Greetings once more, Friends! The most important command in the Bible is about the human Love for God. God gave humanity the most important command when Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mar.12:30). In the book of Exodus, God told Israel, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exo.20:3). In other words, we are to be Loving God unquestionably above all else. Let us get one thing straight right off the bat, without giving a second thought, in our fallen state of existence in sin, it is not possible for humans to keep this command. The Bible states, “Can anyone really say that his conscience is clear, that he has gotten rid of his sin?” (Pro.20:9, GNT). For emphasis, “No one in this world always does right” (Eccl.7:20, CEV)
Realizing we are living through unprecedented times when we are in the middle of Covid-19 pandemic, I am moved to share the title of this post with you, my readers far and wide. This is what God says about Love, “The LORD says, “I will rescue those who Love Me. I will protect those who trust in My Name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them My salvation” (Psa.91:14-16, NLT).
(You may be interested to read my previous post titles that are relevant to our disconcerting times on the ‘3 Genesis Mandates,’ and the ‘spiritual virus,’ at http://bulamanriver.net/21174 and http://bulamanriver.net/21006).
Paul said this about all mankind, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). The “glory of God” simply means who and what God is in His holy divine Being of Love. (Luk.1:49) God’s holiness is immeasurable because His Love is unfathomable. (1 John 4:8; Psa.111:9) So, if in our depraved state of existence, we fall short of His glory and Love, how can we possibly follow His Love command to “Love Him with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength?” We can live a pretentious or fake life, but God knows our motives and heart, saying, “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve” (Jer.17:10, NLT).
Yes, why did God give mankind a command that humans could not possibly follow in the first instance? But that is exactly the point, the command was given to be followed, or else why would God command it? Or is it possible that God was echoing a harmonious relationship which once existed with humanity. Yes, why would God issue the Love commandment which once was? Now, that is the million dollar question. The answer can be found by unraveling and understanding the rationale behind the Love command. Yes, God in His Love, will remain an eternal mystery we will never get to the bottom of or fully comprehend. Our minds will never be able to contain God. We can know Him only to the degree He chooses to reveal Himself, or He remains forever unknowable. (Eph.5:32-33; Psa.145:3; 1 Tim.3:16, ESV; 1 Cor.2:7)
This revelation of Himself to humanity God has already done by giving His Son, Jesus, to be our human Savior. (Heb.1:1-3; John 3:16) The Bible tell us this, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His Being” (Heb.1:3). Yes, Love (God) requires untethering to comprehend His mind-blowing beauty. In fact, much of creation is wrapped in mystery, so much so that people like scientists delight in discovering them. And there are countless matters that remain mysteries waiting to be laid bare for its splendor and gravitas. The human mind, for example, remains a mystery that continues to baffle scientists for its complexities. Both the complex human mind and our equally complex and unknown universe are physical creations God has filled with Himself in His awe-inspiring Love and mystery. (Isa.66:1-2)
Both, the mind and the universe, are replicas of one another in their infinite mystery as God Himself will remain a mystery to His creation. The seemingly ‘chaotic’ universe with its constellations, solar system, star system, meteorites and meteor showers, shooting and exploding stars, in their awesome beauty and grandeur, live in ‘orderly’ governance through the mantle of God’s presence and mystery. (Jer.23:24; Heb.4:13) Love as an exercise of the mind and comes through a decision-making process, not something hard, fast, and inflexible. Love can be lived selfishly or unselfishly, inwardly or outwardly, and we are given the freedom to choose. Life beckons to us to ‘choose’ for all have the gift of divine freedom as the intrinsic makeup of His Love. (see Blog Post “Freedom“ at http://bulamanriver.net/10980) The devil has always had a counterfeit to God’s Love in order to deceive humans – fear, self-centeredness, and rebellion. In all His creation, God has given humanity a peek into the mystery of His Love and why we are to share in and Love Him absolutely.
Firstly, we have to grasp the full story of mankind as a species upon this earth. When this command was first given at Sinai, historically, humanity was a third of the way into the story of humanity’s sojourn on earth. So, it is fair to ask, what was man’s journey from the beginning, what happened, and what led to the giving of the Love command at the hand of Moses. The truth is the human species, through Adam and Eve, had once lived in perfect harmony with their Creator in the paradisal garden of Eden He planted for them. So, God knew what He was talking about when He gave the Love command. Humans have lived that perfect life once before, but Adam and Eve were the only known humans to have experienced such a life. After their rebellion and sin for eating the forbidden fruit at the hands of Satan, the perfect Love union with God was broken. (Gen.3:1-6) Our first parents were banished from Eden and God’s presence. (Gen.3:23-24)
To fully understand the rationale for God’s Love command, there are three realities which forms the essential mindset. It shapes our conviction about God’s primordial Being and nature from which He imagines, acts, and deals with His creation, and from which He cannot shrink away or falter because they are inherent in His divine nature as God. It is from this God-reality that His command sprung to create the human species in His own likeness, and all creation. These three realities about God has remained unchanged and constant from eternity and explained briefly below, with a comprehensive ‘explanatory note’ for each at the end of article. The three divine realities, briefly, are:
- God is the uncreated divine Creator who has existed for eternity without beginning nor end, in absolute power. See Explanatory Note: (a) below.
- God’s motivation for all He does is inspired by His Love. Without Love, nothing would exist. The supreme holiness of God cannot be plumbed apart from His absolute and immeasurable Love. See Explanatory Note: (b) below.
- God’s Love stems from His divine Triune Being of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Love is never ‘solitary.’ Love is communal as God is plural in His divine Being. See Explanatory Note: (c) below.
It is from the reality and His divine qualities we see above that the following momentous words were uttered by God when He created humanity, “Let us (Father, Son, and Spirit) make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Gen.1:26, italics mine). It is upon the foundation of these three realities that we attempt to find the rationale for God’s command to “Love Him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind” (Luk.10:7). How do we transpose the Love command across from the divine so mortal humans can internalize it? Recall, this is not an impossible feat, for humanity has lived it once before because he was created for this very purpose. (Gen.1:26-27)
Since humanity was created in God’s likeness, therefore, the three qualities/realities reveal and establish the image commonality between God and mortal humans. That’s to say, when God created humanity in His own likeness, He forever predestined humanity to reflect His own divine realities and qualities. Although humanity lives a fallen state of existence from Adam’s sin, this is only temporary and not permanent, however, his primordial essence with the divine will never be erased or eradicated. Jesus affirmed this truth, saying, “Nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luk.17:21). There’s a two-pronged meaning here. First, it refers to Jesus who was in their midst, and about Christ’s Person who has taken up residence in the heart of humans. Yes, deep down in the wellspring of the human heart we can never escape the reality of who we are in our primordial essence mirroring God’s image in Christ. (Gen.1:26-27; Rom.8:29) Jesus came and saved humanity by removing the cover of sin and rebellion which has blinded humans to their true potential and destiny. (John 3:16, 36; 6:47)
From Adam’s fall, humanity was led to live a lower level of existence from His higher divine purpose and attribute. Mankind was led down the crude path of rebellion against God and His way of life of Love, grace and generosity. They followed Satan’s way of rebellion, fear, self-centeredness, deceit, greed, lust and sin. So, upon reflection, God was reiterating a harmonious episode in human history when God once lived in perfect Love with mankind which was not an impossible dream for humans. It was God’s purpose for creating humanity from the start. In fact, God created a celestial Edenic environment which made it possible for humans to live at a higher level of existence infused by and in God’s Love. By repeating the Love command, He was essentially reminding humanity of the purpose for their creation and what is possible, not impossible. (Gen.1:26-27) Despite humanity’s fall from grace, God’s plan for creating humans in His image will not be impeded but will ultimately prevail. (Hab.2:14)
God created other species, but none was made in God’s likeness. Animals were given instincts which regulated their behavior in a fixed intractable manner as divinely preordained. Fashioned after the divine, humans have a mind with the gift of freedom to choose one way or the other. Since the first divine reality reveals God has everlasting life, thereby, humanity’s destiny is to attain immortality. Paul said, “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality” (1 Cor.15:50-55).
In Eden, God denied our first parents the gift of immortality because of their rebellion and sin. (Gen.3:22) But God had to reset His original plan for humanity by surrendering His Son, so humanity may be saved from sin and death through rebirth by His Spirit (Love) to receive the gift of immortality. (John 3:16-17; John 3:5-7; Rom.8:11) This rescue plan of God speaks of the process of human deification of mankind who was made mortal from the earth in the beginning, “For dust you are and to dust you will return” (Gen.3:17). (To read more on human deification, see “Triune Life” in the appendix below).
So, let us be clear on a vital point about God’s Love command. The command to Love God is not about some unique ability humans alone can do for God. God is deficient in nothing, and to imagine humanity holds something that God lacks is nothing short of sacrilegious. Often, we hear people say they want to do something for God as if he/she is doing God a favor. But God lacks nothing, He needs no favors from us. In truth, the Bible says that no one can do anything unless he/she is “given” to do it. Jesus said, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven” (John 3:27; Jam.1:17; Rom.10:14-15). The Jews had boasted of their special status because of their genealogy to the patriarch Abraham, but Jesus said, “And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham” (Matt.3:9). So, humans have nothing of any substance to give to God. But God possesses everything humanity needs. The truth about God’s sufficiency is one of consummate wholeness in His Triune Being that He lacks nothing, nor is He in need of anything. He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and omnipresent (ever-present). (Isa.46:9-10; Dan.4:35; Jer.23:23-24) God is Creator and Sustainer of all creation, of both things seen and unseen. If He does not need our love to exist, so why did He command that we Love Him unquestionably? Now, we are unraveling the rationale for His command.
As Creator, God is also Enabler. He is the enabling Father, for Paul said, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose” (Phil.2:13; Luk.11:2). Humans lack the depth and vision to even realize that God’s presence and reality is only a thought away from them. No one can think thoughts without the divine will. So, this raises the human need to be responsible for them (thoughts) before God. (2 Cor.10:5) No thought is hidden from Him. (Psa.139:2; Heb.4:13; Rev.2:23) The human capacity to think, decide, and act upon one’s thoughts, is the property and attribute of the divine realm. French philosopher René Descartes says aptly, “As I think, so I am.” The dismal lack of appreciation in this basic fact of our divinely yoked human persona, shows how distant we have drifted from our primordial Godlike origin since the fall of Adam.
Therefore, the Love command must begin with God who alone can enable humans in His divine ways and will. Humans must not be presumptuous as to imagine he/she holds some tangible resource God needs and cannot do without. Mankind is part of the created, God is the uncreated, how can we imagine we have something apart from what God Himself first conferred upon humans to begin with. Everything about human makeup including intellect, abilities, governance, human resource and power, was endowed by the Creator. Besides, as humans we must understand our position in our fallen condition from Adam’s first sin and the enemy’s resulting beguiling sin-condition under which he has held humanity spellbound and trapped.
So, emotionally and motivationally, we cannot Love God genuinely within our fallen humanity, even if we tried, to say nothing of our human, self-centered, pretentious, and powerless love. What is seen and practiced in human experience that is called love, is self-righteous love. It is love based upon man’s expression in his fallen state of existence which began from the fall of Adam with the evil influence of the devil himself. The enemy’s work is to proffer and advance a counterfeit to God’s Love: fear! Humanity has been led by fear, torment, and rebellion since Adam’s fall. The Bible provides the only answer, “There is no fear in Love. But perfect Love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in Love” (1 John 4:18). Yes, the truth is we lack the divine Love to be able to have a lasting Loving relationship with God. God has a plan to bring man back to his rightful inheritance in creation and His Love.
Paul said, “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money,… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God… For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim.3:2, EST; 2 Tim.3:4; Phi.2:21). So, we are left to wait upon God to enable and bring His Love to us. (Psa.27:14; 25:3) So, for humanity the Love command in Luke is predicated upon God’s enabling humans through the intermediary step of sacrificing His Son who came to rescue and restitute humanity from his fallen sin-condition, and then be given to walk in the newness of Christ’s life in the Spirit’s power – only then can mankind is made to take ownership of the Love command and relate fittingly with God.
Therefore, God’s work of restitution started by giving up His only Son to enter our fallen human condition, to save and restitute mankind for the sake of God’s Love. Through Jesus’ mediatory work as Savior, the gift of God’s Spirit is made available to empower humanity with the Love to follow God’s Love-command. (John 16:7) Paul enlightens us, “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, NLT). So, the rationale for the Love command continues to unfold.
Jesus made reference to this act of Love by God when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If He called them gods to whom the Word of God came—Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:34-35). By saying, “You are gods,” Jesus was reaffirming God’s utterance at creation when He said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Gen.1:26). A human is a god because he/she was created in God’s image, and the Bible affirms that Jesus is the one true image of God, and humanity is being conformed to the “image of His Son” (Rom.8:29). Jesus, as God incarnate, is the prophesied Immanuel who entered and took our fallen humanity and glorified it in Himself through His sinless life, sacrificial death, glorious resurrection and ascension. (Matt.1:21-23; Act.26:22-23; Isa.7:14; John 3:16-17)
Through Jesus, God rescues humanity from sin and rebellion, and all the evil proclivities of the human heart that was inherited from Satan through Adam’s fall. Through Jesus, God makes His Holy Spirit of Love available to humans. The Spirit represent God’s divine favor which enables us to Love Him genuinely, thus fulfilling the first Love commandment. The Spirit is the personification of God’s Love and grace in humanity. (Rom.5:5) And the Spirit comes as consequence of Jesus’ mediation as Savior. Peter told the people on that memorable Pentecost day, “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; John 16:7). Humans cannot come to know Jesus truly, and fittingly on a personal level without the Holy Spirit, for both are united and one with the Father in the Triune Godhead. (see explanatory note ‘c’ below; and, 2 Cor.13:14) Thereby, through the Spirit, humans are given the Love and power to follow the divine Love command. There is no other way humans is made to Love God than through His own divine Triune Being.
To Love God in whose likeness humans were framed, is to Love oneself authentically in one’s primordial being mirroring God’s image in His divine attributes. Because of the human image commonality with the divine, Loving God first becomes the only way for humanity to express Love for oneself. The Bible states, “No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it” (Eph.5:29). We have heard experts tell us that we must Love ourselves first before we can Love others appropriately. And that is true, but the method is questionable and dubious, because the true way of Loving yourself authentically is to Love God first and absolutely. The Love command was God’s way of enabling humans to Love themselves justly, not selfishly. We cannot genuinely Love our fellow humans without Loving ourselves honorably by first Loving God absolutely. If you are given a command to Love Someone who is the reflection of yourself in every way, doesn’t that make it easier to Love that Someone? Of course! That is the premise and rationale from which God gives us His command to Love Him unquestionably.
So, it would make every sense to say, the more we Love God in the Spirit’s power, the more we love ourselves ethically and honorably. By giving us the command to Love Him absolutely, He was setting His sight upon us, not Him. God lacks nothing. He is infinitely generous, and wants nothing less for mankind. The Love command was God’s way of enabling humans to Love themselves impartially by not loving egotistically. When we Love God absolutely, He Loves us completely, and infuses us with His unspeakable joy. Joy comes from a place of discovery of a person’s true celestial identity with and in the divine. That my friends, was and is the only rationale for the Love command.
Renowned theologian Thomas F. Torrance said this about God’s Love, “For in refusing to spare His Son whom He delivered up for us all, God has revealed that He Loves us more than He Loves Himself.” (The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons, by T. F. Torrance). Can you imagine a God who Loves you more than He Loves Himself? We have read about pagan gods that demanded human sacrifice from hapless worshipers, and other forms of carnage against humanity like wars, bloodshed, and genocide. These are redundant lackeys from the dark world of evil, inwardly driven and inordinately self-absorbed. (Duet.12:31; Lev.18:21) But we serve the true Creator God who has never stopped Loving mankind, and would not spare any pains to prove His Love for us. And I ask, how much would it take to Love Someone with such an outgoing disposition for humanity and for you personally? I leave that question for you to contemplate and meditate upon. His undying Love was upon us, and He could not give a greater command to prove His Love for us above Himself!
It would not be in keeping with our primordial essence to regard the Love command purely from a humanistic self-centered posture of ‘us verses them’ as if God is trying to extort every ounce of loyalty from humans. That is furthermost from God’s mind for we have seen He is entirely self-sufficient in His Triune Being, and has no need whatsoever from us. (Deut.10:14; Job 41:11; Psa.50:12) Humans have been brought up with the self-centered mindset because they live and have been motivated by the spirit of fear and sin in this world that has been largely influenced by the devil. Rather, the Love-command is founded upon the essence of the primordial commonality of the divine and mortal humanity, so when the Love command becomes a Love relationship life becomes a joy to live, not a burden. The Love command is a burden only to those who imagine it as a legalistic demand from God. This is not about obedience through legalism, but loyalty through Love in all its wonder and mystery. And ultimately it is about you as a person who is lovably treasured in the eyes of God. (Psa.17:8; Eph.2:4; John 3:16; Gen.1:26-27) The divine Love energy is manifested in human form, and inevitably breaks through and overcomes every barrier and whatever adversity and ushers in the mystery of divine unity in the Love of the Triune Being of God and with our fellow humans. (Matt.22:37-40) Hopefully, our eyes are opening up to the rationale for the Love command.
God, being Himself of the very substance of Love, knows no other way to relate with humanity but in Love. John was inspired to write, “And so we know and rely on the Love God has for us. God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16). The Bible proclaims, “The people I treasure most are the humble–they depend only on Me (Love) and who fear and obey Me (Love)” (Isa.66:2, italics my emphasis). That’s to say, God is seeking a Love relationship with humanity He made in His image. (1 John 4:8) In the passage prior to this verse, God says He is not seeking a material temple building from us (something we imagine we can give and do God a favor), but instead He seeks a living temple of the human heart which is built upon the human free will where we choose to Love Him unquestionably. (Isa.66:1-2; also Isa.57:15-16; 1 Cor.3:16) This Love relationship is a matter of the human will given out of freedom, faith, trust, joy and Love. (Heb.11:6; Prov.3:5-6; Psa.37:3-6; Isa.66:2)
If God’s Love is so overpoweringly selfless, then our rationale must also delve into the very essence of God’s Love – the very substance of which He is composed in His divine nature. (1 John 4:8) Remember, we are dealing with the substance of the divine that has existed eternally without a beginning, and will continue with no end. So, to know God truly is to know the power of His Love. Love is never self-centered or self-indulgent, but is forever moving in an outgoing and other-centered motion. In short, Love is the only substance that is inherently miraculous rebounding and automatically accelerating outwards and brings overflowing life and vibrancy to all living things. Conversely, fear and rebellion recede and disintegrate inwards and bring corruption, ugliness, pain, and death. These are the two forces which God in His sovereign rule makes allowance for in the universe. But God assures us His Love will triumph over destruction and death, saying through Paul, “But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom.5:20).
Just as the two forces exist in our physical world, so in the spiritual realm, with God’s Love energy functioning as the overarching mantle which brings equilibrium in all creation. God’s Love is expressed in humanity through Jesus who is our High Priest who holds all power and authority. Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me” (Matt.28:18). Paul said that God “Raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now He is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made Him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is His body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself” (Eph.1:19-23).
For how else can we explain the complexities of all life forms upon earth, and the limitless universe with its even more complex existence. It can only be explained because God in His outgoing Loving Presence radiate and give off the energy and substance of life which fills and cover the whole universe like a mantle. The prophet Jeremiah said this, “Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the LORD” (Jer.23:24). Another translation renders this, “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.” Yes, God’s very substance is the essence of life in His Love which fills everything everywhere, including our very person as human beings. (read Psa.139) And to imagine that God our Father created us – you and I – to reflect Him in His eternal Love, is truly an astounding and sobering thought to even ponder.
Therefore, it is not farfetched that in relation to the human experience, His selfless Love would rebound miraculously like a boomerang, so that the more we Love God the more He Loves us – for we are all one Being through His divine likeness. The more God Loves us, the more we Love God. In our image commonality, the more we Love God the more we Love ourselves and all humanity appropriately and selflessly. The Bible gives us a peek into this Love-miracle which moves in the life of humans, saying, “He who waters others, will himself be watered” (Pro.11:25, NASB). This speaks of a generosity that comes through self-sacrifice, a vital fruit of Love. Yes, God’s Love is intuitively miraculous that it rebounds subliminally and blesses those who are exercised by it. Jesus attest to the same miraculous action in God’s Love, this time as it relates to a vital fruit of God’s Love: mercy: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matt.5:7; 1 Cor.13:1, 4). The Bible speaks about abundance, “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then He will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine” (Pro.3:9-10). Once again the grace of honor and generosity is emphasized here, not materialism and greed.
Concerning human destiny and immortality, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me has eternal life” (John 6:47, KJV). Further, He said the person who receives Him “has crossed from death to life” (John 5:24). Through faith in Jesus, humans receive God’s Love and answers the eternal question of ‘divine image’ uttered at creation. (John 3:16; Gen.1:26-27; Rom.8:29) Jesus is the personfication of God’s Love in mankind who miraculously deify humans with the gift of immortality which He initiated by His own human resurrection and ascension. Paul said, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Phi.4:13).
Let’s be mindful how Jesus framed the Love command. Contingent upon the command to Love God absolutely, Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luk.10:27). In other words, we cannot genuinely Love our fellow humans without Loving ourselves honorably by first Loving God absolutely. Yes, God’s Love miraculously rebounds and makes our relationships with other humans grow and flourish in His divine purpose. This is the way to Love our fellow humans unselfishly and truly wholeheartedly. Any other way is pretentious and hollow. John tells us this, “Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16). Yes, in that powerful and compelling scripture we see the rationale for God’s Love command. What we see here is the temple existence where God and humanity live for eternity in Love.
The Spirit makes it possible for humans to Love God unquestionably and makes the divine realities our own as we pursue and live by His Love-likeness in our mortal and subsequent immortal life. God promises to protect those who Love Him faithfully, saying, “The LORD says, “I will rescue those who Love Me. I will protect those who trust in My Name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them My salvation” (Psa.91:14-16, NLT). Jesus promised, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27, NLT).
Humanity’s final destiny is immortality in Jesus’ image. (Rom.8:29) John says this to us, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2; Rom.8:29; 1 Cor.13:12) Humanity will finally be made a people of one substance of Love with the Triune God in Christ, with identical spiritual attributes in the Father.
Mankind will become the temple of Love for the living God to dwell, and vice versa – humanity will find their true home in God (Love). (1 John 4:16) Peter said this of humanity’s oneness with God in Christ, “You are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple” (1 Pet.2:5). Humanity will be given dominion over the earth with Jesus forever. (Rev.22:5; Gen.1:26-29) In God’s future millennial dominion over earth, mortal humans will come to God’s temple to worship and learn about God and the true destiny of humans, and will reign in Love over all the dominions of earth with Christ forever. (Rev. 20:6). The Bible gives us this prophecy about that future time, “Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isa.2:3; Rev.20:6). What a glorious future awaits humanity.
Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven at His Father’s side ceaselessly mediating for us. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Him as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of living this glorious humanity made children of God forever. You can privately and quietly pray this prayer in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, regardless of your background. All are inducted into the one mankind Jesus saved, not into any religious sect or denomination – into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the temple for God’s dwelling:
Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins for I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me and all humanity. May Your Love guide and protect me and my Loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”
Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by reading and studying your Bible, and visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation – go to: http://bulamanriver.net. You can email me with your questions at the address shown below.
- (a) The first reality is the deity of God who is Creator and lives in absolute power and rules His creation with Love and wisdom. (Isa.46:9) He is eternal without beginning of days, nor end. The Bible says, “From everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psa.90:2). Yes, God’s primordial divine existence reflects His ultimate reality. He is the Originator of the vast universe, the earth, and all forms of life, be it spiritual, physical, material, and the source of humanity’s purpose and ultimate immortality. Since God is the Creator, then He is the uncreated eternal Being. He has always existed Personifying all the qualities of His Godness through His Love. That is the first aspect of God’s reality – He is the uncreated Creator who is Spirit and has always existed from eternally in absolute power, without beginning and without end.
- (b) The second reality of existence is the answer to the question – what was God’s motivation behind His creative works and all creation? Whatever God’s motivation reveals will reveal His underlying divine nature. That is, He becomes what He is by nature. Therefore, His creation, in whatever form, is motivated by who He is in His divine nature. Thus, all of creation is the reflection of His divine attributes. God reveals Himself as a God who is Love in His divine nature, and because Love motivates all He does and creates, God is a “giver” not “taker.” God is generous, not greedy. God is other-centered, not self-centered. Therefore, God is the “Giver of life” (Psa.104:30;1 John 4:8, 16; Psa.103:17) God is inter-mutual in His Triune Being, never autonomous. His supreme holiness cannot be plumbed apart from His absolute and immeasurable Love. The second reality is God’s motivation as Creator is His holy divine nature of Love, that is, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8).
- (c) The third reality is to answer as to why God’s nature and motivation is Love in the first place? The answer is because God has revealed Himself not as a ‘solitary’ God, but a Trinity. By revealing His trinitarian Being He reveals Himself in the three hypostasis of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit existing in their Love for and in Each other. (Eph.4:4-6; Jud.1:20-21; Matt.28:18-20) Thus, God’s motivation of Love can exist only because of God’s plural nature in three Persons of the Trinity sharing their existence of Love with and in Each Other. Love cannot survive in a being who is “solitary.” Love is communal as God is plural. God created humans to have Love relationships similar to the relationships that exist for eternity within the Triune Being of God. When God created humanity, He said, “Let Us (Father, Son, and Spirit) make mankind in Our image, in Our likeness” (Gen.1:26). Existing in three hypostases, they are united in Love so the act of one is the act of three, and the act of three is the act of one. The third reality is God exists in His Tri-Personal Being in the Father, Son, and Spirit, who exist in one substance of Love, thus, making Love their underlying motivation, and everything else they do as acts of holiness within the Triune Godhead.)
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 and your Loved ones 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, and Love Him completely.
Farewell for now,
Kiang P. Lee, (Your Servant In Christ)
*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)
I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:50-55; Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)
So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”
I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified in Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)
Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!
Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life. In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.
Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) 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). The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.
**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.
Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love 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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