Greetings again, Friends! The Bible reveal to us that the “Word of God” appears in two manifestations. One is Personified in Christ, and the second is conveyed literally through the written Word of the holy Bible. My post this month explains them and the importance of the dynamic and interplay between the two, and thirdly their interaction with human beings.
Part I: The Word Animate/Personified (Jesus) – The Bible calls Jesus the “Word of God.” (John 1:1-3, 14) His eternal hereditary title is “the Logos,” which identifies the belief in the preexistence of Jesus as the Spokesperson inherent within the triune Godhead. (Matt.28:18-20; 1 Pet.1:2; 2 Cor.13:14) The title “Logos” conveys the idea of God’s activity and power who speaks creation into existence through the Spokesperson, Jesus Christ His Son, the “Logos.” John identifies Jesus Christ as “the Word” (Greek “Logos”) – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14). The Epistle to the Hebrews states, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God (Jesus/Logos), so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb.11:3).
Yes, the “Logos,” the second Person of the Tri-Personal Being of God came and dwelt among us as a human/divine being (Immanuel), overcoming our rebellious and disobedient humanity through His obedient life, and became our Savior by taking our sins upon Himself and nailed them to His cross, through His sinless sacrifice. Paul said matter-of-factly, “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time” (Heb.10:10, NLB). Yes, Jesus has offered Himself as a faithful sacrifice which remains and does not come to an end. Paul further stated eloquently, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:21). His prophetic name, “Immanuel,” reveals Jesus incarnation as both divine and human, or, “God with us” (Matt.1:23; Isa.7:14). That’s to say, ‘Jesus was always the Son of God, but now He is Man as well as God,’ as affirmed in the Nicene creed. Through His death, He took our sins upon Him so humanity can be redeemed, sanctified and saved. The Scriptures tell us further and conclusively, “He (Jesus) is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God’ (Rev.19:13).
So, we see in the first chapter of the Gospel of John, where Jesus Christ is identified as “the Word” (Greek Logos) incarnated and made flesh. He is the incarnate Word. All of creation originate from God through Him (the “Word”) – “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). I call Jesus the ‘Personified’ Word of God, for in the primordial sense, it refers to Him as the second Person of the Trinitarian God – that’s to say, the Tri-Personal Being of the Godhead in the Father, Son, and Spirit. (Matt.28:19; 1 Pet.1:2; 2 Cor.13:14) By ‘Personification’ means when the Word is spoken of as a Person (Jesus), as opposed to the inanimate literary form (Scripture/Bible).
John continues, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5). So, the “Logos” (Word/Jesus), in the Personified (personal) sense, breathes life and shines light into everything, thus we read, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was that was made” (John 1:3). So, the Word (“Logos”) as God the Son, is the Creator who spoke creation into existence.
Part II: The Word Inanimate/Literal (Bible) – There is a second portrayal of the “Word of God” – this conveys the inanimate literal aspect of the written Word of God, the holy Bible. Although the Bible nowhere calls the Bible the ‘Word of God,’ nonetheless the Bible says this, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim.3:16). The phrase, “all Scripture” means all of the Bible is “God-breathed,” therefore, is God’s Word! Further, Peter was inspired to write, “For no such prophecy (word of the Bible) was ever brought forth by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21 BSP).
Further, the writer of Hebrews records this, “For the Word of God (Scripture) is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb.4:12). The Bible, therefore, does not merely contain God’s word, but is God’s Word in literary form. To further extrapolate along this line of thought and analysis, the Bible does not contain the word, trinity, but many passages contain reference to God’s Tri-Personal divine nature, from which the basis of the belief is founded, for example, Matt.28:18-19; 2 Thess.2:13; 2 Cor.13:14; Act.7:55; John 10:30; 17:21-22, and others. As the patristic believers affirmed, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit coinhere in one another in the one Being of the Triune Godhead.
Through the written Word of the Bible, we understand how the earth, the whole universe, every form of life both seen and unseen, and all of creation came into being. (Isa.48:13; Gen.1-2) There is history about the fall of mankind, and how the sin-condition exists as a precursor for all the ills and suffering of humanity to this day. (Gen.3) It records how the law (commandments) which God wrote with His own hands upon two tablets of stone and gave them to Moses. (Exo.31:18; 24:12)
The Bible also contains the history of Israel as a nation descended from Abraham, and how other nations and empires are named as they came into contact with Israel. (Gen.12:1-3) Israel was a nation descended from Abraham, through whom God chose to deal with and reveal His eternal plan for all mankind. (Gen.22:15-18) It was through Abraham’s lineage that God precipitated the birth of His Son as “Immanuel,” Jesus’ prophetic name which means, “God with us,” for it conveys that Jesus was both fully God and fully human who appeared as mankind’s Savior. (Matt.1:23; Isa 7:14) Peter said, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears Him and does what is right” (Act.10:34-35; also 1 Tim.2:5)
Most importantly, the Bible records many precious promises made by the Creator God to mankind upon which to anchor our souls, our faith and hopes in His priceless and endearing Love for us. (2 Pet.1:4) Chief among these is His ‘covenant promise’ with humanity to save us from the destructive consequence of the sin-condition from Adam’s fall by surrendering His Son (second Adam) to live and die in our place for our redemption, and fulfill His highest promise of immortality for mankind. (John 3:16; Heb.8:10-13; 1 Cor.15:45, 53) ( You can read my post entitled, “Standing On The Promises” at: http://bulamanriver.net/15209)
The life of Jesus through the New Testament tells us about God’s activity in humanity through His Son in His plans for mankind. Much of the aforesaid facts are found in the Bible. Without the Bible, the essential knowledge about God’s Triune nature, and about humanity and the whole of creation would be unknown and lost. The Bible provides the basic and indispensable tool which keeps humanity in contact with the Creator God and His plans for us, our knowledge of Him, and humanity’s future. So, God moved men and women to record this in the books of the Bible, through the move of His Spirit, so all humans will not forget their roots with the divine likeness, and find reason to worship and Love God, now and into eternity.
So, the Bible comprising written words of humans who were inspired by God, carries mystical and celestial allure and magnetism which cannot be explained by people who have read the Bible. Many have attested to the mystical properties of the biblical words as alive although ‘inanimate,’ as if “jumping out” at and testifying to them from the pages of the Bible, true to what the writer of Hebrews stated, “For the Word of God (Scripture) is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb.4:12).
So, we have here two portrayals of the “Word of God,” one is Personified in Christ’s Person, and the second is literary in the inanimate yet sure words of the books of the Bible. Both have divine constitution, emerging from God Himself. One, in the Person of Jesus, who is in heaven today seated at the right hand of the Father as humanity’s Savior and High Priest. (John 3:16; Heb.4:14) The second is on earth manifested in the inspired written Word of Scripture for our learning and instruction. (2 Tim.3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21)
The “Logos” depicts the ‘personality’ of God’s Word in Jesus as the second Person of the Trinity, the other conveys the ‘passive’ and unchanging literary form of God’s Word. These two constituents of God’s Word are designed to complement each other for they have a singular divine source. They cannot contradict one another. Neither can stand alone without the corroboration of the other.
However, the Personified form of “the Word,” in the person of Christ, must take preeminence over the literary written form, for He is its Author and unseen Spokesperson. This is vital to keep in mind as we interact with the written Word, for the written form has taken a journey of millennia to its current status. Its history has been one of multilingual origin in the Hebrew and Greek languages. There have been translations in just about every known language, literary rendition and styles, and they can lend to different deductions, inferences, and conclusions by readers.
For example, does a passage of Scripture to be taken literally, or is the meaning symbolic or metaphorical? Is the language used strictly literal or is it a figure of speech? Is this or that is what its saying? Be that as it may, however, the Personified form in Christ (Spokesperson/Author), remains true as the scriptures attest, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Heb.13:8). This speaks of the constancy of God’s divine Love-nature. To regard the words of the Bible as divinely inspired does not mean that they are immediately intelligibly understood, for they have to be interpreted in the light of the truth to which they refer, and in accordance with which our interpretations are tested, that is, in Christ the Personified Word, through the move of the Spirit. (John 16:12-14)
Just as the Spirit inspired humans to record God’s Word, He continues to guide us to the Personified Word Jesus, in our proper understanding of the Literal Word. (John 1:13) Jesus said this about His relationship with the work of the Spirit, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you” (John 16:12-15). There is one trinitarian activity of God which is manifested in the distinctive operations of the three divine Persons and always takes the form of a unitary movement from the Father, through the Son and in the Spirit.
So, we see the guidance of the Spirit in leading us to understand the Bible by revealing all of Christ to us through Scripture. We do this cautiously and reverently with much prayer, for although the Bible is divinely inspired that does not mean the message are intelligibly understood by everyone. They have to be interpreted in the light of the truth who is Christ, the Personified Word. Jesus told His listeners, “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to Me! Yet you refuse to come to Me to receive this life” (John 5:39-40). He said further, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
The Bible tell us, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Tim.2:15, KJV). “To be approved unto God” basically means you have received His Son Jesus as personal Savior, the “Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb.12:2). John tells us emphatically, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:36; 1 John 5:12; John 3:16-17). If “God’s wrath remains upon us” it means we are not ‘approved of Him.’ The whole message of the Bible rests upon the pillar of truth of God revealed in Jesus as humanity’s Mediator and Savior between fallen humanity and the all-holy God. As Paul says eloquently, “He (Jesus) existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together” (Col.1:17). The KJ Version renders this, “In Him all things consist.”
Also note that in saying, “All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you” (V.14-15), Jesus’ statement reflects upon the trinitarian Godhead in that when Jesus gives us the Spirit, He (Spirit) is proceeding inherently from within the Father and the Son, i.e. from the very inner Being of the Tri-Personal Godhead. God is self-existent in His Triune Self, and does not draw His Being from without, but possesses it from Himself and in Himself. (John 5:26) Yes, through the one trinitarian activity of the Godhead, manifested in the unique operations of the three divine Persons, the triune God always takes the pattern of a unified movement from the Father, through the Son and in the Spirit. Thereby, only through the relationship and work of the One Triune God in the Father, Son, and Spirit in human life, can mankind grasp the deeper things of God in His everlasting and all-embracing Love revealed in Scripture. (1 John 4:16; Matt.28:18-20)
The above passage from John blends well with the ones quoted earlier about the Spirit’s underlying influence in the human authors of the books of the Bible. (2 Tim.3:16; 2 Pet:1:21) So, it is the Spirit who will supernaturally guide humans to Jesus (Personified Word) concerning His literal written Word, as and when genuine guidance require. We as erring humans, submit to the Spirit’s moves. Yes, we turn to Jesus in the Spirit’s motivation so we may “rightly handle the Word of Truth (Scripture)” (2 Tim.2:15). Paul goes on to say, “But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature (self-centeredness). Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in Love (other-centeredness)” (Gal.5:13, NLB).
So, the Spirit leads us to the Personified Word, Jesus, in the right and proper understanding of His literal Word of the Bible. The end result of this is unity in God’s Love, as Paul said, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph.4:4-6). If we have division, it means the Spirit is absent, and so is God’s Love, from our midst and in our deliberations. For it is the Spirit who unifies us in Christ, as we allow Him to as we stand before the Father. God’s Word (Bible) is spiritual and works to cleanse us, and keep us united in Love, as opposed to being divided by fear in our fallen humanity from Adam. (Eph.5:26; Gen.3)
So, between the two, the Personified Word is most reliable, for Jesus is the Author, and can be relied upon where doubt and difficulty may occur in our understanding of the words of the Bible. Jesus said this to the Jewish religious leaders of His day, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life” (John 5:39-40). Here, we see Jesus said that He is the key to understanding the Bible as the Spirit indwelling us as His temple, guides us. (1 Cor.6:19)
Part III: Human Personality (Gift)/”Love-Personality” – I would like now to touch on the vital aspect of the human personality generally, as it interacts with the two manifestation of God’s Word we have touched upon so far. The human personality is manifested through human gifts and talents conferred upon us by the Creator. Through the force and power of human personality we can bring to life what our imagination aspire to do. Humans can bring inanimate object to life through the sheer power of personality.
Thereby, the force of human personality naturally features a fork in the road so we are given to choose which path to travel especially in the matter of God’s Word. The human personality as expressed through a person’s gift can be used in the path for narrow self-centered reasons, or it can be projected for motives that is all-embracing through other-centeredness in God’s Love.
That being said, it is vital to also keep in mind that the original Personality from which all human personalities (gift/talent) stem and radiate, proceeds from Jesus Christ Himself (Personified Word) in whose likeness humanity was made, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:4; Gen.1:26-27; Rom.8:29) Jesus said, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark” (John 12:46). “Light” here is interpreted to mean “gift/personality” that shines in the lives of humans to give them purpose and direction, fortuitously and providentially, through the “Love-Personality” of the Spirit. (Rom.5:5) Yes, the Gift and the Giver are identical in Jesus’ Person as the Son of God. God tells us this about human destiny, “For those whom He (God) foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom.8:29, RSV). So, Christ’s ‘image’ is His “Love Personality” expressed in the Spirit’s power.
Paul made a mystery beautifully plain to the Colossian Christians, saying, “I want them (you) to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of Love. I want them (you) to have complete confidence that they (you) understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ Himself. In Him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:2-3). Paul told the Romans God’s plan about how to utilize our personalities, “This is true because He already knew His people and had already appointed them to have the same form as the image of his Son. Therefore, His Son is the firstborn among many children” (Rom.8:29, GWT). Just so we are precise about the use of the terms ‘likeness’ or ‘image’ (of God and Jesus) in relation to human personality, it does not imply habits and qualities but to the Being of the triune God.
What is Paul saying? The “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” refers to the foundation of human gifts and talents (personality) divinely conferred upon mankind out of God’s Love and generosity from which human personalities gives birth and find meaning. (Psa.139) Gifts and human personality are opposite sides of the coin of the human persona made in God’s likeness. (Gen.1:26-27). So is Love and Freedom. Freedom has no meaning without Love, and vice versa. Both are vital divine attributes, and are flip sides of the coin of God’s deity. Through God’s gifts and talents, we each find meaning, purpose, Freedom and Love, and through which human personality gives birth and emerge.
“God’s mystery” is as Paul asserts are all our gifts and thereby personalities “lie hidden in Christ.” As state earlier that the Gift and the Giver are identical in Jesus. Paul said he wanted all our gifts (wisdom and knowledge or personalities) “to be knit together by strong ties of Love.” It means all human gifts (personalities) spring from Christ, just as John attests to the fact that Christ is the Creator of all things seen and unseen. (John 1:30)
Paul tells us this, so we are clear about where gifts and personalities originate from, “When He (Jesus) ascended to the heights, He led a crowd of captives and gave gifts (personality) to His people” (Eph.4:8). Yes, all our human personalities, are based upon our gifts and talents that have been divinely conferred from conception and birth, must be knit together by Love. (read Psa.139) Paul said, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them” (1 Cor.12:4). It must not be fragmented into private endeavors and conclusions for self-glory, conceit, and least of all for divisiveness. Yes, many have misused their divinely conferred talents for gain and lucre. (Tit.1:11)
Today, we see many denominations of the Christian religion, each purporting to uphold what it claims as authentic from the others. What is the reason for this obvious discordant conundrum? Why can’t they agree and speak with one united voice? After all, they all purport to speak from the same source as their pretext and motive – the Bible. However, this erratic character flaw in humans is not exclusive in the religious field, it happens across the board, like politics, in labor and management, in macro and micro corporations. It exists even in families. No one is immune from this discordant flaw. Not a single entity, religious or otherwise, owns this discrepant liability and feeble spot in our humanity. Its onset has become customary lifestyle resulting from Adam’s fall into rebellion and sin in the first place in the Garden of Eden. (Gen.3)
Be that as it may, all is not lost. God sent the second Adam in His Son Jesus, to rescue humanity from the vagaries of sin, rebellion, divisiveness, and the fallen Adamic personality, to bring harmony and Love to the human mind. (1Cor.15:45) Humans can once more possess minds inspired by Love and instructed and guided in God’s Word, both by the Personified Word in Jesus, and the literal Word through the written Bible empowered in the Spirit, in every aspect of life, whether it is religion, politics, commerce and trade, family life, and every facet of daily living.
But we know the genesis of this human character flaw and where it stems from to corrupt people’s gifts and personalities. And the prime reason for this incoherent and at times contorted outcome lays at the root of Adam’s fall into rebellion and sin, and betraying the complementary and harmonizing values (Love) of his Creator. (Gen.3) Powerful egos and personalities have taken preeminence, rather than the “Love-Personality” in the Spirit where we recognize our personality image (being) in Christ, as a first step. (Col.2:2) When we are guided by rebellion and disorder private interpretation and self-identity intuitively takes over and overshadows the pacifying complementary interpretation in God’s Love.
Yes, there is private and there is shared complementary values; there is unilateral and multilateral ideas and strategies; one is self-centered, then there is other-centered; one is solitary, the other is triune (collective); one is wicked and corrupt, while the other is upright and divine. At times, years can pass by and we come to see the folly of our choices and the life-changing habitude created. With much water having passed over the bridge of time, spawning and producing agony and fear upon all affected by it – self-centeredness (fear) has taken over other-centeredness (Love). Why is this? It comes down to personalities of humans that have strayed from its moorings and dependence in Jesus our Lord who is the anchor of our souls and personalities.
As we saw earlier, a strong and persuasive human personality can give life to static and colorless objects. Personalities give life (interpretation) to the ‘passive’ Word of God in the Bible for instance, or for that matter every other aspect of life, not just religious. However, when we are dealing with human personality, it must be aligned and interact with the Personified Word of Jesus, from whom all human personalities (gifts) originate. (Col.2:3)
I said earlier that prior to making contact with the passive literary Word of God, the Bible or in any enterprise for that matter, our thoughts must be garbed in the “Love-Personality” of the Spirit in Christ. Failure in doing so will give room for private interpretations dominated by fear to take over. The human personality must first harmonize with the Personified Word of Jesus Christ, before delving into the literary Word of God. This must become the first rule of thumb that’s done with prayer and study. This goes for every aspect of living.
I use religious entities as illustration because it is inundated with examples where church denominations have broken down and splintered into different fragments due to private interpretations by sheer power of human personality. The term ‘personality’ signifies the individual person comes to recognize that he/she possesses gifts (personality), and the need to align the self with the image (being) of Love in Christ in all the person does. Scripture tells us, “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son‘s personified Love, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rom.8:29). The question remains, does this take place in real life situations? Or, does private interpretation continue to take a life of its own, whether right or wrong, apparently does not seem to weigh in heavily for the moment.
Our human personality, mysterious and powerful as it is, find its basis in Christ, and therefore carries an aura of sacredness with it. Consequently, it must not be used for pride, grandiosity, hypocrisy, and least of all to create division. We have seen the history of humanity in the political arena where people have used the force of personality to advance motives that we see are unbecoming and even ulterior and dehumanizing to the extreme. We only have to go back to the last world war (WWII) to witness how whole nations can be swept up in unhinged hysteria and chaotic turmoil and bring untold suffering, death, and cataclysm to the whole continent of Europe and beyond through the captivating personality of one, two, or more men, and those who have lent support to further their psychotic aims. After the war, they were charged for war crimes against humanity in the famed Nuremburg trials.
However, Love is always accommodating. The Bible says, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith (gift/personality) God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere” (Rom.12:3-9).
The metaphor given by Paul above informs us that human personalities when guided by the “Love-Personality” in Christ, results in unity, cohesion, and care through other-centeredness (Love). How can humans begin to learn and be guided by the Word of God, both personified in Christ, and literally through the Word of the Bible? First, we must realize that we cannot live the right way and have our human personalities (gifts) blend into God’s Love while we exist in our fallen state of existence from Adam’s sin and resulting rebellion. (Gen.3)
It was from Adam’s sin that humanity inherited the spirit of rebellion, the underling of self-centeredness and narcissism from which the fallen “Adamic personality” emerge to dominate the human spirit and mind. But God the Father promised to restitute humanity to His way of Love and other-centeredness by giving us His Son, the second Adam. (Gen.3:15; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:45) So, God sent His Son, the eternal Personified Logos, to take our fallen humanity upon Himself, He bore the prophetic name, Immanuel, which means, “God with us” – fully God and fully human, and from whom the “Love-Personality” give rise. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23)
Jesus came as our Savior by living a sinless life, was baptized by John for us, He defeated Satan in the temptations for humanity as an act of Adamic redemption, died the sacrificial death of Savior upon His cross, was resurrected glorified, then ascended into heaven for humanity, took up His role of High Priest, so He can give passage to the Holy Spirit to come and enter human life, and thereby empower and influence humans to utilize their personality (gifts) for Love (God). (1 John 4:8) The Spirit is the personification of God’s Love in humanity. (Rom.5:5; Gal.4:6; Rom.8:9; 1 Cor.3:16)
This is the key to utilizing our human personalities for unity, cohesion, and Love, with the triune God and for the betterment and advancement of our fellow humans. This is the purpose of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of humans. Jesus said, “I am going to send you what My Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luk.24:45-49; also Isa.53; Zech.12:10; Psa.16:10; 22:1, 7-8) I emphasize the words “until you have been clothed with power,” to convey believers are being encased, attired, and wrapped-up, in the “Love-Personality” of the Spirit. (Rom.5:5) The word “power” conveys the energy, dynamism, and capacity of God’s divine Love that’s personified in the Holy Spirit, and shares with humanity. Paul said, “Our hope does not put us to shame, because God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). So, the Spirit’s personality is the divine “Love-personality” of God.
What was the gift from the Father Jesus spoke about which was given to the disciples and by extension all humanity? It was the gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-4; Rom.5:5; Gal.4:6) So, with the Spirit’s “Love-Personality,” He enters human life to malleably shape our human personality (gifts/talents) according to the pattern of the Love of God as fully expressed in Christ through His incarnation. (Rom.5:5; John 3:16; 1 Cor.13:1-13) And it is the Spirit who will give us the power to Love, and do all things for Love’s sake, much like Jesus’ incarnation only in reverse – from human to divine. But we must with open minds, freely choose God’s Love in the Spirit. (Rom.5:5; Gal.4:6) (You can read my post titled, “Christmas, The Story of Reverse Incarnation,” at http://bulamanriver.net/18857)
So there’s the human gift and talent which God could confer upon humans instantly by a miraculous act (out of nothing), and there’s the “Love-Personality” from and in the Spirit which we must freely choose to participate through our hearts and minds. Love is a participatory activity of the mind and heart with the divine nature and will. Love is like a new ‘personality garment’ we put on to utilize our human gifts and talents. We have seen gifted mathematicians, articulate wood carvers and musicians, scientists, engineers, and technologists with brilliant minds, people with exceptional abilities in many, many, fields of endeavor, etc, divinely bestowed. But the Spirit’s “Love-Personality” is the gift of the miraculous life from God which comes by faith in believers to shape us into Christ’s image (Being) now and for eternity. (Rom.8:29; Eph.2:8) The Spirit is the personification of the gift of the “true-self” (Love-Personality) in Christ in humans. Remember, the Spirit is the gift of the divine “Love-Personality” in you and me. (Rom.5:5)
It is the Spirit who empowers you and I to use our gifts and personalities in Love and for Love’s sake. The “true-self” (Love-Personality) holds the miraculous life the Spirit brings. You are now the ‘temple’ for the Spirit to do the work and will of God (Love). (1 John 4:8; 1 Cor.3:16) Paul said, “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? (1 Cor.3:16, NLB). He further said, “For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power” (1 Cor.4:20). God tells us plainly, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty” (Zech.4:6). God’s power is manifested through His Love. His creative power is demonstrated and established in His Love.
Recall the passage we read earlier as it relates to how humans were inspired to pen the written Word of God, “For no such prophecy (word) was ever brought forth by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21 BSP). That is to say, the private human personality (gifts) was not the energy behind the written Word of God, but rather it was the very “Love-Personality” of the Spirit of God who inspired and shaped these writers who in turn penned the words of the Bible. And that is how it must happen with each and every one of our personalities (gifts) clothed in the Spirit’s power and Love. (Rom.12:3-13)
Our individual gift/personality must not get in the way of the “Love-personality” of the Spirit with private interpretations, but rather we are influenced by the power of God’s “Love-Personality” through His Spirit who unifies us in Christ. Sometimes, God allows us to walk in the error of our ways to teach us a more vital lesson of Love. I hope and pray we can maintain a proper and positive mindset in the interaction between the two vital elements of God’s Word: the Personified Word (the “Logos”), Jesus, and the written Word of God in the Bible, and their interaction with our human personality (gifts/talents). The fallen “Adamic personality” which previously dictated the activities of our gifts and talents, must now be reborn and clothed in the “Love-Personality” of Christ so the Spirit’s power (Love) now dictates all our activities. (John 3:3-7) Jesus said pointedly, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. (John 6:63)
The Bible tells us emphatically, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception (false self/Adamic-personality). Put on your new nature, created to be like God–truly righteous and holy (true self/”Love-Personality”)” (Eph.4:22-23).
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 who has enabled us to live the Triune Life*. Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven seated at His Father’s side, and 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 the prayer below 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, or divisions one may espouse – but into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the holy 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 holy, 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.
Personal 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” as a Bulamanriver.* Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
Farewell for now!
*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. (Matt.28:19) 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 Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:9; 37:5). If God acts in ways that cannot be fathomed and is beyond human comprehension, then the miraculous life where humans are privileged recipients, cannot be deciphered by the human mind to its grandest manifestation. But we understand its meaning through divine revelation in that God reveals Himself as Love, and His miraculous activities are enveloped in His Love. (Jer.29:11)
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.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664
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