Only personal ideas about general things, spiritual or secular. A keepsake of some realizations I especially encountered in my student-life.

Phase Changes of Matter: Economical vs. Essential


It confused me when I encountered the word economical to explain passages in the Bible like Matthew 27:46 such that when the Lord was saying, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”, He did not actually mean that He wasn’t God but that they were only separated economically but not essentially. He is still God but at that time, just God essentially but not economically. How can that be? How can something be essentially the same if it had already changed? To me, it sounded like alchemy.

But the Lord must be sovereign to put me in a course that will be dealing so much with matter that it is very basic to know the transformation of matter from one physical state to another. And this one is quite simple.

Just think about water. When we say “water” maybe we can directly think of the liquid water because solid water to us is “ice” and gaseous water is “water vapor”. But all three, despite being physically different from the each other, are just composed of the same molecule – water, or specifically/chemically saying, that is H2O (an oxygen with two hydrogens bound to it). The H2O molecules in ice are closely held together and are not free to move unlike that of liquid water in which they are loosely held together and freer to move but not as free as that when it becomes water vapor in which the molecules can be “assumed” to collide elastically. Hence, we can say that the three (ice, liquid water, and water vapor) are essentially the same but economically separate.

When God incarnated it’s like ice melting to liquid and when He became the life-giving Spirit it’s like water evaporating to thin air. But this analogy is not quite exact as the Father, Son and Spirit coexist and coinhere. It’s really absurd to think of a substance where ice, liquid water, and water vapor exist and the same time and as the same substance. Nevertheless, phase changes of matter simplified the difference of “economical” and “essential” for me.

Was this post even helpful? Please tell me what you think in the comments below.

P.S. I owe this thought from a dear sister who is a biology student and who shared to me how it amazed her that the processes God had undergone is like the transformation of water from ice to vapor.

Author: LeiraRuthF.

I'm a student who is interested in sharing my enjoyment of the Lord Jesus from personal pursuit and experience, meetings and sharing by other saints. I also want to keep a record of them which is why I started blogging. I study science (chemistry), I like music (hymns), little bit of history, somehow in math, a bit in architectural designs, delicious food, stitching, singing, watching videos,....and.....I love the Lord Jesus! yay...

4 thoughts on “Phase Changes of Matter: Economical vs. Essential

  1. Leira, the word economical is also used for ways the Spirit can come to a person, either within (essentially) or upon (economically). When the Spirt was breathed into the disciples in John 20:22</a., that was essentially coming, but when the Spirit came upon them in Acts 2:4, that was upon. Essential is for inward essence, economical is for outward authority and power.

    The opposite event occurred in Matthew 3:16 when the Spirit came upon Jesus as a dove. Before that, He was already filled with the Spirit essentially, while thereafter He also had the outward power and filling of the Spirit for His work on the earth.

    The illustration I understand the best is food for inward strength and power, vs. a uniform for respect and authority. The uniform, the authority and power of God, left Jesus on the cross. But He still was God there, still had the divine, indestructible life. So even though His human life died, His divine life could not be held down and was

  2. Thanks! That’s a more appropriate illustration. And thanks for the verses, too. But I think your comment is unfinished? 🙂

    • Hmm.. What I think I meant to say was:
      Even though His human life died, His divine life could not be held down and was the power that enabled Him to walk out of death. He could have walked out at any time, but He “took a tour” of Hades to proclaim the gospel of God to all those there. If He were not still essentially God at His death, His blood would have been not be eternally effective. Thank You, Lord, for being a God-Man!

      In Greek, there are two words translated filled, pleroo and pletho. See footnote 2 on Acts 2:4.

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