VIRTUE AND VICE, “NEW MAN” AND “OLD MAN” BY KIANG P LEE

“In Him was Life; and The Life was The Light of Men” (John 1:4).

Greeting Friends! You are precious in the sight of our God – the Father of all mankind. He wants you to understand that He made you and all mankind in His Triune image so you can enjoy being in His presence. That is the Gospel in its simplest form.

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Return of the Prodigal Son Depicting God’s Unquestionable Love for His Once-Lost Children (Wiki Commons)

There’s a word in Christian circle which has become so loaded and negative in its nuance it has brought a negative light on the work of the Holy Spirit: obedience. “Obedience” has become a loaded word because it is presented to people in its religious undertone, and legalistic frame of reference. Our call to live the unified Triune life of God in Christ, is not a religion to be “obeyed,” but a relationship to be experienced founded upon LOVE. Whenever God tells man in the Bible, “If you will obey Me…” (2 Kings 3:14) He is really saying, “If you will LOVE Me…” God does not enforce “obedience” upon anyone. Where His LOVE exists, there is freedom, not “obedience by domination. The prophet Isaiah qualifies man’s “obedience” by saying, “If you are willing and obedient…” (Isa. 1:19, emphasis added) “Obedience” that comes with a willing heart is not “obedience” but pleasure given out of freedom and LOVE.

Throughout the Bible there’s a constant contrast made between virtue and vice to underscore man’s fallen nature and his redeemed nature. After man’s fall, life became accentuated by the paradigm of right and wrong stemming from the “fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” Adam and Eve ate by Satan’s deception. God declared that even nature would compel man to choose between good and evil. (Gen.3:16-19). Before this, Adam lived in total Loving harmony with God, where only good, joy, and beauty was the experience of life. God continues to exist in total goodness in His holy Tri-Personal Being. But it was different with man, his thoughts on life have become so twisted that the prophet said, “Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet” (Isa.5:20). Human morality became based foundationally on the Ten Commandments. (Exo. 20; Deut. 5). But God’s life is based upon the Holy Spirit’s (Love) work in the believer. Paul said, “These two forces (virtue and vice) are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses” (Gal.5:17-18, NLT). So, in his moral dilemma, man’s life turned into a legalistic contrast between generosity and avarice, humility and pride, patience and wrath, diligence and laziness, etc. This darkness is what has plagued humanity since the fall of Adam.

The whole world groped in the darkness Satan has incarcerated humans, and because of it man have come “to love darkness instead of the light” (John 3:19). Even the goodness of men was esteemed by God this way, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isa.64:6).

The Cross, Symbol of “God So Loved the World He Gave His Only Son that Whosoever Believes In Him Will Not Perish but Have Everlasting Life” (John 3:16) (Wiki Commons)

When Christ appeared, John records, “The people living in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, light has shined” (Matt.4:16). Where Adam brought darkness, Jesus, the second Adam, brought light. Hence we read Jesus saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Paul said, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor.15:22; also 1 Cor.15:45). John explains, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Light  is possessed by nothing but good, that’s where God resides in total holiness. Light is the depiction of God’s Love for man. There is no good and evil in Jesus’ light, there’s only good.

How does this light enter the life of humans so he no longer live in darkness? Jesus explains, “Anyone who believes in Me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (When He said “living water,” He was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in Him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into His glory.) (John 7:37-38, NLT). The Spirit’s presence in man is shown metaphorically as a river flowing that washes man clean so the light of Jesus may shine through life. Paul explains this, “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” (Eph.1:13b; also Rom.5:5). 

God reveals how He will make this reality of Jesus’ light happen, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people” (2 Cor.6:16; Lev.26:12). That is how God lived with Adam and Eve before they were evicted from Eden and His presence. Paul tells us, “Christ is our righteousness… God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor.5:21; 1 Cor. 1:30; Rom.4:6, 22-25; Phil. 3:9; Ps. 32:2). Again, what this says is God will Himself guide and walk us to the reality we have in Jesus the light. And how does He do it, through the gift of the Holy Spirit who is the Personification of God’s Love in man. The Bibles reveals “We are the temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:16a). That is how light comes into the human experience. Paul says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” (1 Cor.6:19, NLT; also, 1 Cor.3:16). The Spirit is the light of Jesus in your life, for Jesus said, “He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you” (John 16:14). 

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Dove, Symbol of Holy Spirit and Deposit of God’s Love in Man (Rom.5:5) (Wiki Commons)

From the above we see man existing in darkness and sin from Adam’s fall, but through Jesus God confers the Holy Spirit who is the light of God in the life of man. From darkness to light; from death to life. So, we see how the three-fold activity of the Tri-Personal Being of God living and Loving the believer. Yes, it must take the fullness of the Spirit indwelling man to make it happen. The Spirit’s work is to sanctify man so God can embrace him in Love. To live this life is what I call the “Triune Life.” In it man lives in the presence of the Father, Son, and Spirit, and finds his calling and destiny. Man has returned to his roots where he lives in complete joy in the Triune Life of God as in Eden.  It was never about “obedience,” but Love. When we Love God we live to please (if it may be called “obey”) Him. 

I hope I have encouraged you about God’s inerrant Love for you today! Go, live in His Love!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com. Thank you for visting!

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.

Kiang,  

Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my book.

All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.

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