Monthly Archives: May 2015

PRAYER – A TRINITARIAN ACTIVITY, BY KIANG P LEE

“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” –  Alfred Lord Tennyson

Greetings again Friends!

Prayer is the spiritual lifeblood of the Christian life. Without it we will languish spiritually and have listless Christian lives. But prayer, like everything else man does, has to be done right. If we are ‘praying wrong’ then apparently we will face the common obstacle called unanswered prayer. Then we begin to question ourselves about prayer and its benefits. Of course, there is no such thing as an unanswered prayer, there’s only the right and wrong way of praying. Just because we don’t know how prayers are answered, does not mean they are unanswered. Let’s talk prayer today!

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Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer (Wiki Commons) 

Prayer, as a subject of Christian living, can be considered and undertaken from various points of application. But I will keep to the foundational perspective of prayer, for it’s from the ‘trunk of tree’ perspective that we get to know if we are ‘praying right.’ First and foremost, prayer is a Triune activity, not a ‘solitary’ activity. Too many Christians are still praying ‘solitary’ prayers because they don’t know how to live the Triune Life.* (For an explanation of this term, “Triune Life,” go to the appendix below) Readers of this blog will know by now that in every issue concerning Christian faith, whether spiritual or physical/material, we always default to the Triune approach to find answers. By Triune I mean the involvement of the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not just Father, not just Son, or Spirit, for any one could easily be turned into “solitary” Personalities because we are naturally that way ourselves. No, all three are singularly expressed in the One Triune God-life.

Let’s begin with the prayer Jesus taught the disciples. It starts off this way, “Our Father in heaven…” (Matt.6:9) Right from the outset, Jesus places the Triune stamp of approval on His prayer model. If God is Father, then He is not alone, He is Triune for He has His Son and His Spirit with Him. Jesus said, “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30). And, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate (Spirit) to help you and be with you forever” (John 14:16). When we invoke the Father’s name in prayer, it means we are petitioning the One Tri-Personal Being of God. He’s not a solitary Father figure. The Tri-Personal God is held in one indivisible substance in their Love for each other. He is Tri-Personal because He is Love; and He is Love because He is a Tri-Personal Being. “God is Love” and thereby He is other-centered in His Triune existence (1 John 4:8). Man is self-centered and lives the ‘solitary life’ in himself. God (Love) is other-centered, man is self-centered. Love cannot exist in “solitary” confinement, by its very nature it thrives only in relationship – Loving relationship.

The self-centered life (solitary life) is driven by fear, not Love. Jesus said, “Anyone who Loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will Love them, and We will come to them and make our home with them. I am in the Father, and the Father in Me” (John 14:23, 9). The “Triune Life” enables humans to encounter the Triune God in and through Jesus.

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“Perfect Love” Comes to Man By the Life of the Trinity. Rublev’s Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

Here is the predicament of man in his prayer life, he has taken God to fit the grid of his solitary, self-centered, frame of reference. In his prayer he has placed God in his box to fit his self-centered way of life. God is Love and other-centered in His Triune Being, while man is altogether self-centered in himself, under influence of the devil. The Bible asks, “Can two walk together unless they agree?” (Amos 3:3). How can these two polar opposites be harmonized? It cannot, someone has to change. God is Love, so it is man who must change. Jesus calls people to a changed life, He said, “You must be born again (from above)” (John 3:7). We were born of the flesh with its self-centered way of life, now Jesus calls us to be born anew in the Spirit in God’s other-centered Triune way of life. (John 3:8) Paul says, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor.1:9). God our Father has called us to live the “Triune Life” through His Son thus forsaking the “solitary life” in the self. 

God’s covenant promise to man is, “I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit within you; I will remove form you your heart of stone” (Ezek.36:26; Heb.8:10). The presence of the Holy Spirit is the evidence of this new life. Paul said, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (Rom.8:9b). He goes further, “The Spirit Himself  joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children” (Rom.8:16). From these passages we see that this changed life is lived in the move of the Spirit. We live it by faith, thereby, 99.9% of the time the Spirit is leading us without our conscious realization of His work. I call this the ‘miraculous life’ of the Spirit. Many times, only in retrospect, do we see His sure and unmistakable hand in our lives.

How does this affect our prayer life? The truth of the matter is, in this life of faith, it is actually Jesus and the Spirit who prays for us – we do not pray solitarily by or for ourselves. This is the “Triune Life” when it comes to our prayer life. The ‘solitary life’ is gone forever and buried in the waters of baptism, and from its watery grave a new person arises – our true self in the Spirit’s power, living the “Triune Life.” Paul said, “We were buried with Him through baptism into death (solitary life/false self) in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may have a new life (true self/ “Triune Life”)” (Rom.6:4, emphasis mine).

Jesus Prays for Us

Now listen to the promise in the Bible which confirms how Jesus and the Spirit prays for us. Paul said, “Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes (prays) for us” (Rom.8:34). We often forget that Jesus is our ever-present High Priest in heaven, who is our Intercessor at the Father”s right hand. And the role of the High Priest is to mediate between fallen man and God. As humans, we will never stop trespassing, and God will never stop forgiving through His Son’s mediation. Where there is a High Priest, there is of necessity an altar. One cannot do without the other. The altar is the place where sacrifice is made and presented before God. Jesus is both man’s permanent sacrifice (altar) and everlasting High Priest. He sacrificed for our sins once for all when He offered himself as the perfect sacrificial lamb. (Heb.7:26-28) We do not know how to pray perfectly in our fallen state of existence, but Jesus does. We do not know how to Love the Father perfectly in our depraved hearts, but Jesus does. They have been in their perfect and holy Love-relationship from eternity. (John 17:23-24)

As High Priest, He takes our prayers as our Mediator and perfects them in Himself, and presents us blameless before the Father – every time we pray:- “How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on Him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.” (2 Cor. 5;21, MSG). The Bible says, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all the same testings we do, yet He did not sin” (Heb.4:15, NLT). An example of Jesus’ prayer for us in heaven can be seen in His prayer at the last supper in John 17. This remains the most important and inspiring portion of scripture relating to Jesus’ prayer for all believers. No human could have prayed that prayer but Jesus alone, and He continues to pray for us today in heaven. I encourage you to read it. Here are two verse from His prayer for you to the Father, “My prayer is not for the world, but for those You have given Me, because they belong to You. All who are Mine belong to You, and You have given them to Me, so they bring Me glory…now protect them by the power of Your name so that they will be united just as We are…keep them safe from the evil one. Just as You sent Me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give Myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth” (John 17:9,11,15, 18). That prayer for is believers like you and me is just magnificent as it is awesome in all its scope and reach.

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Jesus Prays to The Father for His Disciples and Believers at Last Supper, Read John 17 (Wiki Commons)

Jesus encourages us, saying, “I will do whatever you ask in My Name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask for anything in My name, and I will do it” (John 14:13-14). Too many of us apply this passage from our narrow self-centered solitary approach. He told Philip, “He who has seen Me, has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Prayer always has this Trinitarian objective – to be in the presence of God’s Triune glory. This is the most awesome place from which all prayers are answered. You don’t need all your self-centered “gimme” prayers in the presence of divine glory. You need God’s authentic goodness for your life. You need God’s glory in your life. All the uncertainties of life, our worries and anxieties, our weaknesses and our burdens, our troubles and distresses, melt away in His glorious presence. Peter encourages us, saying, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you” (1 Pet.5:7, NLT). If we were somehow siphoned off into God’s presence, we would be so awe-struck by His glory we would be lost for words. We would know that His glory is all that’s required for life and living. Peter goes on to say, “In his kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus” (1 Pet.5:10, NLT).

God’s Glory

What is God’s glory? Moses had spent some time in communication (prayer) with God. Then he made this interesting but perceptive request, “Please, show me your glory” (Exo.33:18). This was God’s reply, “And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you (Exo.33:19a, NASB). So, God’s glory encapsulates all His divine goodness. All prayers are answered out of God’s goodness. But it goes on to say that His goodness is dispensed through His sovereign will: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Exo.33:19b, NASB). God’s goodness and sovereignty goes together and can’t be separated for He is God. His sovereignty decides if your prayer is for your ultimate good at this juncture in your life. God never denies good from us, the Psalmist said, “The LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psa. 84:11). “God is Love,” therefore, it’s impossible for Him to act in any way except for our total good in everything He does for us. (1 John 4:8) God is sovereign because He is omniscient and knows what’s best for each of us, in relation to His calling and destiny for us.

Then God gives Moses a vital aspect to his prayer request, “I will cause all my goodness (glory) to pass in front of you… Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the Rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the Rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by, then I will remove My hand and let you see Me from behind. But My face will not be seen.” (Exo.33:21-22, NASB/NLT). The ‘Rock’ is symbolic of none other than Jesus. The Rock brings us into the presence of God’s glory. Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). There are over 40 passages in the Bible declaring Jesus as our Rock, “The LORD lives, blessed be my Rock” (Psa.18:46; 1 Pet.2:6-7).

Moses’ Trinitarian Encounter

I hope we got the significance of this scenario: Moses was in the presence of the Triune God. All the power he saw around him in the mountain was the act of the Spirit. It tells us we enter the Father’s glory through none other than Jesus, our Rock, in order to receive the Father’s goodness (glory). Jesus is the complete reflection of the Father’s glory, “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him (Jesus)” (Col.1:20).

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God’s Glory Seen in His Creation, “The heavens proclaim the Glory of God. The skies display His Craftsmanship” (Psa.19:1). (Wiki Commons)

Jesus answered Paul’s prayer for healing, saying, “My grace (glory) is all you need. My power works best in weakness” (2 Cor.12:9, NLT). His grace is His divine glory. Yet, the Bible says the Spirit reveals to us the deep things (glory/goodness) of God. (1 Cor.2:10). In Jesus prayer at the last supper before His crucifixion, He prayed thus, “I have given them the glory You gave Me, that they may be one, as We are one” (John 17:22). Goodness comes from our one union with the Triune God in  the “Triune Life.” When Adam and Eve lived in God’s glory in Eden, they lived the perfect human life that was and never has been experienced by man since. They lived the “Triune Life.” Try to imagine yourself as an empty riverbed. All that a dry riverbed requires is water. Water changes everything – it brings a river to life, it brings life, energy, and all good things to the dwellers in the valleys in the river’s flow. That is how God’s glory can be likened metaphorically. His glory is like “living waters” which changes everything for good, where no evil or wickedness could endure. (John 7:38-39)

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Dove, Symbol of Holy Spirit (Wiki Commons)

Herald* Prays for Us

The Spirit who resides in us “forever,” is the One who helps us to pray on earth, and takes our prayers to Jesus to be presented to the Father in heaven. (John 14:16) Paul said, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes (prays) for us through groaning that cannot be expressed in words” (Rom.8:26). Listen, it is impossible for a human to go before God and pray on His own in his fallen state of human existence. Our Father knows this, hence, He gave His Son and Spirit as gifts to be man’s “intercessors” – Jesus as our Savior, and the Spirit as our Helper. Think about this, if the Spirit is of one substance in the Triune Godhead in heaven, while, at the same time is with and in man “forever” on earth, then He is transporting man spiritually into God’s glorious presence on a constant basis, especially in prayer. (1 Cor.6:19-20; John 14:16) In other words, Herald’s* oneness in the Triune Godhead makes our presence in Jesus and in God’s glory possible. So, in essence and reality, man walks on this earth but he is energized from heaven. This is the “Triune Life” of God we are called to live as believers on earth today.

What I present here, you can say, is the most vital missing link in the Christian’s prayer life. Remember, as humans we will always default to our “solitary” ways, unless we allow the Spirit to live the “Triune Life” in us. I hope you will receive the “Triune Life” in Jesus so the Spirit can bring you into fellowship with your Loving Father in heaven.

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 the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven you and make all things concerning you possible in Triune Living as a Bulamanriver.** May you be strong in the Lord’s joy.

Kiang,  

* Herald is the name I have come to personalize the Holy Spirit in my life. He is Friend, Helper, Intercessor, and Miracle-Worker, to each and every believer.                        

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

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

Note: All information is copy write. 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

“PERFECT LOVE DRIVES OUT FEAR,” BY KIANG P. LEE

Greetings friends! Let me continue with the theme of renewal as the season of Spring is upon us. Are there fears in your life you are struggling with? Many lives have been crippled by 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 your fears.

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.   

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“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,” and what many of my readers have to come see me write, the “Triune Life.”** The “solitary life” is the condition in which fear is the motivation. The “Triune Life”** is the condition where Love is the driving force. Fear and Love are opposite conditions we freely choose and elect to live by. So, let’s answer what are these two broad ways of life.

“Solitary Life” – 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 humans. The self-centered “solitary life” is synonymous with everything uncreative, corrupt and deathly in fallen man. 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 shown 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.

“Triune Life” – the True Self

The word Triune means consisting of three in one, as in the Trinity. It conveys the Tri-Personal Being of God 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 by the “Triune Life.”** Because of Adam’s fall, 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 Adam. “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”** to man by revealing the Father and the Spirit. 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.

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Man Has to Change (Born Again) from the “Solitary Life” in Self to the “Triune Life” In Christ (Wiki Commons)

Thus, the “Triune Life”** is born and made a reality in the life of man through man’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 disenfranchises Himself from the “solitary life.” 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 were told to “receive Jesus” but were never taught the true cost of becoming His follower. Very simply, the “cost” is giving up the “solitary life,” and embracing the “Triune Life.” 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 us to the “Triune Life.”** 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 a relationship based upon legalism, but on Love for each other. For in doing this, the believer finds his ‘true self’ in Christ, not in himself. God placed gifts upon us which the Spirit enunciates them (gifts) in life. Thus we read Paul’s words, “We are complete in 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. 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, 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. 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, and in the power of Herald the Spirit who lives is us as His temple. To live the “Triune Life” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit in us. The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27). 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?

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Gentle Dove, Symbol of The Holy Spirit and Power of God’s Love (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 him the heart of Love. 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 all will be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). Finally man can reciprocate with the same Love with which God Loves man. This is “perfect Love” which drives out fear.

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. Christianity as a religion has turn man back upon himself by saying that his salvation is “his 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 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. Salvation is all grace and freely given to man. God has not abdicated your salvation by placing it in your own hands, nor the hands of another, least of all 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, let alone 50%.

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Fear is Driven Out By Embracing the “Perfect Love” in the “Triune Life”  (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 life. 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 the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven you and make all things concerning you possible in Triune Living as a Bulamanriver.**

Kiang,  

* Herald is the name I have come to personalize the Holy Spirit in my life. He is Friend, Helper, Intercessor, and Miracle-Worker, to each and every believer.     

** Triune Life: means a life lived according to the image and likeness of God. (Gen.1:26-27) It means a believer who lives the 3-dimensional life with the Triune God, as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life in himself (“Adamic humanity”). It means God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, lives and walks in you (“Immanuel humanity”). Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune God, who took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead. To live the “Triune Life” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit in us. The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036             

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

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

Note: 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

SPRING IS TIME FOR RENEWAL, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings friends everywhere! As the season of Spring welcomes us in the Northern hemisphere, it is uplifting and inspiring to see renewal in nature all around us.

Spring time brings on new life which greets us everywhere. How things change in a few short weeks, Take our family peach and apple trees, it was not long ago when they were just messy unruly twigs and long dried branches. Now, with pruning, they are bright leafy green trees and full of life with golf-size fruits. The avenues and sidewalks are already heralding Spring-time with their magnificent blooms and inspiring colors and tones. 

Like the Spring in nature, there is likewise a spiritual Spring. It is almost as if God created the four seasons to depict His activity in humanity. We have a spiritual Spring when renewal takes place and we gain fresh perspectives and sow its seeds. Then there’s summer when we tend to the fruits of renewed purpose and energy. Then autumn brings on the joyous harvest season to prepare us for the winter when we can reflect on what God has done in the past year, before He brings us to another refreshing start next Spring. And so the cycle of life goes.

How does this portray our spiritual Spring? In what way does He make it truly refreshing as well as renewing?   File:Peach Tree,Bar,Nishapur.JPG

 Peach Tree in Late Spring/Summer (Wiki Commons)

God is Creator, therefore, the basis of all He does is to create, restore, and renew. He sent His Son, Jesus, to rescue and regenerate mankind. God’s creation, as it relates to man, simply means to impart true life! Life is opposite of death. Adam brought on death to man through rebellion and sin, but Jesus brought life through righteousness and Love. We read, “So it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being;’ the last Adam, a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45; also, Rom.5:12, 14-15). God is the God of the living, not of the dead. (Mark 12:27) The Spring season points to life, not death. What is this life God desires to give man, whom He has created after His own image? (Gen.1:26-27). Jesus answers, “God so Loved the world and gave His only Son that whoever believes shall have eternal life” (John 3:16). Adam gave us a living physical being, sold to sin, but Jesus (second Adam) gives us eternal life, through the life-giving Spirit. Jesus is man’s spiritual Spring, for He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:16).

Freedom to Choose

Immortality is God’s image, He’s not human like us. But He made us for immortality. He made us humans first so we can freely choose His way of Love, as opposed to the way of bondage and fear of the devil. Love and freedom are opposite sides of God’s Triune nature. God is a God of Love, He is Love, and where Love is, there is freedom. The freedom of choice God gave Israel millennias ago, still rings true today, “Today I have given you a choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you may choose life, so that you and your descendants might live” (Deut.30:19, NLT). Yes, we will live a blessed life humanly speaking, and eternally live in His Triune presence.

God encourages us to freely choose the life He dearly Loves to give us, “Oh that you may choose life.” So, it’s a way of life which produces true life. He does not offer us eternal life of and by itself, but immortal life in God’s way of Love and freedom. Because we are made for His image of Love and freedom, God gives us a mind capable of making choices. He did not make us like beasts that’re controlled by instincts. He gives us the freedom to rebel if we so choose, like He gave Adam, but He encourages us to choose life instead.

But the truth of the matter is, since Adam, we have been held in bondage to the devil’s deception where we have had no choice. This form of bondage is called sin. Sin is an insurmountable wall between man and God. Sin simply means to be in a state or condition of rebellion against God. The wall has to be removed to give man the freedom of choice, for as it is, he has no option but serve the devil in a deceived state of existence. But Christ came, and removed the wall of separation of sin, and for the first time, we are given a choice between the way of bondage in the devil, and the way of freedom in the Spirit. Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (bondage)” (Gal.5:1). We have lived all our lives under the devil’s influence that we cannot decipher the difference between true and false freedoms. Jesus came and lived a perfect sinless life, was crucified as the human Savior, He was resurrected and ascended to heaven, and became for us the eternal Mediator between man and God.

File:Damiano Mascagni Joseph Sold Into Slavery by His Brothers.jpg

Joseph Sold Into Slavery by His Brothers by Damiano Mascagni1, (1579-1636) (Wiki Commons) 

Before He was crucified, Jesus made a promise to His followers, He said, “I will ask my Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever” (John 14:16). Jesus told the disciples what the Holy Spirit (Helper) will do, “He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you” (John 16:14). In other words, the Spirit will reveal to man all that Jesus means to each one of us on an individual and personal basis, and collectively as a church. The Spirit takes away the scale from our eyes so we can see and receive true freedom.

What will the Spirit reveal to each of us? Jesus answers: first, He will expose sin for what sin truly is (John 16:8). Second, He will teach us what righteousness truly means (V.8). And third, He will reveal what is the ultimatum of judgment. (V.8). Then He explains what each means to us: firstly, sin is simply man’s refusal to believe in Jesus the Messiah through whom all sins are pardoned, past present, and future (V.9). Sin is a spiritual diseased condition from which we can never be cured except through a permanent Mediator (Jesus Christ, our High Priest), and the Spirit who sanctifies us. Secondly, righteousness means Jesus has gone to be with the Father (V.10). (I will explain this in detail in the next paragraph). And thirdly, judgment means the instigator of sin, Satan, has been judged and convicted because Jesus has overcome him by His perfect life, and His sacrificial death on the cross (V.11).

Righteousness Is Life (Spring)

The Spring season depicts life, let’s answer the question, what is righteousness? Proverbs tells us, “In the way of the righteous, there is life” (Pro.12:28). So, primarily the fruits of righteousness produce true life. But Jesus goes further and provides a revolutionary, yet all-inclusive, definition of righteousness (life) never heard by man, He said, “Righteousness (life) is available because I go to the Father” (John 16:10). In other words, true life is made possible only through Jesus. By saying His ascension to the Father in heaven is the whole meaning and implication of righteousness, He was saying a lot more than meets the eye. Think about it, by returning to the Father now in His glorified human/divine form, Jesus not only took our humanity and glorified it in Himself as the only perfect human who ever lived, and died as Savior of mankind, but He broke down the wall of division of sin which separated man from God since Adam. Finally, man can enter the very presence of God once and for all eternity through His Son. He continues to play that role as our High Priest in heaven. One has to be righteous to be in the presence of God. Thus, we read this, “God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness (receive true life) of God” (2 Cor.5:21). Paul says further, “As in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive (righteous)” (1 Cor. 15:22). It means we can spiritually step into Jesus’ glorified life in faith, and enter into the Loving presence of our heavenly Father, and fellowship with the Triune God. Listen: “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6). This is not just dogma, this is spiritual reality. It takes the living faith of Jesus to enter and live this spiritual reality.

File:Hillview Farms peaches on a peach tree.jpg

Spring Brings Life & Fruits Synonymous with Spiritual Righteousness (Wiki Commons)

Now, listen to how Jesus explains this reality we have in Him. This is a portion of Jesus’ prayer to His Father,  “Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with Me where I am. Then they can see all the glory You gave Me because You loved Me even before the world began!” (John 17:24) Did you see that, or have you read right over it? From eternity, before any physical matter was, before time and space came into being, God’s only activity was Loving His Son. God is Love – that’s all He does. It is difficult for us to wrap our minds around this because we have lived all our lives under bondage to our fallen state of existence. Listen again to Jesus, .”I have made Your very Being (the Father) known to them—who You are and what You do—and continue to make it known, so that Your Love for Me might be in them, exactly as I am in them” (John 17:26, MSG, emphasis mine).This eternal activity of Love the Father has for Jesus in the Spirit’s fellowship, we now become privileged to share and experience forever in Jesus. This is the essence of the Gospel and the “Triune Life” the Spirit brings to each one of us. It is hard for such a reality to sink into our limited human minds, but this is the Gospel’s truth.

“I’m A Self-Made Person” 

Many believe righteousness (life) is the good things we do for our families, neighbors, and the greater community. Nothing could be further from the truth. God calls human goodness “filthy rags” (Isa.64:6). Self-righteousness is condemned throughout the Bible. (Ezek.33:13; Rom.3:27; Titus 3:5) Self-righteousness means human goodness which claims to give life, and man has no power to impart life because he is part of the created. The fact that man eventually dies, proves that. He can only receive life from the true Source of life. Only God is uncreated and is the Source of life as Creator, the giver of true life (righteousness). Only the Spirit, the Source of true life, can produce authentic good through our deeds. (Eph.2:10) Keep in mind, humans have been doing good and evil in this world under bondage to Satan’s influence. This life is the product of self-righteousness begotten of the forbidden fruit from the “tree of good and evil” which Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat. (Gen.2:16-17) The devil has craftily deceived humans making them think their good deeds will produce life and save them. It’s disingenuous good that’s hollow and have no lasting value. But Jesus reveals to us the divine goodness in His Love (true life), and how our heavenly Father had planned to bring His human children back to Himself through His Son, and in the power of the Spirit. In other words, living the “Triune Life” in the Spirit activates this life in Jesus which brings genuine renewal and authentic goodness (righteousness/life), the physical counterpart of Spring. As I said, God is Creator, therefore all of life in its authentic lasting expression springs from a source that’s spiritual, not physical which is part of the created realm.

“By Myself I Can Do Nothing”

We don’t often realize one vital principle Jesus lived by when He walked this earth: He never relied upon Himself to do the work His Father gave Him to do. Frequently, we imagine Jesus to be like some super hero from the movies, but in truth He never fits that mold, even though He was God’s Son. For He said, “By Myself I can do nothing” (John 5:30). Isn’t that disconcerting for many. The miracles He performed in the backwaters of the Palestinian landscape was not entirely His own doing. The scriptures tell us clearly He had the anointing of the Holy Spirit’s power, the third Person of the Triune Godhead, who worked collaboratively with Jesus to fulfill His Father’s mission. (Acts 10:38; Matt.3:16-17) Why am I emphasizing this point? Because Jesus never lived the “solitary life” which the devil deceived Adam and Eve into accepting. The solitary, self-centered life of humans is the basis of the rebellious life of the devil. Jesus lived the collaborative “Triune Life.” He was never a “lone wolf” doing His own thing. As the second Person of the Trinity, He could never act alone except in complete Oneness with the Father and the Holy Spirit, with whom He is indivisibly of One Substance in the Trinity. Peter said, “Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Pet.2:21). Paul said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor.11:1). We too follow His example and say, “I can do nothing on my own” (John 5:30, NLT). If we follow this motto, then the only way to live is the collaborative “Triune Life” where we trust in stepping into the life of Jesus in the Spirit’s power. The “Triune Life” is not lived entirely earth, but derive its energy and life by living in Christ in heaven.

I hope you can see where we are going with this – if the Spirit “dwells in us forever” as His earthly temple as the scripture attests to this truth (John 14:16; 1 Cor.6:19), and He is homousiosly of One substance with, and inseparably unified in the Trinitarian Godhead, then His presence in us automatically connects us to Christ with the Father in heaven. So, when we come back to Jesus’ definition of righteousness in John 16:10, we find ourselves living in its message, being transported by the Spirit and made righteous in Christ to be with the Father so we can receive renewal and life here and now, and ultimately immortality. (John 16:14-15)

This is the Spring of Life which flows into us like a “river of living waters” (John 7:37-38). It comes from living the “Triune Life” in the Spirit’s move in our lives. We are the riverbed into which the “living waters” of the Spirit ever flows.

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 the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven you and make all things concerning you possible in Triune Living as a Bulamanriver.*

Kiang,                      

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

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

Note: 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