Greetings, Friends everywhere!
I hope you found my last post on the three mandates God gave man from the beginning useful and constructive. My hope is it has added to your faith and given you confidence to foster healthy interaction and communion with others. As we participate in the Lord’s Life in us, we are helping sow the seed for a better world where His Triune Love unites us together and is the guiding principle in all we do. I hope this post will do likewise and add to your wholeness and joy as a ‘Triune’ person.
Many find it hard to believe that the life and death of one man can be attributed to absolve all of mankind’s sins and wrongs and be given the gift of everlasting life, in place of eternal death. Because of this doubt and suspicion, many in the secular world, have found it hard to fathom how Jesus Christ’s life alone has that implied, substitutionary, outcome upon all mankind. (John 3:16-17) They think it’s the kind of thing that’s born out of religious zeal bordering on superstition and religious fanaticism, and does not measure up to scientific criteria and norms. It’s too far-fetched to be believed. At the same time, there are many things in science, creation, the universe, which, even the best of our educated minds have no answer. Science, for example, has not been able to fully explain how the human mind works. So, if no one can claim to have all the answers, we can at least agree that we all play this game of life on the same level playing field of unfamiliarity, inexperience, and to a greater degree, ignorance. So, keeping an open mind would be the most sensible of options to take. Keeping a closed mind only serves our ignorance and keeps us in the shadows, rather than seeking enlightenment in the evolution of our understanding of ourselves and others. So, let’s answer this question on a more down to earth manner, and make sense of this question.
“One-Man” Attributive Principle in History
This may be an important thought to consider, the one-man substitutionary role of Jesus aside, the Bible is clear about one thing, it is through the one-man act of Adam, that all of mankind is in a state of alienation from God. The effect of Adam’s one-man attributive decision to disobey God, is clearly witnessed in the condition of man’s fallen state of being in the world today – of depravity, decay, man’s inhumanity to man, and death. Many see the dilemma of evil in the world, and have no clue as to the origin of them. God summarily attributed man’s depraved condition to Adam’s disobedience. Paul stated to the Romans, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Rom.5:12, NLT). Man was banished from His presence (Eden) and closed the path to finding enlightenment and the grace for authentic living. Adam chose the way of darkness and ignorance, and the greatest depth of ignorance is to deny the existence of the Creator. So this one-man attribution for all of mankind’s future is not something new or novel. It has happened in history – from the very beginning of man’s existence on earth. This is not something ‘religious’ or fanatical, it is a cause and effect matter that has scientific relevance. When the second Adam (Jesus) came, He taught us the way of Love, service, and self-sacrifice. That is not ‘religious,’ it speaks of a way that produces the opposite effect of the first Adam’s way of rebellion, self-centeredness, confusion, and heartache. Sadly, we continue to live in the reality and consequence of Adam’s rebellious way of life today.
Every one of us has a great responsibility to protect the environment – and climate change is a global issue that is going to require a global solution. Everyone’s action has flow-on, attributive consequences, as the Bible teaches. (Pic:Wiki Commons)
If our state of fallen, depraved, and corrupt condition, is really the result of one-man’s choice to disobey and alienate himself from his Creator, why is it so hard to believe that another Man, the second Adam, whom God foretold and appointed would come to right Adam’s wrong – yes, this one-man implied principle at work – would bring man back to right standing with God and receive His grace for authentic living? (Gen.3:14-15; 1 Cor.15:45-49) Paul taught, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor.15:22). Because Adam took mankind down the path of disobedience, with the deceitful prompting of the devil, God prearranged the coming of the second Adam to save man from the consequence of the first Adam’s sin, and defeating the enemy responsible for Adam’s fall, once for all. Jesus Christ, the second Adam, came and taught man a new way to live. The way of outgoing Love and self-sacrifice, to replace Adam’s way of inner-directed fear and self-destruction. He commanded His disciples, “A new commandment I give you, Love one another. As I have Loved you, Love one another” (John 13:34). Jesus was the personification of the prophesied Immanuel (God/man incarnation), the only perfect human, that could undo what Adam had doomed man into a life of servitude, fear and corruption. (Isa.7:14)
Principle of Attributive Consequence Continues Today
Here’s what we fail to realize, this principle of attribution and implied consequence, continues to undergird man’s relationship with other humans today. Though we may not realize the effect of this principle upon us, for good or bad, it is as real as long as God is Triune and exists in this attributive/imputive/connective spiritually ‘organic’ way fundamentally. We see this played out in history for good in the life of the patriarch Abraham. God stretched His hand to save Israel numerous times because He remembered His word of blessing to Abraham. (Exo.2:24) In our more recent history, we see this principle played out in our world wars with disastrous consequences. The life of Adolf Hitler stands out. Human history is littered with people of like violent disposition.
Man was not made to exist privately and in isolation in himself. He was made after God’s Triune likeness so he can live in Loving communion with his fellow humans, as God does in His Triunity. Yet, sadly, man continues to fail to take responsibility for all his actions which carries this imputive consequence. I’ll come back to our personal responsibility in this one-man attribution principle. But first, the obvious question that comes to mind is why does God permit this one-man attribution/implied principle to be such an overriding determinant in man’s relationship with one another? The short answer is because it reflects His Trinitarian Life as God who lives in Loving communion. He expects man, whom He created in His own Triune image, to live and behave that way, because He IS that way.
Imputive Consequence Is The Essence of The Triniatrian Life
Readers of my blog will know by now, that whenever I have tried to find an explanation for something, I have tried not to deviate from investigating the answer through the prism of the Trinitarian nature of God. It clears the mind off all the cobwebs of the “solitary” self we inherited from Adam. As long as God is Triune, there’s always a Trinitarian undercurrent which carries His authoritative, attributive, and implied, outcome in everything He does and we seek answers for. I said in one of my previous post that life begins where our concept of God takes root. Who is God? What makes Him do what He does? God declares Himself as ONE, yet, exists in Three Persons – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The act of any Three is the act of ONE God. Not Three Persons with separate outcomes. So, that’s imputive, interdependent, co-dependent living. So God, because He is Love, being Three, automatically act as ONE. Because He is Love, they are indivisible and eternally ONE. In other words, their actions are interconnected and therefore attributive to one another. When God created Adam, He wanted Adam to choose to live this Triune Life with Him. He created Eve to make the Trinitarian life comprehensible at the human level. Eve was not created separately but from Adam himself to depict this Triune inter-relativity by co-dependence. By alienating himself, Adam effectively cut himself off from God’s Triune way of Life. He is now effectively living the “solitary” way of life in himself without the Triune God.
The Triune God – The Act of One is the Act of All Three, and the Act of Three is the Act of One. This is the Basis of Imputive Principle Man Lives Under. (Wiki Commons)
So this one-man attributive, inter-connective principle, if I may call it that, is founded upon the God who is Triune (three), yet ONE, attributive, and interconnected in all His Loving manifestation. That’s to say, Each of the Persons in the Triune Godhead always acts in ONE-ness, not three-ness. That’s another way of saying, everything God does is interconnected, interrelated, and unified with everything else, and nothing stands alone. The whole universe and the physical law that holds it together, including our earth, are all interconnected for it reflects the Creator who made it all – separate, individual, heavenly bodies, yet ONE, unified universe. So we see this principle of interconnection throughout creation. It begins with God who is three, and yet, interconnected and ONE. Though, through the naked eye, and our “solitary” mindset, we may observe the physical world as existing autonomously, everything is interconnected and finds a single expression. Like the Three Persons of the Trinity, they are ONE unified Being, natured in their single expression of Love. God is Love, so all He does bears his Triune/imputive Love expression.
Man may not realize this, but everything he does brings him in touch with this interactive physical laws of the universe, which like gravity, comes into play and compensates for if what he does is to work at all. See the modern-day exploits in air travel, space exploration, technology, advancement in science and engineering, sea and land travel, etc. All we do has to take into account God’s ‘law of relativity’ which Albert Einstein discovered, because that’s how the world exists – nothing is what it is until you relate it to something. The relational nature of God (Trinitarian) underlies our existence, despite living the “solitary” life which Adam has imputed upon us. Everything in creation has this attributive, implied, and relational resonance which is the signature of the Trinitarian God who sustains His creation in Love. Everything created resonates this Triune, interconnective principle, and man can choose to live by it, or deny it at his own demise.
Jesus Lived the “Trinitarian” Life, and Adam The “Solitary” Life
Listen to the words of Jesus as indicative of the interconnected creation in which we live, He said this about His words and actions, “These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me” (John 12:49-50; 8:28b, 29, 26b; 14:9-10, 24; 17:8; 6:63, 68). He said further, “By Myself I can do nothing” (John 5:30). This is an activity of the Triune Love which binds them together as ONE. Jesus’ actions are not for His private exploits but activities of Love with the Father and the Spirit. He said, “Not my will, but your (the Father) will be done” – even at the point of His death. (John 5:17, 19-20, Luke 22:42 emphasis added). Notice what Jesus said about the role of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Triune God, “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own, He will speak only what He hears” (John 16:13-15). Jesus was declaring His life of Loving union in His Triunity with God the Father and God the Spirit. He said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt.28:19). Jesus authorized the disciples to bring people into the Loving interconnected Life of the Triune God, and thereby live the one-man attributive, implied, and Trinitarian life in Christ. (Gal.2:20, KJV)
Whatever way we choose to live, whether it’s Adams “solitary” self-centered way, or Jesus’ “Triune” Loving way, it does not preclude nor nullify the one-man attributive consequence of our actions. If it is Adam’s “solitary” way we live by, it will produce fear, depravity, decay and ultimately death. If it is Jesus’ “Triune” way we cling to, it will produce Love, excellence, joy and grace for authentic Trinitarian living.
The ‘One-Man’ Trinitarian/Attributive Principle Affects Us All Regardless
Paul affirms this one-man Triune/attributive principle upon all, saying, “For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife (believing), and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy” (1Cor.7:14, emphasis added). This imputive principle starts in your family, where your Triune Life in Christ is implied to those around you, so they also are in good standing with God because of you. Though they may not be in direct union with God, you are that connection which brings grace to them. This is the same principle God applied to save mankind through and in His Son. (John 3:16-19) What happens if a man lives the “solitary” life apart from the Triune God, and his actions are self-willed and evil? Are those around him doomed? Yes, and no! Though a person’s actions bear evil implied consequences, it will not harm those implicated, if, as individuals, they choose to follow God’s Love, and change their ways and follow good in place of evil.
The Death of Jesus – an Substitutive Act (Eugene Delacroix, Wiki Commons)
The whole eighteenth chapter of Ezekiel makes this plain. (Ezek.18) Notice, the Israelite acknowledged this attributive principle, so much in a negative light, it has become a proverb, a buzzword. (V.1). But the Lord tells them, the opposite is also true. Even though this implied principle is true, if the person shall turn from his wicked ways, “he will not die for his father’s sins, he will surely live. But his father will die for his own sin” (V.14-18). Note also the warning given to the self-willed Israelites, notwithstanding the promises of blessings God gave Abraham, “But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham and I will remember the land” (Lev.40:40-42).
So, though they were implied recipients of Abraham’s faithfulness, there was an obvious implicit sense of duty to follow the patriarchal example, or their own self-willed attributive actions will nullify the covenant. God is perfectly ONE and indivisible in His Triune Love, we are not. God gave us minds so we can change, even if we have implied consequences which are evil which our fathers attributed and became part of us. God wants us to choose to be joined to His one-man Triune/attributive Loving way of life, and pass on and attribute His Love upon others through our inspired actions in the Spirit. (Rom.5:5)
Watch Over Each Other in Love
God makes this Triune implied consequence principle clearer in relation to our gifts and what we are expected to do with them. Speaking to Ezekiel God says, “If I speak and give them warning from Me… and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways… I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person… and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved” (Ezek.33:7-9). God is elaborating to man, who was made after His image, what is expected when living this Triune Life in Christ. We serve one another with our gifts and talents because God does the same in His Triunity. We are all “watchman,” watching out for each other’s welfare. In Loving Triune union in Christ, we are all made keepers of each other. (Gal.6:1-6; Phi.2:4; 1Cor.10:24) We must take loving responsibility for the gifts we have been endowed with, and let its energy invigorate us to embrace one another in the Spirit’s Love. This is the very essence of the life of the Bula man-river.* (To read more about the Bula man-river,* go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my book)
In all this, we must not miss the point of God’s sovereignty in everything. It is God who determines what is right and wrong through His character of Love. Therefore, it is God alone who has the power to forgive sins. It is He alone who determines how transgressions are pardoned and forgiven. It is God alone who has the power to grant man the gift of immortality in His Triune existence. (John 3:16) The Bible tells us, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim.2:13) Compassion and mercy is part of who He is in His sovereign Love.
So yes, God attributes the acts of man upon each other, whether for good or evil, and this is what He has done to us in His Son, Jesus Christ, for our deliverance. By giving us His Son, He attributes His one-man attributive perfect life upon all mankind for our redemption, just as Adam’s sin brought us into the shackles of slavery of evil and sin. In Christ Himself, with His implied deliverance, He brings us the Father’s gift of immortality through the Spirit. Hence, we read this implied statement, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you (all) to God” (1 Pet.3:18, emphasis added). In that, we see the inseparable, eternal Love of God in these immortal words, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). Let’s be truly thankful for Jesus’ one-man implied righteousness upon all mankind, and go out and live life as He did, knowing that all our actions have their inherent attributive consequences.
May the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you today and give you strength for authentic attributive Triune living as a Bula man-river.*
Kiang (Your Servant in Christ)
* The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bula man-river, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book. Thank you for your support.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise
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