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A fairly straightforward question. For unitarian Christians, God has one will. Jesus is a man, and has His own will. That will is in alignment with God's (despite temptation and a real possibility He could sin), hence leading to Jesus' triumph over sin.

For Trinitarians, how many wills are involved? Does God the Son have two, one for his human nature and one for his divine nature? Does God the Father another, and God the HS another? Does God as Trinity have yet another?

Is there 1 will or 5, or somewhere in between, according to Trinitarianism?

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    Monothelitism much?
    – Peter Turner
    Apr 11 at 18:45
  • "Nevertheless..." Jesus said. He petitioned the Father if there be any way let the cup pass. Let us not think that he was saying he was not willing. Matthew 12:27. Apr 12 at 2:30
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    He was not willing! He was understandably terrified, seeking some other alternative the closer the moment arrived.
    – steveowen
    Apr 12 at 2:56
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    I've closed this as a duplicate as it's basically the same question, while the answers to the older question also indicate the problem: while the majority of Trinitarians do say that will is a faculty of nature not person, there is a minority of Trinitarians, existing from the early centuries to the present, who say that the will is a faculty of the persons instead.
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 12 at 3:58
  • Agreed with @curiousdannii. The subject is well covered historically and on here, in archive : as, also, the minority and majority verdicts.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 12 at 4:01

1 Answer 1

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God has one will, and Jesus Christ has two (one being the Divine will of God, while the other being a human will). This was settled in the Sixth Ecumenical Council, Constantinople III. The Letter of Pope St. Agatho, read during the Fourth Session of the Council, says

...we confess the holy and inseparable Trinity, that is, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, to be of one deity, of one nature and substance or essence, so we will profess also that it has one natural will, power, operation, domination, majesty, potency, and glory... our Lord Jesus Christ himself is both perfect God and perfect man, of two and in two natures: and after his wonderful Incarnation, his deity cannot be thought of without his humanity, nor his humanity without his deity. Consequently, therefore, according to the rule of the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, she also confesses and preaches that there are in him two natural wills and two natural operations. For if anybody should mean a personal will, when in the holy Trinity there are said to be three Persons, it would be necessary that there should be asserted three personal wills, and three personal operations (which is absurd and truly profane).

St. Agatho's letter neatly deals with the question: there is one will in God, the Lord Jesus has two wills, and the three Persons certainly do not each have an individual will. The Acts of the Council clearly state that

...we likewise declare that in him are two natural wills and two natural operations indivisibly, inconvertibly, inseparably, inconfusedly, according to the teaching of the holy Fathers. And these two natural wills are not contrary the one to the other (God forbid!) as the impious heretics assert, but his human will follows and that not as resisting and reluctant, but rather as subject to his divine and omnipotent will.

Jesus, God the Son, assumed a human will, along with human nature, at the Incarnation. This human will was perfectly subject to the Divine will, and by assuming it, Jesus redeemed it. We see this submission firsthand:

"And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”"
-Luke 21:41-42 (ESV)

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    +1 If Jesus has 2 wills, and Jesus is God, how does God only have 1 will? Are we saying here God in so far as 'God' involves all 3 persons has 1 will? Apr 12 at 2:46
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    @OneGodtheFather God exists in three Persons; they all share the same Divine will. God the Son assumed human nature, and thus also assumed a human will; this human will is not of the Divine essence, and is proper to God to Son. Thus, God has one Divine will; Jesus Christ has two wills, the Divine and the human. Apr 12 at 3:10
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    @OneGodtheFather don't be expecting this to make any sense. There is no correct answer as there is no correct hypothesis on which to base said answer. You got 4 votes for the day - winner!
    – steveowen
    Apr 12 at 5:57
  • There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the question. A person' s will, as such, is not a standing quality. Will comes with situations and from the methodology by which one proposes to handle it. At Gethsamane, Jesus was looking at death on the face. The Father' s will in that situation was that Jesus should face it. Jesus, from his side had something different in mind, which he called his will. Arithmetically speaking, three people can form a number of combinations of will eg AB vs C , AC Vs B , CB Vs A, A Vs B Vs C and ABC. Apr 17 at 14:40

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