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TRUE LIFE BEGINS WHERE OUR CONCEPT OF GOD TAKES ROOT, K. P. LEE

Greetings Friends!

God’s nature, and the motivations for all His actions through His creation has always been Trinitarian in every way, shape and form. Although humans may not have understood God in His infallible triune expression, and even if man conceptualize God in forms other than Trinitarian, He nevertheless cannot deviate from who He truly is in His spontaneous Loving Trinitarian Being. He inhabits eternity in His triunity of Love – without beginning of days nor end, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:18-20; 1 John 4:8)

God is not human to live in physical structures. The Bible states He already has a physical temple – the whole of creation is His physical temple. The prophet states, “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where is the house you will build for Me?” (Isa.66:1-2).

We could not build anything close to what He has already created. We have heard people having visited many natural phenomenon that takes their breadth away and holds them spellbound because of their sheer wonder like the river Cano Cristales in Colombia with waters which appear like rainbow, as example (see picture below). There are waterfalls, tropical beaches, and many unknown and untold natural wonders to experience the celestial presence of God. In our humanity, we fail to appreciate how God has gifted us with the natural beauty of His creation to dwell with Him upon His earthly temple.

The Rainbow River of Cano Cristales in Colombia.

“Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where is the house you will build for Me?” (Isa.66:1-2).

Why did God reveal Himself as the God who is Love by nature? (1 John 4:8; 16) He is not made of Love; He is Love. Love is God and God is Love – there is no distinction between the two. God and Love are one and the same substance. Now consider this revelation of God in relation to man’s concept of a solitary God. Is it possible for Love (God) to exist in isolation, in solitude, – unaccompanied, secludeds, alone in self-absorbed existence?

Rublev’s famous icon of Holy Trinity (Wiki Commons)

If God were One solitary “Person,” with no one to Love and share His divine Being, then His affirmation that “God is Love” would have no meaning. (1 John 4:8) Can Love cannot exist in solitary mode and isolation? Only the opposite, fear, can thrive in such a condition. So, right off the bat, and unhesitatingly, we encounter two philosophies of life which define God, and His antithesis – Love and fear. One is Trinitarian and collaborative (Love), while the opposite is solitary and alone (fear)!

Love exist and thrive exclusively in relationships and collaboration. Love and relationship are inseparably one. Fear and solitude are bedfellows. Therefore, Love cannot be compatible with the image of a Loving God who declares Himself as solitary! but it’s completely viable with a God whose nature is Trinitarian or Tri-Personal. (Matt.28:28-30).

“God Is Love” 1 John 4:8

The Scriptures affirms us this … picture of God Himself, “Perfect Love (God) cast out fear” (1 John 4:18a).” There is no place for fearful existence (fear) in a life that is committed to a relationship of Love. Be that as it may, the Bible speaks of a “proper fear” that can exist within the Love of God. It does not make us afraid of God, but instills a deep reverence of everything God is and stands for. But highest of all, that God took upon Himself our human form as the “Immanuel,” lived a perfect and sinless life and sacrificed Himself to become humanity’s Savior and High Priest. (see Phi.2:4-8; Isa.7:14; Matt.1:23) Hence, we hold a deep reverential fear for God. Then there is the fear that is the antithesis of Love, for John said, this “fear hath torment, and he that fears is not made perfect in Love” (1 John 4:18b). Torment is contrary to God’s Love and living in joyful vitality.

One of the most important and overlooked aspects of Jesus’ mission was He came to reveal to humanity the true Trinitarian nature of God. Throughout His mission, Jesus made reference to God as His Father (John 17, 1:1-5, 14-8). John attests to this Father/Son relationship, quoting Jesus as saying, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is the closest relationship with the Father, has made Him known” (John 1:18). Jesus also mentions another personage in the unified Godhead – the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-18, 25-26; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Matt. 28:18-20). Jesus came to reveal the true nature of God by revealing the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, and to show that God is Triune in His nature, not solitary nor reclusive.

God’s Perfect Love is Outgoing and Collaborative

Our God exists in ONE Triunity. In his book, “The Trinity and Human Personality,” author Jon T. Murphree, said, “In the Trinity, Each Person “occupies” the Others’ personalities. Each of the thee Persons becomes a “home” for the other Two. One is Host and the Others are Guests. As Each inhabits the Others, Each is a Host to the other Two, and Each is a Guest to the other Two. It is so reciprocal that each One feels more ‘at home’ with the Others’ personalities than His own. Trinitarian Persons do not exist in isolation, they live in and through One another, which makes their personalities relational and collaborative” and unified. (Page 135).

So, the Gospels makes clear to us that one of Jesus’ multifaceted earthly missions was to declare openly to the world that God is a Father to all mankind. By declaring the Fatherhood of God, He discredits all arguments that God is individualistic, much less solitary. A Father begets and nurtures children. Jesus declares Himself as the Son of God. He was born as the “Immanuel” (“God with us”) God who became one of us. (Matt.1:23).

Fear has Torment and is Self-centered and Exists in Solitude

Paul in his letter to the Philippians said this, “Though He (Jesus) was God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead, He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, (“Immanuel”) He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross. For this reason, God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth — and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phi.2:6-11).

In the model prayer Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He begins with the words, “Our Father who art in heaven” (Matt.6:9). So, all of humanity are God’s children. Jesus was not declaring the Fatherhood of God to please the people or His followers, or to be controversial. He declared it because this is what Love does – Love tells the truth, Love cannot lie. By proclaiming God is His Father, and our Father, Jesus affirmed God is triune in His intrinsic divine nature.

“Jesus’ crucifixion to atone for mankind’s sin is the ultimate expression of God’s Love who knows no other way to live but through His inherent Loving relationship (John 3:16-17). Jesus’ sacrifice was the ultimate act of Love for He was both God and man or “Immanuel” (Matt.1:23). This is the key to the miraculous life humanity is privileged to live through Christ in the power of God’s Spirit.

“There they crucified Him, and with Him two Others” (John 19:18) The 3 Crosses Picture God in His Full Trinitarian Godhead, Surrendered and Died for All Humanity.

What then determines the proper concept of God’s divine nature? It starts with our belief as Jesus said – “Let it be done for you according to your faith!” (Matt.9:29). In other words, your life will be vocalized in accordance with the substance and anatomy of your faith about God’s divine nature.

As we have read earlier, Love and relationships are inseparably one because Love exists and thrives inherently in God’s collaborative nature: “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). Miracles are divine supernatural acts birthed out of God’s Love for His creation. Love and miracles cannot survive in solitary existence, but only through relationship for “God is Love” (1 John 4:16). God’s Loving relationship with humanity is what brought many miracles through the hands of Jesus. God has existed in His triune relationship from eternity through His Love as expressed and enunciated by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. (1 Cor.13:1-12; see appendix below *The “Love-Fruits of the Holy Spirit:” ) Through Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, He transported and brought humanity into fellowship with the very “Love-nature” of the triune God.

Because the triune God is of one substance (Greek, homoousios – “of one substance”) the act of one is the act of all three, making it singular and unified in the triune Godhead. God is the union of three Persons in one Triune Godhead. Man has not experienced this kind of integrated and collaborative life with the triune God ever since Eden, prior to Adam’s fall. And God created Adam and Eve and by extension all humanity, to reflect Him in His Love. (Gen.1:27; 1 John 4:8; John 17: 20-23)

God is not alone; He is not individualistic; He is not isolated or reclusive. Each Person in the Trinity “occupies” the others’ personalities, and become “home” for the other two. And God desires to bring man into the Loving fellowship of the Father, Son, and Spirit. The “fruits of Love” as Paul explained to the Corinthians, is the hallmark of the conduct they have lived and continue to live from eternity. (1 Cor.13:1-12). Here is where the miracle life humanity experiences and is birthed in God’s Love where it takes its stand.

Throughout history humanity has always tried to put God in a box to appeal to their short-sighted mindset. Yet, God tells us, “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).

How vital that we let the Spirit inspire and energize us in His Trinitarian nature to nullify our natural “solitary” attitude. We can do good things in a “solitary” mode and it will take us only thus far (Jer. 17:9). We see plenty of this in the world today. But by connecting to the triune God through His Spirit, His love will lead us in the way true life was intented to be lived. (Gen.1:27) He instructs us to choose His triune life, not our solitary life (Deut. 30:19). In other words, we will commune with a relational God, not a private God. God is not solitary and intolerant as many have assumed.

Humanity exists in an attitude of isolation, in solitude, unaccompanied, secluded, alone in self-absorbed existence, due to Adam’s sin in Eden when he chose to follow Satan instead of God by eating the forbidden fruit. That is our human short coming. The last thing that humans can do is attempt to put God in a box of their own making. It is totally wrong for fallen humans to try to paint God with our corrupt human frame of reference.

By declaring the Father’s Trinitarian nature, we continue to affirm His Fatherhood as founded in Love, first amongst the three Persons of the Trinity, and then with all humanity God has created in His image and likeness. (Gen.1:27; John 17:20-23; 25-26). And that is what the ‘Second Adam’ or Jesus Christ came to bring humanity new life enabled in the Spirit’s power. (Gal.2:20; 1 Cor.15:45).

Matthew 28:19 – The Great Commission

Though a person may claim to believe in the Trinity, if he still lives the solitary and self-inclusive life in himself, he still lives apart from Christ and the triune life of God. This tells us that many Christians fail to know how to live the Triune Life in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul said this, “But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Rom.8:9). By taking the name of Jesus as Christians, we automatically receive the Triune nature of God. (Matt.28:19) That is presumed to be a truthful affirmation. (John 17:20-23)

Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit in this way, “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own, He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is to come. He will glorify Me for 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 16:13-15).

“When Pentecost Came They Were Together In One Place…” (Act.2:1)

I sincerely hope that just as we have celebrated the day of Pentecost (refer my previous post), a day which pictures the birth of the new covenant church, we will embark on this journey in our earthly pilgrimage with a new mindset about God’s divine Loving triune nature. In addition, God through Jesus invites us into this fresh new way of life we have been called to take into our lives and mindset and make it part of our mode of living. Remember, whenever the name of God is mentioned, it always portrays Him as a Trinity with His Son and His Spirit in One Godhead. (Matt.28:27-30)

God is calling out to all of humanity to come swim with everlasting joy in the river of His Love – eat freely from the food He has prepared for our true well-being.” Jesus openly declared, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this He meant the Spirit” (John 7:37-39; also Isa.55:1-2). 

Jesus prayed this prayer for the disciples before He was taken to be crucified, “I do not pray for these (disciples) alone, but also those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be ONE, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be ONE in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be ONE just as We are ONE: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in ONE” (John 17: 20-23, emphasis added). Jesus told His disciples, “On that day you will realize that I am in the Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you” (John 14:20). Every word is uttered in its Trinitarian context in who God is in His Tri-Personal nature of Love. (Matt.28:19-20)

Jesus’ parting words to His disciples before He ascended to heaven was: “Go and tell the world about this wonderful Gospel, and unify (baptize) them into the name of the Triune God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matt.28:19; 1 John 4:8,16).

Please share a prayer with me as we pray to God our Loving Father in heaven, Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins for forsaking your precious Love. I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, thank you for recuing me and my loved ones, and all humanity, from the enemy’s fearful and destructive waters, and bringing us home into the life-giving waters of your Ocean of Love.

“Forgive me if I possessed an inaccurate view of Your divine triune nature. Thank You that I stand before you, the Tri-Personal God in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who works in our lives to bring us salvation in Christ. Scripture tells us, “God is Love, and all who live in Love live in God, and God lives in them” (1 John 4:16).

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 believers so we may serve one another in Your Love. May Your Love guide and protect me and my loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I will praise and thank You always, Amen.”

Prayer is A Solemn One-On-One Spiritual Love Dialogue Between a Person and God the Father

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.

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” of God.  Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

In Love, farewell for now!

Kiang,  (Your Servant in Christ)

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “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 (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

The Resurrection to Immortality and Deification of Humanity Created In God’s Image

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 Tri-Personal Being of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity, as God is in His divine triunity. 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)

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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 who was created in God’s image and likeness. (Gen.1:26-27)

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: 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 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

“Bulamanriver” Book Cover

***Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664

*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.

These Love-fruits speaks volumes and gives us a peek into the different tones of God’s Love. They are not rules to live by as if they are legalistic requirements to follow. They tell us how God in His Tri-Personal Being in the Father, Son, and Spirit, have lived in One unified shared Love-experience from eternity as God, and desires to share His “Triune Life” with believers. They reveal the holy emotions of the Tri-Personal Being of God. These are not human emotions, they reveal the divine passion and desire of how God lives “naturally” in an intuitive and spontaneous fashion amongst Them.

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

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“THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE, BUT PERFECT LOVE DRIVES OUT FEAR” – PENTECOST!  KIANG P LEE

Greetings friends! The season of spring is upon us. One of the best parts of spring is that beautiful flowers begin to bloom again. It’s wildflower season in many places. You’ll notice new growth on the trees around you, signaling the change in season. The animals who took a much-needed nap over winter and those who flew south for warmer climates are finally back. Hearing the happy chirps of birds or catching the first glimpse of your local wildlife are certainly reasons to love spring.

For humanity, it is also a time for renewal and regeneration. Paul gives us the negative fruits of the flesh which affects us unkindly and injure us. Paul said, “Now the practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), idolatry, sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal.5:19-21, Amplified Bible).

One of the negative emotions that cripple a person is the destructive reinforcement of the mantle of fear and sin which cloak us as fallen humans beings from Adam’s sin of disobedience in Eden. Much of what Paul catalogs in Galatians finds it basis in the feeling of fear which provokes these negative reactions. Are there fears in your life you are struggling with?

Many lives have been crippled by this innate gut feeling of fear – both real and imagined. Let’s discuss this important topic. I hope by the end of this blog post, you will have found the only way to eradicate our fears which elevate these negative practices which overwhelms us as Paul states.

The Bible gives the answers to our fears. The Scripture says plainly and unequivocally, “There is no fear in Love. But perfect Love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). Many believers have seen this passage, even tried to live by it as best as they know how, but regrettably their fears continue to pursue them like a plaque. Why? Quite simply, they have not known how to apply this passage. You have to ask and answer what is “Perfect Love.” That is the key to overcoming our fear. Once you have the answer, then fear will dissipate as quickly as it comes. 

As we enter the season of Pentecost which comemmorates the birth of the New Testament Church, let us stop to reflect upon this vital topic, for which we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit to combat vehemently with His perfect divine Love. For as much as Scripture tells us, after preached a Spirit-Inspired message from God that memorable Pentecost day, “The people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day” (Act.2:37-41).

“Perfect Love” – What Does That Mean? (Wiki Commons)

I have always shown and explained through my blog there are only two ways of life to live: the “solitary life” verses the “Triune Life**” The “solitary life” is the condition in which fear is the motivation beginning with Adam’s fall in Eden. The “Triune Life” is the condition where Love is the driving force. The “Triune Life” finds its basis in Scripture where Jesus, prior to His ascension into heaven, said this, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt.28:18-20).

The ”Triune Life” speaks of the Life of the Trinity, in the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. Fear and Love are opposite conditions we freely choose and elect to live by. So, let’s answer what are these two broad conditions or ways of life.

“Solitary Life” – In the ‘False Self’

Living the “solitary life” means a life that’s lived in oneself apart from Jesus Christ. We are all born into the self-centered “solitary life” as a consequence of Adam’s fall. Paul said, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (Rom.8:9). Christ is the second Adam. The Bible says the Spirit is the personification of God’s Love in us, and thereby empowers the “Triune Life”:  Paul asserts, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom.5:5b).

The “solitary life” is life that’s lived under the influence of the devil, the instigator of human sin, pain, and suffering which breeds fear in humanity. The self-centered “solitary life” is synonymous with everything uncreative, corrupt and deathly in fallen humanity. Some of my readers may not have heard of these two terms. The “good” man does, God calls “filthy rags” because they are self-righteous acts which does not breed Love but promotes fear. (Isa.64:6) It’s the underlying motive of our hearts which counts. (1 Sam.16:7b) The “solitary life” in turn shapes the ‘false self’ who lives by fear, not Love.

Many call themselves Christians but still live the “solitary life” which is a paradox, for the essence of following Jesus is to live the “Triune Life.” It’s no fault of theirs if they had not been taught how to live it. They were told to “receive Christ” but were never shown how to follow Him. They may have been taught different terms which are ambiguous, and downright misleading, as we’ll see. I hope I can make this as simple to understand so you too can live the blessed life God has called us to in His perfect Love – the Love which drives out fear from us.

“Triune Life” Means the “True You”

The word Triune means consisting of three Persons in one Trinitarian Godhead. It conveys the Tri-Personal Being of God (Trinity) in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Therefore, “Triune Life” means a life that’s lived in and under the influence of the divine Love of the Trinitarian God in heaven. However, all people since Adam have not known, let alone lived the “Triune Life.”

Because of Adam’s fall in Eden, mankind has been consigned to living this self-centered “solitary life.” The Bible speaks of Jesus as the “Second Adam” who would come and right the wrong of the first fallen Adam. As Paul said, “As in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22; 1 Cor.15:45).

Jesus comes and introduces the “Triune Life” of Love to humanity by revealing the Father and Himself as the Son with our eternal Friend, the Holy Spirit (Matt.28:17-20). He said, “I and My Father are One,” and, “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate (Spirit) to help you and be with you forever… He will glorify Me.” (John 10:30; john 14:16; 16:14). That is one of the pillar objectives of His coming to earth, besides others, to reveal God is Triune – to show God is our Father, Jesus our Brother, and Herald* (Spirit) is our ever-present Friend and Miracle-Worker.

Humans Has to Change (“Born Again”) from the “Solitary Life” in the self to the “Triune Life” in Christ through the Power of His Spirit.

Thus, the “Triune Life” is born and made a reality in the life of humanity through humanity’s Savior, Jesus. The basic tenet of living the “Triune Life” is revealed by Jesus in His words, “By Myself I can do nothing” (John 5:30). By saying that, He disqualifies Himself from the way of life of the “solitary life” in the devil. In other words, He never does things solitarily on His own; the way He thinks, feels, and acts, is done in complete collaboration with the Father and the Spirit. How can He, when Jesus, the Father, and the Spirit, are of one substance and reality in the Triune Godhead. Even if He wants to, He cannot, so the act of One is always the act of all Three Persons in the Trinity, and the act of Three is the act of One.

Jon P. Murhpree, in his book , “The Trinity and Human Personality,” says this, “Each one (of the three Persons of the Trinity) transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the others. Through Love, diversity and unity are so inextricably interwoven that the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as Persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other. Each One constantly has perfect access to the others complete thought and feelings.” (pg.29) So when we follow Christ, we live the same “Triune Life” in the Spirit’s power.

“Perfect Love” Comes to Man By Entering the Life of the Trinity – the “Triune Life”** (Wiki Commons)

As I said, many have been told to “receive Jesus” but were never taught the true cost of becoming His follower. Very simply, the “cost” involves giving up the fallen “solitary life” from Adam, and embracing the “Triune Life” in Christ. Jesus makes plain that it is possible to say one is Christian, but be none of His: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt.7:20-21).

By saying, “only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven,” Jesus was pointing a person to the “Triune Life” in the Trinity. God is trinitarian and indivisibly ONE in their Triune Love for each other. Each Person in the Trinity find completeness in their Love for each other, not in their individual selves. By receiving Jesus as Savior, the believer is translated into the same life where he lives this collaborative, interdependent, unified, and Loving, “Triune Life” in Christ, where we seek “to do the will of the Father.”

It is not based upon legalism and justification by law, as Paul tells us, “Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law” (Gal.2:16).

Rather it is a relationship of Love for each other as in the Life of Love within the Trinity. For in doing this, the believer must find his/her ‘true self’ in Christ, not in his or her ‘false self.’ God placed gifts upon us which the Spirit enunciates them (gifts) in life. Thus we read Paul’s words, “We are complete through Christ” (Col.2:10).

To think and live trinitarianly is to dwell and live in each other’s Love for each other, not in one’s own solitary self-centered self-will by being withdrawn in one self. In other words, you find your ‘true self’ only by discovering fulfillment in Loving one another. This is how fear is driven away when we cease to be self-conscious and be other-conscious, not self-conscious, just like God is in His Loving Triune nature.

“Perfect Love” found Only in the “Triune Life”**

The purpose of the “Triune life” is essentially to protect the believer from the inconsistencies and ravages of the “solitary life” which brings fear, suffering, heartaches, and ultimately physical and spiritual death. (Rom.6:23) We’re not living in the emotional juggernaut of the moment through the ‘false self’ who generates fear (intuitively), in all its manifestation and its dire consequences. Hence the “Perfect Love” which drives out fear from our lives is found only when we are living the “Triune Life” in heaven with the Father, through Jesus’ continuous mediation as our glorified divine/human High Priest, through the power of Herald the Spirit who lives is us as His temple. (1 Cor.3:16; 1 Cor.6:19)

To live the “Triune Life” is the miraculous expression of God’s 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). And His command are not grevious, “In fact, this is Love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). How can something which dispels and removes fear from your life be burdensome?

Gentle Dove, Symbol of The Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Wiki Commons)

From Fear to Love

God’s covenant promise to man is to give him a new heart to end his suffering from living a “solitary life” through a newborn “unified (Triune) life” in His Son (Ezek. 11:19; Heb. 8:10, 10:22). He will remove the heart of fear and give us the heart of Love to Love Him. In becoming a mortal human, Jesus vicariously assumed man’s sinful life, including his fears, in His perfect Being. In doing so, He destroyed fear and replaced it with God’s love. For, “As in Adam all die, so in Christ (Immanuel) all will be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). Finally man can reciprocate with the same Love with which God Loves man. This is the “perfect Love” which drives out fear of fallen humans and the devil.

How to Enter the “Triune Life”

Let me now state briefly how man enters the “Triune Life” of God, so you too can live it and defeat all your fears. It begins when God calls you out of your self-centered “solitary life” of fear and embrace the “Triune Life” of Love through the finished work of His Son. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father, except through Me. I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). In other words, we enter the “Triune Life” of God the Father when we accept His Son Jesus, as personal Savior who cleanses all sins of the ‘false self’ who has lived the ”solitary life” of the devil. The promised Holy Spirit inaugurates the “Triune Life” by bringing the ‘true self’ fashioned in the image of Jesus, the Son of God. (John 14:16; Rom.8:29)

We leave behind the ‘false self’ and everything to do with the “solitary life,” and embrace our ‘true self’ in the Spirit. We call this the gift of repentance and forgiveness, and the process of conversion of the new birth from the ‘false self’ to the ‘true self.’ (John 3:7) The Father’s promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit is the personification of His divine Love in us. (Rom.5:5) We become the temple of the Spirit: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you” (1 Cor. 3:16). Fear, which is part and parcel of the ‘false self,’ has once for all lost its grip and has no power over us. John said this of the devil, “the evil one cannot touch you” (1 John 5:18b).

Christianity and Religion

Here is the main issue of Christianity when it is practiced as a ‘religion’ instead of a way of life. Christianity as a religion has turn man back upon himself/hersef by saying that his/her salvation is the “human responsibility.” They say Christ has done His part, now man must play his part to earn it, as if salvation is a 50/50 proposition. If Christ is a partial Savior, then the Gospel is incomplete and not true. This is the devil’s deception at its very core because man carries on living the “solitary life,” and Jesus and the “Triune Life” is left out of the picture altogether. Jesus is not a 50/50 Savior. Jesus is 101% humanity’s Savior, period. As John declares, “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14). And Paul affirms, “In Him (Jesus) we live and move and have our being” (Act.17:28). Again, Paul continues in his letter to the Colossians “You are complete through your union with Christ” (Col.2:10).

Salvation is all grace and freely given to humanity by God. As Paul makes this point abundantly clear, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph.2:8-10).

God has not abdicated your salvation by placing it in your own hands, least of all nor the hands of another, and most likely in the hands if ‘religion,’ for that matter. If salvation is a free gift which comes from the free grace of God, it is impossible for man to earn it, much less 50%? It is totally 100% God’s.

Fear is Driven Out By Embracing the “Perfect Love” in the Spirit’s Love-Power (Rom.5:5)  (Wiji Commons)

Our most difficult task is to learn to step out of the way, for the ‘false self’ is always tempted to dictate his solitary expressions in our human lives. Instead, we must step back and see the wonder of His hands at work – perhaps, for once in our life. God says, “Stand still, and see My salvation which I will show you. I will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (Exo.14:13-14, emphasis mine). Salvation is all God’s doing in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. For the Gospel tells us He is our complete Savior. (Col.2:10; Acts 4:11-12). Our part is simply to “hide in Christ” like the waters cover  the riverbed (man), and let the Spirit live His life fully (overflowing) in man as “living waters” (John 7:37-39; Psa.32:7).

No part of the believer (riverbed) is seen or heard, as he is completely and overwhelmingly covered and hidden in Christ in the “living waters” of the Spirit. All our fears which lead to deprivation and want are overpowered by the overwhelming Love of Jesus just as the “living waters” cover the riverbed engulfs us completely (1 John 4:8). The riverbed (man) and the “living waters” (Spirit) the metaphor for the “Triune Life.”

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

Blessing: Until we meet again in my next post, may God bless you with the faith of Jesus His Son and 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”: 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.1:26Matt.28:19John 14:101616:7) 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.28:18-201 Pet.1:22 Thess.2:132 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.11:2Eph.5:23-2732Rev.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 Tri-Personal Being of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity, as God is in His divine triunity. 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)

          Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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. (Gen.1:26-27)

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: 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 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

             “Bulamanriver” Book Cover

***Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664

*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. 5:22-23Rom. 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.

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

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you.

THE P0WER OF HUMAN THOUGHT, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends everywhere!

I hope you will find this site a place where you can obtain rest and peace from a stressful and sometimes excessively demanding world out there.

I found the title for my post, “The Power of Human Thought” somewhat exhaustive if not encyclopedic to say the least. Our human thought and lifestyle are described as culture. Thoughts refers to the norms and societal ways of a given time. Society interacts with one another, and culture shapes the way we work and play, and it makes a difference in how we view ourselves and others. It also affects our values, which are what we consider right and wrong, and how these values influence our choices. Our choices can also influence others and ultimately help shape our society for the greater good.

I would argue your thoughts are vital and has much to do with how we will live a meaningful life. To put it another way, it’s your thoughts that count! Let’s talk about the true value of our thoughts and how they affect our future and that of our loved ones.

The Human Mind – Having the Divine Spark Which Gives Human Intelligence (Wiki Commons)

Paul sternly warns us about this mechanism behind the human thought process. He said, “We demolish arguments (thoughts) and every pretension (attitude) that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient (in Love) to Christ.” (2 Cor.10:5). This passage tells us we are to reject bad thoughts, while trying to keep the good ones. Jesus gives us the right words and thoughts for living. He said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt.11:29) By saying, “Learn from Me,” Jesus is talking about being reeducated in our thinking process.

Sometimes, it is hard to shut out the world around us and be able to spend some quality time with God and imbibe on His Word and His thoughts. The reason for this is obvious – our minds and thoughts are still locked into the sway of this malevolent world with all its hectic pace and insidious manipulation. As a result, our thoughts involuntarily and habitually have a negative impact upon us in more ways than one. So, let’s talk about an important Godly attribute humans has been given that can help us find rest and peace in our lives – through our thoughts and thinking process – not only for us, but our neighbors.

It was wise King Solomon who said, you are what you think, saying, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he (Prov. 23:7a). James Allen, author of the book, “As a Man Thinketh,” writes that “…humanity surges with uncontrolled passion, is tumultuous with ungoverned grief, is blown about by anxiety and doubt. It’s the wise man, it’s he whose thoughts are controlled and purified, that makes the wind and storm of the soul obey him.” The life that’s mixed with malevolence seeks competition, domination, and rivalry whose mind is generated by inconsistent and incomplete thinking and comes at the behest of humanity’s “lone wolf” thinking. Remember, our thoughts lead us into action.

Thirty Thousand Thoughts a Day

Dr. Caroline Leaf, in her book, “Who Switched Off My Brain,” said the average person has over thirty thousand thoughts a day. Thoughts are words in muted rather than spoken form. Words forms the picture of life we will live in our real-life realities. Thoughts are actions in muted form. That’s why your words and actions which originate in your thoughts are important for they form the foundation of your reality. Our actions, behavior, and cognition are the three fundamental pillars of the human thought process. Rather than running separately, they blend with each other, enabling us to perceive the world around us, listen to our conscious and subconscious desires, and respond accordingly. Thus, humans can be regarded as active consumers of all the human sensory impressions.

Thirty Thousand Thoughts a Day

Of all the species of life God has created upon our earth, only humans are replicated in God’s likeness with the divine capacity to think and act upon his thoughts. (Gen.1:26-27; Prov.23:7) Animals and other created species don’t think thoughts like humans do. They were created by God to have and ‘behave’ according to their inborn instincts. They ‘behave’ in a fixed and predictable manner. The cattle will always graze upon grass and not hunt for game like a lion. As for humanity, the Psalmist informs us, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa.119:105).

However, the function of the human mind is fundamentally spiritual in its outlook and activity, rather than a purely physical and cerebral brain function. Thoughts are unseen and exist in the realm of the spiritual. As we saw human action, behavior, and cognition, are the fundamental pillars of our thought process from which we create mental ‘visions’ to act upon. Again the Psalmist tell us, “Send out Your light and Your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You live” (Psa.43:3)

Jesus is the foundation and source of all wholesome and cleansing knowledge. Jesus, the Personified Word of God, is the Instructor, as His Word the Bible, is the instruction manual that comes with God’s ‘product’ called human beings. However, we are not robots, we are His children who been given freedom of choice, and God deeply Loves each one of us, so much so He did not spare His Son in order to save us. Presently, Jesus is humanity’s High Priest in heaven who mediates for us day and night, so we may remain true to God’s purpose for us.

Paul reminds us of the beautiful truth about Jesus mediation on our behalf in heaven before the Father, “As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD”” (1 Cor.1:29-31).

If God made us in His image to have a mind like His, and the fund of knowledge of His Son to tell us how live, then He is as near to us as the many thoughts we think with our God-given minds. All we have to do is utilize our freedoms and choose the right thoughts which reflect Him. And yes, there are also false and destructive thoughts that can dominate our minds if we choose to allow this.

Thoughts Create Forms and Visions

Yes, freedom is divine and originate with God and is the flip-side of His Love. We use it to make deliberate and wise decisions – and even bad ones if we so choose. This in itself is a miraculous activity we live through each day without fully appreciating His unseen Loving hand upon us. The ability to think and reason and exercise our liberties then be conscious of our actions is proof of the presence of God and the Spirit in our lives. Our thoughts underlie all our actions and interactions with each other.

The purpose of the human mind is to be a “factory” for thoughts to create visions and ideas which conform to the image of Christ. (Rom.8:29; 2 Cor.10:5) They can be good and bad thoughts, happy and sad ones, loving and fearful, living and deathly ones. The Spirit of God is the life-energy which envelopes our universe and all life forms upon this earth. Nothing can exist outside of God’s life-giving energy. The Spirit is the ‘divine spark’ which give the mind of humanity his intellectual and spiritual faculties.

Thoughts Create Forms to be Acted On

Of all the thoughts the mind receives through internal and external stimuli, enters the factory of the mind which processes them to create concepts and ideas to be decided and acted upon. The work of transformation begins with the flow of Jesus’ Person in His Triunity with the Father and the Spirit, and His Words (the Bible) in man’s thought processes. The Bible compares man to a riverbed with the Spirit as its “living waters” which cover him and so help control his thought process. (John 7:37-39)

Jesus Alone Brings Humanity True Freedom

There’s “living waters” as there is “deathly waters.” Where the Unbeliever (Bulumanriver**- see appendix ) has “deathly waters” of the devil flowing through him, he process thoughts through the spirit of fear, self-interest and independence. The Believer (Bulamanriver* – see appendix for explanatory notes) has “living waters” of the Spirit flowing through him. His thoughts are processed by Love, self-giving and interdependence. The “deadly waters” (Bulumanriver**) of the river of fear produce one result – lack and deprivation, and ultimately death. The “living waters” of the Spirit give us the power to channel our thoughts and actions in Love, with one result: to live creatively and abundantly, both now and into eternity with God.

The Thought behind the Thought

So how do we take these many conscious thoughts that enter and influence our minds at a rate that boggles the mind and make sense of them? It’s not as hard as one might imagine. The human mind is first and foremost a filtering device. Everyone possesses two mindsets: one manages the conscious thought, all 30,000 of them, while the second the subconscious thought, filters them according to our sponsoring thought. Our subconscious mind is associated with and inspires the human conscience. That is how God made the mind to function, and it is well researched in scientific circles.

The subconscious mind is the underlying thought process which governs the mind’s conscious thoughts. So, what a person is thinking in his conscious thoughts is automatically filtered through his subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is the sponsoring thought that governs his conscious thoughts. It’s the ‘factory’ that collects all your thought data and creates “form” out of them to be acted upon.

Believer (Bulamanriver) vs Unbeliever (Bulumanriver)!

It’s not uncommon to find the conscious and subconscious thoughts encounter disagreement. This happens because the subconscious is filtering the conscious thoughts based upon what it believes to be true and secures everything about him/her. When differences occur, the conscious thought always loses the battle to the subconscious mind.

Book Cover: “Bulamanriver”

For example, the Unbeliever (Bulumanriver**) with the river of fear flowing in person, will have his/her subconscious mind (sponsoring thought) lead inevitably to create actions that produce self-centeredness, greed, anxiety and ultimately lack and death. No matter how many “good intentions” his conscious thought might have, the subconscious mind will not allow him to achieve them in a true lasting way that produces genuine good. It will always invent a negative form upon which to base his choices. The subconscious mind consistently champions the day for it governs the thirty thousand thoughts that enter our head.

As G. K. Chesterton said, “It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.” Albert Einstein said no problem gets resolved by ignoring what created it in the first place – the heart of man. (Jer.17:9) Consequently, your outer life (conscious) reflects your inner beliefs (subconscious) about you. (Matt.15:16-20)

G K Chesterton

Subconscious Like ‘Gravity’

Think about the law of gravity. We grow up discovering how to compensate for it as we learn to live within the limitations it allows us. All our acts and movements are done to compensate for it, so much so we give it no second thought. We live with the force which produces gravity without giving conscious thought to it. We take gravity for granted, and becomes second nature to us. When we are up on a high elevation, we automatically find something to hang onto for we are well aware what gravity is capable of doing to us.

In a real sense, our mind has its own “gravity” – it’s our subconscious mind. Our conscious thoughts, all thirty thousand of them, have to compensate for this “gravitational” pull of our subconscious mind and what it is telling us to do with our conscious thoughts. It happens in our minds involuntarily like we have grown accustomed to physical gravity. We gravitate to our subconscious-sponsored thought unconsciously – that’s why we sometimes wonder why our plans don’t turn out the way we imagined. In other words, if there is a clash of thoughts between the conscious and the subconscious, the subconscious will win every time.

Money?

For example, a person may have a long-held belief that it is wrong to be rich. Perhaps his idea of money stems from his mistaken understanding of a passage from the Bible which states, “For the love of money is a (not ‘the’) root of all kinds of evil; for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves with many sorrows” (1 Tim. 6:10, NKJV). His belief and idea about money is soldered into his subconscious mind – ‘money is evil.’ That’s how the Unbeliever’s thought in his fear-based thought process. It is the person’s sponsoring (subconscious) mindset.

Yet, in his conscious thoughts, he plans many lavish and grand things for him and his family for which money is its conduit and means? However, in order to achieve those ambitions, he needs money without money he cannot achieve his/her goals. The person’s subconscious (sponsoring) mindset is telling him it will be something ill-gotten, due to his/her sponsoring beliefs about money.

I’m not saying the Unbeliever (Bulumanriver**) will not achieve his aims, he can, but he does it battling his conscience, and he will not acquire them in a good faith, much less in a truly abundant way. His conscience is seared and only the Spirit can change him through repentance and forgiveness. I will not meddle with the stress and anxiety that accompanies the person. But, O the joy that could have accompanied him, if only! I hope we have our own bearings about money focused in the proper way – through the Believer’s (Bulamanriver*). This happens not only with money, but every other aspect of a person’s livelihood.

God is the richest Person in the universe, He declares, “The gold is Mine, and the silver is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills, the fowls and the wild beasts are Mine, the earth and its fullness and all that dwell in it” (Hag. 2:8; Ps. 24:1; Ps. 50:10-11). Yet He is Spirit and does not need to be defined by them to prove His super-abundance. He declares Himself super abundant in His Love – in His Triune Being of Love. So, if riches are not evil because they are God’s creation, our thoughts about money and riches ought to change with holy thoughts. If we fail to control our thoughts and channel them in a constructive way, then our fear-based environment will control us. It’s that simple.

Money is not Evil, A Person’s Heart Is!

Money is not evil by itself – it’s the wrong use money for evil. It starts in out thought process. The bottom line on money is this: if money is a defense, and it is, and Jesus is our true defense, then money and Jesus are one and the same. (Psa.118:14) Money becomes something virtuous for it is used to reflect Jesus, not our fallen self in Adam. (Gen.3:1-6)

Money and riches are there to reflect Him in us in a self-giving rather than self-centered way. He is reflected in us through the right thoughts of money through our subconscious mind. We don’t adore money but Jesus, our true defense (Eccl. 7:11-12). It would be pointless to have as much money as you would like if it cannot protect or defend you. True defense comes from Jesus, not money.

Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matt.6:24) Therefore, money and all material things are supposed to help attract us to Christ, not extricate us away from Him. He must sit on the throne of our lives, not any material stuff, most of all, not money. Ultimately, Love is the true source of all abundance. (1 John 4:16).

Of what use are material riches and things in the spiritual realm and regime of God? One day all material riches will be of no value, because the only valuable thing that will remain is God’s Love in His spiritual kingdom. God’s Love is another word for super abundance. (1 John 4:8, 16)

Think about it, how did money or riches came to our consciousness? It was created by man’s thoughts. Man created the economic system of goods and service with currencies (money) to keep it turning. Who gave man his thoughts? It is fashioned after the mind of God to make choices about how man will live life. (Gen.1:26-27) So, the ability to think and make choices is the gift of God’s Love. He calls us to amend our ways out from a self-centered orbit, to His Love-centered universe. All material riches of the earth was created by God who is Love.

God’s Love – The Human Spiritual Gravitational Force!

Let me now share how the believer controls his thought process. For the Believer (Bulamanriver*), Love is the spiritual “gravity” in our thought environment. We don’t learn to live within Love’s spiritual gravity as quickly as we do with our physical gravity. Living within Love’s spiritual gravity is a process of thought and thought forms. On the physical level, we learn very quickly that we need a chair to break our fall when we sit, but fail to equate the Spirit’s Love as the ‘chair’ in our hearts that will break our spiritual gravity when we need God to help us succeed.

Love Is the Champion of The Divine Subconscious Mind!

The Believer’s (Bulamanriver’s*) sponsoring (subconscious) thought is God’s Love. Love is the subconscious mindset that should govern all our thoughts. Love is the super-abundant thought-process – it is the factory where all our conscious thoughts are the raw material which create forms for decision-making and acted upon. Therefore, the sponsoring thought through which all our 360,000 conscious thoughts are sifted always ends with joy, peace, abundance and Love.

Jesus warns us, “Those who have – more will be given; those who don’t – what they have will be taken” (Matt. 13:12 emphasis added). He is speaking of our underlying philosophy about life that’s welded to our subconscious mind. In other words, abundance (Love) breeds plenty, while lack (fear) breeds scarcity.

The subconscious-sponsoring thought of God’s divine Love is the sieve that filters all our conscious thoughts to produce one inevitable form – abundance (Love). The subconscious (Love) mindset determines if your thoughts (seeds) fall on “good and rich ground” or “stony and poor ground.” Love is to our subconscious thought environment what gravity is to our physical environment. No matter how high we aim, our foot will rest ultimately on the ground of our sponsoring thought (subconscious mind – Love).

Like a Jig-Saw Puzzle

It’s like a jigsaw puzzle where you have seen the picture of the end from the beginning as shown on the image of the jig-saw box. The picture symbolizes your subconscious mind – it’s the picture of God’s Love, and His personal gift and calling in your life. (Read my blog titled, “Gifts, Abilities, Destinies, posted at: http://bulamanriver.net/2185; and http://bulamanriver.net/3145

Life is like a Jig Saw Puzzle with Many Thoughts to Sieve Through

When you pick the right pieces (thoughts), they fall magically into place and the picture of God’s Love comes through. Unlike a jigsaw puzzle which has all the correct pieces in the box, we have all kinds of thoughts including ones that don’t fit the picture, enter our minds. Our subconscious mind assists us by filtering our thoughts to find the right pieces that fit the picture of Love. When we have the right picture (subconscious mind enveloped in God’s Love), your brain is always on autopilot, picking the right pieces which fit the Love-picture.

As I said earlier, it’s not as daunting as the number of thoughts that bombard our conscious minds each day, all 30,000 of them. Love puts your subconscious mind on autopilot to sieve through them. It happens at lighting speed so we are not even conscious of how this awesome miracle of the mind works.

The question is what mind picture do you possess? That’s the key! You must get the picture (subconscious Love mindset) right first. When your picture is Jesus, you will use only the right thoughts (jigsaw pieces) that fit into the picture, with the help of the Spirit (Love). Then you form Godly decisions to be acted on based upon the process of His Love. Jesus said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Love), and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt.6:33).

Six Human Senses Are Tools for Raw Material of Thought!

Love-forms are the result of “creative thinking” which leads to “creative action” and materializes into “creative works” (Eph. 2:10). So, forms or visions materialize as plans and goals birthed in our thoughts. We perceive form through the six human senses – sight, smell, ears, tongue, skin for feeling, and might I add a sixth sense – emotional response from the mind and heart of a person. The senses do not create form. Only thoughts do, through the subconscious mindset that’s motivated by the Spirit’s Love. The five senses are tools of the mind factory, and thoughts (all 30,000 of them) are raw material you use to help create Love-forms to enable you to live positive realities in life.

Do We Live Through Our Senses?

Do we live principally through our human senses? Some do, however, many of us do not, or seldom, live that way. That’s to say, we let our senses do our thinking and create forms for us. In other words, we can allow others to influence our thought processes through our human senses.

If we do that, then we have allowed our inquisitiveness and imagination to be taken over by the glamour and appeal of others like the latest scandal, public frenzy, the captivating drama on our television – whether real or fiction, or the entertainment element plastered all over our media. Have we given our minds to other mediums such that we cannot think for ourselves?

Our six senses ought to be restrained so as to follow where our Love-thoughts lead us, not the other way round. The senses are supposed to live in joyous excitement of the creative thought activity of the subconscious mind dominated by Love. (1 John 4:16) Perhaps inadvertently or through ignorance we have become prisoners of our own making by letting our human sensory perception lead us, instead of allowing our creative thinking through Love dominate our lives.

The Word – Our Foundation

God thinks Trinitarianly and shares His Triune thought process with the Son and the Spirit, and with us by saying He knows our thoughts before we think them. (Psa.139:2) The Spirit’s thoughts of Love show us how we are to think and live as Believers (1 Cor.13; Rom.12 & 13; Gal. 5; Col.3 & 4). It’s a way of living that produces creative forms on a consistent basis and never fails you because you are a river and the ecology of the “living waters” (Spirit) makes fertile and rich whatever, wherever, and whoever you come into contact with. The Scriptures tell us, “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not” (Lam.3:22).

And the river (Spirit in humans) does this consistently every single day. The river (humanity) comes as a new beginning each day—consistently. That is abundance as defined in the life of the Believer (Bulamanriver*)  (1Cor.13:8, 13; John 7:37-39). If the Bible can be defined in one word, it is Love. (Matt.22:37-40). God’s Spirit is the divine Love deposited in believing humans. “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Rom.5:5)

Rivers of “Living Waters” – Holy Spirit

Therefore, the Bible is the groundwork of Love from which we create forms of thought that lead to greater benefits, and they come to us without apology because they are founded on the principles of God’s Love. The Bible says we should pay heed to the foundation upon which we build our lives – whether it is on shifting sand or on the solid Rock, Jesus Himself. (Matt.7:24-27) The foundation determines whether the structure will stand the test of time and remain secure well into the future.

The Bible is the foundation of our thoughts for creating plans, desires, goals, and objectives – in one word, basic form of the Love of God. The Bible brings form and stability to our lives as long as Love is in our subconscious mindset and shapes our thought processes. Love is “creative action” because it is deliberately formed in the thought and acted out.

To think like a Believer (Bulamanriver*) is to have the thoughts of God. To think like God is to think Love in all its manifestation (1Cor.13:1-13; Rom.12 & 13; Gal.5; Col.3 & 4). Then we are to maintain this sound mind that comes consistently from the Spirit to keep our thoughts motivated by Love’s fruits. (2 Tim.1:7; 1 Cor.13:1-12)

Make Rich the “Valleys”

The river (Spirit in human) exists to make the valleys fertile for the sustenance of all who depend on them. (John 7:37-39) For the Believer (Bulamanriver*), the valleys represent the community of people with whom you come in contact daily. There is your family valley. Then there is your church valley. There is your neighbor, community, and village, valleys. Furthermore, there is your work or occupation valleys. Then there is your school valley, your national valley, and so forth. Each of these valleys requires different responses from you.

Here is the crossover: we have a mind to think good thoughts that form “abundance” (Love), or to think damaging thoughts that form “lack” (fear). To think super “abundant” thoughts is our inheritance given us by the Creator, who is Love by nature. Lack is the place of fear, and to think in “lack” is to live in the river of fear, strife, rebellion, and greed—the Unbeliever.

We are called with our divinely bestowed gifts to make rich our valleys we come in contact with. When we do, we likewise become rich too. The Bible says, “He who waters others will himself be watered.” (Prov.11:25, NASB) Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed himself. That’s how the law of Love works.

The Bible tells us “be you transformed by the renewing of your mind (your thoughts.)” (Rom. 12:2) Your subconscious thought is the key. Your thought is to be harmonized with the literal Word of God, and the Personified Word of God, Jesus. The Personified Word (Jesus) manifest Himself by living in us in the Spirit’s power, and His literal Word, the Bible, guides us with the Spirit’s inspiration.

God miraculously creates circumstances for those who believe in the promises of His Word. Your actions will always follow the forms your thoughts create – whether for good or bad. You are to first “think abundantly good.” You have to “grow” to be abundant. You have to “increase” to be abundant. That’s Love. Love is abundance. Jesus said, “Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matt.5:48, The Message)

Fight the Good Fight

Paul said, “The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, we have divine power to cast down imaginations [demolish evil thoughts and arguments] and every pretension [posturing thought] that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we bring captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-6 emphasis added).

So, Paul reveals an enemy who wants to change us from the Believer with the Spirit’s “living waters” and take us back to the Unbeliever, the river of fear and want that we have renounced, disowned, and left behind upon the cross of Jesus. (Gal.2:20) He says the battle lines have been drawn, and the enemy has been identified, so we have no doubt or misgivings about how, when, why, and where this battle is going to be fought – in our minds, for the controls of our thoughts!

I will close with this fitting quote, “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, either way you are right!” (Henry Ford) I certainly hope you will never undervalue your thoughts for pennies. That’s all for now! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on bulamanriver@gmail.com. I invite you to visit my web site, www.bulamanriver.com for more resources.

Just as God is faithful to go out from Himself in Love, may the Church in its communion and reliance on the Triune God, go out in Love as well, fully cognizant of its role as true masters of our own thoughts in Christ. (2 Cor.10:5)

Until we meet again in my next post, may God bless you with the faith of Jesus His Son and may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. O God our heavenly Father, please feel the hearts of those who need Your help and be strong for them and keep them safe. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make you a master of your thoughts in every way, make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life” as a Bulamanriver.* Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Blessing

Kiang                                                                                                                                                          (Your Servant in Christ)

* The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the believer who is 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. “Bula” is a Fijian word which means “life.” 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.

** The “Bulumanriver” is metaphor for a non-believer. “Bulu” is Fijian word which means “burial” or “death.” This river produces want and death in the person. Bulumanriver is the union of man with his fallen, unsaved self who lives under the deception and sway of the devil. You can also read my blog post titled “Who is The Bulamanriver?”

*** 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 Tri-Personal Being of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity, as God is in His divine triunity. 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)

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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. (Gen.1:26-27)

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: 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 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.

“Bulamanriver” Book Cover

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.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you.

TWO FAITHS: 1) FATHER/OFFSPRING 2) MASTER/SERVANT – EASTER/PASSOVER 2024

Greetings Friends wherever you are! My hope is my post will find you filled with the Lord’s joy!

The Christian faith is founded upon our God who is a Trinity, not a solitary God. God is One hypostatic (unified) Godhead in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:18-20) As a verb, faith speaks of articulating our statement of beliefs in our daily lives. As a noun faith identifies who God is, for scripture tell us, “God is Love” (1 john 4:8, 16). So, faith as a verb can be utilized various ways, in this post I would like to share two fundamental meanings of faith and its application. There’s an interesting point about faith that’s worthy of note in Luke 17. Let’s read it…

“The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” (verb) He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’” (Luk.17:5-10). The parable of the mustard seed appears in parallel passages in other Gospels, but Luke’s account is unique in that it interfaces the disciples’ question about faith with the account of the master and the servant.

Faith as a Grain – Quality not Quantity

The disciples asked for faith in the sense of quantifying faith! By saying, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed,” Jesus is talking about the quality of faith, rather than the quantity of faith. We will see what I mean by “quality” a little later. In this passage from Luke, your Bible has a pause between Verse 5-6 and Verse 7-10 to indicate two unrelated topics. Verse 5-6 is about faith, and Verse 7-10 tells us about the parable about the Master and Servant. But the Bible in its original format had no verse or chapter breaks we see in today’s version. Verses and chapters were introduced to help readers navigate through different parts of the Bible.

But it has its pros and cons, and one weakness is we can be blinded by missing the context. Reading a small part is not always helpful when the author intended a passage to be read through to the end. So, this passage speaks about a single topic, not two unrelated issues. It is about faith and reads from verse 5 to 10. The parable was simply Jesus way of explaining the meaning of the “mustard seed faith.” So, what has faith to do with the “master/servant” relationship?

Jesus Teaching Disciples the Mustard Seed Faith (By James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum, Wiki Commons)

Two Faiths:

Jesus explains the ‘mustard seed faith’ in the context of the “Master/Servant” faith (verb), because it is distinct from but essentially part of the believer’s “Father/Offspring” (Son/Daughter) faith. The faith we express in terms of the “Father/Offspring” relationship has to do with our adoption into God’s eternal family through Jesus. One is foundational and unmoved (“Father/Child”), while the other is functional and mobile (“Master/Servant”). By ‘functional’ I mean something that is mobile and changes with time according to God’s move in the believer’s life, yet it has eternal ramification. (Matt.25:23) In one, God is our Father, while He is Master in the other.

What we see in our lives is identical with Jesus own life where His faith is applied in two contextual realities: the foundational “Father/Son” relationship He had with His Father from eternity, and the functional “Master/Servant” relationship in His role as Savior and Redeemer. So, Jesus possessed both faiths: the foundational “Father/Son relationship” in His role as the only Son of God; and in a “Master/Servant relationship” in His role as the Savior and Redeemer of humanity.

From here I will attempt to share the two faiths as Jesus stated in His parable about the important subject of faith in Luke 17:5-10. Firstly, the “Father/Offspring Faith,” and secondly, the “Master/Servant Faith.”

  1. Father/Offspring Faith “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith! He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you” (Luke 17:5-6).  
  2. Master/Servant Faith “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’” (Luke 17:7-10).  

Following are the explanatory notes:

1) Father/Offspring Faith: The commonly quoted passage from John says, “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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:16-17). This is the foundation upon which the “Father/Offspring Faith” is grounded.

2) Master/Servant Faith: Paul gave us these immortal servanthood passage about Jesus, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Phil.2:6-8). I stress the words of Paul, “Being in very nature God…He (Jesus) made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant...And being found in the appearance of a man, He humbled Himself by being obedient to death – even death on a cross” (Phil.2:7-8).

And again in Hebrews, we read, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth… because of His reverent submission. A Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek” (Heb.5:7-10). Note the words, “He (Jesus) learned obedience from what He suffered and once made perfect,” are words designated for a servant. And because of Jesus’ obedience and loyalty He was made humanity’s High Priest of God in heaven forever.

For us as humans, the faith we express in the “Master/Servant” relationship is no different, but this time it has to do with God’s Work, principally as it relates to the work of the Gospel. (Mat.28:18-20) God’s Work involves His labor of Love to save humanity from sin and eternal death called the ministry of reconciliation which we are given. (2 Cor.5:18)

Jesus Christ possessed both faiths. So, as followers of Jesus, we too must take on both faiths as He did. Jesus said, “Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt.28:20).

In this passage from Luke 17, your Bible has a pause between Verses 5-6, and Verses 7-10, presumably indicating two unrelated topics. Verses 5-6 speaks about faith as a mustard seed, and Verses 7-10 is a parable about the Master and Servant. But the Bible in its original format had no verse or chapter breaks we see in today’s Bible version. Verses and chapters were introduced to help readers navigate through different parts of the Bible. But it has its pros and cons, and one weakness is we can be blinded by missing the subject or context of the passage in question altogether. Reading a small part is not always helpful when the author intended a passage to be read through to the end as one subject. So, this passage speaks about a single topic, not two unrelated issues. It is all about faith and reads from Luke 17 Verse 5 to 10. The parable was simply Jesus’ way of explaining the meaning of the faith from two realities.

2 Cor. 5:18

So, let’s start with the second point of Jesus’ teaching about faith – what has faith to do with the “Master/Servant” relationship as shown in Luke 17:7-10? Jesus explains the faith in the context of the “Master/Servant faith” is distinct from but essentially part of the believer’s “Father/Offspring faith.” The faith we express in terms of the “Father/Offspring faith” is the relationship that has to do with our adoption into God’s eternal family through Jesus. John wrote the memorable text, “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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16-18).

One faith is foundational and unmoved (“Father/Offspring Faith”), while the other is functional and mobile (“Master/Servant Faith”). By ‘functional’ I mean something that is mobile and can change according to circumstance and time in line with God’s move in the believer’s life, yet it has eternal ramification. (Matt.25:23) In one, God is our Father, while He is Master in the other.

What we see in our lives is identical with Jesus own life where His faith is applied in two contextual realities: the foundational “Father/Son Faith” (relationship) He had with His Father from eternity, and the functional “Master/Servant Faith” (relationship) in His role as Savior and Redeemer. The faith we express in the “Master/Servant Faith” or relationship is no different and has to do with God’s Work, principally as it relates to the work of the dispensation of the Gospel of Jesus as Redeemer of humanity. (Mat.28:18-20)

The Great Commission

God’s Work involves His labor of Love to save humanity from sin and eternal death called the ministry of reconciliation which we are given. (2 Cor.5:18) The oft-quoted passage from John we read earlier from John 3:16-19 says everything we desire to know about the Father’s Love for humanity as a whole. That in a nutshell, is the very heart and soul of God’s Work. So, there are two faiths working interchangeably where one is built on top of the other and mutually dependent. One is expressed in form of a noun (“Father/Son” relationship), and the other is a verb (“Master/Servant” relationship).

Life As Seen Through The Triune Lense of The Trinity

As we dig deeper into this passage in Luke 17, we do so wearing God’s Triune lens and perspective. God exists in Three Personal realities of “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matt.28:18-20). By looking at human life through God’s Triune lens and perspective we can arrive at the right explanation of faith, or for that matter any other topic in the Bible. Jesus brings each of us into the picture of this “Master/Servant Faith”: God is Master and we are His servants. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are always interweaving and interpenetrating each other, are pure oneness in thought, purpose, and action, and are perfection and beauty-one God in three Persons eternally in Loving relationship.

Then Jesus asks, if we had a hired house servant, would we regard him as master and treat him with all the courtesies of a master in a role reversal? Is it okay that the master perform the work he has paid a servant to do? Is that how this faith works? Of course not! But what was Jesus getting at?

He desired to know if we are we true servants, or do we sometimes regard God like a servant and we are masters? That would be an unthinkable thought to consider let alone believe. In the “Father/Offspring Faith” (relationship) we know our place as offspring and children and don’t have an identity crisis here. But not so with the “Master/Servant Faith” (relationship) where the tendency to switch the roles are real. If we have initiated a role reversal in our relationship with God, whether inadvertently or ignorantly, then the faith which keeps the “Master/Servant Faith” (relationship) functioning properly has been compromised and made powerless and vulnerable if not incapacitated. But if this “Master/Servant Faith” is functioning correctly, even though it is small as a mustard seed, it will be powerful. And Jesus lived both faiths as a Son (offspring), and as a truthful and loyal servant of God the Father.

As we are now entering the period of Easter and Passover (2024), it s imperative and vital that we understand how we apply the two faiths. Intuitively, we tend to overemphasize God’s role as a caring Father who provides for His children. Yet, what about as our Master who wants us to participate in His saving and redemptive Work of dispensing the saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (John 3:16; Matt.28:17-20) Humans are creatures of comfort and habit with the tendency to follow the path of least resistance. So, we are more inclined towards God’s Fatherly qualities, than His Masterly attributes and values.

As a Father we tend to ask Him for our many mundane needs, but do we express the same enthusiasm for His role as Master and faithfully responding as servants in His Work of the Gospel. We mistakenly assume we are entitled to a life without obstacles and setbacks as children, and we become perplexed not understanding the ground (faith) we are standing upon in life’s calling and circumstance as a dedicated and loyal servant of Jesus.

The modern-day so-called prosperity gospel is one such instance of inverting the priority and regarding God as servant who is the source for all our wants and desires, minimizing or entirely failing at the servanthood role. Do we see the Christian life like a vacation cruise and God’s part is to indulge us with the blessed life of plenty? We exploit passages out of context like, “Faith is the evidence of things not seen,” where the “unseen things” are cravings for the material and sensual? (Heb.11:1). We just made God a servant for our selfish appetites and ambitions, and have become masters in the process, and made God a servant…albeit inadvertently?

The Prosperity GospelInverting The Priority of the Master/Servant Faith

When that happens, what we are seeing is the human version of faith which makes this role reversal a reality. But as we keep our pair of “Triune Life” lens firmly in place, we’ll find that it is an altogether different faith which keeps the “Master/Servant” relationship healthy between God and the Christian. But though this role reversal may convey the outward appearance of the material and sensual, its underlying stimulus is spiritual self-righteousness (“solitary life”) due to deficiency of the Holy Spirit by living God’s whole Tri-Personal Being as the Triune God. (Eph.5:18; 2 Thess.2:13).

Servanthood Faith   

The “Master/Servant” faith starts small like a mustard seed because servanthood is something which grows from a seed to a fruitful tree for the benefit of others. In the parable of the mustard seed, Jesus taught, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matt.13:31-32).

As we keep the Easter/Passover in 2024, the “Master/Servant Faith” seed (Jesus’ Personal Faith) maybe minuscule, but as long as it is a genuine article, the seed has the quality and character in its nature to do great things. Yes, Jesus was the greatest Servant of all even though He was a Son. He is called the “Suffering Servant” (Isa.53). As a Servant, Paul said of Jesus, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience (servanthood) from the things which He suffered (as the Messiah)” (Heb.5:8, NASB, emphasis mine).

Jesus – The “Suffering Servant”

A servant’s life usually takes effort, production, and brings successful outcomes in harmony with the divine will. At times, coupled with courage, humility, and unshakable determination, it can be different by comparison to living the sheltered life of a son or daughter (“Father/Offspring Faith”). We live the abundant life as children enveloped in God’s incomprehensible Love. In response, children take responsibility for their Father’s Love by becoming Love themselves as He is Love. John makes this point clear for God’s children, “But anyone who does not Love does not know God, for God is Love…We know how much God Loves us, and we have put our trust in His Love. God is Love, and all who live in Love live in God, and God lives in them” (1 John 4:8,16; also 1 Cor.13; Gal.5:16-26). This speaks of our faith as children in the “Father/Offspring Faith” relationship.

God Is Love

However, as a servant in the “Master/Servant Faith” (relationship), we may suffer hardships in the moment, but this is considered negligible when compared to the glorious future our Master has in store  for us. (Rom.8:18) Jesus came as a “Suffering Servant,” and in His final moments at the cross, He cried to His Father, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt.27:46). Yes, as a servant we may feel seemingly forsaken at times, but we have His sure promise, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb.13:5b).

Before His death, Jesus taught His disciples the attitude of a servant by washing the disciples’ feet. On the third day after His death by crucifixion upon His cross, it was impossible for death to keep Him to hold Him, for He was the second Person of the Tri-Personal God as Acts 2:24 states. (also Matt.28:17-20) Jesus rose from the dead and forever secured humanity’s eternal destiny and faith for all eternity. (1 Cor.15:17) As a loyal Servant, Jesus fulfilled His Father’s work of redeeming mankind from sin, and endowing humanity with His Spirit of Love to assure immortality in His eternal kingdom. (John 3:16; Tit.2:13-14; Rom.8:11)

The faith based upon the “Father/Offspring” relationship is the rock foundation upon which the “Master/Servant” relationship is built. (Matt.7:24-27) However, the major portion of our lives will be lived out in the “Master/Servant” environment – the structure above ground which rests upon the foundation of the “Father/Offspring Faith.” The foundation is “unseen” but sure, and the structure upon it gives meaning, purpose, and destiny, is clearly “seen” in the believer’s life. This structure through the “Master/Servant Faith” relationship puts substance and structure to the family responsibility by which we will be judged and rewarded as this passage show at a future time of judgment, “His Master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!’” (Matt.25:23). Those are memorable words we must take with us as we observe the solemn occasion of Easter and Passover.

Life’s Strong Foundation

So, it goes without saying how vital this faith will be for us all, minuscule it may be from the outset (“mustard seed”). Our occupations and professions come under the umbrella of the “Master/Servant” relationship, founded upon the anchor and cornerstone of the “Father/Offspring Faith.” Paul said, “Work with enthusiasm, as though you were Working for the Lord rather than for people” (Eph.6:7). Your whole life is a platform for the Work of the Servant of the Lord and His Gospel. As we observe this Easter/Passover season, remember you are the living, walking, talking, Gospel of Jesus Christ. Peter tells us how to use our platform, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord (Master)” (1 Pet.3:15).

Peter continues, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Pet.3:15). So, we see how God takes our every-day reality and weave it into His plan for us to be both loving offspring (children) and loyal servants. A cautionary note, we ought to be careful about not turning our profession (servants with unique gifts) for mere material/financial benefits solely for this mundane human life and all its reciprocal appendages. Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need (for this physical life)” (Mat.6:33, also 1 Cor.15:19).

Jesus – Still Serving Humanity as High Priest

For the most part, while we are God’s children, the greater and best chunk of oue lives is about being a servant. Therefore, it is imperative we have the prerequisite faith to help us live the role of a true and loyal servant. The servanthood life is the extension of Jesus’ own life as the ultimate Servant of His Father and Master. Let’s keep in mind this Easter/Passover that Jesus’ role as Savior did not end at the cross, that was just the beginning. He continues to perform His role as Savior today as humanity’s eternal High Priest in heaven interceding on mankind’s behalf for all of humanity’s faults and transgressions and bringing us to salvation as the Father had planned. (John 3:16-17)

So, He continues to serve mankind in heaven and through us as His servants and temple on earth, as a ultimate and loyal Servant of God. (Heb.4:14-15; Eph.3:16-19; 1 Cor.3:16) Servanthood begins with faith – the servanthood faith is the engine of the “Master/Servant Faith” and relationship. It is initially given in its minutest form (mustard seed) upon our conversion and grows into a fruitful tree where people come to it for rest and nourishment. (John 15:16; Gal.5:22-23; Tit.3:14)

Growing the “Mustard Seed Faith” in “Good Soil”

The “Faith of Jesus”

How do we deal with our “mustard seed faith” and make it grow? With our “Triune Life” lens and focus firmly in place, let’s see the first and most worthy thing we can do: we sow our “mustard seed faith” on good soil so it will bring forth a bountiful harvest. What is the good soil? Jesus gave another parable about the sower where the seeds fell on four different soil types (Matt.13:1-23). Jesus explains the sower is God the Father, the seed (faith) is God’s Word (Jesus), the four soil types represent people and how they respond to God’s Word/seed (faith) represent the fruits of God’s Love-Fruits of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor.13:1-12; also see Appendix below)

Three seed types (human interaction with God) did not have it in them to sustain any growth, so the seeds perished. But it is only the “good seed” which fell upon and received by the “good soil” which brought forth fruit as Matthew records, “Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matt.13:8). The “good soil” represents the work of the Holy Spirit in preparing the soil (humanity) to receive the “good seed” (God’s Word – Jesus’ Personal living, dynamic Faith). This Easter/Passover, we ought to remember that the Holy Spirit is working in our lives to make us dedicated, loyal, and true servants (the good soil) of Almghty God to receive His Son’s living Faith as Savior and Redeemer.

Now, according to this parable, your “faith seed” (Jesus/Word of God) is actually Jesus’ own Personal faith, not our weak human faith. He is the Personification of God’s Word – the “mustard seed faith.” That explains why it can move a mountain, despite the fact it is small as a mustard seed. (Matt.17:20) Paul affirms how we take ownership of the only workable faith a true servant can have to do His Master’s work, saying, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives 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). In another passage Paul reminds us, “Even the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ to all and on all them that believe.” (Rom.3:22, AKJV)

There is a difference between the faith in Jesus, and the faith of Jesus. When you say you have faith in Jesus it fundamentally speaks of the use of a person’s weak human faith in someone. However, when a person speaks of the faith of Jesus then it refers to a faith of Someone else, not you or your weak human faith – in other words, Jesus’ living, dynamic servanthood faith. It is important to keep this important difference of the use of prepositions in mind that indicate relationships between words.

Mustard Seed – The Faith of Jesus

So, the “mustard seed faith” in Luke 17 is the faith of Jesus sown in you, the “good soil” prepared by the Holy Spirit. A pertinent word about perception and mindset, the “good soil” is not conveying the goodness of the human heart – that is what a deceived person wearing the devil’s “solitary life” lens would see and like to believe. If anything, the human heart is rotten to the core through and through. (see Jer.17:9; Mar.7:20-23) Why is that? Because humanity has been spiritually ‘dead’ in sin since the fall of Adam in Eden, awaiting the coming of the ‘Second Adam’ – Jesus Christ. (1 Cor.15:45; Rom.6:23). But rather the “good soil” (you) is the work of preparation done by the Holy Spirit since He was given on Pentecost. (Act.2:38) He supplies the “living waters,” and prepares the “good soil” (you) to receive the “good seed” (Jesus’ Faith/Word) from the Father. (John 7: 37-39; Gal.2:20).

If there is any “good” in humanity, it rests upon the fact that God made humans in His image with a divine destiny to become Love as “God is Love.” (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:16). God’s plan is to bring to reality His destiny in humanity, and the “good soil,” the Spirit in you, is an intrinsic part of it. (1 Cor.3:16). In keeping with the solemn Easter/Passover season, let us recall what we are to be contrite and distressed about – our fallen nature inherited from Adam’s first sin in Eden, and to now receive the Second Adam in Christ and accepting the new life in and through God’s Spirit. (2 Cor.15:45; Rom.8:1-2, NLT)  

The Human Heart is Desperately Wicked- Jer.17:9

By having the “Triune Life” lens (mindset), we are always asking how each individual Person of the Tri-Personal God is involved with our lives and salvation. The Father and Son cannot work on their own without the Spirit for the Three Persons of the Triune God acting as One substance and act as One Being in the Triune Godhead. The “Master/Servant Faith” (mustard seed) is always Jesus’ own living faith. The “good soil” (humanity) is always showing the work of sanctification of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, only the Spirit (good soil/human) can receive Jesus’ faith (mustard seed) and give growth and true life and move mountains. For there is no other way for the “Master/Servant Faith” relationship to germinate and grow in humans except within God’s “Triune Life.” (Matt.28:18-20)

So, when we come back to the disciples’ question about faith in Luke 17, rather than quantifying faith, Luke qualifies faith by personifying it as Jesus’ own powerful living faith existing in you through the Spirit’s life. (1 Cor.3:16; Heb.3:4-6) In all of this, we see God’s “Triune Life” in motion: The Father sows the seed of His Son’s faith in the good soil (humanity) which the Spirit has prepared through spiritual watering or sanctification. (1 Pet.1:2,5; 2 Thes.2:13)

Human Faith Vs Jesus’ Faith

Many Christians today do not know how to live “Master/Servant Faith” and relationship. If they are, they are trying to do it on their terms with their human faith, and it can never be done. And this is the crux of the problem as to why many believers say their faith is weak. It is weak because it is still our human faith and unsuited for the task of a true offspring and loyal servant of God. The believer is still viewing life through the lens of his human “solitary life and faith.” He must replace his “solitary life” lens with God’s “Triune Life” lens. (Read more about Jesus’ faith and the human faith at http://bulamanriver.net/?p=2811).

This is what Jesus meant when He commissioned His followers to make disciples, “Baptize (induct) them in (into the life of) the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matt.28:19, emphasis mine). This is foundational truth of our understanding of God who exists in His Love as the Trinity! Being baptized means to be “immersed” into God’s “Triune Life” in a literal and real spiritual sense. If we do not get it right at this elementary level, then the “Master/Servant Faith” structure being built on the foundation of the “Father/Offspring Faith” is flawed and will be found wanting. (Matt.7:24)

We will find out soon enough our human faith is weak and inadequate to do God’s Work. It is going to be the Faith of Jesus, and nothing more or less. It must be remembered that it is the human faith which inverts the priority and regards God as servant and humans as master. (Luke 17:7-10) It is man’s self-centered ego that is trying to execute what only the Holy Spirit can do in humanity.

The Faith of Jesus

Faith Turns to Gift and Calling

Jesus’ own Faith (mustard seed) is made reality in man by the gift of the Holy Spirit, who in turn makes us His dwelling (temple/humanity) so He can always keep us as “good soil” for Jesus’ living servanthood Faith/seed. (John 16:13-15; 1 Cor.3:16; 6:19) The Spirit empowers each believer to embrace his/her calling with the accompanying God-given gift to do the Work of the Gospel. Paul clarifies the connection between grace, faith and gift, saying, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to each of us…in proportion to our faith, let us use them” (Rom. 12:6). You can read more about man’s calling (gift/faith) to do God’s Work in a post I wrote at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=3145   

On the eve of Jesus’ departure from the earth as He was about to be taken into heaven by an angelic host, He commissioned His followers the highest work they will do in their “Master/Servant” relationship with Jesus, His Father, and the Spirit, “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). Always be cognizant of God’s sovereignty and take hope that His purpose is absolute.  

At the end of the day, Luke tells us to reflect upon God’s grace of gifting us with the faith of His Son, and respond with humility, “I have done everything I was told to do, I am an unworthy servant, and I have only done my duty” (Luk.17:10).

Just as God is faithful to go out from Himself in Love, may the church in its communion and reliance on the Triune God, go out in Love as well, fully cognizant of its role as offspring and servant in the work of God.

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

Blessing:

Until we meet again in my next post, may God bless you with the faith of Jesus His Son and 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)

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 Tri-Personal Being of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity, as God is in His divine triunity. 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)

          Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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. (Gen.1:26-27)

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: 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 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

                                            “Bulamanriver” Book Cover

***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.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you.

LIVING IN THE “LOVE-FORCE” OF GOD’S DIVINE “LOVE NATURE”, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends! Jesus used many parables to try to make His listeners understand God’s Kingdom of Love. Today, I would like to share a parable of God’s Love as represented by the ocean of earth’s seven seas.

Let me elaborate. The water in the ocean is the ‘enabling condition’ which empowers marine life to go about living with other marine species, each fulfilling their individual role in the overall marine ecosystem. So likewise, the waters of the ocean is analogized as God’s Love which enables humans (marine life) to be sustained in His spiritual ecosystem and live out their divinely conferred gifts and purposes for the eternal destiny of God’s Kingdom.

I likened the ‘ocean’ to the life-force of God’s Love as ‘condition’ because inherent in its oceanic makeup is the power which enables humans to live under God’s purpose for all its inhabitants. The 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)

There is another ocean, one of fear and trepidation, that exists in contrast to God’s Love. This is the ocean where the enemy of God, Satan, is its master. Its waters are murky and therefore hard people must be wary and watchful when we navigate. As Peter said, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet.5:8). Yes, it has many predatory marine species which lay in wait to devour helpless marine life – see picture below.

The Ocean of Fear and Sin of the Enemy of God, Satan, Who Seeks to Destroy Humanity with Predatory Species. Sharks and seemingly dangerous creatures of the deep are not usually menacing as they appear unless threatened (Unsplash).

The people who now live in the ocean of God’s Love were once inhabitants of this fearful and dreadful ocean. In fact, because of Adam’s fall when he and his wife succumbed to the Satan’s temptation in Eden, all humanity were fated to become unfortunate and inescapable inhabitants of this dreadful and destructive ocean. (Gen.3:1-6, 21-24) Just as our fist parents were banished from Eden, so humanity has grown in the fearful and destructive ocean. (Gen.3:21-24) We were born and raised in it. We see its effects upon humanity every day are caught “in the snare of the devil” (2 Tim.2:26). But for those who respond to God’s call, they have been given to be extracted out of and saved from this ocean’s deathly and deadly waters and now placed in and inhabit and swim in the ocean of God’s divine Love-force. Here is God’s promise to those who respond positively to His call: “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes” (Jer.29:12-13; Psa.40:5). It is the fear-generating spirit of the enemy’s “sin-condition” that is the living force of Satan’s ocean which ensnares people to the way of rebellion and “sin-force” waters of the evil one.

Sin-Generating Fear -“The Snare of the Devil”- The Evil Force in the Ocean of the Enemy Who Seeks to destroy Humanity

How do people enter into and live in the peaceful, productive, and fulfilling life in the ocean of God’s Love? And how do humans find the way to extract themselves out of the ocean of fear and sin? It is obvious the marine life like fish, turtles, and other species cannot extract themselves out from one ocean into the next. So, it has to take the owner of the respective oceans to let their inhabitants or citizenry in and out at their voluntary free will. God is the owner of the ocean of Love. The devil is the owner of the ocean of fear and sin.

God is calling out to all of humanity to come swim with everlasting joy in the river of His Love – eat freely from the food He has prepared for our true well-being.” Listen…

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you without money, come, buy, and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost! Why spend money on that which is not bread, and your labor on that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of foods” (Isa.55:1-2). God is freely reaching out to lavish upon humanity His food that will last for eternity. Take it and be ever grateful for His Love.

Jesus openly declared, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this He meant the Spirit” (John 7:37-39). Yes, the Holy Spirit is freely available for those who desires to follow God and has an open invitation for all humanity.

God is the Creator who rules supreme over all, including Satan. (Isa.45:5; Deut.32:39) The devil exists under His divine sovereign rule. Therefore, only God can rescue the people imperiled in the hazardous ocean of fear and sin. And God can execute a rescue plan for humanity, so to speak. And this He has already done by appointing and sending His Son, Jesus Christ, as master and owner of the ocean of Love. (John 3:16; Heb.1:2; 2:8) This is the ‘miraculous life’ that is our human heritage and preordained to live because mankind was created in God’s Love image – you can read more about the ‘miraculous life’ at: http://bulamanriver.net/22961, where I share my own personal miraculous story as testimony.

Yes, the enemy must first be defeated, so he is made powerless to hold people captive in his ocean of sin-generating fear and rebellion. Through Jesus’ victory, people are released from their captivity so they may enter the ocean of Love in the Spirit. Jesus has done exactly that by defeating Satan in His temptation, lived a perfect sinless life, was crucified upon His cross for human sins, resurrected and ascended to heaven and made humanity’s High Priest, forever mediating for mankind. (Matt.4:1-11; 27:32-56; 1 Pet.1:3; Act.1:6-11; Heb.4:14-16) The Bible attests through Paul, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be encumbered once more by a yoke of slavery” (Gal.6:1). Yes, Jesus has set humanity free from the “sin-force” waters of fear and rebellion of the enemy.

God Unites Himself With Humanity Through His Heart, Mind, and Human Life

Paul further states “For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness (sin-generating Ocean) and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son (Love-generating Ocean)” (Col.1:13, italics mine). John said, “There is no fear in Love. But perfect Love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). Here, we see the Bible disclose to us the identity of the two metaphysical oceanic conditions: Love and sin (fear).      

Paul explains and makes plain for us what God did through His Son, and provides the answer between the distinction of the two supernatural oceanic conditions as the “law of sin and death,” and the “law of the Spirit (Love)”: “For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Rom.8:2). Note, the “law of the Spirit of life” frees us from the “law of sin.”  The “law of sin” is the ocean that empowers the “sin-force” from which the destructive way of life of the enemy emanates. And the “law of the Spirit” is the power that inspires the Love-condition” and Love-force in the ocean of God’s Love, and generates righteous and uplifting living.

Jesus Gave Himself as the Sacrificial Lamb to Save Humanity From The deathly Waters of the Ocean of fear and Sin, and Bring Humanity Home into The Ocean of God’s Love (Holy Spirit).

Jesus gives us the mechanics of how a person is taken out of the murky deadly waters of the devil, and be installed and live in the Love-force (waters) of the Holy Spirit. He said, “You must be born again of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5-8). Let me paraphrase the passage as it relates to our topic today, “You must be born again into the waters of the Spirit’s Love-condition.” This is a spiritual birth, as Jesus made plain to Nicodemus. (John 3:3-7) You see, the waters which flow in the ocean of Love is empowered by the Holy Spirit Himself. He is the very personification of the Love-force in God’s oceanic environment.

Jesus made this clear when the Bible states, “On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, ‘Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 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 7:37-39).

So, we see that the waters of the ocean of Love is the Spirit of God, the third Person of the Triune Godhead, empowering and enabling humans to swim in God’s ocean of Love. Paul said this to the Romans, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). Yes, the Holy Spirit is likened to the cleansing waters which flows in humanity. (John 4:14; 1 Cor.12:13; Rev.21:6; 22:1-2, 17)

So, all the various life forms that exist in the ocean of the devil’s “sin-force” waters, has to depend upon God who overpowers its evil owner, pluck humanity out, and resettle them in the life-giving ocean of Love. This is mankind’s true home, it is the home of their birthright. (Gen.1:226-27; Eph.4:20-24; Gen.5:1) It is the ocean where the words of the Psalms is brought to life where human live the celestial life in the Spirit, “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling” (Psa.27:4-5).

Yes, in God’s ocean humans are in God’s Love-temple, and vice versa. Let us be clear, the ‘house of the Lord,’ ‘His temple,’ is very much the life and heart of humanity, for Paul affirms this, saying, “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” (1 Cor.3:16). Yes, the Psalmist is referring to the true temple of God – the very heart and innermost being of believers who now swim and exist in the ocean of God’s Love.

Paul asserted that the Father chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight in Love. We are the focus of the Father’s Love, and it is in the environment of the Spirit’s transcendent oceanic Love-force where we are renewed, transformed, and abundantly blessed. (Eph.1:3-4) We recall and remind ourselves of God’s trinitarian divine nature of Love in the Father, Son, and Spirit, into which humanity has been inducted. (Matt.28:18-20; 2 Cor.13:14) In their Loving union, they act as one for they are indivisibly One Triune God – so, the act of one is always the act of all three, and the act of three is always the act of one. Since God is a Tri-Personal divine Being, thereby Jesus is very much part and personification of the spiritual oceanic Love-condition in which humans exist and swim.

Jesus said, the Spirit’s role in our lives is to manifest Christ in each of us. Jesus said, “He (Holy Spirit) 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 16:14-15). Paul makes this plain, “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor.3:17). In the supernatural ocean of God’s Love-force, humanity is always existing in the inner sanctum of God’s Love-Being, for John affirms, “All who live in Love live in God, and God lives in them” (1 John 4:16).

Paul goes further, “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col.3:3). By saying, “For you died in this life,” Paul means the old life we lived in the enemy’s deathly ocean is gone forever, for Christ has paid the ransom to free humanity from the devil’s deathly waters and bring us to God’s living waters. (1 Tim.2:6; John 4:14; Rev.21:6) Yes, the ocean of God’s Love-force in the Spirit immerses and embrace us so that Jesus through the Spirit is by our side, He is over us and in us, so our every action and impulse are wrapped in the mysteries of God’s Love by which the Triune God reveals Himself to and in humanity. Yes, the scriptures reveal God’s triune nature in the Father, Son, and Spirit, acting as One in their Love for humanity. (Matt.28:18-20; 1 Pet.1:2; 2 Thess.2:13; 2 Cor.13:14)

Rublev’s Icon of the Trinitarian God (Wiki Commons)

The ceremony of baptism was inaugurated in the Christian faith to show in a visible form how humans are inducted into the new life in the ocean of God’s Love – notice, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body–whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Cor.12:13; Matt.28:18-20). Yes, we are drinking from the same Spirit of God’s Love who unites us to Christ and the Father. Peter affirms this process where God, through His Son, brings humanity out of the prison of fear and sin, and inducts them into the ocean of God’s Love, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Act.2:37-38).

Depiction of Jesus’ Baptism by John in the Jordan River

In short, living in the ocean of God’s Love (Spirit) in Christ is what the whole purpose of life means. Paul goes further, saying, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph.4:22-24).

Let us not forget, that in addition to saving humanity from the raging waters of death of the devil, Jesus also handed people gifts so they may live their lives with genuine divine purpose. Note, “That is why the Scriptures say, “When He (Jesus) ascended to the heights, He led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to His people” (Eph.4:8, also, Eph.4:10-13, NLB). Yes, Jesus opened the eyes of the people He saved with the gifts God conferred in His living ocean of Love.

It is within the sovereignty of His empowering Love veiled within His spiritual oceanic environment that all the good, both spiritual and physical, that God has promised in His Word is made possible and brought to reality for all humanity. The inherent and substantive value of human life is all about living a free-flowing metamorphized life through the oceanic currents of the Spirit’s Love-force, so through our gifts He may carry each of us to our respective divine destinies. (You can read of the Promises God gave mankind out of His great Love at: http://bulamanriver.net/15209).

On the other hand, the enemy’s ocean of fear and sin exists for the purpose of establishing false and damaging motivations and activities which opposes God and neutralize His awesome Promises. The entrapped people in this destructive ocean live a life of deception where they are given the false and the dubious aspirations by following self-made promises influenced by the devil. It is a life where people aspire and pursue their own brand of success and are blinded from seeing and realizing their divinely-ordained gift and dream-life intended for them.

Human Baptism – The Sign of Rebirth Into God’s Ocean Of Grace and Love

First and foremost, among God’s numerous awesome Promises is the promise of eternal life, while the devil’s lot has been determined as the very harbinger of destruction and death. (John 3:16; Rom.3:23, 6:23; Rev.20:10). Then, this is what He Promised concerning our human sojourn upon this earth, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer.29:11, NLB). The context of this verse means that God’s plans are always good for us, provided we do not seek our own plans that’s really influenced by the enemy. The Psalmist tell us, “Those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing” (Psa.34:20). Also, we are admonished to, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord” (Psa.27:14, NLB). Those who willingly follow the devil in his “sin-forced” oceanic environment, will finally meet God’s judgement, as the Bible states, “Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev.20:10, 15).

Dove, Symbol of The Holy Spirit and The Source of the Life-Giving Divine Love-Force, Rom.5:5.

The Peaceful and Hopeful Environment of God’s Love-Force (Unsplash)

To read more about God’s Promise or Covenant of Love for humanity, and how a person is taken from the spiritually deathly oceanic environment to the Loving environment of God’s Love, go to: http://bulamanriver.net/17484.

Petition: Friends, the month of February is considered the month of Love. As I close my post, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker, who has declared Himself as, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). 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* through Tripersonal God or Trinity. 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 Love, 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 – 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 forsaking your precious Love. I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior. In Your incalculable grace, thank you for recuing me and my loved ones, and all humanity, from the enemy’s fearful and destructive waters, and bringing us home into the life-giving waters of your Ocean of Love. Grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon us all so we may serve one another in your Love. 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.”

Prayer is A Solemn One-On-One Spiritual Love Dialogue Between a Person and God the Father (Wiki Commons)

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.

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.

In Love, farewell for now!

Kiang,  (Your Servant in Christ)                                                                                                                         

*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “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 (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)

The Resurrection to Immortality and Deification of Humanity

Created In God’s Image (Wiki Commons)

I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:50-55; Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)

So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”

Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity (Wiki Commons)

I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified in Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)

Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!

Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life.

In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.

Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) 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).

The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:9; 37:5). If God acts in ways that cannot be fathomed and is beyond human comprehension, then the miraculous life where humans are privileged recipients, cannot be deciphered by the human mind to its grandest manifestation. But we understand its meaning through divine revelation in that God reveals Himself as Love, and His miraculous activities are enveloped in His Love. (Jer.29:11)

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.

Book Cover of Living The “Triune Life” By Author

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.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you.

WHAT IS THE INTRIGUING “MYSTERY’ OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

Greetings Friends around the world. I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and favorable new year, 2024.

What is the baffling “mystery” of God’s Gospel of Jesus Christ? It was so vital to God that after Jesus had ascended back to God, the Scripture tells us, in two passages of Scripture I will quote:

1) “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the Word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the One we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me” (Col.1:24-29).

2) The second is taken from Ephesians: “To make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His (God’s) intent was that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the Rulers and Authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose that He (God the Father) accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In Him (Christ) we may approach God with confidence” (Eph.3:7-12).

And what was this perplexing mystery that God announced first to the Rulers and Authorities in the heavenly realms, then to the Church, and the whole world. Paul gives his unambiguous utterance to this perplexing mystery in Col.3:3: “Your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Col.3:3). In other words, every saved human life is now hidden with Christ within God’s very Trinitarian Being. That is the mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the One who transports humanity into the very Being of God’s holy Loving triune nature. Paul told the Ephesians, “For He (Father) chose us in Him (Christ) before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight” (Eph.1:4).

How does God make this possible – to unite a God who is entirely holy unite Himself with humanity? You see, with God true life in found in His Spirit – it is the Spirit-Life. He tells us, “Give ear and come to Me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you…Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon. 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.55:3, 6-9).

God, by declaring His Almighty, holy and all-righteous Divine Self as follows, “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,” He was revealing indirectly that true life exudes from His Spirit. (Isa.55:8-9). Physical man became a living human life when God created Adam from the dust of the earth. (Gen.2:7) Although made from the dust of the earth, Adam was created in God’s image and likeness. That is, he was created with all the necessary genes and DNA to maintain the divine specimen having the revered attributes of God. God’s purpose was to clothe humanity in His Spirit, and make mankind His children forever. (John 3:16)

Humans may live to 120 years if God so permits. (Gen.6:3) When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in Garden of Eden and ate the forbidden fruit, they sinned against God and instantly brought the death penalty upon all their children and all humanity. Paul told the Romans, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23). Yes, sin brings true death upon humanity. But at the same time, the verse continues with God’s promise to impart immortality through Jesus Christ. Immortality means to possess divine Spirit-Life in Jesus. This is the exact copy of the promise God made to Adam and Eve in Eden after the fall when they disobeyed. After our first parent’s fall into sin, God promised the coming of the Messiah to save us from our sins and fallen being. After questioning Adam and Eve about their sinful act, Eve told God, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Listen, this is the promise made to our first parents, God told Satan, “Because you have done this… I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel” (Gen.3:14-15). Thus, the promise of the Messiah was uttered by God to our first parents and to Satan, humanity’s archdeceiver. Satan’s fate was sealed at the beginning when he dared to step into God’s divine plan for humanity. The principle of the victory of the kingdom of God over the kingdom of darkness was established from the beginning.

When Adam and Eve failed to obey God, He did not exterminate them (which would have served justice), but instead revealed His covenant of grace to them by promising a Savior (Gen. 3:15).

Remember this remarkable truth of God’s nature, “For everyone belongs to Me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to Me. The one who sins is the one who will die” (Ezek.18:4). God asks, “Will such a man live? (read the detestable ways this man lived in Ezekiel Verses 10-13) He will not! Because he has done all these detestable things, he is to be put to death; his blood will be on his own head” (Ezek.18:13; Rom.6:23).

Yes, God promised the coming Messiah. And what would be the role of the Messiah? The apostle John answers, “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). Yes, it was out of the depth the Father’s overwhelming Love for humanity that God surrendered His Son Jesus to give us His true Spirit-Life -eternal life- in God’s Spirit which was lost in Eden.

As history has recorded in the Gospels, the Messiah came and lived the perfect human life. Jesus voluntarily surrendered His life in Love for our restitution and restoration. Then on the third day He was resurrected to divine/human immortality. He paved the way for human immortality in and through Himself. Before His ascension to the Father’s right hand, Jesus reminded the disciples, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift (of the Holy Spirit) My Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about” (Act.1:4). With the gift of the Spirit, God now unites Himself in His whole Triune Being with humanity in Love. (Matt.28:18-20)

Pentecost – The Birthday Of The Church When God’s Spirit-Life Was Given

When the day of Pentecost came, God poured the Holy Spirit upon those who were gathered as Jesus instructed. (Act.2:1-4) On that day, Peter, empowered by the Holy Spirit, spoke to the people and essentially gave them the divine mechanics by which humans are made holy through the Spirit-Life God promised long ago in Eden. (Gen.3:14-15). Peter told his listeners, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Act.2:38).

Thus, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the very Personification of God’s spiritual nature of Love, came and brought true Spirit-Life upon all humanity who followed Peter’s instruction. Thus, we see the activity of the Triune God through the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, working together to bring humanity to true salvation. (Matt.28:18-20).

Paul reminded the Corinthians, “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16). God’s temple, the human body and mind, is the very temple where God comes and fellowship with His people. Again, Paul reminded the people of Corinth, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (1 Cor.6:19). Yes, it is this very essence of God’s nature in the Holy Spirit which sows the true Life of God Himself in humanity.

The Human Body and Mind – God’s Temple Where His Spirit Dwells

Paul, speaking of this divine mystery of God, said, “I, Paul, have become its servant by the commission God gave me to fully proclaim to you the Word of God, the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations but is now revealed to His saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I also labor, striving with all His energy working powerfully within me” (Col.1:25-29).

For it is the Spirit who gives us the power of this divine joy to rejoice despite the circumstances and environment which depresses people to no end. The Spirit is the deposit of God’s Love and its fruits in humans. (Rom.5:5)

Paul, The Apostle of God’s Mystery in Christ

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 and your loved ones 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.

Kiang (Your Servant in Christ)

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 Tri-Personal Being of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity, as God is in His divine triunity. 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).

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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.

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you.

CHRISTMAS 2023 AND WHAT IT MEANS TO HUMANITY!

Greetings friends around the world! A very happy Christmas and a blessed New Year!

I would like to share scriptural references about the ultimate purpose of Jesus, which gives us the whole reason for His birth. We would not properly understand the story of Christmas if we are oblivious to the story of man itself! So the beautiful story of humanity comes to us by answering the questions of why, what, and how, of the story of Christmas. The story of Christmas is God’s own story about all humanity.

First, let us begin with this passage from John 14.  

Thomas had inquired about the Father’s presence, and Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really know Me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him. Philip said, “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” (John 14:6-11).

Rublev’s Icon of the Trinity

Now, this passage obtains its origin from Matt.28:18-20, when Jesus uttered the most important passage of God’s trinitarian nature when He said, “Then 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).

Here, Jesus reveals His true identity – Jesus is the Second Person in the Triune Godhead. Jesus is repeating His prior statement, “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” (John 14:10). So, Jesus’ finds His origin in the Triune God. He emanates from God and is Himself God. As John stated, “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5). This passage tells us that Jesus was the very Creator who brought the universe into existence, material and otherwise.

Paul affirms this wonderous truth, saying this, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him (Jesus Christ) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col.1:15-17, also 1 Cor.8:6).

Here, we have established two facts about God Himself. He is trinitarian in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:18-20) Second, that Jesus’ own roots is founded in God Himself as the Second Person of the Triune Godhead. On His human side, when Jesus was born, His familial ancestry finds its roots through David and Abraham to reveal His human origin, as the Scripture states through Isaiah the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”) (Matt.1:23; 1-17). The two facts unite to reveal both of Jesus paternal (or Fatherly) and maternal (or motherly) origins, hence, He is called, Immanuel which means “God with us” (Matt.1:23; Matt.1:20-25).

In John we read God the Father’s purpose of giving Jesus as the human Savior, “For God (Father) 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; also, John 1:18; John 3:18). So, the Father’s reason for surrendering His Son was motivated by Love and eternal life in God’s spiritual realm. All through Scripture we will read about God’s Love for His human children and their celestial destiny.

In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, He said something marvelous about God’s Love for humanity, “Your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Col.3:3). Then Paul reiterates what the Father decreed earlier, “When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (resurrection)” (Col.3:4; John 3:16). Yes, God’s Love dictates that your life is now hidden in Christ. The Psalmist expounds this further, “You (Christ) are my hiding place; You (Christ) will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My Loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you” (Psa.32:7-8). Here, we see the Father further expounds about His Love for humanity. (John 3:16)

But let’s not stop here, for the Scripture promotes God’s Love to a more acute sense of human realization with these awe-inspiring words. You see, we’re living in the in the divine Love-force of Almighty God, our Father and His Son. Listen carefully, “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin” (1 Cor.1:30). God has made Christ become our “divine wisdom.” What does that mean? Paul answers as follows, “Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin” (1 Cor.1:30). That is the “divine wisdom” of God, the divine Love-force conferred upon us in and through Christ.

Yes, finally in the end we can justly conclude, “‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’” (Act.17:28). We “live and move and have our being” in Him.” Can you live without Him, can you move without Him, can you exist (have our being) without Him? In that one verse we have said everything that needs to be said about human life – to live, move, and exist as a human being is to do so in Christ. It is on the basis of these Scriptures and many more I have not shared with you today, that we turn to the Bible to read of Jesus’ birth.

One final word, “For every child of God defeats this evil world (of Satan), and we achieve this victory through our faith” (1 John 5:4). Satan has always been at work to defeat God’s work in you and me – but his evil deeds cannot defeat the “faith of Jesus” residing in us. Just as Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives 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).  Yes, “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.” Paul told the Ephesians, “I pray that Christ will make His home in your hearts through faith” (Eph.3:17). You have heard some of the beautiful truths about why God gave up His Son for us. Do you believe? Faith is like a plant you have to water and look after to make it grow.

There is no other way to come before the presence of the holy God, our heavenly Father, except through the faith of Jesus. Faith is the very lifeblood of the Christian life. Each of our place in God’s presence was initiated by Jesus Himself when He took our fallen humanity upon Himself as the Immanuel, rescued it by living the perfect human life, then sacrificing Himself for our redemption and restitution.

Finally, now turn with me to Luke 2:1-20 in respect of the Birth of Jesus: “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to his own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”

The Birth Of Jesus in Bethlehem

“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  So, they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” (Luke 2:1-20) What a marvelous record of Jesus’ birth through the Gospel of Luke.

Jesus lived the perfect human life, was called to surrender His life for our restitution, and on the third day was resurrected to divine/human immortality. Before His ascension to the Father’s right hand, Jesus reminded the disciples, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift (of the Holy Spirit) my Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about” (Act.1:4, italics mine). With the gift of the Spirit, God now unites Himself in His whole Triune Being with humanity.

Then the day of Pentecost came, God poured the Holy Spirit upon those who were gathered as Jesus instructed. (Act.2:1-4) On that day, Peter was empowered by the Holy Spirit, spoke to the people and essentially gave them the divine mechanics by which humans are made holy, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Act.2:38). Thus, we see the activity of the Triune God through the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, working together to bring humanity to salvation.

Finally, I will conclude with this passage from Revelation, (Rev.21:3) “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, (recall where this loud booming voice was coming from? The throne of God) “Look God’s dwelling place is now among the people (with humanity), and He will dwell with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God” (Rev.21:3).

Blessing:

Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of Christmas be with you and your loved ones. Be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Kiang (Your Servant in Christ) 

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. 5:22-23Rom. 12:9-21).

These attributes may seem ordinary and mundane, but when empowered and propelled in the Spirit’s power, they are transformative elements of divine change in human life. As Paul affirms, “And this is my prayer: that your Love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Phi.1:9-11).

**”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.1:26Matt.28:19John 14:101616:7) 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.28:18-201 Pet.1:22 Thess.2:132 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.11:2Eph.5:23-2732Rev.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 Tri-Personal Being of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity, as God is in His divine triunity. 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).

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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.

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2023 – THE CALL TO THE JOYOUS LIFE, BY KIANG P LEE

“Always be Full of Joy in the Lord. I say it again–Be Thankful!” Phil.4:4

Greetings Friends! To be Thankful is the essence of the human spirit which stands infallible and knows no borders. It is the spirit which undergirds human existence and relationships. It is the epitome for good in all people. Sometimes gratitude does not come easily because of our biases and prejudices. To say “thank you” is to express the dignity and decency of our common humanity replicated in the Creator’s likeness. “Thank you,” (English) “Danke” (German), “Mahalo” (Hawaiian), “Merci” (French), “xiexie” (Chinese), “Terima Kasih” (Malay), “Takk” (Norwegian), “Kamasahamnida” (Korean), “Paldies” (Latvian), “Gracias” (Spanish), “Spasibo” (Russian), “Dhayavad” (Hindi), “Dziekuje,” (Polish), “Obrigado” (Portuguese), “Vinaka” (Fijian), and hundreds and thousands of languages and dialects all speak the language of this larger-than-life divine attribute. Let’s find reason to be “Thankful” today.

The First Thanksgiving:

Joy and gratitude go hand in hand. They are both human emotions that only humans created in God’s image can respond to, live by, and appreciate. We experience joy because humans are made in God’s likeness. (Gen.1:26-27; Neh.8:10) Yes, the Bible states, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh.8:10). The Bible states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy” (among) others. (Gal.5:22) Joy is a shared fruit, it can only be experienced in a communal setting, that is one of the basis how we explain God is Tri-Personal (three in one), and not solitary as many believe. God is three Persons unified in One Triune Godhead. When you examine every one of the fruits of Love in the Holy Spirit, you will find one common denominator – they can only be lived out through a shared communal experience. I take you to 1 Corinthians 13 and other passages –

The fruits of Love are: *patience, *kindness, *contentedness, *the fruit of being modest and unboastful, *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, *joy, *peace, *goodness, *faith, *gentleness, *self-control, *the fruit of zeal and spiritual fervor, *the fruit of gratitude and thankfulness, *the fruit of friendship, *the fruit of sharing and generosity, *the fruit of prayerfulness, *the fruit of hospitality, etc. (1 Cor.13; Gal.5:22-23; Rom.12:9-2)

“Rest and Be Thankful”

All these fruits spell one common attribute, they can only be shared in a communal setting and thereby God reveals Himself in all His Trinitarian Love and glory. These Love-fruits speaks volumes and gives us a peek into the different tones of God’s Love. They are not rules or codes to live by as legalistic requirements. Rather they tell us who God is, and how God in His Tri-Personal Being as Father, Son, and Spirit have lived in One unified shared Love-experience from eternity. That was and continues to be His purpose for creating humanity. And God desires to share His “Triune Love”* with humanity. They reveal the holy emotions of the Triune God. These are not human emotions, they reveal the divine emotions of God. And high on top of the list is joy and thankfulness.

“Joy”

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we understand that Thankfulness is a fruit which springs from God’s Love nature, and it can be experienced only in a mutually co-dependent setting as He is the same in His Tri-Personal Godhead as Father, Son, and Spirit. Thankfulness springs from joy, for without it we can’t experience gratitude genuinely and completely.

I referred to human joy earlier. They remind us that humanity is intrinsically part of God’s Love image, but we are not entirely like Him because we live as fallen humans. Hence, human joy is predisposed to fade away and not last. But there’s a divine joy that humans can receive which brings sustained emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. It is a joy that brings lasting happiness, inner peace, a state of grace, and all things good in life. For it is the Spirit who gives us the power of this divine joy to rejoice despite the circumstances and environment which depresses people to no end. The Spirit is the deposit of God’s Love and its fruits in humans.(Rom.5:5)

Recall, man once lived in complete joy with his Maker, but the enemy took that away and severed that Loving relationship. (Gen.3:1-6) Through Adam’s fall at the hands of the devil, that fullness of life in God’s presence was taken from humans. But Jesus restored it by reconciling alienated man back to God. (John 1:1-4; John 3:16-17; 1 Cor.1:30, NLT) Now we have this God-given ability to experience and share this beautiful fruit of joy which springs from God Himself through His Spirit.

Peter outlines how this is made possible in humans, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Act.2:38). Genuine thankfulness can only spring from a joyful heart where the Spirit is made to indwell human life. (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19) The presence of God is made to enter humanity through the presence of the Holy Spirit. (John 14:16-17; 26)

The only thing that can steal our joy is sin, just as it did with Adam and Eve in Eden. Therefore, when we follow God’s Love, joy is multiplied spontaneously and we become more gratuitous in our hearts because we are genetically wired to the Triune God as part of His Love-kind and likeness. Because we live in Satan’s world which promotes depression and misery through sin, we get affected by it because of our fallen nature environmentally and through association. God knows this. So, He made a way of escape through His Son to forgive past, present, and future transgressions. Jesus died for us on the cross not only for past sins, but also for present and future transgressions through His High Priestly role today. Since Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He ascended back to His Father to continue to mediate for mankind as High Priest. (You can read more about this aspect of human restoration by clicking, http://bulamanriver.net/17978. Also, http://bulamanriver.net/15813, and http://bulamanriver.net/11230).

God lives in joy and thankfulness and shares His way of life with us through His Son. Jesus’ role as man’s High Priest in heaven today makes our spiritual wholeness possible, and shows us we are brought into divine completeness with the Father always. There is every reason to rejoice and be filled with joy when we realize the enemy has no power over us through sin, but we exist in the Spirit in righteous living: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom.14:17).

Probably one of the shortest verses of the Bible says simply, “Rejoice always!” because God is that way Himself. (1 Thess.5:16) When we are filled with joy we are thankful. Paul’s encouraging word to us is, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit (Love)” (1 Thess.5:16-19). Joy, prayer, and thanksgiving should characterize the life of humans. We are warned to not quench Love, for these are the fruits of “Love deposited in our hearts through the Spirit” (Rom.5:5). 

The original pilgrims had come to a new world we have come to call America today. They escaped Europe to seek freedom from religious and political persecution and repression. Since the arrival of the pilgrims, people have never ceased to come to America’s shores escaping tyranny of all forms and seeking the freedom the new world offered. Today America is known as the melting pot of diverse cultures and peoples. And whether we realize it or not, we are all on the same pilgrimage of our own in the pursuit of our freedoms, but a different kind of voyage. There is one word which defines the freedom the original pilgrims sought and the freedom we seek today. That word is joy! To live in a world free from persecutions where one can live in personal freedoms and the right to choose one’s beliefs whether religious, political, etc. To have the freedom to live and do as one sees fit for his/her loved ones is the basis of happiness and well-being.

Our pilgrimage today seeks a freedom from all kinds of personal, societal, and other forms of bondage which has been brought to bear upon us because of sin. Like the pilgrims of old, removing ourselves from this persecution and prison of sin will bring us joy, meaning, and the human divine destiny. For no matter where we live, if we are still bound up in the sin-condition of the devil, we are not free, but tormented still. Freedom from sin is true freedom and joy and every reason for humanity to celebrate and be thankful. Only Jesus brings humanity true freedom, as Paul affirms, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal.5:1). (To read more about truly ‘living free’ go to: http://bulamanriver.net/16956)

The Landing of The Pilgrims Escaping Persecution and Thankful for Freedom in the New World

The Statue of Liberty in New York.

Thanksgiving Day always bring immense joy and gratitude to families gathered for turkey dinner, especially if we have family members we have not met or seen for some time. Family fellowship and bonding is about one of the highest human joys that can be experienced. So, let us be truly thankful this Thanksgiving season for each other and always aware that gratitude has been made possible because we have been given the privilege to live in a place of joy in the “Triune Love”* with the Father, Jesus, and the Spirit.”

“God Is Love”

May you all have a happy and joyous Thanksgiving celebration with those you love and cherish.

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 this Thanksgiving and 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) 

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. 5:22-23Rom. 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.1:26Matt.28:19John 14:101616:7) 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.28:18-201 Pet.1:22 Thess.2:132 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.11:2Eph.5:23-2732Rev.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 Tri-Personal Being of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity, as God is in His divine triunity. 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).

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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.

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you.

THE FALLEN ADAMIC HUMANITY VS THE NEW CREATION (HUMANITY) IN CHRIST, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends the world over! Conversion, as a word and concept, is central to the Christian faith. There are many terms which are used to explain when a person receives Jesus Christ and become a Christian. The common one is ‘conversion.’ Conversion as a concept ought to convey movement from something to something. It is commonly explained as a ‘change.’ But what exactly is it? Is the change intellectual, social, psychological, moral, or some combination? Is it an event or a process? What or who defines conversion? In Christian history the meaning of the word and the concept itself varies from person to person, from group to group, and from setting to setting.

Conversion looks different under different historical circumstances, even within the same historical context. For example, millions of people experienced so-called conversion through forceful efforts, whether physical or verbal, for reason of “religious change.” Other have viewed conversion as a form of colonization and imperialism. Yet, millions of people today have embraced the Christian faith not through threat or coercion, nor because a colonial power, but because of a variety of inducements and motivations. Perhaps they conclude that the Christian God is a good God that is capable of helping and saving them, both in this temporal life and in the next life to come.

However, if we are to trust the words of the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ Himself, then it is more, much more than what history or what any one group of people may have espoused and stated in the matter. Jesus stated, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Further He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). In these two passages of the Bible, we can say that all we can surmise about life in all its human manifestation and more has been answered. There is nothing in His statements we can insinuate deprivation of any human aspiration in terms of the holistic destiny of mankind as a whole, both in this mortal human life, and the next one in immortality.

The Scriptures tell us, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom.10:13; Acts 2:21). So, “everyone who calls” implies a willing and voluntary participant. He is not coerced, forced, manipulated, in any way, shape, or form. Paul said, “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all people” (1 Tim.2:3-6).   

The Scriptures lays out the process by which a person can be saved which entails conversion. But what exactly is it? The message of the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost gives us more detail. When the Holy Spirit was given to mankind on Pentecost as promised by Jesus and the Father, Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Act.2:38-39). So, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Here, we read the process of conversion.

Note the four steps in the conversion process, a) repent, b) be baptized, c) obtain forgiveness of sins, d) receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Each step dovetails into the next and entails conversion wholistically. Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luk. 5:32). Another word for conversion is surrender. Jesus’ call of absolute surrender goes out to all people: “But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luk. 13:5). Let us see the answers to conversion in the four steps Peter announced.

First, What is repentance?

1) True repentance involves a sense of awareness of one’s own guilt, sinfulness, and helplessness (Psa. 51:4–10; 109:21–22).

2) True repentance apprehends or takes hold of God’s mercy in Jesus Christ (Psa. 51:1; 130:4).

3) True repentance means a change of attitude and action regarding sin. Hatred of sin turns the repentant person away from his or her sin to God (Psa. 119:128; Job 42:5–6; 2 Cor. 7:10).

4) True repentance results in a radical and persistent pursuit of holy living, walking with God in obedience to His Love and commands (2 Tim. 2:19–22; 1 Pet. 1:16).

Second, what and why is baptism? The Bible tells us clearly that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (John 1:12; John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Rom. 3:21-30; Rom. 4:5; Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-10; Phi. 3:9; Gal. 2:16). Our baptism is the outward sign of our faith in all of the divine gifts and attributes above.

Third, forgiveness is an integral part of salvation. When Jesus forgives us, our sins, trespasses, iniquities, and transgressions are wiped off the record. The forgiveness we have in Christ involves the release of sinners from God’s just penalty and the complete dismissal of all charges against us (Rom. 8:1). Paul says that in God’s beloved Son “we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col.1:14).

Fourth, The Holy Spirit is the third divine Person of the Trinity. (Matt.28:18-20) The Bible teaches that the Father is God, that Jesus is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God. The Spirit has been gifted to humanity from the Father and the Son. (John 14:26; 15:26) The Bible also teaches that there is only one God. The Holy Spiri possesses a mind, emotions, and a will. He thinks and knows (1 Cor. 2:10). The Holy Spirit can be grieved (Eph. 4:30). The Spirit intercedes for us (Rom. 8:26-27). He makes decisions according to God’s will (1 Cor. 12:7-11). As God, the Holy Spirit can truly function as the Comforter and Counselor that Jesus promised He would be (John 14:16, 26; 15:26). (https://www.gotquestions.org.)  

The greatest meaning of conversion must always convey the act of NEW CREATION by God in human life. At times the word conversion conveys a picture of tentativeness, an impression of disconnected, fragmentary experience, instead of a committed and unshakable ordeal. Is conversion a halfway point between two extremes. Whereas, the NEW CREATION communicates a completed breakaway, a secession, a parting-of-ways, as Paul stated, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor.5:17; also Rom.6:4).

Here, Paul uses the term “a NEW CREATION” to mean conversion. It is not a passing transition as if patching old clothing with a new patch. By saying, “the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new,” conveys a completed NEW CREATION. God is not doing an overhaul of you. He is not repairing you, like taking a vehicle that’s badly damaged from a collision for restoration. No, it says, “the old things have passed away.” The ‘damaged vehicle’ (you) has been discarded altogether. You have gone to the dump – for good! God is not repairing you and I like a smashed vehicle. He has nailed the old dead you (Rom.6:23)upon His Son’s cross permanently – never to return! And in its place God has recreated a totally new you through the power of His Spirit.

Paul says this, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh…Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk in step with the Spirit” (Gal.5:16, 25). Jesus said, “That which is born (anew) of the Spirit is Spirit” (John 3:3). Paul goes on to say, “We worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus” (Phi.3:3). So, the NEW CREATION is housed in the very Person of the Holy Spirit. Notice what Paul said, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Cor.3:16).

Paul said this, when speaking of the believer’s reality in Christ, “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” (Gal.2:20). The passage was not speaking of crucifixion in the physical, bodily sense, but the spiritual – that is to say, the inner spiritual person who, due to sin (death), must be resurrected a NEW CREATION from a place of sin and death. This was God’s wisdom and plan of salvation for humanity through Christ. (1 Cor.1:30; Rom.6:23). God is not in the business of restoration; He is not rehabilitating you. He is making you into a profoundly and wholly NEW CREATION in Christ by the Spirit’s power. Remember, you were dead to sin, and that is what makes the NEW CREATION absolutely necessary. (Rom.6:23; 2 Cor.5:17; Rom.6:4, 8; Rom.5:5).

For in considering our human potential as creatures made in God’s image, God is in the business of creation. (Gen.1:26-27; 5:1). I repeat, He is making an entirely NEW CREATION out of you through His Spirit. How does God make a NEW CREATION of you possible? John tells us, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John 3:3). The term “born again” of itself conveys a NEW CREATION. This is not a restoration, repair, overhaul, or rehabilitation, of you. This is the COMPLETED NEW CREATION of you in Christ as Paul stated, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor.5:17). Paul roundly affirms the absolute wonder of this future NEW CREATURE of humanity in Christ, saying, “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rom.8:29).

For in considering the human potential, the NEW CREATION “confirmed in the Image of His Son” tells us all that we are to become and must adopt Christ and His likeness as Creator – “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION” (2 Cor.5:17). The Scriptures speaks of the creation of the earth and the material universe with the laws which govern and keeps all thing in an orderly existence was done by Jesus Christ, God’s Son. Jesus is called by other names, He is called The Word, for He is God’s Spokesman who spoke all of creation into existence.

John was inspired to write this, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome a it” (John 1:1-5). God the Father had assigned to the Son as The Word and Spokesman, the work of creation, and thereby the title of Creator. Therefore, Jesus, as Creator, is the One who spoke all of creation into existence.

If humanity was recreated to embrace and take on Christ’s image, and all that means, what is that image? First and foremost, it is the image of Jesus, the Creator – “Through Him (Jesus) all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:3-4). Of course, we do not undervalue by any degree His role as humanity’s Messiah and High Priest. Yes, our potential as human beings is to assume and embody Christ as the Loving Creator.

In concert with the Holy Spirit, God brought all creation into existence. (Gen.1) The Psalm states, “When You send Your Spirit, they are created, and You renew the face of the earth” (Psa.104:30). God the Father, through the Son and the Spirit’s power brought all creation into being through the Spokesman, Jesus Christ. Recall the Genesis creation account we read earlier, “…the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen.1:1). Yes, the earth after going through a time of destruction (that’s a subject of another topic by itself), needed to be RECREATED. The Holy Spirit is the means, through which God’s creative prowess in Christ manifested in creation. We must visualize and capture that vision God our Father holds out concerning humanity’s eternal destiny in His Son as Creator. (Rom.8:29)

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are” (1 John 3:1). Reading the remaining passage from the Message Bible, “And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see Him—and in seeing Him, become like Him. All of us who look forward to His Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own” (1 John 3:2-3, MSG). Yes, at the resurrection of humanity at Christ’s second coming, “we will see Him and become like Him.” What God has in store for us is beyond the human mind can know, but it will be magnificent beyond words.

This future is beyond human comprehension and extreme to imagine possible. Yet, we must receive and accept this divine process of NEW CREATION through an act of sheer, unmitigated, faith. Paul said this, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Rom.1:17). Again, Paul says, “Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith” (Gal.3:11).

That being the case, God informs us about the believer’s faith, its vitality, and what it is in human life, “BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE WILL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM. But we are not among those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith for the safekeeping of the soul” (Heb.10:38-39). The living faith we are to profess is Christ’s very personal faith, listen, “The righteousness of God which comes by the faith of Jesus to all and on all that believe” (Rom.3:22, AKJV). Did you get that? It specifically states, “The Faith of Jesus.” It is not our weak, powerless, doubt-filled human faith. Without this faith we cannot stand before God…“Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb.11:6). From there two passages, Scriptures affirm that only Christ’s living faith in us keeps our soul secure, and preserves us from spiritual destruction.

Most appropriately, let me add that conversion is more than all we have covered above, but more so for it is also a process. However, that process cannot begin until the first aspect of conversion we have covered so far is done authentically – that we have experienced the new birth, the NEW CREATION, through the miraculous act of God by the power of His Spirit (“what is born of the Spirit is Spirit”). Only then, a person can follow the wholistic path of conversion which includes the act of conversion as a procession. We will cover this second aspect of conversion in a separate post in future. Sufficient to say, that the act of conversion which ends in divination (NEW CREATION) is one thing as we have seen, then there is one other vital component of God’s activity of the process of conversion. Both are mutually dependent so that one cannot do without the other. That is important to remember.

Suffice to say that God goes further by recreating humanity into His very Love-nature, listen, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). If God’s spiritual image and nature is Love (1 John 4:16), and we have been made a NEW CREATION by birth through His Spirit of Love through Christ’s messiahship, then we too will have been created in His divine likeness for the Spirit is the image of God’s Love-nature even now and at the resurrection. (1 Cor.15:53-55) Listen, “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).

As eternal children of God, made in God’s divine Love-nature, humanity will not be capable of committing sin anymore. Speaking of that future scenario, the Scripture says, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9, KJV). Further, the Bible states, “There will be no more death” (Rev.21:4). There is only one way death enters human life, through sin “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom.6:23). So, without sin death have no place in human existence.  Paul speaking of humanity’s eternal future, said, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor.15:26). In other words, to exist in God’s Kingdom is live in God’s holy existence where sin and rebellion cannot exist. 

This second process of conversion where humanity is created in the divine “Love-nature,” will be covered in detail in a future post.

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.”

Prayer is A Solemn One-On-One Spiritual Love Dialogue Between a Person and God the Father

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,

Kiang P. Lee  (Your Servant In Christ)

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 Tri-Personal Being of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity, as God is in His divine triunity. 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).

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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.

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you.

LIVING THE SURRENDERED LIFE, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends! This month I would like us to touch upon and discuss the topic of the Surrendered Life. God’s activity in humanity is redemptive by nature through the process of human regeneration as alluded in Paul’s divinely stated objective which he passionately espoused to the Romans, “For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom.8:29). The surrendered life is the lifeblood of the life of regeneration. For that matter, the surrendered life is what energizes the believer’s life. It is a journey in regenerative Christianity. It is the journey which all humanity must come to embrace.

I will outline four conditions we experience when living the surrendered life.

What is the surrendered life? Essentially, it is about cultivating a pliable heart and attitude towards God so as to allow Him to have His way and plan of Love for and in our life as believers. And what would that plan be? Paul gave us the answer which we read earlier, God our Father “predestined us (humanity) to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom.8:29). And essentially what is the result that conveys to us and our future destiny as humans? In truth, everything – both in the physical and spiritual matter!

For Scriptures tell us about Jesus and what adopting His likeness means with God and His purpose for humanity, “In these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed Heir of all things, and through whom He created the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature, upholding all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb.1:2-3). There you have it in a nutshell – a nutshell with two memorably impactful verses.

His call of absolute surrender goes out to all people: “But unless you repent (change), you too will all perish.” (Luk.13:5). Let us break this passage down into their constituent parts, so we may understand as to what we are surrendering our lives in God’s plan for us. First and foremost, God Almighty has laid out His chosen method of communicating with fallen humanity – through His Son, “In these last days God has spoken to us by His Son.”

In other words, in respect of you as an individual human being, born in sin through the fallen Adamic humanity, God has revealed His Love for you by saying He will relate and connect with humanity only through His Son as His and our sole intermediary. (John 3:16-17) Paul tells us, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all people” (1 Tim.2:5-6).

Consider, God is absolutely holy in His Love-nature, and He can only be approached through the manner of His chosen mediatory process and formula. And we know why God has made His choice, because elsewhere in Scripture God tells us He sent His Son Jesus to redeem and save humanity from sin and death, “He had provided purification for sins.” Because of sin we are spiritually dead which in turn promotes and is the root cause of all negative consequences in life. It must be understood that Life and not Death produces good in human life. Love and adoration, not fear and rebellion.

Many don’t understand that everything good we desire in life, most especially for you and your loved ones, will to a large extent depends upon the immutable law which produces life and good in the ’cause and effect’ dynamic of human existence. What exactly is that law which produces life and good? Sin produces death for Scripture tell us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23). The law which triggers and leads to life is the unseen law of God’s divine Love. (1 John 4:8) The world is unaware, if not disbelieve altogether, the existence of such an unseen law. It is the law which acts much like the natural law of gravity, that is how real and potent it is. People ignore it to their own peril.

Natural gravity is physical and unseen, conversely spiritual gravity is God’s Love-nature that fills time and space, and unseen. Both are true and exists in our human reality. There is an opposite contradictory spirit which opposes Love – it is fear and must be avoided and resisted at every turn. John tell us this, “There is no fear in Love. But perfect Love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in Love” (1 John 4:18). Punishment has to do with sin which foreshadows guilt and torment. (Later, you may want to read my post, “God’s Love Is The Human Spiritual Gravity” at: http://bulamanriver.net/24628).

When God created the earth and put humanity upon it, and because He fills all of time and space, His Love and thereby His spiritual gravity was established through fiat (as a matter of course). Because His Love gravity was established automatically by fiat, then it’s natural if you violate it, then it does the same to you much like physical gravity would – akin to someone pulling a chair from under you that triggers a sudden fall. Here’s the difference, we don’t learn to live within Love’s spiritual gravity, as we do within our physical gravity. The reason is because the spiritual gravitational force (Love) does not immediately penalize us like physical gravity. Nonetheless, it’s reality is absolute notwithstanding the deferred aftereffect. (Eccl.8:11)

Why did God create this immutable law of Love, whose effect acts like physical gravity? The reason goes back to human creation and God’s purpose for creating humanity, listen, “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (Gen.1:26).

As Creator, God Himself fills all of time and space. (Eph.1:23, 3:19). Since He is unreservedly Love by nature, as a result His Love is the spiritual, infallible, and real unseen gravitational force (law) which exists for the purpose of compelling humanity to conform to God’s Love image and likeness. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:16; Eph.1:23; Rom.8:29) We ignore this all-embracing law at our own peril. On the other hand mankind would be fulfilling the purpose of human creation, should they live within its bounds.

Paul told the Ephesians this, God’s Love “is too great to understand fully” (Eph.3:19). Yet, God has not left humanity unaware nor ignorant of His spiritual gravitational Love-force. God has communicated in detail about His Love-gravity so that we’re without excuse. (Rom.1:20) This divine force is expressed, experienced, and seen through God’s Commandments in motion. Recall, His laws were given to humanity through Moses upon Mount Sinai in great fanfare and glorious ceremonial grandeur and splendor. (read Exo. Chap.19 & 20). God’s laws can be surmised and proclaimed in one indispensable, all-embracing, word – Love! It reveals God in all His marvelous, encyclopedic, infinite divine nature. His Love expressed through His laws teaches mankind how to Love God and our human neighbor. (Matt.22:36-40)

Yes, God’s Love is greater than our minds can apprehend. So, as fallen humans we must be willing to admit to our total lack of comprehension of His profound boundless Love. We stand as fallen beings totally barren of understanding and imploring His grace to teach, and allow His light to shine upon us. Hence, the hallmark of the surrendered life can be seen and articulated through humanity’s compliance with and obedience to His divine Love through His laws and commandments of Love.

The divine laws can be applied legalistically and spiritually. It is vital to know the difference, because Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt.5:27-28). So, we see that all God’s laws carries a two-pronged application. The law about covetousness states, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exo.20:17). Sin’s corruptive two-pronged fang attacks a person first in the heart through a covetous desire (spiritual), which leads to the act of sin (legality/lawlessness).

Thankfully, God has not left us defenseless to, nor be incapacitated by the corruptive nature of sin in transgressing His laws of Love. He has supplied the fruits of His Love through His powerful Spirit to enable us to live within His gravitational force and stay grounded in His Love. (1 Cor.13; Rom.5:5; 1 Cor.3:16, 6:19). He gives us His Love-fruits just you would physically use a chair or ladder to break and prevent your fall which could hurt and possibly be fatal when you sit or climb. (You can read the Fruits of the Spirit in the appendix below).

Another analogy I have used before is that God’s divine Love-force or gravity is likened to the vast Ocean in which mankind is represented by the marine life which populate and find meaning in it. The spiritual ocean of God’s gravitational Love-force immerses humans (marine life) in the way of life that’s monopolized by God’s Love (ocean), and the fruits of His Love. (1 Cor.13). The marine life exists and live within the reality of its oceanic environment and they do not swim against it.

The Vast Ocean Likened to God’s Love and Humanity (Marine Life)

Paul said this, “May you experience the Love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Eph.3:19, NLT). And since all of mankind was created in God’s Love likeness, Love’s gravitational influence works mainly in human relationships. Hence, we read Paul’s words, “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to Love one another” (Rom.13:8).

The essential meaning of human dignity must always be seen and understood through the eyes of our heritage as creatures fashioned in God’s Love-likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) Any other portrayal devalues mankind to mere animal status. Since God Himself fills all of time and space, unequivocally His Love envelopes and caresses us so that we are intuitively and absolutely wrapped in His spiritual Love gravity. (Eph.1:23, 3:19; Rom.8:29; 1 John 4:8,16; 1 Cor.13:1-12; see Love-Fruits in appendix below).

God’s Love, Like Gravity Is Immutable and Infallible, For “God Is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16)

Just as we compensate our actions in order to counterweigh and neutralize the potential negative effect of the physical gravitational energy, we do so likewise in our spiritual environment with God’s gravitational Love energy through His Commandments. Love is life and creates good results in the way we live, whereas death (sin) creates evil and brings bad consequences. (Rom.6:23) Recall, what Jesus tells us about life, “O you of little faith? Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt.6:30-34).

Think about what this passage tells us, essentially Jesus was indirectly encouraging His listeners to live within the bounds of Love’s gravitational force (seek first the kingdom) which will intuitively produce life’s positive outcomes (all these things will be given to you as well). Now, who are the people who do not believe in this spiritual gravitational force? Yes, Jesus said “pagans.” A pagan means an unbeliever.

That being said, despite our fallen state of existence, and owing to God’s holy Love, He extends His invitation to humanity to commune and fellowship with Him – the God of life and the living through Jesus His Son. Paul was inspired to tell the Romans, “But God demonstrates His own Love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8). God goes a step further, while we are dead in our sins, through Jesus He gives us the gift of His Love through His Spirit of Love. Listen to Paul’s words, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5; 1 Cor.3:16). We see here that God has given us the very Love through His Spirit to enable us to live within the spiritual gravitational Love-force which instinctively rules us all.

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6; also Rom.6:23). We cannot fellowship with the Father without His Son, Jesus. Thereby, through human purification (purging) in Christ, mankind is given the capacity (true life in Christ) to approach our eternal holy and Almighty God and Father. But also, in saving us He affirms His promise of human immortality. (John 3:16-17; Rom.6:23b) Again, Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). So, in the first instance, we surrender to God and His Love so as to be saved and granted the gift of immortal life through Christ thus becoming God’s children in His eternal spiritual family. (Gen.1:26-27)  

Second, God has made Jesus Heir of all things, for the “creation the whole universe” was done through His Son. (John 1:1-4) The word ‘universe’ means more than the physical creation, for the passage goes on to say, “He upholds all things by His powerful Word.”  By using the words “uphold all things,” the passage speaks of maintenance and continuity (upholding) of something by His powerful Word. What is that something? It is God’s Kingdom in which Christ is its King. (1 Tim.6:14-15; Rev.17:14) God’s Kingdom is where God rules by His power. What is God’s Kingdom? It is His whole domain consisting of both the physical and spiritual realms. (Eph.6:12) Second, we surrender to His whole Kingdom and sovereign power.

The Universe Brought into Existence by Jesus as Creator – John 1:1-4

Third, in giving up His Son for us, He shows He Loves us more than He Loves Himself. (Rom.8:32; 5:8; John 15:13) This action of Love is shocking to express to such degree to say the least. It is hard to even imagine. Yet God’s nature and way of life is defined with one word, LOVE! The Bible states categorically, “God is Love,” nothing more and nothing less. (1 John 4:16). We may speak of its breadth, height, width, and length. (Eph.3:18) His Love is never quantifiable for its infinity. Job asked, “Can you fathom the deep things of God or discover the limits of the Almighty?”

Since God is Love, it is impossible for Him to harbor let alone conjure any evil intent towards humans because it would be against His intrinsic Love-nature to do so. However, God will never accommodate nor give shelter to sin and self-centeredness, and exacts punishment and retribution for perpetrators. (Psa.78:10; Jer.32:23) Through the prophet Jeremiah, God declares His Love for humanity with this promise, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you” (Jer.29:11-12). His motive toward us is pure and perfect beyond description.

Is it possible that such a God exists – whose plan for us is totally and absolutely positive without negativity? The Scriptures tell us, “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy” (1 Pet.1:15). Paul said, “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to Love one another. If you Love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law (spiritual gravity/Love)” (Rom.13:8). Through Christ’s mediation as humanity’s Savior and High Priest, we become the righteousness of God through the Spirit living within us who empowers us for a life of holy Love. (2 Cor.5:21; Rom.8:1-2; 1 Cor.3:16) Yes, it is to our Loving God and Father that we surrender our lives to His care and providence in confidence.

Fourth and finally, in Jesus we see “the express radiance of God’s glorious nature.And He has been made to “sit at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” In other words, Jesus is God, as the Father and the Spirit is God, being intrinsically part of the Triune Godhead. (Matt.28:19-20) That’s to say, there is no higher Being than the One Creator God Himself to whom we have been asked to surrender our lives and future destiny.

Why is the surrendered life necessary for human salvation? It is necessary because the fallen Adamic Humanity from which all mankind have descended and born and thereby have inherited the sin-condition with its satanic rebellious heart and mind. It’s from our fallen existence that we incorrigibly cannot submit to the Loving will of God, and much worst act as a barrier to all the good blessings God has promised through His Son we have covered above. (Heb.1:2-3; Rom.8:29)

The rebellious spirit was inherited from Satan when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command in the Garden of Eden by eating of the forbidden fruit. They fell to the devil’s temptation and deception. (Gen.3:1-6) It was and is Satan’s way of trying to stop the divine blessing that is ours through inheritance in Christ, which we have seen above. The surrendered life is empowered by God’s Spirit who changes the status quo and defeat the power which energizes rebellion and sin with the divine Love and all God’s blessing! Paul was inspired to write this about Love, the opposite of rebellion, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). He says further, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Cor.3:16).

Having covered the four reasons and purpose for the surrendered life above, here is the take-away and wonder of God’s Love for us as it concerns the surrendered life: God imputes and assigns the saving work Jesus has already done for humanity upon us, thus, enabling believers to live the surrendered life in Christ. This spells out the doctrine of substitution, “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). Scriptures tell us further, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom.8:1). Yes, in Jesus’ new “Immanuel humanity,” a person is enabled through the Spirit (Love) and made to live the surrendered life. That is to say, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col.1:27).

The surrendered human life was inaugurated by Jesus Himself when He appeared as the Immanuel (“God with us”) to carry out His Father’s purpose for Him, “I’m here to do Your will, O God, the way it’s described in your Book” (Heb.10:7, The Message). To do God’s will and live the surrendered life – it is a life of miraculous proportion where we become recipient in the divine sanctuary of Christ’s Person: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col.1:27; 1 Cor.3:16; Heb.4:14-16)).

As fallen humans we will never be capable of living the surrendered life alone through human effort. Even our human desire and aspiration cannot measure up, let alone perform the task required. Scriptures tell us this, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Zech.4:6). Yes, Jesus has taken our place and lived the surrendered life for us – just as He underwent the incarnation in order to take upon Himself our fallen humanity and die in our place and redeem us. (Isa.7:14; John 3:16)

That is the only way to live the surrendered life – “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col.1:27). Human believers must come to exist in the light of Christ’s life. Jesus said, “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, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law (human might and power)” (Gal.5:18). Paul said as true believers and authentic Christians we are led by the Spirit, not the flesh. (Rom.8:9)

For many people today, the word ‘surrender’ conveys a negative inference and meaning. For them it indicates the negative portrayal of “giving up” one’s rights and freedoms, like the freedom of expression, worship, and human civil rights. Many people who live in nations that have authoritarian systems of governance see surrender as a form of subjugation where the people’s rights are trampled upon. Sadly and painfully, it is a life lived in constant fear and intimidation.

However, we are not referring to surrender in the context of human relationships, but the spiritual relationship with the Triune God who said, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for” (Jer.29:11). Yes, truly the Godly surrendered life is the doorway to the life of true freedom in Christ we have covered in the four points above.

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.”

Prayer is A Solemn One-On-One Spiritual Love Dialogue Between a Person and God the Father

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,

Kiang P. Lee  (Your Servant In Christ)

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. 5:22-23Rom. 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.1:26Matt.28:19John 14:101616:7) 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.28:18-201 Pet.1:22 Thess.2:132 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.11:2Eph.5:23-2732Rev.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 Tri-Personal Being of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Eve was not detached (solitary) from Adam, but intrinsically inseparable from Adam’s innermost humanity, as God is in His divine triunity. 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).

Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

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.

Bulamanriver Book Cover

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.

Note: All information is copy-write material. Any information obtained from this website that is used for publication should be acknowledged by citing the website address, date of acquisition and information pertinent to original authorship. For general guidelines regarding web citations see The Guide for Citing Electronic Information. Thank you.