“For all of God’s promises have been Fulfilled in Christ with a Resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” Ascends to God for His Glory” – 2 Cor.1:20
Greetings again Friends! This month I would like to share this post with you about the vital topic of the abundant promises God has given us in His Word, the Bible. The Promises of the Bible are supposed to pave the way for a blessed, more predictable, and less worrying life, for those who truly believe in them. I hope you will find my post beneficial and promising as we seize hold of a substance that’s truly bigger than life itself – God’s Promises.
The Creation of the Earth is Based Upon God’s Promise to Create Humanity In His Likeness. Thus, Earth Was Created as A Home and Base to Fulfill That Specific Purpose (Gen.1:26-27)
What is a promise? A promise is something, usually a benefit, one undertakes to give to another for accomplishing a certain task or assignment. The promise is accompanied by conditions on how the task is to be carried out in the agreement worked out beforehand. There is a vital ingredient which makes a promise workable and achievable. Without it there is no weight nor worth in a promise. That ingredient is faith, or, trust, belief, confidence, in the whole process. The two parties must have faith in each other’s commitment, so their word becomes their bond. If the words of a promise cannot be trusted, then the transaction cannot take place. Hence, no matter how good and beneficial a promise may be, without mutual trust, no party benefits. So, sometimes a third party enter the scene to bridge the trust-gap by becoming the guarantor and ‘comforter’ who unifies the two parties in the promise.
The Creation of Adam was Based Upon God’s Promise to Make Humanity A Species In His Image (Gen.1:26-27)
So, that is the basic anatomy of a promise: there is the promiser who makes the promise, and there is the promisee to whom the promise is made. Where needed, a third party acting as guarantor is brought in as a ‘comfort agent’ to the whole process. Then, there is the task the promisee undertakes to do in accordance with the conditions set out in their agreement and covenant. The conditions provides the spirit and tone under which the task must be done in order for the promiser to honor the promise.
Many are surprised to find that as Creator, God has made many, many, promises to mankind. Why did God make all these promises? The basis for all the promises in the Bible finds its meaning and purpose in one preeminent promise that forms the backbone for all other promises. That is the promise of immortality! When God sacrificed His only Son for humanity, there was only one stated objective and promise for doing so: immortality. Listen, “For God Loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (immortality)” (John 3:16, italics mine). There is no other reason given for Jesus’ role as Savior other than to bring humans immortal life. God is immortal, and He desire that His human children must inherit immortality so humans become His eternal children and live forever with Him. This was the same objective God uttered in the beginning when He created mankind. (Gen.1:26-27) Immortality means everlasting life, and divine unity with the Creator.
Love and Freedom was Promised to Humanity by Creating Man in His Likeness. They Are Twin Sides of God’s Divine Nature to Guide Mankind Upon this Earth.
Immortality is the cornerstone of the New Covenant Promise that is ratified in Jesus’ blood. He is Mediator of the Covenant Promise. (Heb.9:14-15) The central premise of the Covenant (promise) states, “I will be their God, and they will be My people” – in other words, to become God’s immortal children. (Heb.8:10, 6-13). We can remain His physical children and nothing more, but that endures for the life-expectancy of human life, which is around 70 years, or more. (Psa.90:10) Human destiny is to become God’s immortal children. How do we rationally compare 70 years with eternity? It can’t be done, and God gives us a prop to consider, “A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day” (2 Pet.3:8).
Taking 70 years as reference point of human life, therefore we have the following calculation – 70x365x1000, that would give us 25,550,000 days/years, with the day for a year basis. Can you imagine living as long as 25,550,000 million years? It’s just a prop or base to help humans conceptualize immortality, even though eternity is infinite and uncountable. Numbers mean nothing with immortality – there is no past nor future to count, just the present. With immortality, time and keeping count has no meaning. Though God made us mortal for His purpose, He relates with us in our mortality, with the goal of human immortality as His ultimate destiny for us.
So, all the biblical promises hang on that ultimate divine objective of bringing humanity to everlasting life. If you remove the promise of immortality, then all the remaining promises in the Bible has no legs to stand on. Paul makes this clear, “And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world” (1 Cor.15:19). What Paul said is if a person believes that the purpose of Jesus mediation is merely to bring the good life for our physical existence alone and nothing more – no immortality – then we are the most pitied of all humans. The purpose of the Jesus’ promise is to bring humans into God’s preeminent promise of becoming divine immortal children.
The Human Mind, Created By God So Humanity May Communicate With The Divine Will and Fulfill God’s Promised Purpose for Mankind
But we are mortal humans made from the soil and dirt of the earth, not immortal spirit like the Creator. God said to Adam, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Gen.3:18). So, we know where we are headed if God were not to confer the promised gift of immortality: six-feet under in the grave-pile of human dust. How does mortal humans navigate and cross this seeming impossible chasm into a life of never-ending existence? Yes, how does God go about fulfilling this unmatchable promise of immortality upon humanity? This is where the anatomy of the promise we covered kicks into place.
But first, let’s ask a pertinent but vital question. Why did God give such amazing promises which boggles the human mind to mankind who live well below His glorious, holy and divine existence? The Psalmist asked the same question, “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” (Psa.8:4). Yes, God could well live alone in His Tri-Personal Being, without the baggage of human sin to contend with and distress Him? Yes, why bother with sinful humanity? The passage we read earlier answers, “For God so Loved the world” (John 3:16).
The scripture states, “God is Love,” therefore, His whole philosophy and posture towards life and everything is and will always be: LOVE! (1 John 4:8) Why did God create the human race? Out of the sheer abundance of His Love, and with the unbending objective of Love itself! Therefore, the Genesis account of man’s creation can quote God more precisely as saying, “Let Us make man into Our Love-image and Our eternal-likeness” (Gen.1:26, italics mine).
Out Of God’s Promised Love He Planted A Celestial Garden for Our First Parents. He Gave Then Two Trees to Choose From. It was to Test Their Love for His Purpose for Humanity.
By creating humans in His own eternal likeness, God revealed His preeminent promise to bring mankind to immortality. God’s image IS Love and everlasting life, with no beginning, nor end. Besides being Love in His nature, He possesses immortality in Himself. (John 5:26) Thus, He has the power to impart Love and eternal life to whomever He chooses, listen, “And this is the Promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life” (1 John 2:25, BSB). Jesus said, “What is impossible with man (everlasting life) is possible with God” (Luk.18:27, italics mine). Love and immortality goes hand in hand. So, how do we remain in contact with the God who created mankind and gave humans the promise of immortality and His Love-nature to go with it?
Let us get back to the structure of a promise we touched upon: there is a promiser on one side, and the promisee on the other. Then, there is the task to be performed by the promisee in accordance with the conditions agreed to by the two parties. The Promiser is God, and the promisee is mankind or human beings. The agreement is called the New Covenant in the Bible. (Heb.8:10, 6-13) The conditions stipulates how the agreement is to be carried out. As we will see, the conditions are actually other promises and gifts God makes freely available to humans in executing the preeminent promise of immortality.
Just because God promises something, does not mean it is a done deal. God made humans free moral agents, and where there is freedom there is a choice to be made. For only when Love is freely given and freely received, can Love become authentic. (To read more on the topic of the New Covenant, go to my Post at: http://bulamanriver.net/2993)
Though Adam Fell to Satan’s Temptation, God’s Love Never Waned For Even An Iota. He Vested Himself By Sending His Only Son to Die to Save Humanity from Sin and Eternal Death, And Keep His Promise of Immortality Viable for Humanity. (Rom.6:23)
What are the conditions for the task laid out by God so we can receive the promised gift of immortality as per the covenant? There are five conditions for executing the agreement (covenant) which we glean from the Genesis creation account and supported by other passages of scripture. The word “image” from the creation account carries an interesting meaning and reveals vital nuances as it concerns the divine purpose in mankind. (Gen.1:26) The meaning of “image” from the original language means the “outline or representation of God Himself. This passage is not implying a picture of man or God but their function: that is God has placed within man a representation of His function: His goal, purpose and thought” (http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/articles_image.html).
Therefore, these are the five conditions which requires the promisee’s consent and participation. The conditions are not legalistic rules to follow, but they define our human/spiritual relationship of Love with the heavenly Father just as His promise of immortality is given out of Love for His human children. This is not a master/servant agreement, but a relationship agreement based upon Love between a Father and His children. The master/servant situation only arises where there’s reward for work done. The Father/Child relationship is based upon Love that is freely exchanged between them. Both relationships interweave each other and are mutually dependent. We ought to be careful and not fall into the trap of legalism thinking that our works like obedience is what qualifies us for eternal life and nullify God’s Love/freedom relationship in the process.
Immortality is a free gift. A free gift cannot be earned – it is free! So, the rationale for the five conditions has to do with the human sin-condition. These condition/promises explains God’s activity of removing rebellion (sin) which stands as a wall between Him and humans, so He may impart the free gift of everlasting life to mankind. Therefore, the five conditions are promises given gratis. (To read more on the two relationships: Father/Child & Master/Servant, go to http://bulamanriver.net/8382)
Each of these five condition/promise require the exercise of human freewill through Love, hence are conditional promises. That’s to say, a person may reject them if he or she chooses to do so. A person can reject them to his/her spiritual and physical demise, or accept them to his/her salvation. It is a life-long process which will require a person’s free and constant Loving participation. Freedom is a divine attribute, and it is what makes these free promises conditional upon our free choice. Even though it will involve a life-long pursuit, on the other hand, the actual attainment of human immortality will occur “in a twinkling of an eye,” or instantaneously, at the resurrection of the dead. (1 Cor.15:50-53)
Let us go into each in detail.
Condition 1: We Receive Jesus Christ as Personal Savior Who Frees Us from All Sins. That immortal passage from the Bible states, “For God Loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The promise of immortality comes with the condition of receiving Jesus as personal Savior. The sin-condition must be removed from humanity once for all time in order for the promise of immortality to be conferred. Hence, all God’s promises are vested in Jesus, as the Bible clearly says, “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for His glory” (2 Cor.1:20). What this passage is saying is that God the Father will always say “Yes” to His promises when we ask, on the condition that we receive Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of mankind from the sin-condition. Sin is the impregnable wall which stands between God and man, and Jesus is the Destroyer of the wall of sin, thus giving humans access to God and the gift of immortality and all His numerous and fantastic promises.
Jesus’ saving work was not merely at the cross (past), but continues to this day in His High Priestly role in heaven mediating for our absolution and deliverance every moment of every day (present and future). We continue to carry our cross daily to show that it is the symbol of our eternal deliverance from sin and salvation (immortality). (Luk.9:23 – Read more about the “Cross of Jesus” at: http://bulamanriver.net/9688). Paul said to the Romans “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies (us through His Son). Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God (as High Priest) and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ?” (Rom.8:33-35, italics mine). Yes, Jesus took our sinful humanity unto Himself becoming the prophesied Immanuel (“God with us” – Isa.7:14). He glorified our humanity by living a sinless life, sacrificed Himself for mankind, then immortalized humanity through His resurrection and ascension. Today, every Christian live vicariously through and in His immortalized humanity through the Spirit’s empowering Love. (Gal.2:20; Rom.8:29; Rom.5:5)
Receiving Jesus as Personal Savior (Wiki Commons)
That, in essence, is how human beings are given immortality through Jesus – through His continuous mediation to keep us in good standing forever before the Father. (1 Cor.5:21) The Bible says this of Jesus and the fact He is the Gateway into immortality, “And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. (John 10:7-10) Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment” (John 3:36, NLT). Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying” (John 11:25).
Here, we see the first condition to immortality involves receiving Jesus as your personal Savior to truly give us the authentic freedom to then have a relationship with God. God’s offer of the Savior in His Son, Jesus, is free.
Condition 2: We Freely Give of Ourselves to God so He can Make us His Offspring, and call Him, Father. The scriptures quote God as saying, “And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor.6:18). Jesus taught us how to address God in our prayers, “When you pray, say, Our Father who art in heaven” (Luk.11:2). After His resurrection, Jesus told Mary, “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God” (John 20:17). In the process of receiving Jesus as Savior (#1 above), we undergo a spiritual death and rebirth from our fallen state of being to our risen and reborn state of being in Christ. This rebirth which makes us God’s children comes through the power of the Holy Spirit, as Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Act.2:38; also Gal.2:20).
Jesus affirms how a person is given this new birth in the Spirit, saying, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5, 7). God’s kingdom is His spiritual realm which is populated by immortal beings. Water is the physical representation of the cleansing work of the Spirit who sanctifies us before God. (1 Pet.1:2) If a person does not undergo this new birth by His Spirit, then they are not His children and cannot call God, Father. (Rom.8:14-17). Without the Spirit we remain lost and live as children of the devil who is the father of sinners from Adam’s fall. (John 8:44, 42) The Bible gives us a passage which reveals the intimacy that exists between God and His newborn children, “The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship (made sons and daughters). And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Rom.8:15, italics mine; also Gen1.26-27; John 3:3,7). Paul said this about the Spirit’s power who will bring humans to immortality, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give (immortal) life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you” (Rom.8:11, NLT, italics mine; Eph.1:13).
We Undergo a Rebirth and Become God’s Offspring. Pic: Jesus Blesses Children (Wiki Commons)
Here, we see the second condition to immortality which involves receiving the Spirit who is God’s Personal nature of Love in humans. His power and presence makes us divine offspring as He lives in humans which enables us to enter into an intimate and Loving relationship with God as our heavenly Father. We have received the Son, now we receive the Spirit, and enter the Father’s Loving presence. God’s offer of His Spirit is free upon receiving Jesus as Savior. (Act.2:38)
Condition 3: We become Love-beings, fashioned in God’s Trinitarian Love-Being. God not only lives in eternal existence possessing everlasting life, but more so He abides and subsists by His Tri-Personal Love nature, for the Bible states, “God IS Love” (1 John 4:8). Whether we say “God” or “Love,” as a noun they are one and the same. All He does is done through His Love, that is who God IS. To be created in His “image” means to function as He does in His Tri-Personal Love-Being and Godhead as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. How does God’s Love-nature become part of a person? Humans have remained fallen beings with the rebellious image since Adam’s fall. Before the fall, Adam continuously received the divine Love from the Spirit as represented in the fruits of the Tree of Life which Adam and Eve fed themselves and remained spiritually sustained. Today, Paul provides the answer, saying, “For we know how dearly God Loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His Love” (Rom.5:5). Yes, God’s very Love is personified in humans by the Holy Spirit’s power who dwells in them as His temple. (1 Cor.3:16-17)
From the conditions we covered so far, we see the involvement of the Triune Godhead of the Father, Son, and Spirit, as it concerns human salvation and immortality. The Father gives His Son to rescue and save humanity from the sin-condition; and the Son sends the Spirit to imbue humans with God’s Love-nature so they are made children of God the Father. Jesus said, “Unless I go away, the Advocate (Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7, italics mine). At a festival occasion, Jesus stood up and told His listeners about the Holy Spirit in this fashion, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive” (John 7:37-39).
So, essentially the Holy Spirit is the third party to the promise of immortality. He is the Comforter who guarantees everlasting life. Listen to Paul’s word about the Spirit’s role, “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give (immortal) life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you” (Rom.8:11, italics mine). So, we see how the work of the Tri-Personal Being of God cannot be separated from the gift of immortality and how they complement each other as consisting in One Triune Godhead. (Mar.12:29)
Love by its nature is relational because God Himself is relational in His Tri-Personal Being. God is not solitary but relational and interpersonal in His Triune Godhead in the Father, Son, and Spirit because He is Love. (Matt.28:18-19; 2 Cor.13:14; Eph.4:4-6; Jud.1:20-21) Love, in its active sense and meaning, is further dissected into Love-fruits. (see 1 Cor.13) The Love-fruits reveals the way of life God has lived eternally in His Tri-Personal relationship as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:18-20; 2 Cor.13:14) When we enter into a true Love relationship with the Triune God we extend the same Love to other people through the Spirit (Love). God has existed eternally in His One Triune Love-Being. (1 John 4:8; Mar.12:29) (To read more about Love and its conflicting forbidden fruits, you may go to: http://bulamanriver.net/9199 )
Born to Live the Triune Love-Life with The Father, Son, and Spirit (Pic: Rublev’s Famous Icon of the Trinity – Wiki Commons)
Hence, in this third condition, we are called upon to personally live the “Triune Love” relationship with the Father, Son, and Spirit by becoming “Love-beings” ourselves through the Spirit’s indwelling presence. (Rom.5:5) Jude reveals how immortality comes through our commitment to living the “Triune Life,”* listen, “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s Love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (Jud.1:20-21). God’s offer of becoming “Love-beings” and living the “Triune Love-Life” is free.
Condition 4: We are to Reign over our Individual Life-Responses by Dispensing His divine Love in our Relationship with God, our Fellow Humans, and upon all of Creation. The fourth condition calls for us to reign over our individual lives by dispensing His divine Love upon His creation. Jesus said, “You shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luk.10:27; also, Gen.1:26; Rom.13:8; Psa.8:5-6; Rev.5:10). I call this the “Triune Love mandate” we covered in condition #3 above. It has to do with reign or the “dominion mandate” where the Genesis account says, “And let them have dominion (reign) over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Gen.1:26, ESV, italics mine). In other words, the jurisdiction of the “dominion mandate” is over all creation with the exception of other humans. You can read that passage again and you find no mention of humans in the “dominion mandate.” Why, because humans live by another mandate or function which we covered above (#3 above). That is, humans live within the “Triune Love mandate” given by Jesus, “You shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luk.10:27).
Having said that, it ought to be understood that the word “dominion” has been grossly and widely misinterpreted to mean to subdue, to rule over, to tread upon. The root word for dominion, yarad (to lower oneself) means to exercise skilled mastery over, rather than radah (to rule over) which means to tread upon like in a winepress. (http://www.chaimbentorah.com/2015/06/hebrew-word-study-dominion/) Jesus corrected this misinterpretation that was prevalent even among His disciples, saying, “But Jesus called them to Him, and said, “You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority on them. But it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt.20:25-28). Jesus was not correcting a word misinterpretation here, rather, He was referring to a totally different mandate for human beings who are called to live by God’s Love-likeness: the “Triune Love mandate.” At the last supper before His death, He washed the disciples dirty feet. (John 13:5, 12-15) He took upon Himself the role of a servant serving others, even though He was their Master. Jesus gave us the example that no matter our station in life, we are all called upon to live the “Triune-Love mandate” given to mankind at creation. Yes, one of the essence of Love is humility with which the Spirit endows humans. (1 Cor.13:4, NLT)
How can the ruler (human being) be ruled? We were never created to be subservient to one another, but to be co-rulers upon this earth through the “Triune Love-mandate.” (Psa.115:16; Psa.8:4-9) But mankind has lived trying to dominate the next person at every turn because they have misapplied the “dominion mandate” in human relationship. Instead of using our God-given dominion tendencies to rule the earth and all living matter, we wrongly use it upon humans who bear God’s ‘ruler-image.’ When rulers become the ruled, they give rise to hostility through self-love (rebellion); instead of being mediums for good consistent with God’s outgoing Love. Have you stopped and noticed that every living thing on this earth lives harmoniously with its environment, except mankind? Why, because our difficulties are all humanly induced arising from the erroneous application of the “dominion mandate.”
The employment of this misguided and corrupted version of the “dominion mandate” has given rise to all forms of discrimination in human relationship with one another. We witness authoritarianism, racial bigotry, nationalism, gender inequality, religious persecution, income disparity, social disparity, greed, corruption, tyranny, etc. Why has human history been littered with accounts of people and nations with the endless struggle for freedom from despots, tyrants, and totalitarian rulers? Wars have been fought, revolutions were born, millions have died by persecution and even genocide, all for the freedom to be autonomous and sovereign as God created humans to be. Humans were created to be co-rulers with other humans applying both the “Triune Love mandate” with other people, and the “dominion mandate” upon all of creation. Paul proclaimed the essence of the “Triune Love mandate,” this way, “Owe no one anything, except to Love each other, for the one who Loves another has fulfilled the law” (Rom.13:8, ESV). Yes, every day we must never forget, but be on the lookout, for avenues to fulfill the debt of Love we owe our fellow humans. The level playing field on which all of humanity exist is the common likeness that tethers us to the divine Being and His Love-nature. We are to Love humans as we Love ourselves. (Matt.22:39) We follow the “golden rule” and “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luk.6:31). We are undeniably our “brothers keepers” which Jesus made abundantly clear in the story of the good Samaritan. (Luk.10:30-37)
This same Love we extend to God and our fellow humans, we now extend to all creation in the “dominion mandate” so that rulership over creation is about a caring relationship. A caring relationship inspires humans to be good stewards over creation. However, dominion without Love and care is selfish and moves humans to exploit and destroy creation. Human dominion over creation and every living thing must be applied where “one lowers oneself,” not rule and subdue, so that creation may give humanity teachable opportunities about how to Love God and each other. Nature has numerous counterparts of the divine where humans can see the reflection of God who created everything to mirror His Triune nature.
Living The “Triune Love Mandate” with Our Fellow Humans (Wiki Commons)
So, the “Triune Love mandate” is understanding who we are natured and nurtured to become, and not give in to the image of the fallen self from Adam, but to live in the risen true self in conformity with the image of Christ, the second Adam. (Rom.8:29; 1 Cor.15:45, 49) Perhaps, an analogy might be of help. Think about the force of physical gravity as the counterpart to the spiritual gravity that’s equally real and tangible. That’s to say, what gravity is to our physical environment, our spiritual gravity in the divine environment is Love – for humanity was created to reflect God’s Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8) Naturally, we compensate for our physical gravity as we grow up until we live intuitively under its domain, and it becomes second nature to us. We take gravity for granted, we don’t holler or moan about it. Here is the point, human life and all human actions answer to another equally real gravitational force – the spiritual gravitational pull of God’s Love. Just as gravity becomes ‘automatic’ so we are ‘unaware’ of its effect on all our actions – in like manner, so must Love’s spiritual gravity do the same with all our actions. His Love is expressed through His promises and His presence through His Spirit.
There is a difference though, whereas in human actions our physical gravity is spontaneous and immediate, the Love-gravity works more personally through decisions of the human mind and interaction with people and His promises. However, the chain reaction within the spiritual gravity for a wrong-doing or a good deed, may not seem immediate, it is slower but just as real. (Eccl.8:11) There is a divine purpose and intentionality in this, for Peter says, “God (Love) isn’t late with His promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining Himself on account of you, holding back the end because He doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change” (2 Pet.3:9, The Message; Psa.103:8). Yes as humans, though our deeds may not measure up, we can change and turn for the better – this is Love’s (God) way of functioning in each human life.
It is unequivocally true-to-life, the spiritual Love-gravity (“Triune Love mandate”) is just as real as our physical gravity, the only difference is one is spiritual while the other is physical. Both are unseen, and both live through the senses. We can comply with or transgress the spiritual Love-gravity. It will make or break us just as surely as the physical gravity would if we fell from a high building. The proof that spiritual gravity is real can be seen in the human suffering and all the negative consequences resulting from human interaction we see and experience all around us in the world. And yes, plenty of good and delight can also be shaped from Love when it defines our relationships and experiences. Humanity continues to suffer from this continuous and routine breach of the divine Love-gravity (“Triune Love mandate”), and sadly, humans have become more brazen at that, failing to realize that human affliction or good stems from disbelief in the reality of this spiritual gravity. (see Eccl.8:11)
So, the fourth condition requires we desist from trying to dominate another human, instead we utilize the divine “Triune Love mandate” and live within the confines of its Love-gravity, and taking care not to breach it, in our relationship with our fellow humans. God’s offer of His Love is free.
Condition 5: The fifth condition is Faith! We must believe and trust in God’s pillar promise of immortality through Jesus with all our hearts so that it motivates all our thoughts and actions. We touched briefly upon faith and trust earlier. The scriptures tell us, “It is impossible to please God without faith (trust). Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him” (Heb.11:6, italics mine). Recall that God entered into a covenant (promise) with ancient Israel at Mt. Sinai. When Israel heard the conditions of the Old Covenant (promise), they answered, “We will do everything the LORD has said” (Exo.19:8). But much later in Israel’s history, God repealed His promise because Israel did not honor their side of the agreement. (Heb.8:9) The Bible is crystal clear why God did it, “We have heard the same Good News that your ancestors heard. But the message didn’t help those who heard it in the past because they didn’t believe” (Heb.4:2). Further we are told, “God swear that they would never enter His rest… because of their unbelief” (Heb.3:18,19). Without faith and belief, nothing described in these conditions we have covered can be executed to their completion. “So, the promise (of immortality) is received by faith. It is given as a free gift… Abraham is the father of all who believe” (Rom.4:16, NLT, italics mine).
The Bible states emphatically, “According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matt.9:29). It means your faith is what get things done in the divine realm at first, then transforms the physical realm. The opposite of faith is to doubt or disbelief. James tell us this about disbelief, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (Jam.1:6-8). If doubt and disbelief dominates a person’s heart, then the journey to immortality will never begin much less attained. A person’s action goes along behind his/her faith. God says this about His promises, “God is not man, one given to lies, and not a son of man changing His mind. Does He speak and not do what He says? Does He promise and not come through?” (Num.23:19). The Words of our God is holy and He does not utter them thoughtlessly. He said that every human will give account in the judgment for every vain word they utter. (Matt.12:36) God told David His promises are as “dependable as the phases of the moon, and inescapable as weather” (Psa.89:29, The Message).
Some will say immortality is never going to be a viable proposition, it’s beyond them. Fair enough, but we are not speaking about the same faith here. They are referring to human faith that’s validated by the five human senses of sight, touch (feel), smell, hear, and taste. The sum of all human knowledge can be said to be founded upon and derived from these senses. But God’s promise of immortality is not a physical matter that can be detected by the five senses. It is spiritual, therefore, it requires a different faith. Immortality requires a spiritual faith. If it is a spiritual faith, then it has to come as a gift and a promise because we don’t have such a faith to begin with.
Jesus Heals the Blind – Faith Is The Doorway Into God’s Supernatural Realm (Wiki Commons)
Firstly, we must realize that when God created humans in His image, the most important aspect about a person’s makeup was the human mind. God created it to be spirit-enabled like a lamp, so His Spirit can communicate with humans intellectually and spiritually. (1 Cor.2:11; Pro.20:27) Or else, how will God relate with humans and impart His plans concerning mankind’s eternal destiny? But believing in the unseen ought not to be far-fetched to the mind since it was made to be a transmitter for both physical and spiritual matters. God helps us understand its concept from the material world He created. For example, take the wind, we cannot see wind but we can feel and believe it’s power. Another is human thought, no one can see a person’s train of thought, but its power is evident through human decisions and actions. Take the invisible force of gravity which we covered earlier (#4 above), everything we do has to take this unseen force into account. So much so, that we invent chairs to break our fall when we sit. Then there is the starry sparkles which light up our night sky. What invisible power holds the universe together? No human mind can explain the existence of the universe nor how it works. Even the complexity of the physical body is still a mystery to scientists, so much more the impossible riddle of the workings of the human mind. There are many unseen forces at work we will never understand, and the scriptures tells us, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor.4:8). Immortality is a matter of the spirit which requires non-human faith, not the physical and temporary which needs no spiritual faith.
Even though human faith is lacking in spiritual matters, it is still needed. Spiritual faith has to find a bridge across this chasm which divides the physical and spiritual realms. That bridge is the human faith in the mind of a person. (Rom.3:22, AKJV) God made the human mind to comprehend both physical and spiritual matters. So, as a first step a person exercises his/her human faith to believe in the spiritual realm, and to receive the gift of spiritual faith which helps understand spiritual principles and how they interact with the physical world. In a manner of speaking, just as there are five physical senses, there also exist five spiritual senses to help us live the spiritual life in the realm of God and His angels. The human faith receives material knowledge, while the spiritual faith accepts spiritual knowledge. (1 Cor.2:11) When one commands both faiths they complement each other and makes the person complete. Spiritual faith is the lifeblood of a person’s spiritual life. (Heb.11:6) For example, Jesus said that people “may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding.” (Mar.4:12) That’s to say, seeing with our physical sight is not enough, for it is the spiritual eyes that gives us the true meaning behind what we see before us. So it goes with hearing, but without the spiritual ear we will not fully understand all there is to know about what we hear. (Job 15:8)
Listen to Paul’s words, “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions…For by such grace you have been saved through faith. This does not come from you; it is the gift of God” (Eph.2:4-8). Yes, spiritual faith comes as a gift from God’s Spirit who indwells a person. Paul further said whose faith it is, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who Loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20, KJV). In another passage Paul reminds us, “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ to all and on all them that believe” (Rom.3:22, AKJV). Yes, it is the very personal faith of Jesus since “Christ now lives in me.” God supplies this vital faith of His Son to help us in our life’s journey upon earth until immortality is conferred at the resurrection. We don’t find this belief in God’s promise of immortality in any other species God created upon this earth except humans who was made in His likeness.
So, the fifth condition is simply receiving the gift of Jesus’ Personal Faith. God’s offer of Jesus’ Faith is free. (To read more about Jesus faith, you may go to a previous Blog Post at: http://bulamanriver.net/2811).
These are the five conditions/promises which form the backbone to the preeminent promise of immortality. Remember, although they are conditions/promises, they are offered gratis. Therefore, the gift of immortality is a free gift from our Loving Father to His children. God promised “And this is what He promised us–eternal life” (1 John 2:25). Here is the promise of immortality and how and when it will take place which Paul was inspired to record for human posterity, “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor.15:50-58).
Here, Paul is speaking of the resurrection in a futuristic sense because humans exists in time and space that is measured by the past, present, and future. But God is eternal, He is not constraint by time-space. For Him, there is no past or future, only the present. Therefore, if God exists in the present, and His utterances concerning all His promises are made in the “now,” then they are already accomplished realities in every age and circumstance. This is the same with humans, we execute deeds and make them happen in real time, in the present – not in the past or the future. Therefore, when we lay claim to any promise, it is material and tangible in the “now” as if He is speaking His promise to us live. Consequently, His promise of immortality are words spoken in the present and are certain as a done deed. Hence, for the benefit of humans who are limited by time and space, the scripture affirms this, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb.13:8). That’s to say God in Christ (Word/Promise) is always spoken live in real time to believers. Paul says, “Stand firm. Let nothing move you.” You and I can stand firm and not be moved only in something that’s real in the present. What an awesome, awesome, promise God has given us in His Son. For me, I continue to be utterly dumbfounded and am left in quiet gratitude which no words can express.
The Fountain of Eternal Life in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio. (Wiki Commons)
We exist with the Almighty God in the “now” where all His promises are self-perpetuating gifts which help us in our journey upon this earth. In fact, we will not find a circumstance we face in life where the Bible does not have a promise to cover each and every one. However, we must be cognizant of this reality that all God’s promises hinges on the promise of immortality which in turn hangs upon Jesus who is the Gateway into everlasting life. (John 3:16; 1 John 2:25) Such is the Love of God, that He has provided for all we can think of and encounter throughout life through His promises to bring us into His spiritual family for all eternity. From here on we speak of a destiny which can be accomplished only by placing our faith on His higher power. Keep in mind that immortality is God’s way of bringing humanity into divine completeness with Him, for herein lies the sole purpose for human creation and existence.
I will give you a site you can visit to read the many, many promises God gives us in the Bible. But before that, let me share this awesome prayer affirming the promise of our heavenly Father’s Love: “Your Love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it! I’m forever telling everyone how faithful You are. I’ll never quit telling the story of Your Love—how You built the cosmos and guaranteed everything in it. Your Love has always been our lives’ foundation, Your fidelity has been the roof over our world” (Psa.89:1-2, The Message). For such is the praise that comes only from the lips of one who has lived by, seen and experienced God’s sure and unwavering promises.
You may use your search engines to explore and find sites with “God’s Promises.” Here is one you may find helpful: https://www.bibleinfo.com/en/topics/gods-bible-promises. As you read the many, many promises of the Bible, remember that though the promises can be traced back many years since they were first uttered, even ages ago to the time of man’s creation, for God His promises are always spoken live in the “now,” for He cannot exists in the past or future, but only in the present. Hence, God is real for humanity in all times and throughout generations to come. So, His promises make sense of what we do on a daily basis. (Rom.8:28)
The Fountain of Eternal Life in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio. (Wiki Commons)
If you have any questions on this vital subject, please do not hesitate to contact me on my email: email@example.com.
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.” Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
(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.1:26-27; Rom.8:29) It means a believer who lives the 3-dimensional Love relationship with the Triune God, as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life in himself (“Adamic humanity”). It means to experience the attributing Love-relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who lives and walks in you (“Immanuel humanity”). Man’s union with the Tri-Personal 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 Trinitarian 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)
*Miraculous Life: I use the term ‘miraculous life’ to mean God’s divine involvement in your life and mine, and that’s why we can be confident that every detail in our lives is being worked into something good. (Rom.8:28-31) Yes, God’s promises helps us make sense of everything we do on a daily basis. (2 Pet.1:4) Read about the ‘miraculous life’ we are privileged to live in my true-life miracle story 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.net, 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”
*Mission Statement: Read the Triune Life Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
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