Greetings Again Friends Around the World,
In parts 1 and 2, I presented not only scriptural proof of God’s true nature as Triune in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but also we saw why man’s very salvation is eternally tied to a life lived in the heart of the Trinitarian existence of God. Hence, I have named this series as it relates to our relationship with God in His Trinitarian reality, and how it affects our view of the world and our participation in it. The command to not worship other gods apart from the true God, is directly connected to our conception of Him – that He is “Trinitarian” and not a “solitary,” one-person God. By being Triune in nature, He essentially is relational and lives as ONE in Love, for He is Love (1 John 4:8) His Triune reality in man creates a world of difference more than we can ever realize. This is the stuff of the miraculous.
In the final installment of this 3-part series, we’ll see how God relates with man in His Trinitarian reality and extend the same to all mankind through believers who have put their faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. My sincere hope is you will see God’s unmistakable appeal to man in the Gospel to participate and experience His Trinitarian reality through Jesus in the power of the Spirit. And then to live life that’s truly life with all humans, through a relationship that is realized in the Spirit that is true to His nature of Love in His Triunity. (John 4:24)
Life presents us with only two broad ways of life – man’s self-centered “solitary” way, or God’s loving, unified “Triune” way. In the book, “Bula man-river – The Miracle of Triune Living” I presented two metaphors to represent these two ways of life: the “Bulu man-river” with deathly waters of carnal man influenced by the devil, and the “Bula man-river” with the “living waters” of the Holy Spirit where life is lived in the heart of the Triune life of God. One is 1-dimensional, while the other is 3-dimensional. One is the way of independence, while the other is the way of interdependence. It is a life of living in the Spirit who unifies man to the Father through the Son, and not in his fleshly self. Paul was inspired to write this,
“If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness…. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (Rom.8:9-13). Here, we see how both Jesus and the Spirit interpenetrates the “living waters” flowing in the life of the Bula man-river (believer).
Purpose of Triune Life in Christ
The purpose of the “Triune life” is essentially to protect the believer from the inconsistencies and ravages of the “solitary life” – a life lived under the influence of the devil who is the instigator of all human pain and suffering in the world. God loves us so much He wants us to live a life filled with joy, not suffering. He is the Fountain of joy, a joy that will culminate in an eternity with Him. (Isa.12:2-3) When you are thinking Trinitarianly in Christ, you are aware that your walk is always in the midst of the Father, Jesus, and Herald* (Spirit). Your emotional reaction is always tampered by Their Loving relationship with each other, that you now inhere in Christ. So we’re not in the emotional juggernaut of the “solitary life” that comes with dire consequences. Every act you take in the presence of the Triune God, makes you consider their Loving Triune reality in your life, and every other human, those of the faith and they who are not in the faith. And always, it is an action taken in love, for love is the very nature of the God who is Triune.
Living the “Solitary” Life Still
If the “Triune Life” frees us from the curse and malevolence of the “solitary life,” then it’s logical to conclude that the “Triune Life” essentially embodies the ‘Creative Life’ of the Triune God, for the very Life of God is synonymous with all things good, breathtakingly wonderful, and magnificent in its splendor. (Gen.1:31; Ps.8; 40:5; Acts 10:38) The “solitary life” is synonymous with everything uncreative, corrupt and deathly in fallen man. Here is the irony that’s seen in most of Christianity: many who call themselves followers of Christ are living the “solitary life” still – they think as long as they acknowledge Christ, then they are in good-standing with God. To live the Christian life in “solitary” mode is to live apart from Christ, for He is Triune in His Godly nature.
Though a person may claim to believe in the Trinity, if he still lives the “solitary” life in himself, he still lives apart from Christ. This tells us that many “Christians” fail, or simply don’t know how to live the Triune Life in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Taking the name of Jesus automatically comes with the Triune Life of God. (Matt.28:19) In reality, taking the name of Christ demands we give up the “solitary” life in the self, in exchange for the Triune Life in Christ. Its a change that I call “flush-out” in my book. The Christian Life is lived in Christ, who lives in the “Triune Life” of God. The sign of Christianity was made clear by Paul above – it requires the presence of the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Spirit is the start of the activity of the Trinitarian God in a believer made possible by Jesus. (John 16:7)
What Religion Does
Sadly, what religion has done is turn man back on himself in his “solitary life” by saying that his salvation is “his” responsibility. They say, Christ has done His part, now man has his part to do to earn it. This is the devil’s deception at its very core. Salvation is all grace and freely given to man. God has not abdicated your salvation by placing it into your own hands, nor the hands of another. Salvation is all God’s doing in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. If Christ is a partial savior, then the Gospel is not true. Jesus is not a 50/50 savior. If salvation is a free gift which comes from the free grace of God, it is impossible for man to earn it, let alone 50%. For the Gospel tells us He is the complete Savior of mankind. Paul says, “We are complete in Him” (Col.2:10; Acts 4:11-12). I explained in the book that “our part” is simply to “hide in Christ” as the “living waters” cover the riverbed (man), and let the Spirit live His life fully (overflowing) in man. (In my book I explain this insidious lie of the devil, and talk about what is “obedience.”)
What The Spirit Does
The work of the Spirit is made evident by Jesus, “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) It is clear the work of the Spirit is to reveal what belongs to the Father and the Son. This passage is entirely Trinitarian in its rendition and meaning. The Spirit’s role is to take man into the Triune Life to understand the will of God in his life.
Doing The Will of The Father
Jesus makes plain that it is possible to say one is Christian, but is 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). The verse following this says even those who perform miracles in His name He will shun: “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” (V.22-23). Many have wondered about this passage, and inquired of its meaning as it relates to the believer. The answer can only be explained in what a person believes and the way he lives – if he lives the “Triune Life” in Christ (Bula man-river), or if he is still living the “solitary life” in himself (Bulu man-river).
Notice what Jesus said, “…only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” The will of the Father is also the will of the Son, as we saw. So, from eternity, the will of God has always been “Triune.” The act of One is always the act of all Three – God is indivisibly ONE. This translates into a life where man lives a collaborative, interdependent, unified, and Trinitarian life in Christ. We can do “good works” based upon our human “solitary” mindset, and God calls it for what it truly is – “filthy rags.” (Isa.64:6) It is what the Spirit produces in man, flowing as “living waters” in the riverbed of man (Bula man-river), that results in “good” that’s of Godly substance.
This final 3-part series is by no means comprehensive, and you may be left with questions, which I hope you will find in my book. Or, alternately you may leave a question on this blog. Let us look into the “Creative Life” we are brought into by the presence of the Spirit in man, who constantly takes him into the presence of the Triune God so man can live the “Triune Life” of the Bula man-river. What follows are excerpts from the book, “Bula” man-river – The Miracle of Triune Living”:
What is “Creative Life” – Fire of the Spirit
“The beauty of the Trinitarian life in all its awe and wonder is to experience and participate in the “creative works” of God as He flows in us into the valleys He has charted for each of us. (John 17:20-23) What He has done in the universe, pales into insignificance compared to what He is creating in man. God is really recreating Himself – children, like Jesus to inherit His nature and all things. The material creation around us is subject to deterioration and decay. But God’s cosmic plan is to use it as “clay,” so to speak, and create His very own children (Rom. 8:20-24; 29-30). Whereas the universe and life upon this earth was made to exist uniformly, man was not. That is to say, God has to convince man of His love, for man was made to bear His image, and where there is love there is of necessity freedom. Where there is freedom, there is choice. God cannot apply the uniformity He placed in creation to be similarly applied to man. He has only one means with which to convince man to accept his offer of becoming His children – His love.”
“The miraculous life we live is essentially the expression of His love for us. The principle upon which God’s “creative work” is done in mankind, is the “creative love” of the Spirit. He gives us the power to summon our thoughts to Christ’s service through the captivating love of the Spirit (2 Cor. 10:5). All thoughts of fear that lead to deprivation and want are overpowered by the overwhelming love of Jesus just as the “living waters” cover the riverbed (1 John 4:8). Paul speaks of thoughts that are true and honest, thoughts that are just and pure, thoughts that are gracious and endearing, thoughts of virtue and excellence – in short our thoughts are to be about the love of God (Phil. 4:8). In Triune living, man is the extension of the Triune nature, so we are an extension of God’s love.”
“A river is an attractant for people because it is a place where they can flourish and be sustained indefinitely. As a Bula man-river, you are an attractant for people. You are the living, walking, Gospel of Christ. People naturally come to the living gospel, we don’t take it to them – we don’t force it on them. You can only flow into the valleys you have been assigned (John 3:27).”
The Creative Life Find Its Source in the Creator
“Jesus is leading the way, and we are following His “flow.” Whatever Jesus does, we do. This defines the mechanics of Trinitarian living. Jesus “lives creatively” in the power of the Spirit through us as Bula man-rivers from which we derive our inspired abilities (Matt. 16:24; John 8:12, 12:26; 1 Pet. 2:21). We don’t take the “creative fruits” of love in the Spirit and bottle them up inside us – that is “reverse flow”; it’s stagnation and lifelessness. You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind, but by taking the important second step of putting your hands to the plow.”
Fruits – Love’s Tools for Creative Living
“If the Spirit’s “living water” is always flowing, then He is reliably accessible and ever dependable. He never leaves a void in us but fills every crevice and cranny in our lives. If indeed His love “never fails us,” then what is love’s real and practical manifestation that reflects this unfailing quality? It can only be the Spirit’s fruits, and Paul documents this in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 13; Also Gal. 5:22-23; Rom. 12:9-21). God’s love is the peaceful flow of the Spirit’s life in the Bula man-river: it is *the fruit of patience, *the fruit of kindness, *the fruit of contentedness, *the fruit of being modest and 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. All these and other traits of the Spirit spells one thing: they spell the actions and emotions of the Spirit in the life of man. By and through them we decipher and peek into the different tones of God’s love. They present to us the way of life of the Triune God.
“It’s not possible to speak of the Spirit’s work in the Bula man-river without the fruits that identify who He is – it’s one and the same, it’s unavoidable. Most times when people think of the fruits of the Spirit, they often view them academically through the legalistic lens of religious proponents who uses them to make “better people” of us. We live powerless lives when we do. We are not zombies, but free-will humans made in the image of God. So we say, “I have no choice in the matter, so I may as well go along with the program” – as it were self-improvement exercises. On the contrary, we fail to realize that from eternity these fruits undergirded the loving relationship of the three persons within the Triune God. Love’s energy is brought to life in the application of these fruits. In our constant presence before God, the Bula man-river share this energy and the creative relationships we have within the Triune existence of God. Now you are in their midst living the same life they live from eternity and tasting that life in the Spirit.”
Living The Power of The Triune Life
“Many believe in the Trinity but have not experienced the Trinitarian life, let alone know of its power in their lives. Paul was addressing this very issue of denying the power of the Triune life of God when he drew the attention of young evangelist Timothy, to a list of actions (fruits) that were disempowering people. He mentioned being unloving, unthankful, without self- control, brutal, unforgiving, self-lovers, despisers of good, disobedient, and so on. These and other such actions are fear-based behaviors. Paul said, “They have the form of godliness, but deny its power” (2 Tim. 3:1-5, KJV). All these behaviors stand up against the list of the Spirit’s fruits we saw earlier, which are love-based behaviors. These were professed Christians, who somehow deceptively cloak their selfish intentions and place a label of godliness on them. But they lacked authenticity for they denied the only power that defines them as one – the Spirit’s fruits, or love. The Bible is clear if one does not have the Spirit living in him, he is not an authentic Christian (Rom. 8:9, 14).”
“The Christian life is experienced through the Triune life of God – the “living waters” of the Bula man-river is the Spirit’s energy animated by these fruits. We can view these fruits in a purely academic frame of mind, but they are first and foremost the energy and spark of the Spirit in the life of the Bula man-river. We can exercise them as some self-righteous human behavior or we can give ourselves to the Spirit to let His energy inspire our actions in them. The practice of the fruit of the Spirit is not for some hollow “self-improvement” exercise for human personal gain. The fruit is the Spirit’s creative energy for developing loving relationships with our God and our fellowman. When relationships are motivated by fear they become twisted, for relationships are made for love based on the Triune existence of God Himself. The fruits of the Spirit articulates God’s love and undergirds all human relationships of the Bula man-river within the Triune existence of God. The miraculous life we are called to live springs from this loving relationship. This energy is not inert but is alive for the fruits touch on the positive emotional response of people in the relationships we engender in our respective valleys. As I said, the Spirit lies passive and inactive in every human giving man’s intellectual prowess. He becomes active as a gift of “fire” from heaven when man receives Jesus as his Savior.” (Pg.109-113)
You can read the book for a full explanation of this aspect of the Triune Life we are blessed to have in Christ. Remember this, the “solitary” life is a powerful influence in man which began with Adam, and its grip is made all the more insidious with the devil’s deception. Ambitious people have driven themselves to do great things as they are motivated by the “dominion spirit” given to man at creation (Gen. 1:26, 28; Ps. 8:6-8). However, by riding the “Bulu man-river” river of fear and deprivation (the “solitary” life), they have ignored and despised as trivial the fruits of the Spirit. Blinded by their conceit and arrogance, they have unwittingly ridden the torrential waters of ruin and despair. They regard such “creative fruits” of the Spirit as trivialities and beneath their notice. They associate these acts with weakness which, in their blindness, actually puts them at a precarious disadvantage. Without recognizing the creative energy of the Spirit’s fruits, they have inadvertently failed to utilize the very power that will bring them the abundance they seek, without all the pains and perils of the “solitary” self-centered life.
They think the only way is to compete and control and allow greed and avarice dominate their “solitary” existence. They fail to realize that the “dominion mandate” given to man precludes our domination over another person. As far as man’s relation with man, Paul said there is just only one thing we owe one another, “the debt of love” (Rom. 13:8; Gal. 6:2). There is only one Ruler over man – God, who personally directs him, not another man. (Heb. 8:10-11; Isa. 30:20-21). Becoming a truly great man or woman takes unselfish attention, first to small tasks, sacrificing selfish ambition and pride in place of those necessary things which evoke no applause and reward. In applying the fruits of the Spirit, he ascends to the level of prominence that only a Bula man-river can attain, for he lives in and by the biomeic** “creative power” of Jesus in the Spirit’s “living waters.”
Recall Jesus final words to His disciples: “Go and make tell the world about this wonderful Gospel, and baptize and bring them into the Triune Life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matt.28:19, emphasis mine). May the Triune Love of God fill your riverbed as a “Bula man-river”*** to water the valleys of your calling and eventually bring you to your foreordained destiny.
Kiang (Your Servant in Christ)
*Herald – This is the name I have personally come to affectionately call the Holy Spirit who is my closest Friend and Confidante, who always walks by my side, and flows in me like “living waters.”
**Biomeic – A Biome is a collection of different types of ecosystems that interact with one another and give birth to ONE act we call “life.” The life of Jesus, as epitomized in His personification as God’s spokesman, or the Word, with the Spirit’s inspiration, is the spiritual “biome” ecosystem in the Bula man-river. It is the ingredient of life which the Bula man-river gives to the people of his valley communities, so forming the spiritual “biome” of man (Acts 17:28).
*** The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bula man-river, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book. Thank you for your support.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise