For the sake of love.

    • Sooky Park says:

      Also, to add on to a summary of the first part:
      Immanent refers to the Essential eternal Godhead. Does is mean transient also? It is ontological.
      Economic refers to distinct roles in God’s economy of salvation for mankind. It concerns history.
      Jesus is subordinate to God the Father. This subordination is one of function, not of nature or essence. He was equal in being ontologically but subordinate in role functionally.

      PC has an immanent identity and an economic identity in front of God and the church.
      Spiritual sonship is economic identity. It is for church leadership.

  43. Kasey JooHyang Lee says:

    While listening to this sermon, I had to pay a very close attention and take notes. There was so much information and content. The first section of the sermon where Pastor Christian defined different terms and concepts almost confused me till he made connections. Immanent and economic identity. To tell you the truth, I never heard of these two terms. However, the terms clarified things for me. The two terms and Pastor Christian’s sermon explained why some churches are very functional and legalistic. He also emphasized the importance of balancing the two identities. We are created equal but subordinate in our roles. We are all brothers and sons of God but have different economic identities. I as a part of body of Christ need to respect those in the authority. As I continued to listen to the sermon, I realized that there is a connection to sonship, authority, intimacy, submission, and humility.

  44. Lydia Park says:

    This was my first time being introduced to the two kinds of identities in the church: the immanent identity and the economic identity. Our immanent identity in the church is our identity as sons of God and our economic identity in the church is our respective roles in the house of God. PC compared this to the Trinity and the different roles each person had while still being one God. Just like each person in the Trinity had distinct roles and authorities, there are distinct spiritual authorities that church leaders hold and we are called to be submissive and obedient to their leadership. Understanding the two identities helped me understand more what it means to be in spiritual sonship and who I am as a son of this house.

  45. Benjamin Jung says:

    This was a great message on humility and servanthood in leadership.

    I loved this portion of the message so much, that I had to paraphrase it below:

    “The church must have relational wisdom in regards to its leaders.
    As church leaders, we must carry the substance of leadership, not just the title.
    And as church leaders, we must be pastors, teachers, spiritual fathers with the heart of a humble servant. ‘Cause that’s the way Jesus came. Jesus was not only called the Son, but He was also referred to as the Everlasting Father. Jesus functioned as a spiritual father to his followers, and he continues to function today through local church pastors, through teachers, through CG leaders, who manifest the heart of the Father.

    The question is… Are you going to open up your heart? Will you allow local church leaders to speak into your life? Will you allow them to hold you accountable for your actions? Will you allow them to pray for you? Will you allow them to cover you?” ~ P. Christian

  46. Yoomin Lee says:

    This message allowed for a deeper revelation of the spiritual leadership that has been set in place by God, to keep me accountable in this walk of faith. As a spiritual son in my economic identity to my CG leaders, to my campus pastors, to my lead pastors. This clarifies that , in eternity and in heaven, when we will be in our imminent identity, we will be all “brothers”, but whilst on earth, God calls us to honour our leaders.

  47. Aaron Krumsieg says:

    The doctrine of the immanent and economic identities of the Trinity is an important one for the church to understand. Personally, I had learned of this concept a few years ago but have since forgotten its definition and implications. I am thankful for PC’s conviction on the importance of this doctrine as well as the further application for church leadership. A more widespread understanding and application among the Church of the immanent and economic roles of the Trinity — and its correlation to church leadership — would allow for a more effective manifestation of God’s Kingdom by avoiding doctrinal and relational misunderstandings and fallouts.

  48. Chadol Lee says:

    This sermon was quite hard to get at first. But towards the end I started understanding what PC wanted to address. Basically Economic identity and immanent identity need to work together in order for a church to function well. I agree with this because if we focus on one too much for example: A economical church, then we tend to fail in relating in love. We would just be serving in order to receive love. I agree with not all being equal also. I wouldn’t want to be taught by someone who is on the same level as me spiritually. There definitely needs some sort of order in the church in order to function properly.

  49. This was a wonderful message, and one of the biggest reasons is because of the issue of the different philosophies of the trinity that are out there. The smacking down of modalism was a very important thing for me to see, because I know of good friends who hold to it, and it is quite troubling.

    The discussion of both Immanent and Economic in relation to the trinity was incredibly informative, especially with relation to how distinct each Godhead, but also how subordinate they are as well. If we are to be like Christ, we have to be subordinate to whoever the figurehead of the father is. Quite simple. We have to have that balance. Immanently, we are equal as heirs and sons; Economically, we are subordinate to those who are above us.

    One of the biggest issues that I have seen in churches prior is that a lot of problems with the function of a church usually ends up coming from folks who are considered equal without actually being identified as having a gift or whatnot. It’s not healthy, and not good. This is an important sermon because of just balance is necessary.

  50. Yelynn Ho says:

    I’m learning so many new terms through these sermons, and it’s really helping to solidify what my identity should look like and also making clear to me the underlying problems within the church. What spoke to me the most in this sermon was that if I want to experience the love of God the Father in a deeper way, I need to open my heart to see the pastor as my spiritual father who’s responsible for overseeing my walk with God AND I need to honor the appointed leaders of the church, as well. I can respect the pastor and the leaders as my elders, but that’s not the same as respecting them as leaders who are to hold me accountable in faith. That kind of respect requires a level of trust that can only come through humility.

  51. This is definitely the most difficult sermon I’ve heard and felt pretty lost in the first half. And a little lost in the second. This doesn’t mean I didn’t like it- on the contrary- it increased my desire to grow theologically and to have a greater base and knowledge of the word in order to dissect and interpret every part of it.
    PC presented two concepts: imanent and economic identity imanent identity being the one we all share (as sons of christ) and economic identity being what God has made of us here in earth (leaders, pastors, teachers, etc). It is true that we are all brothers.but it is important for us to understand that here in earth we are not all equal. That is, there is a hierarchy and we must look up to our leaders and pastors, for they are where they are because God wanted it this way. There are churches which focus only on Economic identity and others in immanent identity. What pastor Christian explains is that there should be an equilibrium; a union of both in order for the church to benefit from this leadership set by God and grow spiritually.

  52. Although we all have an inherent imminent identity as sons of God, God has also instituted functional roles within the church. The appointment of a set man necessitates that we submit to and honour church leaders in order to grow and mature within proper covering and discipleship. Spiritual sonship and fatherhood are still incredibly relevant and necessary in our churches today. Even though church leaders and pastors are also sons, and brothers in Christ, they serve as spiritual fathers and their authority is to be honoured. Economic identity doesn’t replace imminent identity; it’s a temporary role. However, these economic identities serve to reveal the Father’s heart to us.

  53. Hannah Lee says:

    It was really interesting (and difficult!) to learn the differences between the immanent and economic trinity, some of the history of it and the how other religions view it. I related to the economic trinity identity from being brought up in the Korean church. To this day, I still get quite shy or intimidated by pastors because of that background. But listening from PC that both members and pastors need a balance with the immanent and economic identities in Christ, through sonship, was an ah-ha! moment for me. There needs to be a balance for the church body to function. Essentially we are all sons of God but we have different roles as individuals. That includes our leaders and pastors that carry spiritual authority to lead the sons.

  54. Emily Lee says:

    Really an eye opening message for me. It never occured to me once that the concept of trinity would enable me to better understand the leadership role in church community. Although I was pretty lost at the beginning, It just became more clear towards the end that the both immanent and economic trinity are important and needs harmony. For me this sermon was especially interesting since the trinity concept has always been the kind that I cannot fully understand or try to explain-especially to my non believing friends. However through this sermon i believe I understand a little more of what the concept imlies and its importance.
    .

  55. Jayden Choi says:

    “The trinity”. This is what was confusing me in Christian life. Although I believed in my mind, in my brain I cannot totally understand. Just thinking like ‘yeah, God is above my thought. We don’t understand God’s presence in our “calculation”.
    However, listening to this sermon, I realized that there is a systematic understanding about the trinity. Subordination between Jesus, the Holy spirit and God. What I was inspired is that it’s related to a ‘function’ not by nature.
    And then, stream of this sermon is moving on ‘identity’, it was such an important and useful teaching as a leader at chruch. When I was listening that part, I was constantly thinking that balance is so important in church. Here balance is the balance between “immanent identity and economic identity”. As a member, a leader and a pastor, we have to make this church not to be a round table or hierarchic army but to be a church which has the balance with authority and friendship.

  56. Nahee Kim says:

    Churches that do not have the perfect balance between both economic and immanent identities are in danger of causing division, bitterness and hurt in the church community. I have witnessed this in large, established korean churches which focus mainly on their economic identity and have a distinct hierarchy. The pastors and elders of the church are seen as powerful and distant figures rather than spiritual fathers and leaders who are appointed by our father in heaven, God. This is where corruption and abuse of power starts to enter which causes disruption in the unity of the church.

    I can now understand and acknowledge that New Philly strives to keep a healthy balance of both economic and immanent identities. There needs to be a culture where we are able to freely worship God and fellowship with one another as brothers and sisters in Christ but at the same time there also needs to be submission and order. We need to submit as sons, to our lead pastors because economically, they are our spiritual fathers through God’s appointment. We must also respect the leaders of the community as they are the ones that God has put in our lives according to his purposes and plans. In doing so we are trusting their authority to speak and oversee everything in our lives. This ultimately leads to a greater trust in God and breakthroughs as we are no longer spiritual orphans, but spiritual sons.

  57. Janice So says:

    PC’s message explains that we serve a trinitarian God, and the theories of modalism and arianism are both not biblical. We see the triune nature of God in from Genesis and also the baptism of Jesus. These theories demonstrate a lack of understanding of the Immanent Trinity and the Economic Trinity which is clear from reading Scripture. In His economic functional identity – Jesus is submitted and dependent on the Father in the gospels. This is not because Jesus is lesser than the Father, but the subordination is one of function/role, not his nature/essence. The subordination and submission is a matter of the Economic Trinity. The Immanent Trinity as revealed in Scripture is also essential – so that all 3 Persons of the Godhead are fully God – Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
    This principle is mirrored in the Church with leaders and Pastors. While in Heaven, our leaders and Pastors are our brothers and sisters in Christ and no longer fulfill their roles on earth – on this side of eternity we need to recognise their economic identity, functioning as our leaders and Pastors with higher spiritual authority. It is important to keep a balance between the immanent and economic identities of our leaders and Pastors in our Churches. An imbalance towards the economic identity in leadership, loses the relational aspect in ministry. While an imbalance towards the immanent identity, robs sons and daughters of their inheritance from their spiritual father. As the bible says “The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward” (Matt 10:41).

  58. Niranjan Thomas says:

    I have to admit, the first half of this sermon was very dense and at times hard to understand. But the more I meditated on it, the more I realised that the struggle between the immanent and economic identities of our church leaders as well as ourselves has been demonstrated through the Godhead. The Immanent Trinity ontologically shows the nature of God expressed through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Economic Trinity describes the Godhead’s roles through revalation and salvation in the world. Both exist are the same. And neither can existing without the other. In this same way, our church leaders have an Immanent identity (children of God, brothers/sisters in Christ) that coexists with their Economic identity (servants of God, spiritual fathers). Similarly I have an Immanent identity as a son of God, but also a Ecomonic identity as a servant and spiritual son to the spiritual father of the house. Having not grown up in an Asian church I never really experienced the institutionalised economic identity of church leaders evolved from Confucianism PC described. But I see that the need for spiritual guidance by a Holy Spirit ordained leader and spiritual father, who is also a child of God and brother in Christ, is vital to my Christian walk and growth.

  59. Michael Chan says:

    I have witnessed churches that do not have a balance between Imminent and economic identity, and it is very dangerous for the church. It can lead to division and alot of bitterness within the church. I completely agree that an equilibrium is requried in the church. We are all sons of God with our imminent identity. In God’s eyes, He loves every single one of us and sees us as equal. However, in this world, which is full of distractions and things that may easily draw us to fall, we require the economic identity of the church to keep us on track. It is essential to leaders and pastors of our church shepherd the members and it is essential for members to submit as sons because God has appointed the pastors and leaders to guide us. WIth this in mind, we are putting our faith in God and we are no longer spiritual orphans but spiritual sons.

  60. Sooky Park says:

    Modalism holds that there is one God with three different modes. Tertullian came against modalism, and formulated the Deity of the Holy Spirit. He said God is one in essence/substance, but three in persons.
    Immanent refers to the Godhead’s nature and state of being. The Godhead is eternal, outside of time and space. This is its ontological nature. It is co-eternal. The SAME essence.
    Economic refers to the Godhead’s distinct roles in God’s economy of salvation for mankind in human history.
    If you lose the economic Trinity, you lose the functions in the Godhead. They are equal in being but subordinate in role. 2 Corinthians 13:14 reveals the economic Trinity.
    It is important to have relational wisdom with church leaders. PC has both immanent and economic identities before God and NP. PC’s function is to be a spiritual father and general.
    Paul is an apostle by the will of God. PC is the pastor of NP because God says so.
    We have immanent identities as sons before God, and economic identities as servants, teachers, pastors, sons to NP, the church.
    God does not do things democratically. Round table leadership is not found in Scripture. This does not threaten our immanent identity.
    Focusing only on economic identity can cause abuse of spiritual authority.
    NP’s sonship emphasizes both immanent and economic identity.
    We need to see PC in his economic identity as our spiritual father. We need pastors and overseers of our souls.
    I am so thankful for my CG leaders for setting me free, delivering me from demonic voices, etc. I am thankful for those church leaders that have set me free.
    On a side note I imagined the burden PC and PE and other church leaders must carry as spiritual fathers.
    It is sad and angering that everything the Pharisees did was to be seen by men.
    The spirit of leadership is humility and servanthood.
    Leaders should carry the substance of leadership, like Jesus, not just the title.
    Jesus functions as a spiritual Father to His followers through local leaders.
    My heart is open to this.
    God is not insecure—what a powerful statement!
    Jesus did not leave us as orphans. He sent His Spirit that we would be sons…to local church pastors and to Him.

  61. This sermon was a little hard to process at first, but I think I am now fully understanding it.
    The Trinity is an “undivided unity expressed as 3 different persons,” but throughout time, the understanding of the Trinity has manifested in erroneous, evolving theories such as modalism (the Trinity is God in 3 different modes). The truth of the Trinity is that it carries both an immanent and economic identity. The immanent Trinity describes the eternal nature of the Godhead, or, how God is “known outside of time and space.” This is unchanging and allows the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and God to be co-eternal and the same in essence (not similar, but SAME). The economic Trinity describes the “distinct roles in human history” that Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God played–essentially, how God “reveals Himself and interacts with mankind.” The economic Trinity mainly derives out of function (not being), which allows Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be subordinate to God in the realms of humankind. This can be seen during Jesus’s baptism when God calls Jesus His Son and the Spirit lands on Jesus like a dove. All three are present and play their designated roles in the history of humankind.
    These immanent and economic identities don’t just apply to the Trinity, however. We also hold immanent and economic identities as believers. Our immanent identity before God is that of a son, and before our leaders, it is that of a brother/sister. This immanent identity is everlasting and nonnegotiable. However, our economic identities are temporary and adjusted according to the role that God designs for us to execute.
    Within the church, these economic identities can play out as teachers, pastors, congregation members, or other types of leaders. It is necessary to have these roles to add function and structure to the church. Even the Bible doesn’t promote round-table leadership but clearly defines a hierarchy within the churches. Some may wonder why it’s necessary if our immanent identities are the ones that are permanent, but it’s because there are aspects of the Father that can only be experienced within the system of economic identities. For instance, we could be obstinate and refuse to see PC as anything more than a brother, but then we lose the opportunity to be under a spiritual father and experience sonship through that relationship. And our experience of sonship within the church models the real sonship we have under God. Same with our Bible study leaders. If we honor our leaders for the anointing they’ve been given by God, then we also receive the blessings that can only derive from that context. And even as leaders, we called to not just carry the substance, but also the heart and “substance” of humility and servanthood to fulfill that economic identity.
    I’m glad that New Philly upholds a balance of both immanent and economic identities within its walls, and am excited to walk out both my immanent and economic identity as a son to this house!

    • whoops. edit: “…we called to not just carry the substance,” should be “we are called to not just carry the title”!

  62. Jasmine Renee Womack says:

    First, I seriously want to thank God for placing spiritual fathers like Pastor Christian and Pastor Erin in my life and for giving such a powerful Word. This subject never really even crossed my mind. In regards to the economic trinity and immanent trinity, I was like “what??”. I thought my mind was about to explode. When PC said “amen”, I was like “uh… a…amen..”. But I’m so glad time and effort was taken into laying out this foundation. As he went on further into the message I was able to finally understand, and I was blessed by realizing that God sets us into our specific places within the economic trinity for a reason. We are not put into those places because we wanted to, someone voted us in, or just for the fu of it, but because God has a set plan in mind. We as a congregation are subordinate to Pastor Christian because God in all of his holiness and righteousness said so. We are sons in the economic sense. PC is revealing God the Father to us by being our spiritual Father. PC holds the wisdom and is the leader of our church. But on the other hand, we are all equal in the immanent sense. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and all submit to God. I was so blessed just to have this new, deeper understanding of the Holy Trinity, and why it is so important to understand it exactly how the Bible lays it out for us. This is so important, because it relates so much to the church and how it should function. Leaders and submission are so very important.

  63. Eun Woo Hailey Park says:

    It was a very interesting, yet very difficult sermon to process and understand. However, after listening to it and meditating on it, I believe it is a concept that needs to be clarified and understood by christians. Pastor Christian first explains the definition of trinity “Undivided unity between three distinctive person”. Both economic and immanent identity need to work together to get a healthy church. When a church emphasizes too much on the economic aspect, the focus is on the functionality/ the role. A church that only focuses on the immanent aspect only focuses on the identity/ the state of being.
    We are all (pastors and members of a church) sons of God. However, we need to honour economic identities within the church by submitting to leadership that God has appointed.
    By submitting to my CG leader and campus pastors, I recognize their function as leader, which allows them to speak life into me or rebuke me in a situation. It’s about acknowledging their role in front of God and for the church.

  64. Benjamin Wong says:

    “Equal in being, subordinate in role” the summary and explanation of the Immanent and Economic identity of Jesus the Son to God the Father.

    The Trinity is defined as the undivided unity expressed in three distinct persons, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    The Trinity is further defined as the Immanent Trinity and the Economic Trinity, where the Immananet refers to the eternal nature of the Godhead, beyond time and space, where the Trinity is coeternal and of the same essence. The Econmic Trinity refers the distinct roles of the Godhead on earth, and through out human history.

    We can see how the Immanent and Economic identities of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit is manifested throughout the scriptures, and we can apply it into the modern day Church. There needs to be a balance of both the Immanent and the Economic natures within the Church, and how we relate to one another in the Church.

    In the Immanent sense, we are all sons of God, and brothers in Christ with one another, however we must also embrace the Economic identities that have been bestowed on us, such a servant, leader, teacher, pastor, being a spiritual father or a spiritual son. Only then can we have a balanced and healthy relationship within the Church.

    When we lean towards the Immanent or the Economic identity only, that can lead to the lack of spiritual authority or lead to an abuse of power and influence.

  65. Margaret Cuevas says:

    In this sermon, Pastor Christian teaches about the difference between immanent and economic identity. (*sidenote: He mentioned a book in the beginning, God Chasers by Tommy Tenney, which is one of my favorite books. I had no idea that Tommy is a Oneness Pentecostal because he doesn’t really discuss the Trinity in his book.) I will try to explain the difference between the two identities in my own words. Immanent identity has to do with our sonship through grace, as well as, our brotherhood with other believers. Economic identity has to do with our roles in the kingdom and how we serve the Father and each other.

    A balance of both is needed in the church; otherwise, there will be much confusion when it comes to subordination. Focusing on immanent identity will lead people to believe they do not have to submit to authority in the church, and some churches will even try to implement democracy to appease the members. Focusing on economic identity might lead people to become too preoccupied with positions, titles, and roles in the church. This was my first time hearing a message about this topic and although I understand submission to authority, this cleared up confusion that I was dealing with. I asked in a comment I posted on another sermon, “Can someone be your spiritual father if they are struggling spiritually?” Pastor Christian addresses this at the end when he says that if someone has been chosen and anointed to be a leader in the church, it doesn’t matter if you know more than they do, that person can still heal or pray over you!

  66. Ah Sung Yang says:

    This sermon helps me to understand the concept of Trinity better as well as our identity before God and in the church. The sermon mentioned about immanent Trinity and economic Trinity. Immanent Trinity describes God as eternal being outside of time and space while economic Trinity describes God in terms of distinct roles in human history and salvation. Under economic Trinity, Jesus is subordinate to God the Father, and Holy Spirit is subordinate to Jesus and God the Father; however, this doesn’t mean that Jesus or Holy Spirit is lesser than Father in terms of essence and nature. Both approaches of immanent and economic Trinity are indispensable when it comes to understand God. Paul formulated his benediction to the church in Corinth in a way that brings unity to the church through a personal experience of Trinity in their lives. The sermon highlighted that it is important to have a healthy understanding of immanent and economic Trinity within the church as it can be applied to the relationship between church members and leaders. Although under definition of immanent identity, church members can consider pastors and other leaders as brothers in Christ, it is important to honor their spiritual authority and know how to embrace their economic identity as spiritual father. Through the sonship that we build with spiritual leaders in the church, we can experience love of God through their guidance and supervision, and it will bring more freedom in our lives than when we accept them just as brothers in Christ based on immanent identity. Through the sermon, I realized the importance of having sonship with spiritual leaders in the church, honoring their authority and understanding their economic identity given by God.

  67. You Sup (Joseph) Park says:

    I’ve always had a lot of skepticism towards leaders of the church during my youth, which prevented me to fully honour them in the economical term which PC talked about. I found myself criticising them of their actions that discredited their role as a leader in the church. Why do I need to honour them? Why do I need to follow these immoral leaders? Those were the questions that constantly emerged. This sermon confirms to me what I have understood over the years which God has revealed to me concerning these issues. I am to honour those placed over me, not because of who they are, but because God has placed them by understanding the “economical” term which PC mentioned in the sermon.

    • You Sup Joseph Park says:

      Equal in being but subordinate in role. I believe that this statement truly summarises what PC was trying to convey through this sermon. Without such distinction between imminent and economic identity within the church, I believe that church body would not be able to function as God has intended it to. If no one recognises the appointed people’s economic identity within the church, disrespect and dishonouring would be rampant when leadership tries to lead the congregation a certain way that God is directing them to do so. Listening to this sermon, addition to Pastor Robinson’s sermon on Identity and Church, complements each other well in understanding the dynamics within the relationships found in the church community.

  68. SooJi Suzy Kim says:

    The sermon explains the concepts of immanent and economic trinity in order to help us define our identity and build healthy relationships in the church.
    First, to define the terminology, immanent trinity is the “ontological trinity” that describes the eternal nature of God outside the limitations of space and time. It describes the very essence and value of God. Economic trinity is the “functional trinity” where the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all equally carry the same essence of God, but there is a functional hierarchy where Jesus and the Holy Spirit are subordinate to the Father. The concept of obedience is inherent in the performance of each of their functions.
    In the church, we also have our immanent and economic identity. As a member of the church, my immanent identity is that I am a friend and a sister. All the brothers and sisters of the church, including the pastors and myself, are equally important and loved children of God. My economic identity is a spiritual son of PC, and a member of the church serving and fellowshipping with others. Embedded is the aspect of hierarchy, where I am subordinate to the pastors and leaders of the church, and I should obey and honor them as my mentors.
    Listening to the sermon reminded me of 1 Corinthians 12:12-26. We are all parts of the body of Christ, each equally important and valuable. “If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?” The hand is just as important as the brain. However, from the economic identity standpoint, the brain needs to be respected as the central command system, and the hand obedient to the brain. Otherwise, without the hand obeying the brain, the body would cease to function properly.
    The sermon definitely challenged me to balance my perspective of church pastors. Having been overly exposed to their economic identity more (strong emphasis on function and hierarchy, further reinforced through Confucian values), the lack of immanent identity and intimate relationships with the pastors/leaders left out opportunities for more growth on a personal level. I hope that as time passes, the wall standing between the church authority figures and me will crumble, and my heart will change from fear (of authority) to love of spiritual sonship.

  69. Megan Chow says:

    I have never thought too much about the nature of the Trinity. It has always confused me as something I could not fully comprehend or explain to others. PC outlined the different theories behind the Trinity so clearly that even though I had never heard of the terms immanent and economic, let alone applied to the Trinity, it was easy to understand.

    The economic Trinity as the way the three parts of the Trinity functions in human history and in how we experience them made a lot of sense to me. The immanent Trinity and the economic Trinity made it easy to understand how God can be of the same essence but function in different ways.

    In the same line of thought, when PC explained how different people in the church can have both immanent relationships and economic relationships at the same time, I thought that if everyone understood this, church families would be exactly that — more like families. But it’s all too common for churches and people to focus on one or the other, and I can be guilty of this too. Overall, I think this message really did open up new understandings for me in how a church family functions immanently and economically, and how that reflects the Trinity.

  70. This was a good message and expanded on a lot of the themes from the first set of sermons, particularly the order to relationships. I enjoyed the mini lecture on the history of the trinity (brought me back to a few college classes). I think the part that I paid particular attention to was the idea that there are two forms of order or behavior in regards to the trinity, economic and immanent. When you only embrace one aspect sin and trouble can creep in (abuse of authority under economic, or there’s no authority to call out a believer because hey we’re all the same under immanent). With the economic frame of mind I understand that we are called to set ourselves under spiritual authority and teaching. It’s conflicting with my western style thinking and making me wrestle through what I believe about authority vs egalitarian behavior. I think the issue for me is it just seems so impersonal sometimes. Like somebody has to jump through submission hoops before they can have the intimacy of friendship? I’m probably not understanding what Pastor Christian (or Pastor bro I think he likes to be called that) expects from people. So maybe I could have it explained to me? From what I see and hear this is how I understand it so please help me understand and correct me where I am wrong,

    A new person to the church, will only expect to be welcomed into the intimacy of strong christian fellowship if they submit fully to authority and work there way into the inner circles of the church. I have no problem with submitting to authority it’s clearly biblical. But the order of it seems a little backwards. Shouldn’t intimacy and acceptance be the first step and not the last? Again please show me where I’m getting this wrong from your teachings.

    Overall great message.

  71. Growing up, with my limited knowledge, it was difficult to fully understand the concept of Holy Trinity. And I didn’t want to question the Trinity so I just went on believe in the Holy Trinity without giving much thought. As Pastor Christian delivered his sermon on the Immanent Trinity and Economic Trinity, it was only then that I understood the nature of Holy Trinity. His examples of relationships within the church between church leaders and church members made it easier to understand the whole view of God’s being (one in essence) and God’s functions (three in persons). I felt that Pastor Christian’s sermon could be linked to Pastor Mike Perkinson’s session one: Dekrypting Your Kryptonite. I am God’s son not because of my function but because of my being. And it is important to not just focus only on the immanent identity or on the economic identity as this could lead to a dysfunctional setting.

  72. Sally Lee says:

    This was a very difficult concept for me to take in because I had never been taught, nor have I thought there was two different aspects to the Holy Trinity.
    After replaying the sermon multiple times, I understood the difference between the Immanent Identity and the Economic Identity, and how a balance of both is necessary in the church, as being too concentrated in the former will result in difficulty for the church brothers and sisters to submit to the authority of the appointed leaders of the church for the reason that they are all on the same level, whereas the latter will result in abuse of authority, where the appointed leader(s) will find value in what they do than what they are.

    PC talks about the relational wisdom with the church leaders. I used to believe it was all about God and myself, and no one else had the rights to intervene in the past. When I learned about the concept of Sonship, this was when I started to realize the importance of submitting to our spiritual leaders of the church. We need to really learn to open up our hearts to our spiritual father, mother, and the leaders, because they are the ones who will help us experience God’s salvation, disciple us, and guide us down the right pathway, therefore taking our faith to the next level. We need to learn to submit to the leaders of the church by having the heart of a humble son, just like how Jesus did.

    By choosing what we deem to be right and wrong, we will be led astray, however by submitting to our leaders and accepting in their guidance and teachings, we will be able to receive so much, such as the purposes to life.

  73. Both theological concepts (Immanent and Economic trinity) encompasses in a broader aspect the current and old sub-divisions towards beliefs in Christian Churches of God’s existence and manifestations. Starting with Modalism that came to existence in the early centuries as an attempt from the church to prevent polytheism affirming that there’s only one God with different names thus different “modes” of God, later to Arianism that distinguishes the Godhead to Jesus “the Son” as just a human creation of God and the Holy Spirit as a manifestation of God’s power but not as separate individuals with a conscience, therefore Jesus being higher than men but lower than God.

    Further, Pastor Christian set ourselves into a common knowledge ground based in the combination of both the Economic and Immanent trinity. The immanent or ontological trinity describes the Godhead in its existence form outside of the laws of time and space. And the economic trinity describes the Godhead in its different functional roles exerted throughout the Bible in three forms (the God, the Son, and the Spirit). To further explain, Jesus’ subordination to the Father is a matter of the economic trinity, but not in its nature. Thus, the threefold makes the trinity equal ontologically, but subordinate in the functional role.

    The common ground wouldn’t then just apply to the trinity, but also to the “economic” structure of our church. Pastor Christian mentioned that “Our functional role distinctions only sustains it self while we’re on earth, but as soon as go to heaven that will not exist no more”. Hence, the same way we attribute respect and obedience to our Father in heaven, that same attitude and thinking should be applied from us to our leaders “designated by God” to us on earth (e.g. Pastor Christian, CG leader, etc…) as a form of obedience to the distinctive economic roles.

  74. Mirabelle Knowles says:

    This teaching is sooo essential for a clear understanding and full acceptance of the church’s authority structures. It ties in perfectly with the teachings on sonship which we have already heard from Pastor Christian, Pastor Benjamin and the sonship video, bringing practical clarity to the practical outworking of that joyful submission within our hearts. We can embrace humility without fear because we know that in salvation we have guaranteed equality with one another for all eternity. Understanding this makes our appointed roles in this life seem both meaningless and all the more important. They will fade away like all things of this world, but right now they are God’s system for executing His will in the church and beyond, so that’s a big deal!!

    Even beyond the context of church roles, separating our Earthly work from our eternal identity is such an important thing to grasp and I wish I had received this teaching earlier in my life. Also, highlighting the trinitarian model makes it impossible to resent submission, because Jesus himself takes the submissive role to God the father. How can we resent being like Jesus haha!

  75. James Kang says:

    I would never have thought that teaching on the God the trinity could be applied in the context of my own life and the church. The imminent and economic Trinity concept was vital in understanding the essence of the Trinity that is often somewhat difficult to understand even for me, a Christian that had been attending church for as long as I can remember.

    As God the trinity is in essence one but works in different functions, we as the members of the body of Christ also have different roles, but valued the same as children of God.

    For me, this helped me accept the different roles that we hold in the church in the absence of thinking of one person above the other. It also helped break off a misconception that I am somehow a lesser Christian holding positions of lesser authority and leadership.

    Through this sermon, I am now able to be a better son and submit to my spiritual father and leaders understanding that Jesus himself had been completely submitting to God the father.

  76. Gavin Yoon says:

    It was an enlightening sermon from Pastor Christian explaining two different concepts of trinity and how it relates to the church, church leaders and sons of the church. As a christian we need to have an open heart to submit as a spiritual son in the church and be a good follower to get proper covering as well as being a good brother and sister to those around us. But, there will be time when everyone of us has to step up and be a leader. I am really glad I took the new leaders training so that I will be more ready to serve with humility just as jesus did for us when the time comes. I am thankful that I am not a spiritual orphan but I have guidance from leaders as a spiritual son in the house.

  77. I didn’t know of these theories behind the trinity and this sermon was very informing. It is true that the democratic ways or imminent ways of looking at spiritual authority has disappointed me and hurt me at times. Same with the functional/economical ways of looking at spiritual authority, this has frustrated me with how stubborn leaders can be. I totally agree with the fact that there needs to be a balance in these two characteristics of our identity.

    I think, in my previous church I suffered to maintain my imminent identity because we gave everyone the opportunity to serve in leadership positions and when I took on this role, I slowly became burdened and very unhappy. I began to forget my imminent identity as a daughter of God and felt very weary. I ended up neglecting this economic identity of serving in the church that I was given as well, and consequently leaving the church for a period of time.

    I learnt that there definitely needs to be a balance between these two identities and that I need to aim for it. I must be founded in my imminent identity as a daughter of God and submit to my spiritual authorities, and as I grow and mature, step into my economic identity as a servant and believer.

  78. Sam Johnson says:

    We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and relationally we all have the same access to God. As we are not in a hierarchy since we are all the same before God. But similar to Jesus’s economic identity before God the Father, we also have economic identities here on earth. However this economic identity is temporary the immanent identity is eternal. So in the church the pastor has the functional identity as a father not to replace God in your life but to help reveal God to you. This father son model in the church does not add a person between you and God but serves as a functional role to bring you closer to understanding and relationship with God. God has anointed these people in our life and it is important to honor that anointing.

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