Greetings Friends! What is the most consequential and indispensable experience a human being can encounter? An experience which unmistakably generates a powerful, evocative, and determinative outcome for the profound and unequalled good towards the person affected by such an experience? The answer? Experiencing the New Creation. I do I mean?
Many believe that creation as we know it, (if we are to take the creation account of the Bible as reference) started and ended in the creation account outlined and recorded in the Book of Genesis. However, that may not be entirely true, since the Scripture tells us that God’s creation has not stopped since the creation of Adam and the earth and the whole universe. Rather, since God is the fountain of life, creation is an ongoing act of the Creator and continues to this day. You can say His occupation is to create. How wonderful to know that. It is wonderful to know that the crowning pinnacle of God’s physical creation is the human creature as outlined in the Genesis creation account. Humans were made in God’s likeness, endowed with freedom and responsibility. As such humans were allowed to enter into a relationship to conform to the divine will through the divine Love nature.
The episode of the human journey in Eden started well with Adam and Eve until the fall. (Gen.3:1-6) The disastrous act of disobedience brought the death sentence, not just for Adam, but all his descendants, the whole of mankind. Through Adam the human race died and cease to exist before God. Scripture tells us plainly, “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom.6:23a). However, God is the God of the living, not the dead. Eden was a place that was entirely wrapped up in life because of God’s presence in it. Also, true life for God is not physical but spiritual. When Adam was created to carry God’s likeness, the Creator’s plan was that he and humans would be divinized in His spiritual image. Hence, we read in the second part the verse from Romans, Paul was inspired to say, “…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23b). So, here we read the divinization of humanity, God’s true likeness. But divinization or immortalization of humanity is not possible where death has reigned in humanity from Adam’s fall. And Paul said, “Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam” (Rom.5:14).
Scripture tells us about this curse of death and what it does to God, “For there is no mention of You (God) in death; who can praise You from the grave” (Psa.6:5). A fallen human being cloaked in sin from Adam’s disobedience, is as good as dead and not part of the living before God. Again we read, “Do You (God) work wonders for the dead? Do the departed rise up to praise You?” (Psa.88:10). Obviously, there’s a stark day and night contrast in the context of the dead and the living. The prophet Isaiah seals this obvious fate which humanity faces, “For the dead cannot praise You; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in Your faithfulness” (Isa.38:18).
By speaking of the grave and death, it actually refers to a person’s spiritual demise, not physical. The physical body is the vessel which houses the true spiritual person who is accountable to freely and personally assume and embrace God’s very image and likeness. (Gen.1:27-28) Human beings live a life of freedom and responsibility before the Creator. We see what prompted God to plan to create a new spiritual humanity through a second Adam, one that is alive not dead, full of life and capable of Loving. Who is the Second Adam? He is none other than the Son of God, Jesus the Christ.
So, what has come of God’s purpose for humanity? Through the prophet Isaiah, God is quoted as saying this, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please’” (Isa.46:10). So, God’s primary purpose for creating humans in His likeness must go on for God’s purpose cannot be thwarted as we read from Scripture. (Gen.1:26-27) Because the Creator is the God of the living, His creation cannot end with Adam and his fateful decision of rebellion and mankind’s ensuing demise. So, God as the fountain of life finds a way for a fresh start. What is that way? God as Creator has to perform the second act of the creation of mankind, and to commit back on course His purpose of creating humanity in His image, which essentially is to impart life, and ultimately immortal life as God’s supreme gift. (John 3:16)
He planned to create the Second Adam through the gifting of His Son who would personify the Second Adam. For who will reverse the effects of what the first Adam had done by bringing death to humanity as a whole. This second act of creation saw God assigning His own Son to personify the Second Adam by being born a human being through Mary His human mother. An angel had spoken to Joseph, Jesus’ earthly foster father, and explained that Jesus would be conceived through Mary by the Spirit’s power. It was God’s doing, listen, “But as he (Joseph) considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt.1:20-21). So, Jesus’ true Father was God the Father.
We read this beautiful prophecy from the prophet Isaiah, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel” (Isa.7:14). And this speaks of the Incarnation of Jesus in the second act of creation of human beings. The Incarnation is the coming of the second Person of the Godhead, the Son of God, to earth to assume His humanity as Jesus Christ. He is the Second ‘Immanuel’ (“God with us”) Adam. (Matt.1:23) Thus, God as our Creator and Father initiates a new beginning by creating the new humanity through the Incarnation of His Son. Thus, Jesus retained His full deity and became the perfect human, and worthy of being mankind’s Savior, Redeemer, and High Priest in heaven.
This Incarnation process does not stop with Jesus, for the new species of human beings was the Father’s plan of rescuing humanity from death and recreate the new humanity through Jesus His Son. How does this awe-inspiring event of experiencing this second creation take place in humanity? This miraculous event happens whenever a person comes to Christ and believes and receives Him as personal Savior. A new creation comes into existence every time a human being receives Jesus as Redeemer of life. A person undergoes a miracle from God in a brand new creation and the person is created all over again in Christ. Jesus is now the person’s new life, we have been recreated in Him.
Paul said, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!” (2 Cor.5:17). Human beings still have self awareness, so still maintain their individuality as a human personality with unique gifts, but clothed and fashioned in Christ’s likeness, in the light of His life. Paul said of humanity, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (‘it’ as referring figuratively to the ‘church’ or saved humanity as a whole). (1 Cor.12:27).
Imagine how Adam was created in an instant from the dust of the earth as the Genesis creation account lays out. In like manner, God newly creates humans instantly by being formed not from dust but from the Spirit. Paul said it this way, “The first man Adam became a living (human) being;” the last Adam (Jesus) a life-giving spirit” (1 Cor.15:45, Italics mine). In Christ a person becomes a true newly created spiritual human in Christ. In the Gospel of John, the Scripture refers to this creative activity of God through the term, “born again of the Spirit” (John 3:6). The person is no longer dead, but living and alive in the Spirit’s power and work.
Our physical body from the first Adam that is fallen in spirit and will end in the grave due to sin, and there’s the newly created human formed from the Spirit of Christ who lives forever. Let’s read what Paul said, “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, 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. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 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.8:9-11).
Many have the mistaken perception that our physical body is the ‘person.’ It is not. The physical body is the vessel, the receptacle, the vehicle, which houses the newly created person formed from God’s Spirit as we read earlier from Paul. (1 Cor.15:45)
What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the triune Godhead? (Matt.28:18-19) The role of the Holy Spirit is to reveal and make Christ real and tangible in the newly created human being who has given his/her life to Jesus. Jesus explained the Spirit’s role as follows, “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).
It is vital to correctly understand the role of the Holy Spirit. His sole purpose in the newly created human being is to “glorify Jesus,” that is to reveal and make known all that Christ is and can become to the believer, that is all. Paul affirms this truth by saying, “For those (human beings) God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom.8:29). The Spirit will not promote Himself (John 16:13), rather His role is to ensure Jesus is glorified and worshipped in the newly created human so that one’s personhood is founded in Christ alone. At times we personally but erroneously assign roles for the Spirit in our lives and ends in disappointing outcomes. This is due to our misunderstanding of the Spirit’s role. The passage shows that His only and sole purpose is to receive revelation from Jesus and the Father and make them known to humanity (John 16:15).
This second and new act of creation is symbolized through the ritual of baptism where after being nailed with Jesus upon His cross (Gal.2:20), the believer’s dead past is buried in the watery grave of baptism. Then upon rising from the watery grave of baptism, as pictured by Jesus own resurrection, we rise as a newly created species of humanity having our existence in Christ in the Spirit’s power. Paul said this, “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. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was” (Rom.6:4-5).
Recall, immediately after Jesus’ baptism, the heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit descended and shone upon Jesus. (Matt.3:13, 16-17). Note V.17, “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” This is the voice of the Father from heaven to Jesus, and by extension to every new human creation arising from a person’s faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection as depicted in the ritual of baptism.
Paul told the Galatians what ought to be our experience as Jesus’ followers, “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 faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal.2:20; 1Pet.2:24).
This is a new creation altogether. In Christ a human being enters into a creative process of the new humanity made in Christ’s image. Just as God miraculously formed the first Adam from the dust of the earth, God creates the new human in Christ into Christ’s very image. We read inspiring passage from Paul, “For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom.8:29). Just as the Son took humanity’s sinful nature upon Himself in order to destroy sin, so humans take on the Son’s new and perfect humanity to form the newly created human species. We can call the new human, the “Immanuel humanity.” Jesus’ messianic name was “Immanuel” which means “God with us” (Matt.1:23; Isa.7:14). So, Christ’s new humanity can be called the “Immanuel (‘God with us’) humanity.”
Hence, if you were to answer the question posed to us at the beginning of this post about the most consequential and indispensable experience a human being can encounter, what would be your answer? I hope you will answer with me that it is experiencing the second new creation of God which He is performing through His Son, Jesus, the Second Adam.
Listen to the revelation of our Savior’s position in God’s order of creation. Before Jesus’ ascended back to His Father in heaven, He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me” (Matt.28:18). Are you wrestling with authority in whatever form in your life? In Paul’s final words of thanksgiving and prayer to the Ephesians, Paul said this about Jesus and the awesome future which awaits those of the new humanity created in Him:
“For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church (new ‘Immanuel’ humanity), which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way” (Eph.1:15-23).
Paul’s admonishment is that we “may know Him (Jesus) better…His authority, power, and dominion, and to know the hope of our calling and the glorious inheritance” that awaits us.
From the above passage we can surmise that there is so much to know and get to know about Jesus and the meaning of life in the new humanity in Christ’s image that God is creating in us. (Rom.8:29). So, let us not take Jesus’ position in God’s order of the universe and all power for granted. But meditate on Paul’s prayer and get to know our elder Brother and our High Priest Jesus better and better every day.
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 is our hope and 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 Immanuel 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 the holy God, the Creator’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 listed in our archives 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 joy.
Farewell for now,
Appendix: *The “Love-Fruits of the Holy Spirit:” *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 attributes may seem ordinary and mundane, but when empowered and propelled in the Spirit’s power, they are transformed into divine elements of transformation.
**”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 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 in His plurality, as the 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. He is also clothed in Freedom. For the three Persons of the Trinity are three distinct and free Persons in the triune Godhead. Love and Freedom by nature is relational as God is in His Tri-Personal Being. Hence, a human being was created a relational being possessing freedom.
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 to raise composed of a father, mother, and offspring, to reflect Himself in His plural Being. 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 divine 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 Being.
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, like God is in His Triunity. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost 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) God created humanity to reflect Himself in His unified Tri-Personal Being (Trinity).
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 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 (Trinity), 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 through Christ 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 through Christ, just as humanity is one with Adam.
Most religions believe God as some solitary being. The true God is not solitary by any means, He is the one Triunity in His Tri-Personal Being. God consist of three Persons in One divine triune Godhead. (Matt.28:18-20) 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 Adam, for she came out of 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.
The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.
**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.
Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
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