God the Father
The specific attributes of the First Hypostasis will be best ascertained by considering His relation to the Second and the Third Hypostaseis.
ETERNAL FATHER AND ETERNAL SON
Origen states that the generation of the Son is eternal and also continuous; the Father is begetting the Son at each instant, just as light is always emitting its radiance. By eternity and continuity Origen expresses eternity conceived as a unique instant which cannot be expressed by human language.
The Son is begotten by the Father as the reflection is by the light, as the will proceeds from the intellect, or as the word is emitted by the intellect. Origen applies to this generation the titles given to Wisdom in the Book of Wisdom (7:25-26), a breath of the power of God, a very pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty.
The logic of Origens anti-Sabellian exegesis led to the insistence that the Logos was distinct from the Father, but eternal, so that none could "dare to lay down a beginning for the Son, before which He did not exist." Since everything is eternal in God, this generating act is eternal also: aeterna ac sempiterna generation; the Son has no beginning.
Contrary to what Arianism was to say, the eternity of this generation is clearly affirmed, for it is inconceivable that the Father ever existed without His wisdom, His Reason, His Word, all expressions which denote the Son. Nor did the Father begin to be Father, as if He had not been so before, since all change in God is inconceivable. Twice in his treatise De Principiis and once in the Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans we find the famous sentence that was to be used against the Arians: "ouk en boti ouk en" There was not when He (the Son) was not. There is no time that He was not. The relation of the Son to the Father is, therefore, that of the unity of substance.
What else are we to suppose the eternal Light is, but God the Father? His splendor (Heb. 1:3) was not present with Him? Light without splendor is unthinkable. But if this is true, there is never a time when the Son was not the Son...
FATHERHOOD OF GOD
Peter Widdicombe says,
For Origen, the affirmation that God is Father lies at the heart of Christian faith. It is fundamental to his conception of the divine nature, to his perception of the relation between God and the Son and its difference from the relation between God and the created order, and to his understanding of the process of redemption. The description of God as Father is a commonplace of his theological vocabulary. His writings are replete with biblical quotations in which God is referred to as Father, many of which are from the Gospel of John; he also quotes Timaeus 28 C where Plato refers to the "Creator and Father of all," but relatively rarely.
Therefore, even though God is called "Father," and those who are begotten by the word of faith in Him are called "sons," yet one cannot find among the ancients the concept of positive and unalterable sonship.
I think that none can address God as "Father" unless he has been filled with the "spirit of adoption" (Rom. 8:15), and that such a son may address his Father as "Father" to do him honor, with due regard to the commandment (Matt. 5:44f, "Love your enemies... that you may be sons of your Father..."). Again, everyone that "does righteousness" (1 John 2:29) is born of God. So born with the "seed of God in him" (ibid. 3:9), because he "can sin no more," he may say "Father... Again, one is born of God not from corruptible seed but through the living and abiding Word of God, as it is written: "As many as received Him, to them gave He the right to become children of God... which were born not of blood... but of God" (John 1:12f). The point of this saying is not to raise us to the level of Gods nature, but that He (the Word) gives us to share in His grace, and graciously grants us His own dignity; for He tells us to call God "Father" .
In a passage from the Commentary on John which has given rise to scandal, Origen remarks that in John 1:1 "the God - Ho Theos" stands for the Father, while the Son is called "Theos - God" without the article. "The God" is in a way the proper name of the Father, source and origin of the Deity.
When Origen comes to the activity proper to each Hypostasis, he attributes to the Father the gift of being: He is "the One who is" (Exod. 3:13) and the source of being. He does not hold His existence from anything else, and everything else holds its existence from Him. Sometimes He is called nous, intelligence, and ousia, being and sometimes with the Platonists, beyond nous and beyond ousia.
Without any compromise of the equality of Hypostaseis in the Trinity, Origen could teach that the Father is the principle of all being and all good.
THE GOOD AND JUST FATHER
The second passage in the Treatise on First Principles is directed against the Gnostics, especially the Marcionites. Origen reacts against the separation that they make between the Creator God of the Old Testament and the Father of Jesus Christ. He shows that Jesus in the Gospels always calls the Creator God His Father and that St. Paul does the same.
Origen asserts that there cannot be justice without goodness nor goodness without justice. Even when God punishes, He does it out of goodness. And God is called good in the Old Testament and just in the New.
THE FATHER IS NOT CREATOR OF EVIL
The Father is the origin and Creator of everything, even of matter, but not of sin and evil. Sin and evil are not positive realities, but negative; sin is that "nothing" which, according to John 1:3 was made without the Word.
CHRIST REVEALS HIS FATHER IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS
God the Father can be recognized through His creatures as the sun through its rays:
Our eyes frequently cannot look upon the nature of the light itself, that is, upon the substance of the sun: but when we behold his splendor or his rays pouring in, perhaps, through windows or small openings to admit the light, we can reflect how great is the supply and source of the light of the body. So, in like manner, the works of Divine Providence and the plan of this whole world are a sort of rays, as it were, of the nature of God, in comparison with His real substance and being. As therefore, our understanding is unable of itself to behold God Himself as He is, it knows the Father of the world from the beauty of His works and the comeliness of His creatures.
1. The Logos reveals Him even in the Old Testament: He inspired men before His incarnation, granting believers divine knowledge.
Before that time, Christ, the Word of God was in Moses and the prophets.
2. We know the Father through the incarnation of the Logos: The incomprehensible Father becomes comprehensible through the Logos, who in the fullness of time became Man. He grants His believers to be united with the Father in Him and thus they acknowledge Him. By this knowledge the soul becomes perfect, i.e., returns to her original goodness.
Joseph C. McLelland writes,
The incarnation of the Word renders Him "able to reach anybody." Here is where Origens Platonism differs from the classical tradition in which Celsus and Clement stand: "Plato may say that it is difficult to find the maker and father of this universe, indicating that it is not impossible for human nature to find God in a degree worthy of Him, or if not worthy of Him, yet at least in a degree higher than that of the multitude... we affirm that human nature is not sufficient in any way to seek for God and to find Him in His pure nature, unless it is helped by the God who is object of the search".
The aim of faith is to attain the knowledge of the Father, through the unity with the Son who alone knows Him.
The Word of God, coming to those who seek Him, or to those who receive Him when He is manifested, is able to make known the Father and to reveal Him who was not seen before His coming.
3. We who have the practical knowledge of the Father can be reconciled with Him through our Savior, who became the High Priest and the Victim.
Christ, the true High Priest who by His own blood made God propitious to you and reconciled you to the Father.
We have peace with God" (Rom. 5:1), but it is through our Lord Jesus Christ who reconciled us to God through the sacrifice of His blood... Christ came that He might destroy the enemies and make peace, and reconcile us to God when we were separated because of the barrier of wickedness which we set up by sinning.
We can approach (God) through Jesus Christ, and especially if we know Christ in His capacity of Righteousness, Truth, Wisdom, Resurrection, True Light. For without these we cannot approach God-nor indeed without Peace which is Christ.
4. Christs titles call us to attain the knowledge of the Father.
He is called the Logos, granting us the reason (logika) by which we acknowledge of the Father. He is the Light of the world, who illuminates our inner sight to behold the Father.
If we look at the things by the names of which the Son of God is called, we shall understand how many good things Jesus is, whom those preach whose feet are beautiful (Isa. 52:7).
One good thing is life; but Jesus is the Life. Another good thing is the Light of the world, when it is true Light, and the light of men; and all these things the Son of God is said to be.
He is the Truth, those who abide in Him, attain divine knowledge.
Our Savior, therefore, is the image of the invisible God, inasmuch as compared with the Father Himself He is the truth: and as compared with us, to whom He reveals the Father, He is the image by which we come to the knowledge of the Father, whom no one knows says the Son, and He to whom the Son is pleased to reveal Him.
All who believe and are assured that "grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John. 1:17), and who know Christ to be the truth, agreeably to His own declaration, "I am the Truth" John. 14:6, derive the knowledge which incites men to a good and happy life from no other source than from the very words and teaching of Christ. And by the words of Christ we do not mean those only which He spoke when He became Man and tabernacled in the flesh.
And another good thing which one may conceive to be in addition to Life or Light is the Truth.
He is the Way and the Door:
Since one cannot be in the Father or with the Father without first ascending to the divinity of the Son, by which one can be led up to the blessedness of the Father, the Savior is described in Scripture as the "Door."
And a fourth in addition to these is the Way which leads to the Truth.
And all these things our Savior teaches that He is, when He says: "I am the Way and the Truth and the life" (John 14:6).
Ah, is not that good, to shake off earth and mortality, and to rise again, obtaining this boon from the Lord, since He is the Resurrection, as He says: "I am the Resurrection" (John 11:25).
But the door also is a good, through which one enters into the highest blessedness.
Now Christ says: "I am the Door" (John 10:9).
And what need is there to speak of Wisdom, which "the Lord created the first principle of His ways, for His works" (Prov. 8:22), in whom the Father of her rejoiced, delighting in her manifold intellectual beauty, seen by the eyes of the mind alone, and provoking him to love who discerns her divine and heavenly charm?
A good indeed is the wisdom of God, proclaimed along with the other good foresaid by those whose feet are beautiful.
And the Power of God is the eighth good we enumerate, which is Christ.
Nor must we omit to mention the Word, who is God after the Father of all. For this also is a good, less than no other.
Happy, then, are those who accept these goods and receive them from those who announce the good tidings of them, those whose feet are beautiful.
Basil Studer states that for Origen, the Son is the Wisdom and the Logos (Word). In relation to the Father He is Wisdom, whose knowledge He is. In relation to the world He is the Logos, the communication of what He beholds in the Father.
5. Through our Lord Jesus Christ we attain fatherhood of God, the Father is attributed to us as our own God and Father.
You shall be my people and I will be your God." He is not the God of all men but only of those to whom He graciously gives Himself, as He did to the patriarch to whom He said "I am your God" (Gen. 17:1)... [Origen quotes Matt. 22:32: "not the God of the dead but of the living."] Who is the "dead"? The sinner- the man who does not possess the One who said "I am the life" (John 11:25), the one whose works are dead (Heb. 6:1). If then He is "not the God of the dead...", and we know who is the living - the one who guides his life by Christ and remains with Him - and if we desire God to be our God, let us bid farewell to the works of death...
This Jesus Christ...has graciously bestowed on those who are truly His disciples that the same One should be not only their God but their father [and quotes John 20:17: "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God"]. It is my opinion that He bestowed the same gift on Abraham also...
Further, the words "from His fullness we have all received" and "grace for grace"...show that the prophets too were able to accept the gift from the fullness of Christ, and received the second grace in place of the first. For they, too, led by the hand of the Holy Spirit, after their initiation by allegory, attained to the vision of the truth. That is why not all the prophets but only "many" (Matt. 13:17) longed to see what the apostles saw. For if there was a difference between the prophets, it lay in this, that the higher class who had been perfected did not long to see what the apostles saw, for they had already seen it; but those who had not, like them achieved this ascent to the heights of Gods Word had come to yearn for the things made known to the apostles through Christ...
In general, before the incarnation of the Only-Begotten Son, many of the men of the Old Testament could not acknowledge God as their own Father.
Perhaps because they did not know the Father; they prayed to Him as God and Lord, awaiting the One who pours out the Spirit of adoption not less on them that on those who believe in God through Him after His appearing. Unless indeed Christ did appear to the eye of their minds, and they did gain, being perfected, the spirit of adoption, but did not venture to speak or write of God as Father openly and to all, lest they might anticipate the grace that through Jesus was poured out on all the world, as He called all men to adoption.
THE ROLE OF THE FATHER IN OUR SALVATION
Origen, in his exposition of the idea of the ransom, repeatedly referred to the idea of Christs being handed over by His Father to the hostile powers. Since the devil had the power of death, the way man was rescued from the devil and death was for the Son to be delivered by the Father into the devils hands, and by Him in turn into the hands of the enemies of Christ.
To whom did he give his soul as a ransom for many? Certainly not to God! Then why not the devil? For he had possession of us until there should be given to him the ransom for us, the soul of Jesus.
"This slain Lamb has been made, according to certain hidden reasons, a purification for the whole world; for which, according to the Fathers love to man, he submitted to death purchasing us back by His own blood from Him who had got us in his power, sold under sin."
The Father gave up His own Son not only for the saints... for the great ones, but for the least also, and for every single member of the Church... God then, who gave us worth through pouring out the precious blood of His Son for us... .
THE FATHER GIVES US TO HIS BELOVED SON
For He (the Father) gives them to His Son their teacher and doctor, to free them from ignorance and disease - i.e. from sin - and so keep them under His protection and kingly rule.
The "tombs" in question... are the bodies of the souls which were sinful, i.e. dead to God. But when through the grace of God such should have been aroused to faith, their bodies... are made the bodies of the holy...
HIS DWELLING IN THE SOULS
He visits the souls of those who have been able to receive His operations.