MAN IS A “TRIUNE” BEING, BY KIANG P LEE

 

Greetings Friends! What do I mean by “man is a “triune” being?” It means that man as a whole person is composed of three elementary substances in his makeup. First, he is physical and material (that ought to be obvious to all). Second, man has a spiritual component which gives his brain mind-power; and thirdly, man is destined for immortality, and therefore forever united to his Creator and Sustainer, who is the Author and Finisher of his eternal destiny. Man is also a triune being because he draws his existence from the God who is Trinitarian by nature: God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

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Man, Standing in the Shadow of God His Creator (Pic: Wiki Commons)

These three basic makeup are revealed in the Bible. Let us begin with the third element as this is the Creator’s chief purpose for creating man: ‘man is destined for immortality and forever unified to his Creator.’ Humans are made in God’s immortal image and therefore has the potential for immortality as his birthright. Thereby, man holds a unique place in creation and the created order. In the book of Genesis, the Bible states, “When God created mankind, He made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And He named them “Mankind” when they were created” (Gen.5:1-2; also Gen.1:26-27). Hence, man’s entire destiny is forever tied to who God is in His immortal Being. Also, besides being immortal God’s image and likeness reveal who He IS. God, in His divine Being, is Trinitarian, meaning, He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

God is not solitary as other religions espouse about their deities, God is three Persons in One Triune Godhead. (Matt.28:18-20) He is One but He is not solitary, He is Trinitarian. If God is Triune, then it follows that God is Love, for Love cannot exists in a solitary form of existence. (1 John 4:8, 16; John 3:16) Love can only thrive in communion where there is more than one person. All of creation has the Creator’s underlying interconnected Triune Being – there is no other way God can create.

Therefore, nothing exists on its own (solitary), but mutually dependent and interconnected to reflect God who is identical in His Triune Being. Science has discovered how the universe works through Einstein’s theory of relativity, or in other words, we are part of one ginormous interconnected universe. Love is not defined by our human narrative of it, but by a wholly divine meaning, for Love is the means by which our interdependent world exists, beginning with man who is made in God’s Triune image and likeness.

Consequently, the Bible speaks repeatedly about man’s responsibility to behave relationally in God’s Triune image and likewise show Love (integration and fellowship) with his fellow human. One such passage says, “owe nothing to anyone except the debt to Love one another” (Rom.13:8, NLT). So, man’s destiny on this earth and beyond is forever tied to God’s divine Triune Personage of Love. God’s image is Love and He is immortal. He is not made of Love, He IS Love from eternity to eternity. (1 John 4:8, 16)     

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Man, Made in God’s Interconnected Triune Image (Reblev’s Icon of Trinity, Wiki Commons)

On the first element of man’s makeup of material existence, the Bibles says, “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being… You will return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Gen.2:7; 3:19b). Though man has this temporary physical existence, he has this potential to become an immortal being, for therein lies his destiny. He is forever tied to the immortal image of His Creator. The Bible states, “For God Loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). So, in man’s physical existence man was headed to return to the dust from which he was taken because of sin, but by sacrificing His Son as the payment for human sins, God has secured man’s future of immortality with Him (third element).

On the second substance of man’s makeup, ‘man has a spiritual component which gives his brain mind-power,’ the Bible says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7a). In other words, though man’s physical makeup differentiates him from all other species of creation on earth, that is not what really sets him apart. What sets man apart is the freedom with which man uses his mind to think thoughts and thought-forms independently from one another, and how he wants to live his/her life. In other words, you are what you think!

You are set apart by your thinking not your physical appearance. It is your mind which decides who you are by the actions you take in life. The Bible tells us that we renew ourselves through our thought-processes, “Be you transformed by the renewing of your mind (your thoughts)” (Rom. 12:2).

Animals and other created species don’t think, they have preset instincts, but humans do because they are made in God’s image. To have mind power is the potential of humans replicated after the God-kind. When we see the great advances of human ingenuity in history and particularly in recent history, it’s truly mind-boggling to ponder and reflect upon. In areas of sciences, the arts, astronomy, technology, engineering, medicine, design and creativity, artificial intelligence, aeronautics and space exploration, etc, etc. All these and more reveal primarily the genius-mind of the Creator God after whom the human mind was fashioned.

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Man, Made to Reflect God with Human Mind (Pic: Wiki Commons)

So we know man got his ‘creative juices’ from the Creator God, but how does He channel it to man to do feats of such marvelous wonder? The Bible says that God “discerns thoughts from afar” (Psa.139:2). The Bible says further that “He knows the secrets of every heart” (Psa.44:21, NLB). How is it possible for God to know our thoughts? The Bible reveals God as omniscient (all-knowing/all-seeing), saying, “How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is infinite (beyond comprehension!)” (Psa.147:5).

Jesus walked this earth as God and man (Immanuel – God with us). The Bible shows He was able to read people’s thoughts, like, “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them…” (Matt.12:25). Another passage says, “But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man…(Luk.6:8) John declares, “He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man” (John 2:25, NASB). While Jesus walked this earth as Immanuel He voluntarily suspended the use of certain divine prerogatives, but obviously these passages and others show He utilized His all-knowing powers.

Teacher of homiletics at the Dallas Regional Seminary, Reg Grant, said, “God has breathed into humans the breath of life, and in that breath we have absorbed the image of God in the immaterial essence of soul, spirit, mind, heart, and conscience, each contributing to the development of intellect, emotion, and will. Among all the animals that inhabit the planet, we humans possess the unique ability to think God’s thoughts.” (The Holy Spirit and Arts: www.bible.org) From the Trinitarian perspective Jesus is the Word (Logos) who speaks, and the Spirit is the Artist who produces, which the Genesis account of creation makes clear. Grant goes on, “The degree to which we yield to His appeal is the degree to which we will enjoy blessing and reward. Conversely, the degree to which we resist His appeal to conscience is the degree to which, among all creation, we will suffer loss and shame.”

What Grant says supports the biblical narrative about the human mind, “The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the innermost parts of his being” (Prov.20:27). Man was made and exists in God’s image, therefore, He has created the fund of knowledge to which man must live and appeal to His plans for humanity. Man’s spirit when united with God’s Spirit makes the human mind possible.

The Spirit lies ‘dormant’ giving man the prowess and genius of the human mind, waiting until as such time as a person becomes a believer by receiving Jesus, at which juncture the Spirit becomes ‘active’ in His primary role of sanctifying man, thus, making the third element of immortality possible. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25). Now, the Spirit lives in the man (believer) as a temple where God comes to reside and take up residence, making the “triune life” of God livable, and will resurrect man to immortality at God’s appointed time. (1 Cor.3:16; 6:19; Rom.15:16; 2 Thess.2:13; John 15:1-17; 1 Cor.15) Paul 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).

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Man’s Destiny – Human Made Immortal Like Jesus (Pic: Wiki Commons)

These are the three elements which unites man to God so he can exist in His Triune likeness. And throughout man’s life, he will have the sure hands of the Father, Son, and Spirit at his side to bring him to his purpose and destiny as a person made in God’s very likeness.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write to me in the space below, or email me at bulamanriver@gmail.com.

Blessings, 

Until we meet again in my next post, may the of God who ceaselessly expresses Himself through His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit who sanctifies enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life.” 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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