THE ATTRIBUTING POWER OF GOD’S TRIUNE LOVE-NATURE, KIANG P. LEE

“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Rom.5:17)

Greetings again Friends!

What is the one word that defines the difference between our fallen Adamic humanity and Jesus’ new “Immanuel” humanity? The word is attribution! (Read about Jesus’ new humanity at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718) Another word is assignment. It is the principle of imputing and superimposing so that one is accountable to another. It means to be responsible for another. It speaks of this principle as an inherent part of God’s Triune nature where the three Persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united by nature and substance and thereby inseparable. So the act one is the act of all, and the act of all is the act of one. This principle finds its validation and basis on God’s divine Love. (1 John 4:8) So, whereas Adam’s fallen Adamic humanity is self-centered, Christ’s new “Immanuel” humanity is other-centered for his whole motive and action is based upon Love and taking responsibility for others. It is called “Immanuel” because it is “the God with us humanity.” (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23). This principle is inherent in His triune nature.

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The Triune God, Heart of the Imputing Powerof His Love – the Act of One is the Act of All, the Act of All is the Act of One. (Pic: Wiki commons – Rublev’s Trinity) 

I will quote Jon Tal Murphree’s insight about God’s trinitarian nature to explain this attributing principle. In his book, “The Trinity and Human Personality,” Murphree writes,

“From eternity past, Love has characterized the triune God. Each Person of the Trinity identifies with the others. Each One transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the others. Through Love, diversity and unity are so inextricably interwoven that the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other. Each One constantly has perfect access to the others’ complete thoughts and feelings. Each is utterly transparent to the others, with no secretiveness – each reflecting the others, to use Dante’s language. Each occupies the others’ personalities. In the Trinity, intimacy (Love) is complete. These separate Persons have relational oneness.”

He continues and makes plain, “Relational oneness implies that separate persons relate to one another. Substantive oneness is sameness; it is organic union. Relational oneness is unity rather than union, and as such it requires separateness rather than sameness. Only distinct individuals can relate. Diversity is required for relationship. As divine beings, members of the Trinity have organic union – they all participate in deity. But as separate personalities, they have relational unity. Diversity suggests individual differences rather than uniformity. The Trinity is oneness of unity rather than uniformity, and therefore, it entails individuality.” (Pg.29, 26)

Murphree goes on to give an example we can relate with: the four-part musical composition of the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Musical harmony “requires that four separate notes be sounded at the same time,” rather than through solitary execution. Murphree notes, “This combining of the four musical lines into one composition through harmonious relationships is called counterpoint. In counterpoint composition, as in the Trinity, we have oneness from separateness. Unity comes from diversity. It is a oneness of harmonious relationship.”

We may transpose this analogy by Murphree on how the Triune God included humanity into relational unity with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As long as we are existing in our true humanity, the new humanity of Jesus, we are living in harmony with the tune of true life called Love. Paul said this about the changed life in Jesus’ new humanity, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20). Paul speaks of our new humanity in this fashion, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new (humanity) life has begun!” (2 Cor.5:17, NLT, Italics mine).

This harmonious way of life (spiritual musical composition) has been out of tune since we adopted and lived by the old self in the fallen Adamic humanity we inherited from Adam. Paul explained how God brought humanity out of sin and into harmony with Him, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Cor.5:21, NLT). Thus, here we see this eternal imputing principle in play. As humans, we are a long way from God’s Triune Life* lifestyle of identifying with one another in our diversity as each of the three Persons of the Trinity does, and learning at being responsible for, and living in harmony with each other as God does in His triune Being.

When we think of this attributive principle, we think about how God reaches out through His unfathomable Love and grace and freely and willingly embraced humans as His children by imputing the life of His Son (new humanity) upon us so we can be saved from our fallen self and from the enemy, Satan. Despite our fallen state, humans were created in God’s image, therefore this eternal imputing principle was passed down to Adam and Eve’s children until the second Adam, Jesus, appeared and ushered His new “Immanuel” humanity so He would superimpose His new humanity upon those who freely believe and receive Him as Savior and permanent Mediator. (1 Cor.15:45; Heb.7:23-25) The Bible reveals this imputing principle like this, “Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous” (Rom.5:18-19, NLT).  What is the difference? There are two humans representing two humanity and each handing down their respective humanity. One is the fallen Adamic humanity, and the other is the risen new “Immanuel” humanity of Jesus. One is led by the human spirit of “self-love,” while the other is led by the Holy Spirit of divine Love. (Rom.8:2, 9-10; Gal.5:25; Rom.5:5)

We continue to live under this imputing principle today and see its effect all around us – for good or for evil, based upon how this attributing principle is applied as we read in Romans 5:18-19. Humanity’s salvation depends upon undergoing a spiritual death and rebirth. Death means the fallen Adamic humanity with the rebellious heart must die and cease to exist. It must die because it imputes this principle in a way that’s evil and opposite from God’s Love. And rebirth means to give birth to the new humanity of Jesus with His heart of Love and godliness. The new humanity of Jesus applies this principle in God’s Loving way. Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). We are given the new birth through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit…the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life” (John 3:5-6). Jesus explains the meaning of what “being born of water’ means: “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scriptures has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believe in Him were to receive” (John 7:37-39). Water signifies cleansing or the act of sanctification. The Spirit dwells in the temple of the human body for the purpose of sanctifying believers by the “washing of water through the Word” (Eph.5:25-27; also 1 Cor.6:19-20). Jesus is the personified Word of God who dwells and walks in believers through His new humanity in the Spirit’s sanctifying power. (You may read about human body as the temple of the Spirit at: http://bulamanriver.net/10700)

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Modern day baptism in the Jordan River. Jesus inaugurated Man’s Baptism of Forgiveness of Sins in the Jordan. Baptism – Symbolizing the Death and Rebirth of the Believer. (Pic: Wiki Commons)

It is clear from these passages that a person’s faith in Jesus is what triggers the gift of, and birth in the Spirit, “Whoever believes in Me rivers of living water will flow from within them… Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink.” As the Son is sent by the Father, so the Spirit is sent by the Son. Let us see how water is utilized to signify death and rebirth. Through the ritual of water baptism we are given this spiritual death and rebirth experience.  Paul said, “Have you forgotten that when you were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined Him in His death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives (in Jesus’ new humanity)” (Rom.6:3-4, Italics mine). Yes, when the believer steps out of that watery grave of baptism, God sees his/her faith in Jesus as the doorway into the reality of the new birth. (Eph.1:13; John 10:9, NASB)

In the temple architecture that God gave ancient Israel, one of the seven furnishings of the temple was called the “laver.” It was a large bowl filled with water that was used for cleansing before the priest could enter the temple and into God’s presence in the most holy place. (Exo.30:17-21; also 1 Pet.2:9) So, water baptism symbolizes God’s act of sanctifying the believer by means of death and rebirth through faith in Jesus (cross) and the gift of the Holy Spirit (life). We can say the interpretation of this under the New Covenant is given to us by Paul to the Hebrews, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place (heavenly temple/God’s presence) by the blood of Jesus…and since we have a great Priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb.10:19-22, Italics mine). Water symbolizes the spiritual cleansing activity of the Holy Spirit. (Tit.3:5; 1 Cor.6:11)

As I said, we see the effect of this imputing principle in our lives daily for inherently we are made in His Love-image with its spontaneous imputing principle. But here is the conundrum we face with this attributing principle: we must make a deliberate choice to live by it after we are given to understand it. The way of life we choose to follow becomes critical since the principle works both ways, for good or evil. Love or lust, generosity or greed, confidence or fear, is the exercise of the mind through free choice. God states this principle clearly through the prophet, “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). The key word is “if” which means there is a choice to be made. Here, we are given a scenario where God wants His people to call those who carry out evil deeds to account for their actions. But if His people do nothing He holds them accountable, not the wrong doers. The perpetrators of evil become answerable only after being called to dissuade from their wicked ways, yet refuses to account for their actions. The principle of imputing accountability is shown clearly and is put into effect by choice. Paul was inspired to write, “For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in His sight” (Rom.2:13; also Jam.1:22).

We see this attributing principle of God’s Love at work from the very beginning when, after taking the life of his own brother, Cain answers God for asking about the whereabouts of Abel, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen.4:9). His answer was a clear self-indictment of violating this eternal principle. Yes, this principle of attribution and accountability calls upon us to be our brothers’ keepers. We are all “watchman,” watching out for each other’s welfare. In Loving triune union in Christ, this eternal principle calls upon us to be keepers of each other. (Gal.6:1-6; Phil.2:4; Rom.13:8; 1 Cor.10:24) Although this principle is out there and works spontaneously like the law of  gravity, we can take advantage of it when we make a deliberate decision to apply Love in our lives. Conversely, we can promote greed, prejudice, and various forms of evil, but we must understand that all our actions carries this unfailing imputing element which will pass on the detrimental consequences to others. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matt.5:9). That is a statement with an attributing effect that carries a blessing for those who pursue peace and resist violence. This overarching principle is shown clearly throughout the Bible.

The apostle Paul gave us a view of this attributing principle from the Church perspective, “For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy” (1 Cor.7:14). Because a person has received Jesus as Savior, then through this ascribing principle of God’s Love, His grace is automatically applied to cover his/her family.

The Cross: The Ultimate Show of God’s Attributing Power in His Love-Nature  (Pic: Wiki Commons) 

But the greatest of all acts of imputation was that of God the Father when He gave His Son, and Jesus gave no second thought about giving up His life for the salvation of mankind. John states this imputing principle in that famed passage, “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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:16-17). Jesus’ life was superimposed upon mankind through this eternal attributing principle so we are no longer condemned but saved in Him.

I hope we can learn to appreciate why understanding and living God’s trinitarian attributing Love-nature is so critical to the life we live upon earth and ultimately for eternity in His Triune Being. For deep in the recess of our being we can never deny or escape the repercussion of our rejection of this imputing principle. And most importantly, we must question as to “who” is applying this imputing principle in our lives – the Adamic human or the “Immanuel” humanity of Jesus. Jesus said, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luk.17:21). In other words, we are created in His Love-image, and therefore, genetically we cannot escape the spontaneous and inevitable effect of violating this vital principle. It works in our favor only when God’s Love is applied in our lives. Like the law of gravity we either live within its power utilizing God’s Love and be blessed and rewarded, or we break it by living the self-centered life to our own ruin and demise.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or you may email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com. Thank you for visiting.

Blessing:
Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life”* in the person of Jesus’ “Immanuel humanity.” Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Kiang,
(Your Servant In Christ)

*“Triune Life” means to inherit human personhood identifying us as true persons with gifts in Christ and living according to the image and likeness of God. (Gen.1:26-27Rom.8:29) It means a believer who lives the 3-dimensional attributing life with the Triune God, as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life in himself (“Adamic humanity”). It means to live in relationship with God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who lives and walks in you (“Immanuel humanity”). Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune God, who took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead. To live the “Triune Life” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit in us. The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) This is a life of divine power. You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092, also at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036)

*Read about my true-life miracle I shared in my book and post, titled, “Miracle Living-No Ordinary Life!” I hope you find it inspiring and encourages you to receive Jesus and live the “Triune Life.” Go to: http://bulamanriver.net/2634

**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website, www.bulamanriver.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, xulonpress.com, and other book store sites where you can order a copy of my book, “Bulamanriver – The Miracle of Triune Living”

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All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

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