“No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him” (Matt.11:27)
Greetings again friends. As we approach the time of commemorating the death of Jesus as the Savior of mankind, I would like to share in the one-ness of God and that in the death of the Son the Father and the Spirit were united with Him in saving us and bringing us into His Triune fellowship and Love.
The Last Supper Before He was Taken and Crucified (By Carl Heinrich Bloch – Commons.Wikimedia.org)
Understanding the Trinity is not normal to the human mind simply by virtue of the fact that man exists in a fallen state of being. Man, in all respects, in his total outlook, his belief and conviction, his attitude and perspective, his inner sentiments and ideas, are entirely founded and deep-seated in his “solitary” worldview based upon fear. Yet, the Trinitarian worldview of God based upon Love stands in diametric contrast from it. They both march to a different drum beat. It is for this very reason that man’s mind and God’s mind operates at opposing rhythm that we cannot see let alone explain how God exists in three Persons in one divine Being. That is the primary reason why it is very difficult for the fallen human mind to come to terms with explanation of God existing in three Persons in one divine Being. They are symbiotically One – the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one. Expressing His Tri-Personal Being and nature to “solitary” man, God says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9). The gulf in knowledge inequity between the mortal and divine is so wide in its breadth and scope that man will never be able to fathom the depth and mysteries of God in His infinite Being.
Just as it is totally natural for fallen humans to think and do things in the “solitary” mode of fear (“solitary life”), so God has existed from eternity in His One Triune mode of living and expressing Himself in three divine Persons. So, there are two philosophies of life standing face-to-face opposing each other. One is the “solitary life” founded upon fear under Satan’s influence, while the other is the “Triune Life”* based upon the divine nature with God’s Love central to His core of existence. One defines the “true self” after God’s Love-likeness, while the other defines the “false self” after the enemy.
That being said, since man was created in God’s image he will never lose his spiritual kinship to his Maker. God’s likeness is what inherently defines the ‘handle’ for human existence at the primordial level. Even the devil cannot undo that. He can only blind man by deception to who man is truly. So, the answer to man’s dilemma is explained by Paul when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live” (Gal.2:20a). In other words, the “false self” which gives legs to the “solitary life” has to die like Christ died for man. And in his place the “true self” is resurrected to take his rightful place in human life. Jesus said it this way, “You must be born again” (John 3:7,5). The prophet Jeremiah tell us this “false self” is “beyond cure.” (Jer.17:9)
Do we see the Trinitarian template that is integrally and symbiotically played out here. Just as He died for us so we die for Him. In the same way Jesus was resurrected, so are we given a born-again “true self” in Him. This process is not a once-off experience at conversion, but a daily undertaking. The “Triune Life”* of Love is lived out daily. That is what we demonstrate in the ritual of baptism which believers undergo. Paul said, “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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.6:3-4; also Eph.3:2).
Jesus Carrying His Cross (Kreuzweg von Gebhard Fugel (1921) – Wiki Commons)
Listen to how Jesus makes this plain, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” (Luk.9:23-25). Self-denial is about denying the “false self” whose walk is the “solitary life” of fear. When Jesus said what’s the point of being rich of this world and “forfeit your very self,” attests to the truth that the fire of true life (God’s image) kindles deep in man’s heart of heart. When He said “Whoever loses his (solitary) life for Me will save it,” again testifies to the life which lays hidden deep in us and desperately wants to be freed, if only we realize he waits eagerly to be manifested. Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you,” and gives us the promised Spirit to resurrect that hidden life that is made in God’s image. (Luk.17:20-21, KJV; John 16:7)
At present, he is buried in the rubble of trash and filth the “false self” has heaped upon him. (John 16:12-14) But the Trinitarian philosophy and aesthetic is natural to humanity at a very primordial level. We are just outdone in and by the dark cloud of deception and cunning the devil has hung over our heads to know that yet. We have not dug deep enough inside us, or are oblivious as to where to dig, let alone find the answers to our authentic “true self.” God’s Love never fails us for the answer lies with the cross.
The process by which this new birth/self is lived out daily is when man is “carrying his cross.” What is the cross of Jesus? It defines the ongoing activity of forgiveness through repentance in the believer. Jesus taught us to pray this daily prayer, “And forgive us our shortcomings, as we have forgiven those who have failed in their duty towards us” (Matt.6:12, NLT). No believer becomes perfect all at once upon conversion. It’s the everyday process of “carrying our cross daily.” We have no resources or ability to do this, only the promised gift of the Spirit who comes and makes us His temple by living in us, He provides the power and ability to live the “Triune Life.”* (1 Cor.3:16; john 16:7) Listen, the Bible tells us, “For it is God (the Holy Spirit) who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose” (Phi.2:13; also 1 Cor.3:16). It is entirely and totally a life of faith, but not our human faith, but the living faith of Jesus which resides in the new humanity of the second Adam. (1 Cor,15:45; Gal.2:20) Paul said, “Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come” (Rom.5:14, NLT). In other words, Christ brought us the new perfect humanity the Father wanted humans to conform to – the ‘lmmanuel humanity.’ (Rom.8:29; Isa,:7:14; Matt.1:23; read also Rom.5:15-17)
Understanding and believing the Trinitarian philosophy lies at the heart of our understanding of Christ’s death, and how that only through Jesus we are able to relate with God in His Triune likeness in whose image man was created. (Gen.1:26-2) All of life in the realm of the living as we know it was created to reflect the Trinitarian nature of God who made it. Nothing exists in “solitary” existence, but each interdependently relies upon each other to survive like God in His Tri-Personal Being. All of life exists in this symbiotic state automatically behaving as the Maker predetermined them in their natural habitat and by instinct. However, man has a mind where he is called upon to assess and arrive at a determined course of action in every aspect of his life-situation. That is not mindless beastly instinct, that is divine because man was made in God’s image. Man is the only living species in the universe who is not spontaneously living the Trinitarian philosophy and esthetics because he has to decide, and has made up his mind not to. That is the cause of all human anxiety and pain.
The life of the Father and the Son is One Life. Man was created to live and thrive in their midst where Love is the glue which joins man and God as One. The Father and the Son can only be known in the other, and wholly in each other. Jesus makes this abundantly clear in this vital passage from Scripture, “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him (the Father)” (Matt.11:27, BSP). Hugh R. Mackintosh, quoting T.F. Torrance in his book, The Doctrine of the Person of Jesus Christ, says this passage presents a concept which no religion can go, for the “sentence as a whole tells us plainly that Jesus is both to God and to man what no other can be.” (unquote). I might also add, that no human mind can ever enter except through Jesus. So, Jesus says at the beginning of this verse, “All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father” (V.27a). The life of the Father and the Son are so inseparably intertwined in each other that the only way to the Father is through the Son. The whole verse reveals the final bastion of truth which must be the spiritual anchor in our hearts and in our lives. It is the heart and soul of the “Triune Life.”*
The Crucifixion of Jesus with Two Revolutionaries -Three Crosses Depiction of the Tri-Personal Being of God (By James Tissot – Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum; Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org
Jesus answered the disciples’ question about the identity of the Father, “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9). Let’s understand what Jesus is not saying, He is not saying God is one Person with dual personalities. Jesus is emphasizing two Persons with the oneness of Being bound by their Love-nature and Love for each other. So, what Jesus is actually saying because of their one-ness in Being the only access to the Father is through the Son – there is no other way. No human has ever been born who knows how to Love the Father perfectly and consummately as God, but Jesus, and vice versa. Jesus reminds us of this insurmountable truth, saying further, “No one comes to the Father except through Me, for I am the Way (to the Father) and the Truth (to/about the Father) and the Life (of/in the Father)” (John 14:6, my emphasis added). “Christ alone can claim to know and reveal the Father on the basis of the fact that He is one in Being and essence with the Father such that to know Him is to come into an immediate, direct, and personal knowledge God as He has always been eternally in Himself.”
Having confirmed their one-ness of Being, and that no human mind can comprehend their God-ness except in themselves, we are obliged to conclude that when Christ was crucified, the Father was very much part of the Son’s death upon His cross. Their One Being from eternity has always been spiritual, not physical. Though Jesus died physically He remained and always is the eternal Son, the Logos, the Word, in His divine Being. His purpose was to bring His new humanity to substitute for our fallen one and take mankind into His eternal Being so He may join man with God forever, and so fulfill His desire from creation, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen.1:26-27) Paul said, “For as in Adam all die (“false self”), so in Christ all shall be made alive (“true self”)” (1 Cor.15:22; also Rom.5:12-21).
The historical silhouette of Calvary having three crosses is symbolic and reveals the one-ness of death of God in His Triune Being in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, in true Trinitarian mold and aesthetic we are called upon to die the death of our Savior by “taking up our cross daily and following Him,” and again Trinitarianly and relationally we rise with Him in His resurrection so He may come and live and walk in us, and we in Him. (see Eph.2:6) By saying, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me,” Paul attests to the new humanity in Christ we receive because our fallen humanity in Adam was crucified with Jesus on His cross. (Gal.2:20). The Bible speaks of a complete new genetic make-up in God’s image physically and spiritually in the believer, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor.5:17). This is the symbiotic meaning of the cross for it arises spontaneously out of God’s Trinitarian nature.
By saying, “I have been crucified with Jesus and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God” is an authentic “Triune Life”* statement. We say with Jesus when He walked this earth, “I can do nothing on My own…I carry out the will of the One who sent Me” (John 5:30, NLT). The Father’s will is never selfish but is always about for our best good because He is Love. We are made to enter the realm of reality of knowing the Father’s Love through and in the Son. We could not know the Father until the Son came, brought to us our true sinless humanity, joined us into Himself, overcame Satan in the temptations, lived as the new perfect human species, was crucified as the worthy sacrificial lamb for our forgiveness, was resurrected, and ascended to the role of our High Priest in heaven. Now, He makes intercession for us daily only as we carry our cross daily, mediating all our imperfect human responses. Because I stand in Jesus I enter into the Father’s life, and through that divine completeness by association and one-ness through Christ He is bound to extend His grace through His creative hands in my life which He does through the Spirit. This is the miraculous life we are privileged to live in Christ.
In my next post we will cover the subject of the cross of Jesus. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or you may email me on bulamanriver.com. Thank you for visiting.
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, (Your Servant In Christ)
* Triune Life: means a life lived according to the image and likeness of God. (Gen.1:26-27) It means a believer who lives the 3-dimensional life with the Triune God, as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life in himself. It means God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, lives and walks in you. Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune God, who took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead. To live the “Triune Life” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit in us. The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036
**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website, www.bulamanriver.com, where you can order a copy of my book, “Bulamanriver – The Miracle of Triune Living” Or, you may go to the directory banner at top and click “Mission” where you will find more information.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
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