Greeting Friends the world over!
Two Tenets of Beliefs
Let’s look at two tenets of Christian beliefs people hold to and examine them from the Triune perspective of God’s Love and nature. As my readers have known by now, examining whatever matter of discussion from the perspective of God’s Triune nature, has always been this ministry’s mainstay and founding principle. Why is this important? Because when we lock-in to the “Triune Life” in Jesus, the stars become aligned, so to speak – your path is in harmony with the Trinitarian energy of God’s Love which undergirds all your actions. Your perception and evaluation about life will immediately flag out any deviation to the self-defeating “solitary” perspective of life, sponsored by fear. This is what the life filled with the Spirit as the Bula man-river* does to you. Let’s start.
Many believe a person remains unsaved until he makes a decision to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Mediator. Is this a valid claim, or are all humans in a saved condition regardless of his/her decision? Others believe God has chosen to save only some people and not others, so your decision does not matter. If you are ‘unchosen,’ that’s the end of the matter. What‘s your take on such a claim? Let’s examine both these portraits of beliefs from the Trinitarian perspective. Both these beliefs stem from Calvinist and Arminian roots.
Rublev’s Famous Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)
Jesus answers this age-old controversy by stating God is both inclusive and exclusive. What does that mean? It means Jesus saves all mankind regardless of anyone’s opinion or decision in the matter, that is, He is inclusive. Your decision does not save you, God’s decision does that. God does not forgive people in exchange for their repentance and belief. The Scripture proclaims forgiveness is an unconditional free gift that is entirely His grace. We have free will, but your free will, vital as it is to you and God, has no power to save. Redemption comes through a Savior under God’s Loving provision. Freewill merely agrees to what has already been done. Secondly, He is exclusive by selecting people for certain design and purpose. We all have purpose and dreams. The biggest secret about life is to discover it. (Rom.12:6) Most importantly, the inclusive and exclusive expressions are functionalities of grace within the Triune Being and nature of God. He is inclusive in that the Three Persons of the Trinity are eternally ONE God. He is exclusive in that the Three Persons each have their unique function within the Triune Being of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Inclusive & Exclusive
The oft-quoted passage from John 3:16 throws light into this topic – “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” There’s a duality that’s unmistakably revealed in this passage which we can miss. It expresses God’s inclusive and exclusive Love for man. The first part is all-inclusive where God expresses His love for all mankind, “the world.” That’s to say, no one, not a single human, is left out. “The world” means the world – nothing more, and nothing less. Then, the second part expresses His love exclusively for “whoever believes.” In the first part, God’s inclusive Love means He Loves and rescues man in his utter depraved and sinful state of being. This He has done in and through His Son – period. There are no ‘ifs,’ and ‘buts’ that stands to qualify what God has done absolutely in His Son for man. Man doesn’t make Christ his Savior by his decision. He has already saved man regardless of his choice in the matter. Jesus said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to Myself.” (John 12:32) “All” means all, no one is left out!
What Exclusivity is NOT!
From the foregoing we see that by the very fact of God’s Triune nature He is inclusive and will never leave anyone out whom He has made in His One, Unified, image. Only man can choose not to accept the embrace of God’s Love and leave himself out – not God in His all-embracing mercy and Love. God cannot deny Himself. We’ll do well to remember Jonah’s characteriszation of God’s disposition toward a sinful world, when he said, “I know that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” (Jonah 4:2) Jonah just wanted Nineveh and its sinful inhabitants wiped off the earth, and never to see the light of God’s grace. Doesn’t that reflect the way we portray God through our belief systems? Their decision doesn’t matter, and if they relent and make good, it won’t make any difference? That we are different – we are special? We are exclusive? They are damned, we are not? Does that depict the God Jonah represents?
Jesus Became Human to INCLUDE All
After Jesus was crucified, resurrected, and ascended to the glory He always had from eternity in God, at that point, all of mankind was saved instantaneously and for all eternity within the Being of the Triune God. From then on, Jesus becomes the center of mankind’s redemption, continuous mediation and deliverance, and the true life-source of mankind. Once and for all, Jesus takes our humanity, makes us holy in Himself by resurrecting man vicariously from death and joined us eternally to the Triune Being of God. This is what believers affirm every time they partake of the Lord’s communion. The bread and wine represent our flesh and blood, our humanity, Jesus took upon Himself when He became human, so He can join man eternally with and in the Triune Life of God forever.
Jesus at “Last Supper” with Disciples (By Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret, 1852-1929, Wiki Commons)
I’m not sure if our mind is capable of comprehending what that means for each of us – He has bound us to the holiest place of all existence – the very Being of the holy Triune union in God forever. (Eph.2:5-6) It is certain we require the faith of Jesus to take us there, for no human faith can climb this mountain. He took man from a life of solitude on a path to oblivion, to a life of immortality and into the Loving embrace of our God and Father. Even now, in this physical life, it’s through the gift of the Spirit, by whose function we are unceasingly fused to the Father and the Son on an unending eternal union. If that is not mind-boggling and life-altering, I don’t know what is!
What Exclusivity Means
Exclusivity has a negative undertone to most people. In God’s definition, exclusivity is defined by a gift a person receives from God – the gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s not about an exclusivity in the sense of aloofness and superiority over others. That’s not what the Spirit brings to man. The Spirit brings and makes the “Triune Life” possible in man. He seals and protects us from the “solitary life” of the devil. He is the basis of the “Triune” philosophy of Love toward God and humans. Therefore, exclusivity is defined by the Trinitarian collaborative union the person is called to undergird his life in the Spirit’s Love. That exclusive “Triune Life” is not a life of aloofness, but humility to the cause of unity within the Triunity of God Himself in Christ. It is the “solitary life” that is the basis of superiority as it will always been by its nature and expression in the devil himself. Some may say I am a universalist, which I’m not, but that’s a separate subject of discussion.
Man Belongs & is Accepted & Has No Excuse
In an earlier blog I said God envelopes all of creation, especially man, whom He created in His own image, in His all-embracing Love. (Ps.139) The act of giving us His Son, seals God’s all-inclusive Love for man for eternity which can never be reversed. Man cannot escape His Love, even if he wants to. He waits for prodigal man with open arms to step into a relationship where an intimate coexistence can be fostered through faith in His Son. Man, even in his state of depravity and sinfulness has no excuse but to feel a legitimate belonging to God. Humans are fully accepted as sons and daughters of God, the true Father of all mankind. He has accepted all by not sparing but sacrificing His Son for us. God stands ready to accept any person, no matter his color or station in life, to remake anyone and give him or her the privilege of being special and exclusive in His Fatherly embrace. Jesus said He did not come to save the righteous (‘exclusive’ – they are already saved), but sinners who are already saved but have yet to step into faith. (Luk.5:32; John 3:16-17)
So it’s not about your decision, it’s definitely never about being ‘unchosen,’ as the two tenets of beliefs propose. It’s about the all-embracing Triune Being of God and how, in His Loving nature, He responds inclusively and exclusively to man according to His divine will. He chose us individually before creation, that in our most depraved state of being, His Love will lift us up, and did it by willingly sacrificing His Son for you and me. Why, because we are all special to Him both in an all-embracing inclusive and exclusive way to Him. You are the apple of His eye. (Ps.17:8) God our Father reveals His heart in the face of what man may want to believe otherwise, saying, “He wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1Tim.2:4).
Dove, Symbol of Holy Spirit (Pic: Wiki Commons)
In my Book, I used the metaphor of the Bula man-river* to depict the person who is inclusive through Christ’s universal redemptive work, and exclusive to a calling he has been given through the Spirit’s mediation in His life. (You can read about this “life-gift” God as prepared for each of us in my Book, “Bula man-river – The Miracle of Triune Living”)
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until my next post, may the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable inclusive, and exclusive Triune Love, be with you today and give you strength for authentic 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