Greetings Friends! Welcome to all our visitors and readers, both old and new! The name of this Web Site or Blog Post Site is called “Triune Life” or “Triune Living.” I would like to devote this post in explaining what it means by way of a parable. I call it the parable of the ocean of God’s Love! It depicts to us what living “Living The Triune Life” means. In brief, “Living The Triune life” conveys a life of immortality in Christ. (Col.3:3; Rom.8:11) But before that, what is the Triune Life?
Briefly, the Christian belief of the “Triune Life” conveys the relationship between the physical and material realm of humanity with the spiritual metaphysical realm, particularly with Triune God of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19-20). As physical human beings we experience our material world with the five human senses of sight (eyes), smell, (nose), hear (ear), taste (mouth), touch (feel/sensation), and I might add a sixth – human thought. The six basic human senses are tools mankind utilize to develope family goals and dreams, education and careers, ideologies, philosophies, and even religion and belief systems.
However, the spiritual realm cannot be detected by these human senses. The “Triune Life” is the Christian’s way of explaining how the physical world of mankind interconnect with the divine world which is undetected by human senses. People have called this phenomenon by the terms faith and hope, which are tools of the mind Christians use to define spiritual matters which are undetected by the human senses. Christians use their Bible, or Word of God, as basis for these and other spiritual tools. (Heb.11:1; Rom.8:24).
From time immemorial humans have always been fascinated by and possessed inclination for the spiritual and unknown. Mankind was always been conscious of the metaphysical aspects of how human life is constituted. Because of this realization and awareness, humanity has given birth to all forms of ways and means to explain the unknown metaphysiical aspect of his psyche. That has given birth to all forms of belief system and religion through human history. Look at the graph below:
This graph is taken from Wikipedia and shows the various major religious symbols in clock-wise form from top: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baháʼí Faith, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Slavic neopaganism, Celtic polytheism, Heathenism (Germanic paganism), Semitic neopaganism, Wicca, Kemetism (Egyptian paganism), Hellenism (Greek paganism), Italo-Roman neopaganism. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, which at some point in the future will be countless. However, adherents.com shows a growing collection of over 23,500 adherent statistics and religious geography citations — references to published membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 2,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, movements, ultimate concerns, etc. A person may be an adherent to one’s unique beliefs although the person claims to belong to a major mainline religious sect. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religions_and_spiritual_traditions)
So, what we see from the commentary above is obvious endorsement that humans have the spiritual proclivity for the supernatural. A pagan may claim to be enlightened and not trapped by religiosity or ancient superstition. Yet, by claiming to be so-called ‘enlightened’ he/she inadvertently admits to a belief system just like other belief system, whether pagan, religious or otherwise. Atheism, the disbelief in God, evolves into the religious belief of apotheotheism, the belief that man can become a god himself. So, we are all drawn and bound to this spiritual proclivity we were all born with that can’t be denied or dismissed.
By using the term, “Triune Life,” I am explaining the Christian thought and belief about the physical realm and its interconnection and association with the divine realm, and vise versa. Of course, other religions have their own understanding and beliefs. In the final analysis, every religion and belief system will be tried for its authenticity through its beliefs and practices whether it stands to benefit mankind’s universal welfare and good in this life and the next (if there is such a thing) regardless of our station in life. Obviously, all religions and biefs will lay claim about its own authenticity and validity. As I attempt to explain the Christian world view, I am assuming most of my audience have some basic background knowledge of the Christian Scriptures, the holy Bible.
Jesus Christ is the founder of Christianity, and the Christian religion. In the final commission He gave His disciples, and thereby all His followers, He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt.28:18-20). He gave this commission on the basis that He is God’s only Son who existed with God His Father in the Tri-Personal Being and Godhead of God Alimighty with the Holy Spirit from eternity.
So, in Christian thought, the mention of God always convey His Tri-Personal Being of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are indivisibly One, eternally co-inhering in One Another as the Trinity. The “Triune Life” or Triune Living” finds its basis upon this eternal truth of the divine Godhead uttered by Jesus Himself in His commission to the disciples and believers.
Recall, this commission was given to His disciples by Jesus when He was about to ascend back to the spiritual realm of His Father in heaven. He had taken up human life and human existence, emptying Himself without denying His divinity. Paul, as author of many New Testament books was inspired to say this about Jesus, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phi.2:5-8). Hence, when the prophet Isaiah spoke about His coming as the Messiah, he was inspired to utter the messianic name Immanuel, which means, “God with us” (Matt.1:23). Jesus was actually “God with us” as His name “Immanuel” conveys.
When we read this passage in the book of Philippians about Jesus “emptying Himself” (V.7), what does this mean, and what did Jesus empty Himself of? It is essential to understand what this statement means so that we know the true nature of Jesus as He lived on earth as a man and as God (Immanuel). When we fail to interpret this verse correctly, then it can lead us to understand who Jesus is incorrectly. Jesus is divine as part of God’s Tri-Personal Being, but He took on the form of a man and became a human being without ceasing to be God, hence, the name Immanuel or “God with us.” (Matt.1:23) As a human being, He lived the perfect human life and died upon His cross so humanity can be redeemed from sin and death, be reconciled to the Creator God and live a life of immortality through Jesus as Savior and Mediator. (John 3:16; 2 Tim.1:10; 1 Cor.15:53-54)
The Bible records the very first Gentile (non Christian) who was called into the Christian faith. His name was Cornelius, a Roman officer. (Act.15:7, 14) Peter had journeyed to Caesarea to baptize (initiate faith and hope in Christ’s finished work of redemption symbolized by the act of baptism) Cornelius, and everyone in his household into the Christian faith, following the original commission given to the disciples we read earlier in Matthew. (Matt.28:18-19) Peter gave the first message to the Gentiles through Cornelius and those present as representing His message of God’s calling of Gentiles into His fellowship as true spiritual Israelites, and those who would follow Cornelius and his family thereafter.
Peter was inspired by the Spirit and spoke, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation He accepts those who fear Him and do what is right. This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee, after John began preaching His message of baptism. And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
“And we apostles are witnesses of all He did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross, but God raised Him to life on the third day. Then God allowed Him to appear, not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be His witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in Him will have their sins forgiven through His name. Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message.” (Act.10:34-44).
That is the record of how the Gentiles (unbelievers) were grafted into and made God’s own people. It is a story of spiritual rebirth into a new species of human beings, “Immanuel humans,” who have Jesus living in them.
So Jesus, as the human Immanuel lived the perfect sinless human life in the Spirit’s power. He was baptized for our forgiveness in the Jordan, and opened the path for the Holy Spirit to enter and fellowship with mankind. (Matt.3:13-17) Jesus defeated Satan in the temptation for us to save us from the devil’s cunning, sin and death. (Matt.4:1-12) He lived a sinless life in our place. (1 Pet.2:22; 2 Cor.5:21) He was crucified and died for us in our stead. And God resurrected Jesus to immortality for us, so we may follow Him into a life of immortality by a resurrection from the dead. (1 Cor.15:53-58; Rom.8:29) And now, let us get back to our story.
As He was about to ascend back to His Father, He uttered these final words to His followers, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt.28:19). To baptize means to immerse and initiate into something, as Jesus was baptized or immersed in the Jordan River under John’s hand. (Mar.1:9-11) To be baptized or immersed into the “Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” means to be initiated into the very life and power of the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To be immersed into the very Being of God who is Triune by nature means we are given to live the “Triune Life” through human and spiritual experience.
“Triune Life” means to be immersed into, to inaugurate and initiate into, to enrol in, to be sponsored and recruited by, the very power and life of the supreme Triune Godhead who is Creator and Sustainer of life, both seen and unseen. The Triune Life is the Christian process by which physical humanity is made to interact and experience the spiritual realm of God. In lay person’s term, what does it mean to be immersed into and to live the “Triune Life?”
Let me expound its meaning through a parable. It is by no means perfect, however, Jesus spoke in parables about the spiritual realm of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the spiritual domain of God. Humans are physical and material, subject to decay and ultimately death due to Adam’s sin-condition we have inherited. The kingdom of God is the domain of God’s holiness, righteousness, Love, and His eminent grace. God consists primarily of the three Persons of the Triune Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and countless number of holy angels. Humans cannot comprehend spiritual matters, so to make spiritual elements relatable to our physical life and material existence, Jesus taught spiritual priniciples and truths through parables. The Scripture reveals, “Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; He did not say anything to them without using a parable” (Matt.13:34).
Parables are stories and illustrations about spiritual concepts to help our limited human minds understand spiritual principles. So, Jesus gave many parables to depict God’s spiritual kingdom and its reality. The parables depicts how human destiny and God’s kingdom are forever bound by destiny through His Love and grace. There’s the parable of the Sower. There’s one about The Weeds Among the Wheat. The Mustard Seed. Pearl of Great Price. The Ten Virgins. The Friend at Midnight. The Good Samaritan; to name some of them. A good Bible concordance will give you the list of parables Jesus taught the people in His day.
Today I’m going to share the parable of the Ocean of God’s Love to explain the “Triune Life” whereby we have been inducted and immersed into the life and power of the Triune God. We are speaking of being immersed (baptized) into their Names, as if to take up life in the life and power of the divine in our physical human existence. And now think about the parable of the Ocean and the Marine Life that populate it. The waters in the ocean is the ‘enabling condition’ which empowers marine life to go about living with other marine life, each fulfilling their individual role in the overall marine ecosystem. The Waters of the ocean is likened to God in His all-comprehensive, sweeping, and unfathomable Love.
The marine life in it represent all of humanity from whatever background, color, or station in life. And the title, “Bulamanriver” on the website is my term for the spiritual (marine) life representing humans. The title, “Bulamanriver,” literally means “a human being who possesses true life (“Bula” in Fijian language) through the river of living waters (of the Spirit – “Man-River”). Or, more precisely we are given the new birth through baptism, identified by the new human species, “Immanuel human,” which means, “Christ in us.” Baptism is the symbol and ritual signifying faith and hope in the salvation offered by God our Father through Jesus as Savior, Redeemer and eternal Mediator. (For more, you can read my blog post titled, “Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value Statements” at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664“)
Or, as Paul affirmed, saying, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who Loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20, KJV; Matt.1:23). Yes, through baptism, humans are given a new birth, the old self has been crucified with Christ. The old life is gone; the new life in Christ has begun! (2 Cor.5:17)
When Jesus instructed His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations and to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—it’s worth pointing out that the Greek noun (ὄνομα) translated “name” is singular in Matthew 28:19. (https://www.logosapostolic.org/greek-word-studies/3686-onoma-name.htm) Therefore, the three distinct co-equal and co-eternal Persons of the Triune Godhead are not three different deities, but three distinct Persons who make up the One true God who is Love and saves sinners. (1 John 3:8, 16; John 3:16) The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are indivisibly One, eternally co-inhering in One Another in the Trinitarian Godhead.
The name of Jesus (Immanuel) into which we are baptized identifies us with the Godhead through the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ, our Savior. Paul said, “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Rom.6:4). We now belong to One Triune God the Father, saved by the Son and through the indwelling life and power of His Spirit.
God’s divine Love-force is likened to the ocean in which mankind exist and find meaning to life. The ocean of God’s Love-force enables humans to be sustained in His spiritual ecosystem and live out their divinely conferred gifts and purposes for the eternal destiny of God’s spiritual oceanic Kingdom. The ‘ocean’ is the life-force of God’s Love which empowers and enables humans to live under God’s purpose for all its spitual oceanic inhabitants.
The spiritual ocean of God’s Love-force immerses humans in the way of life that’s monopolized by God’s Love, and the fruits of His Love. (1 Cor.13; 1 John 4:16) So, since the ocean symbolizes God’s Love, then it represents the role of the Holy Spirit, for Paul said this, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). John affirms further, saying, “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). Yes, through baptism human beings are immersed into the very Love of God.
Yes, in the Bible water is one of the symbols used for the Holy Spirit, His power and presence. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:38-39). Here, Jesus uses water to help our limited human minds conceptualize the work and activity of the third Person of the Triune God. The Holy Spirit is likened to the cleansing waters which flows in human life to cleanse and save humanity from sin and death through Christ. (John 4:14; 1 Cor.12:13; Rev.21:6; 22:1-2, 17; Rom.6:23) At the scientifical level water has proven as an effective agent which enact change with whatever it touches.
To the Corinthians Paul taught them the role and purpose of the Spirit, and how the life-force of the Spirit is energized and manifested in their lives. But how is that Love-force manifested in human life? Paul reveals that answer by explaining the fruits of the Holy Spirit to the Corinthian Church. These fruits, which Paul reveal the spiritual fruits to us as: *the fruit of patience, *the fruit of kindness, *the fruit of contentedness, *the fruit of modesty (unboastful), *the fruit of humility, *the fruit of honor, *the fruit of unselfishness, *the fruit of calmness and dignity, *the fruit of forgiveness and compassion, *the fruit of delighting in good and shunning evil, *the fruit of tolerance, *the fruit of responsibility, *the fruit of enduring hope, *the fruit of steadfast perseverance, *the fruit of joy, *the fruit of peace, *the fruit of goodness, *the fruit of faith, *the fruit of gentleness, *the fruit of self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *the fruit of friendship, *the fruit of sharing and generosity, *the fruit of prayerfulness, *the fruit of hospitality, etc. (1 Cor.13; also Gal. 5:22-23; Rom. 12:9-21).
These Love-fruits are not part of God’s Person like accessories. It’s not like one day God decides ‘let Me try the fruit of ‘gentleness’ today? Or, the next day, ‘Let me be ‘patient,’ or ‘kind.’ No, they tell us who God IS. The Love-fruits tell us who God is organically and naturally in His Love-Being. (1 John 4:8, 16) They tell us how the three Persons in One triune Godhead live and relate with each other from eternity. They reveal God’s holy emotions. They explain who He is in His Tri-Personal Being. The Love-fruits keep them One Being united in Love. And God invites humans into His Love fellowship, for we cannot live the surrendered life in His Love without the Love-fruits of the Spirit. We witness this divine/human interaction in the parable of the ocean of God’s Love.
So, we see the role and empowerment by the Spirit in the ocean of God’s Love and the fruits portrayed in it, and by which we the inhabitants exist and live as Immanuel humans (Christ in us). What is the role of Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity or Triune God. Consider, Jesus said this about the role of the Spirit, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). In other words, this ocean of God’s Love in which we have been immersed and made to swim and abide in cannot exist without Jesus prior mediation as our Savior who redeems us from sin, so the Holy Spirit can enter and give us the ocean of God’s holy Love to live, swim, and fulfill our divine purpose in life.
Recall what had cut humanity off from the Holy Spirit and the divine ocean of Love. In Eden, God gave Adam and Eve the following instruction, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Gen.2:17).
This verse gives us a vital clue to consider which many have improperly read to highlight the reverse of the rendition – the passage ought to emphasize life not death! When we accentuate God’s primordial nature as the reflection of eternity in His complete essence, we realize God has to uphold the identical likeness with our first parents and conferred upon them a form of human extrinsic immortality to reflect God’s eternal image in the Garden of Eden. God posseses intrinsic immortality in Himself, the Psalmist extols God’s everlasting nature, “From everlasting to everlasting, You are God…You are from all eternity” (Psa.90:2; 93:2). God gives immortality to whom He chooses, saying, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).
Adam’s extrinsic immortality was conditional upon what we read earlier, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Gen.2:17). So, it was impossible for God to subject them to death at creation as long as they were empowered by the Holy Spirit while living in God’s presence, imbibing of the Tree of Life “which you are free to eat from,” which God directed and our first parents fully obeyed.
It was only after they disobeyed and sinned that God uttered the fateful words, “Unto dust you shall return,” not before then. (Gen.3:19). They were created in God’s likeness and an important aspect of that likeness was immortality, and equally importantly, Love, God’s divine nature! Our first parents were free to eat from the Tree of Life, symbolizing the Holy Spirit, and that is how they related with God in Eden, by imbibing and eating of the fruits of the Tree of Life thus empowered by the Love of the Holy Spirit. (Rom.5:5; 1 Cor.13)
How long did our first parents lived in harmonious Love with their Creator before their fall? No one knows and the Bible does not specify the timing, especially since time is meaningless and irrelevant when considering immortality is timeless and perpetual. Bible commentators have said that there once existed an antediluvian (prior to Noah’s flood) civilisation before Adam’s creation which lasted for thousands of years and longer. (Gen.1:1-2; Gen.6:1-13)
Adam lived 930 years which had to be computed from the day he disobeyed God for eating the forbidden fruit, and given the death sentence discharge, “Unto dust thou shall return,” not before. Paul tell us, “The wages of sin is death.” (Gen.3:17; Gen.5:5; Rom.6:23). But because of God’s Love, it is safe and logical to assume that before Adam and Eve sinned, they lived faithfully and happily in Eden for a very long while (much longer than 930 years for Adam) empowered by God’s Love (Tree of Life). We must admit the Genesis creation account was brief and short on details.
Many believe and assert that our first parents disobeyed God and sinned immediately after their creation. If that were true, it would be tantamount to admitting the inadequacy of the spiritual energy of God’s unfathamable Love, and that the enemy is mightier. Of course, that would be impossible to even contemplate, to say the least. Nothing could be further from the truth. God tells us, “I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from Me there is no God” (Isa.45:5). He tells us, “I declare the end from the beginning, and ancient times from what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and all My good pleasure I will accomplish’” (Isa.46:10). But our first parents had freewill which they exercised reasonably responsibly, and lived joyfully and fully with God while it lasted in Eden.
But we know that with the passage of time, while in Eden, and in their moment of weakness, they obeyed the devil and sinned by eating the forbidden fruit. (Gen.3:1-6) Our first parents were banished from Eden, and notice what God did, He put a mighty angel to block all access to the “Three of Life” which symbolized the Holy Spirit. So, as humanity was banished from Eden, the pathway to the “Tree of Life” (Spirit) was barricaded and blocked off from human reach. Participation with the Spirit was lost forever for mankind due to our first parent’s sin and rebellion which all humanity inherited by birth.
It was not until, and only after the sin-condition mankind inherited from Adam’s fallen Adamic humanity was removed through the second Adam, Jesus the Mediator and Redeemer, that the Spirit was reunited with humanity again. This all important event in human history first occured as Jesus inaugurated the Holy Spirit at His baptism at the hands of John the Baptist in the Jordan River. John said, “I baptize you with water for repentance, but after me will come One more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matt.3:11).
Earlier we saw that there are two forms of immortality proposed by ancient commentators – intrinsic and extrinsic immortality. In their human form and existence in Eden, Adam and Eve possessed extrinsic immortality, until their fall which precipitated human suffering and death which overwhelmed all mankind. (Gen.3:17, 19) Only God possesess intrinsic immortality in Himself. God promises to confer intrinsic immortality to His human children who have taken on the glorious image of His Son as true Savior when Jesus returns in the Second Coming. (1 John 3:2; Rom.2:7; 2 Tim.1:10; 1 Cor.15:26)
Paul articulated on this, saying, “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give (immortal) life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you” (Rom.8:11). When human beings will have been fully born of God (intrinsic immortality) in His divine Love-nature in the resurrection, it will be immpossible for humans to sin. (1 John 3:6, 9) Paul makes it clear how when he said, “Christ in you is our hope of glory” (Col.1:27). Jesus once answered the lawyers who questioned Him, “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 (John 10:34-35). Jesus was speaking of the fulfillment of this prophesy in the resurrection when humanity will have become immortal like ‘gods.’
Subsequently, after Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River where He inaugurated the Spirit’s return to humanity, then following His suffering, death, ressurection, and ascension, the same Spirit was poured out upon all mankind on the day of Pentecost. (Matt.3:16-17; Act.2:1-4) The Spirit was poured out and it became a spiritual ocean of God’s Love wherein humanity can now exist and indwell as it was in Eden. The “Tree of Life” with its fruits we are ibibe today symbolizes God’s Word, the Bible.
The Spirit guides and directs our understanding of His Word and reveals Jesus, the Personified Word, to us on a daily basis. Jesus is the both the Word of God on its Personal and literal (scriptural/biblical) meaning. John tells us about the role of the Holy Spirit, when Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own…He will bring Me glory by telling you whatever He receives from Me. All that belongs to the Father is Mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever He receives from Me’” (John 16:13-15).
Jesus was baptized and repented for us in the Jordan and subsequently died upon His cross for our forgiveness and salvation. When He stepped out from the Jordan, the heavens opened and a dove, symbolizing the Holy Spirit, descended and shone upon Jesus, the Father’s voice from heaven gracefully said, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased and delighted!” (Mar.1:11).
The pathway to the Holy Spirit (tree of life) through Jesus’ saving mediation was once more opened to humanity. Recall, as Jesus was about to be taken away to heaven at His ascension, He told His disciples, “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.24:49). What was that promise? The promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon mankind beginning with the 120 gathered that day. (Act.1:15; 2:1, NLB) It was poured out and it filled humanity with God’s ocean of divine Love.
The Book of Acts records this momentous occasion, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues a as the Spirit enabled them” (Act.2:1-4). The Bible says, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luk.11:13). Our heavenly Father waits upon us with Loving open arms to give us His Spirit and enter His oceanic kingdom of Love in His Son.
Let’s take this analogy, this oceanic parable of God’s Love, a step further to broaden our concept of the parable of the ocean of God’s Love. Only marine life can live and survive in this oceanic environment. But there is another environment, another world, another kingdom, outside it. It is the land environment above the ocean where all kinds of animal, beasts, birds, insects, etc. you name it, and they are up there, which are not adapted or naturalized to living in oceans. All lifeforms above the ocean exists under a different atmosphere and spirit. It is opposite from the world in God’s oceanic Love. Above, all life is ruled by the atmophere of rebellion, sin, and are conditioned to do evil and live ungodly lives – opposite to living God’s way of Love. Can a dog or cat, or a sheep or horse, a monkey or gorilla, a bird, live in the ocean? No, of course not, they would suffer asphyxiation, drown and die!
Why? Because they were not created nor habituated to live and exist in a oceanic environment. They would drown and die, just as a sinner would be instantly overpowered and decimated in God’s holy presence. Hence, Jesus said unless as sinners we are reborn and remade to adapt to God’s spiritual oceanic environment, we cannot live nor survive in His holy presence. He said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John 3:3).
The Bible quotes God as saying, “You must be holy because I am holy” (1 Pet.1:16; Lev.11:44). John said this of Jesus, “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13). God is saying, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will I, your Father in heaven, give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Me!” (Luk.11:13).
And speaking to humanity today in our enduring fallen condition, Paul says, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor.6:11). That’s to say, we were once part of the fallen existence and world we inherited from Adam’s fall who exist outside of the world made of God’s Love in His oceanic Kingdom. But now we are given the gift of rebirth in Christ through the Spirit and made Immanuel humans immersed in the Ocean of the Spirit’s Love so humanity may dwell in His Loving grace and presence.
You have been made holy through Christ, just as Paul said, “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:21). Did you get what this passage has said? In and through Christ, human beings can be made holy as God is holy. Holiness is not something we do for ourselves or for God with human effort, it is a condition of existing in the Loving power of the Holy Spirit of Love through Jesus’ mediation as our High Priest before the Father in heaven. (Heb.4:14-16) Holiness is the perfect condition in God’s presence which only God can prepare and create for us. And this He has done through His Son and His Holy Spirit.
We have been given a new life to live and swim in the Ocean of God’s Kingdom in His holy presence. So, we are to come to Jesus…He is the doorway to this new life in God’s sacred Love and life of holiness in the Spirit. (John 10:9) What is Jesus’ role, and what is His part in the triune life we have been given the privilege and honor to live and experience?
Jesus’ role was and continues today as revealed by Jesus Himself when He said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture…Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John 10:9; 3:3). He continues, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit b gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:5-7). Jesus role is to redeem humananity from sin, and by that very act becomes the ever present Door who brings us to experience the rebirth by the Spirit’s power which gives us new life to enter and live in the ocean of God’s holy presence and Love .
And we know how this glorious new birth happens in human life. It takes shape when a person confesses and receives Jesus as Savior, who is the Door that gives passage for the Spirit to enter human life through baptism. (Act.2:37-38; John 16:7; Gal.3:27) As stated earlier, baptism is the symbol and ritual signifying a rebirth through faith and hope in the salvation offered by God our Father through Jesus as Savior, Redeemer and eternal Mediator. We recall John’s immortal verse, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
The initial transition of rebirth occurs at baptism, as Paul said, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Gal.3:27). How do we put on Christ? When we were baptized, we were immersed into God’s ocean of Love through the power of God’s Spirit. Only after a person is saved by receiving Jesus and God’s Spirit can they be given to enter this oceanic kingdom of God.
Notice how Jesus identifies the process of this miraculous rebirth, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:6). Jesus, at His baptism of repentance and forgiveness for mankind at the Jordan, received the Spirit from the Father. (Matt.3:16-17) His baptism had set the model and stage as to how humanity receives the Spirit as a gift from the Father at every corresponding act of baptism.
Note what the passage says at baptism, human beings are made offspring of God: hence, the Father’s words to Jesus, “This is my Son, whom I Love”, now becomes, “You are my children whom I Love” to all humans who receive His Son (Matt.3:17). Having received Jesus as personal Savior and Mediator, believers undergo the spiritual baptismal rebirth into divine familial fellowship with the God as depicted in the life within the spiritual ocean of God’s Triune Love.
Paul explained this beautiful truth, “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh (you are not part of the fallen realm up there influenced by Satan) but are in the realm of the Spirit (Love-oceanic condition), if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (Rom.8:9).
Jesus explained the Holy Spirit’s role so we are clear in our understanding. He said, “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).
The Spirit plays His role in the background and does not take center stage, for His sole purpose is to glorify Jesus, for Christ said, “He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears” as existing as one in the Tri-Personal Godhead, but indivisible from the Son and the Father, the Spirit does not magnify Himself to us, His role is to magnify Jesus Christ to us. His role is to make Jesus real to us at every turn through His enabling oceanic Loving power. So, we see here the Triune God working in our lives: the role of the Spirit is to magnify Jesus and make Him known; and in turn Jesus’ role is to reveal and magnify the Father to us. (John 14:11) And this is the Triune activity that is always happening in human life we live in this ocean of God’s Love.
Remember the Scripture when Philip asked Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you I do not speak on My own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.” (John 14:8-11).
The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are three, existing in the singularity of the Triune Godhead in one co-indwelling and interpenetrating relationship. So, we see Jesus role of declaring and magnifying the Father of mankind to all humanity. Jesus came and revealed and make known the Father and the Spirit to humanity, which until then remain ‘hidden’ to human understanding. (Col.1:26; Rom.16:25; Eph.3:9; Col.2:2; 2 Cor.13:14)
The book of Hebrews informs us when God chose to let us in on the secret mystery of the ages, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His Being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven” (Heb.1:1-4). Yes, the passage is clear about Jesus’ role of revealing the Father, and thereby the triune Godhead, to humanity.
The Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy for calling God His Father, and crucified Him for it. (Mar.14:61-64) The Jews never belived a word Jesus uttered, much less Jesus’ claim as Messiah. (Mar.14:61-62) It is totally farfetched to claim the Jews killed Jesus as Redeemer, no, they accused and killled Him for the false trumped-up charge of blashemy for claiming to be the Messiah God’s own Son.
Through trumped-up charges the Jews condemned Jesus to death without realizing their treacherous act actually heralded mankind’s ultimate redemption, inasmuch as He had truthfully testified of His Father’s Love for humanity through Him as the Messiah. (Matt.26:63-64; Mar.14:61-62) In testifying of God’s Love, Jesus magnified the Father. As believers we magnify Jesus as the Spirit empowers us through His Love. In magnifying Jesus we magnify the Father. (John 14:8-10)
Why is this Triune life – life in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – so important? Because we can only live the surrendered life to and in the Love of God through Christ in the enabling power of the Spirit. Jesus is the only human who has lived the Love-enabling surrendered life perfectly. We can live the same Love-enabling surrendered life because He has already done it for us, not because we can do it on our own human power, no.
Remember this jewel of truth about the Loving act of God our Father: He imputes His Son’s perfect and holy life upon us which no human power can do. When God freely assigns, attributes, and imputes Christ’s life upon us, only then we ‘re given to live the Love-enabling surrendered life in His oceanic environment. (2 Cor.5:21) That is how we are made to live holy lives just as God is holy. (1 Pet.1:16) It is a life lived by and through the living faith of Jesus supplied in the Spirit’s power. As Paul told the Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who Loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20, KJV).
In true trinitarian mode the Father’s role is to provide overall care through His Loving Judgements for all His human children. His most immediate and all-important judgement was to give His Son and His Spirit as His ultimate gifts to enable humanity to live the gift of the surrendered life we are made to live through the oceanic environment of God’s Love. We pray daily to the Father in the model prayer Jesus taught us to pray in the “Our Father” prayer. So, here again we see Jesus magnifying the Father to us by teaching to pray to the Father in this prayer model.
In the prayer we call upon the Father to daily sanction His Loving judgements in every aspect of our lives we live upon this earth, providing sustenance both spiritual and material, His mercy and forgiveness through His compassionate heart, and daily protection and security from trials and tests and from the evil one. All our gratitude must end with praise for the Father’s overall Loving care, as the model prayer conclude.
So, as we see this life we live in this REALITY of the oceanic Love of God, the surrendered life come as organic progression of living the “Triune Life” through the power and energy of the Tri-Personal Being of God as each play their respective role in our lives. This is the awesome truth about living the Godly triune life.
Jesus gave an interesting parable to depict the “Triune Life” wherewith we exist daily in their presence. And the parable of the ocean of God’s Love we just saw is a replica of His parable of the Gardener and the Vine and Branches in John 15 Jesus taught the disciples. He said, “I am the true Grapevine, and my Father is the Gardener. He cuts off every branch of Mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the Vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me.”
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in Me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are My true disciples. This brings great glory to My Father” (John 15:1-8).
Now, just to be clear, what can be compared to the ‘ocean’ which we read in Jesus’ parable of the Vine and Branches? This was not clearly narrated in His parable. The answer is the ‘ocean’ in my parable is the ‘sap’ flowing in the Vine and Branches in Jesus’ parable. We see the ‘sap’s’ power by the fruits produced in the Branches. The ‘sap’ is the Spirit’s enabling Love and power (much like the ‘ocean’) flowing in the Vine (Jesus) and Branches (humanity) and provides the spiritual nutrients that bring out fruits in abundance, and seen and eaten by all that come to you, now the ‘tree of life’ – that is, Jesus in you, and the Branch (you) in the Vine (Jesus).
The reason this aspect of the ‘sap’ was not narrated or articulated in Jesus’ parable, even though the fruit-bearing potential was powerfully apparent, it would seem because the Spirit’s role is not to magnify Himself, but to promote and amplify Jesus (Vine) to and in humanity (Branches) because of His role of Savior and Redeemer of mankind to bring the Spirit’s power to bear upon mankind. (Isa.43:11; 44:6) Jesus is our High Priest in heaven who mediates for humanity today. (Heb.4:14) The coming King of kings and Lord of lords. (Rev.19:16) Jesus’ parable shows us the role of the Father and the Son upon the Branches (humanity) and the fruits produced in the Branches. The Spirit is functioning resolutely behind the scenes, but nonetheless exercising a powerful role of providing the all-important sap (ocean) which produces the fruits which are seen and admired by all in the Branches (humanity) throughout the seven seas (earth).
A final word on the new life in the oceanic Love-Kingdom of God. In this new spiritual life we have been given the form of extrinsic immortality in Christ with which to exist in God’s ocean of Love, as our first parents did in Eden. Humanity has come full circle, from the Garden of God’s Love in Eden to the Oceanic Kingdom of God’s Love. Through our human extrinsic immortality in Christ we are given to have eternal relationship with the triune God who ordinarily lives forever in intrinsic immortality. Only through this enabling divine fellowship we are given to draw on God’s spiritual resources for our own spiritual well-being and purpose within His oceanic world, and ultimately for eternity in His eternal Kingdom. Humanly speaking, it’s the only way of connection between the divine domain of God and the human domain of man. However, we cannot escape our fallen Adamic humanity inherited from Adam’s sin that Paul calls this “body of death” (Rom.7:24).
Paul states that this “body of sin and death” has been crucified to the cross with Christ once for all at repentance and conversion; and buried in the underwater grave of baptism in the Spirit’s power. (Gal.2:20) Paul reminds us, “Have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined Him in His death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives” (Rom.6:3-4). Yes, we were raised with Christ, but only now in the form of extrinsic immortality in bodily form in God’s aquatic Love-Kingdom, awaiting our complete change in the resurrection at Jesus’ return.
We still exist in our primordial human body from Adam’s creation encoded with the unique genome and DNA which identifies humanity in the original image fashioned in God’s likeness before our parent’s fall. (Gen.1:26-27). This primordial human shell, now existing in extrinsic immortality in Christ remains as Paul affirms, “Christ in you the hope of glory,” ultimately will be conferred intrinsic immortality just as Jesus was at His own bodily resurrection, only more supreme manifestation at a yet future appointed time at Jesus’ Second Coming. (1 John 3:2; Rom.2:7; 2 Tim.1:10; 1 Cor.15:26) Paul makes this attainment of human intrinsic immortality plain, when he said, “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you” (Rom.8:11).
So, from both parables we see the context within which the Triune Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, function within the life of saved humanity within His oceanic kingdom. I hope this makes clear what Jesus’ commission was meant to convey when at first He was born humble upon earth the Immanuel (“God with us”), and at last before He departed the earth by ascending back to His Father in glory. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt.28:19).
Petition: Dear 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 to heart, and faith to faith, 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 any division 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 believe and 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”* Be strong in the Lord’s Temple where fullness of joy abounds.
Farewell for now!
*Triune Life”: Relationship with God has no meaning without Love. By its very nature, Love cannot endure in solitary existence. So, when God said “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…” He was revealing Himself as existing in His trinitarian Being and plural existence. That is, His Tri-Personal Being as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Gen.1:26; Matt.28:19; John 14:10, 16; 16:7) The Hebrew word for ‘God’ in the creation account is “Elohim.” It describes God as a Trinity – the Tri-Personal Godhead, which other scriptures attests. (Matt.28:18-20; 1 Pet.1:2; 2 Thess.2:13; 2 Cor.13:14) So, God is Trinitarian in His Love nature. Love by its nature unveils a God who is relational and multifaceted in His Tri-Personal Being. Hence, a human being was created a relational Love-being.
Adam was solitary and incomplete until God made Eve. He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone (solitary). I will make a helper suitable for him” (Gen.2:18, italics mine). So, God gave Adam a family composed of a father, mother, and offspring, to reflect Himself in His plural Love-Being. (1 John 4:16) The Bible states that the Church’s or humanity’s destiny is to marry Christ, the second Person of the Triune Godhead, in the new age to come which will be an everlasting relationship. (2 Cor.11:2; Eph.5:23-27, 32; Rev.19:7) The Bible is abundantly clear about God’s nature and declaration of Himself in His relational Triune Being from the past, the present, and the future. God has never lived as a solitary Being, but a Tri-Personal Love-Being with His Son, Jesus, and His Spirit. (Mat..28:18-20)
It’s noteworthy to understand that Eve was not created an individual creation from the dust of the earth as was Adam. She was not created apart from Adam as an individualized separate human being, instead, she was taken out from Adam’s side to show she was biologically one and indivisibly part of Adam. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost being and humanity. When Adam saw Eve, he said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Gen.2:21-23).
Each one of us was created as an indivisible relational human being incubated and given birth from Adam’s mold as one species, for God created humanity to reflect the eternal likeness in His singular triunity. We are born for relationships with the divine triune Love as our guiding principle. All this show that humans were created to be indivisibly one to reflect God’s Tri-Personal image of Oneness, not solitary separateness. When God sent Jesus His eternal Son, He became human in order to unify humanity spiritually to the Triune Being of God once for all time. Hence, when the prophet Isaiah proclaimed Jesus’ coming, He was given the prophetic name, Immanuel. (Isa.7:14) The name means “God with us” (Matt.1:23). Humanity is ‘organically’ one with the Triune God, just as all of humanity is inseparably one with Adam.
Most religions believe God as some solitary being. The true God is not solitary by any means, He is the Trinity in His Tri-Personal Being. God consist of three Persons in One divine triune Godhead. They exist in One “homoousion” meaning consisting in one substance, or “consubstantiality.” The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in One hypostatic union, One substance, like Eve was biologically part of and never physically separate, but of one substance from and in Adam. Likewise, humanity is made of one spiritual substance with the triune God through Jesus Christ who took our humanity upon Himself and joined it to the divine triune existence forever. Jesus was given the prophetic name Immanuel which means “God with us”, or God with humanity. (Matt.1:23; Isa.7:14) As the prophecy foretold and fulfilled, God assimillated Himself with mankind through Mary who bore His Son, Jesus Christ. (Matt.1:20; 18-25; 2:1-2)
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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