Monthly Archives: September 2015

SIN IS A CONDITIONAL RESPONSE AS MUCH AS LOVE IS – THE PARABLE OF THE “OCEAN”, BY KIANG P LEE

“The World’s SIN Is That It Refuses To Believe In Me” – John 16:9

Greetings Friends!

Did you know that sin, in the true sense of the word, is not what most people think it is? It may surprise you what the Bible truly says about the subject of sin. If you were to look up the dictionary for the definition of sin, you would find the following, “an offense against religious or moral law,” or, “transgression of the law of God.” (Merriam-Websters) The late Billy Graham gave a more elaborate version, “A sin is any thought or action that falls short of God’s will. God is perfect, and anything we do that falls short of His perfection is sin.” (http://billygraham.org/)

Underwater Photography of Coral Reefs

The “Love-Condition”/”Sin-Condition” Can be Compared to an Ocean in which Marine life is Likened to Believers Sustained by Its “Living Waters” or “Deathly Waters” (Pexels.com) 

If you look closer at these definitions, you’ll note that sin is seen as individual thoughts and acts which are religiously and morally wrong. Though this may sound right, it is not an entirely correct definition of sin. How so? Because every individual act, be it good or bad, right or wrong, virtuous or sinful, arise out of a first cause. That first cause is what I call the sin-condition which triggers individual sins. The same happens with good, it is generated by the Love-condition. The sin-condition and man’s fallen nature are synonymous. It is the spiritual prison in which mankind is held captive to the sinful nature. The fallen nature of man originated with Adam’s fall to sin which mankind has inherited since. (Gen.3:6)

Individual sins does not happen haphazardly out of the blue, no, we are creatures of conditional response! What a person does, whether good or evil, stems from the condition which triggers that specific action. So, sin or Love (virtue), is a conditionnot an individual act! Don’t get me wrong, sin is an individual act, but it is generated by the sin-condition. Another word for sin is fear. The sin-condition generates fear which begets individual sins. It is an evil cycle within man’s fallen nature (sin-condition). We are all products of our fearful environment which conditions us this way or that. Sin and Love are conditional responses depending on our environment. 

File:Sin Logo.png

Sin is a Condition, Not Individual Acts (Wiki Commons)

If sin is more than an individual act, a condition, what does the Bible tell us about it, and how can we better understand and deal with it? Paul made it quite clear, and calls it “the law of sin”: “I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me” (Rom.7:23). So, the “the law of sin” and the sin-condition are the same. We can say the sin-condition operates like inertia with its gravitational pull. So is the Love-condition. Then Paul ask the important question, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body (fallen nature/prison) that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom.7:24-25, parenthesis mine). Yes, this passage tells us that God has given us His Son, Jesus, to free us from the sin-condition which generates all individual sins. 

Jesus explains the sin-condition, and reveals the Holy Spirit’s work in humans in this fashion, “And when He (Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment” (John 16:8, NLT, parenthesis mine). Here, Jesus specifies the three areas the Spirit convicts the human mind concerning: sin, righteousness, and judgment. And all three are related as we will see each expounded. Jesus unambiguously explains the Spirit’s work as it relates to the sin-condition“The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in Me” (John 16:9, NLT). So, clearly the sin-condition has to do with faith – faith in Jesus’ mediation as Savior who takes away mankind’s sins, and the sin-condition which holds people imprisoned as slaves to sin. (John 3:16) In other words, sin is a person’s refusal, either by denial or defiance, to believe (trust) in the Messiah God the Father has provided for our forgiveness and freedom from the prison of sin. Very simple, very clear!

Shoal of Fish

The “Love-Condition”/”Sin-Condition” Can be Compared to an Ocean in which Marine life is Likened to Believers Sustained by Its “Living Waters” or “Deathly Waters” (Pexels.com)

Let me explain this further to make it even clearer, individual sins will not cease because man exists in this spiritual cocoon of the devil called the sin-condition. The sin-condition generates individual sins. This world is held in bondage to the sin-condition ever since Adam’s fall in Eden. So, the Messiah is given as a permanent function in God’s plan to exterminate and totally remove the sin-condition and introduce the Love-condition which brings righteousness. Righteousness is the second conviction the Spirit brings, which springs from the Love-condition. (John 16:8; Rom.8:2) The Love-condition generates right living. Jesus explains how righteousness through the Love-condition comes to humans, “Righteousness is available because I go to the Father.” We will get to that point a little later. 

From the foregoing we see a simple truth, the Love-condition which destroys and nullifies all sins and brings forth righteousness, is housed in the Person of Jesus Himself. He is not only Savior who saves humans from past sins, but He is the complete Messiah who takes care of present and future sins in His role as our Mediator High Priest in heaven. (John 3:16; Heb.4:15-16) Jesus did not remain a dead Savior on the cross. By His resurrection from the dead and ascension to His glorified role as eternal High Priest in heaven, He revealed Himself to be the true Messiah. (1 Cor.15:14)

One may say, “I can understand past sins, but how does God save us from present and future sins?” Fair question, since throughout life a person’s wrestle with sins and many failed responses in life can be discouraging enough. This is the outcome of legalism because people accept the legalist’s definition of sin through the law. We are not called to have a relationship with the law through legalism, but it is about one’s relationship with God through Love. There is a difference. Our relationship is with the Law-Giver not the law. Our interaction is with the Person of Jesus, not an impersonal code written on stone. Paul said the law is our teacher which cannot justify us until the Spirit came, he said, “Therefore no one will be justified in His sight by works of the Law. For the Law merely brings awareness of sin” (Rom.3:20). So, the only way out of sin is for a person to be extricated from bondage in the sin-condition which produces sins, and be installed into the freedom in the Love-condition which generates righteousness.

How do we get inducted into the Love-condition that brings every blessing from God? Paul answers and give us a clear distinction between the two conditions: “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 sin-condition which generates sins, and the “law of the Spirit” is the Love-condition” that begets righteousness. Paul gave us the purpose of the law, “So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith” (Gal.3:24). So, while the law condemns us, Jesus’ faith saves us. (Rom.3:20-24; Eph.2:8) Paul said, “We have been released from the law (sin-condition) so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit (Love-condition), and not in the old way of the written code” (Rom.7:6, italics mine). The law cannot save us, only Jesus can do that. Paul said, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom.8:1). We enter the Love-condition of the Spirit in order to live a life of joy in the Lord, not a life of discouragement in the sin-condition.

From Paul’s explanation, the Love-condition requires the presence of the Holy Spirit: the “law of the Spirit.” Paul explains to the Romans what the presence of the Spirit does, “We know how dearly God Loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His Love” (Rom.5:5). So, the Spirit is the personification of God’s Love-condition in mankind. It is very simple, no Holy Spirit, no Love-condition. No Love-condition, no righteousness. Paul explains that the Spirit indwelling a believer is part of God’s plan, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16, NASB). A temple is where humans enter into the presence of God to behold and bask in the radiance of His Love and righteousness. Paul told the Romans, “You, however, are controlled not by the flesh (sin-condition), but by the Spirit (Love-condition), if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ” (Rom.8:9, italics mine). The term “Spirit of Christ” reveals the trinitarian activity of the three Persons of the Godhead acting as one and never in isolation from each other. The next logical step would be, how is the Spirit made to come and indwell human believers? Jesus answers, “You must be born of the Spirit” (John 3:6-8).

Before His crucifixion, Jesus reminded the disciples of a vital promise from the Father, “I am going to send you what My Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luk.24:49; also John 14:26). Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit as the “power from on high.” After Jesus’ resurrection and before His ascension to heaven He again reminded the disciples of the Father’s promise, “And when they were gathered together, He commanded them: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift the Father promised, which you have heard Me discuss” (Act.1:4). Yes, man must undergo a rebirth from his fallen state of being, and be freed from the prison called the sin-condition, and take on a new risen state of being (Love-condition) living in freedom from sin. In my other blog posts I have called a human born in the sin-condition as the “Adamic humanafter the fallen Adam, and the reborn human in the Love-condition as the “Immanuel human” after Jesus’ messianic title, the new human modeled after the risen Jesus, the Son of God.

Photo Of Yellow Fishes Near Corals

The “Love-Condition”/”Sin-Condition” Can be Compared to an Ocean in which Marine life is Likened to Believers Sustained by Its “Living Waters” or “Deathly Waters” (Pexels.com)

As Paul was inspired to write, “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). We are not being conformed in the image of the law, but in the image of Jesus Christ. Yes, by being the “firstborn” means Jesus was the first human who was given the new birth through the Holy Spirit whom He introduced to humanity at His baptism in the Jordan. He set the stage for mankind to follow Him on the day of Pentecost when the Spirit was poured upon all who believed. (Matt.3:11, 16-17; Act.2:1-4) Paul goes on, “And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory (Love-condition/Spirit)” (see Rom.8:30, NLT, Italics mine).

How do we experience this rebirth in the Spirit (Love-condition)? Peter told his listeners on that memorable day of Pentecost, “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). Yes, faith in Jesus’ mediation as Savior of mankind is the prerequisite to receiving the gift of the Spirit from the Father. (John 3:16) We have discovered sin as a person’s unbelief and rejection of Jesus as the Deliverer from sins and the sin-conditon. The same faith does more, it opens the door so the Spirit now enters the believer’s life where He abides forever. (John 16:14)  Repentance and baptism symbolizes the believer’s affirmation to terminate and bury in the watery grave of baptism the fallen self that was reared in the sin-condition, and rise up like Jesus did from the dead to live a reborn new self in Christ and be nurtured in the Love-condition of the Spirit. The person is taken out of prison (sin-condition) and given freedom (Love-condition) for the very first time. Paul said to the Ephesians, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” (Eph.1:13). Here, we are told of being marked and  sealed in the Love-condition in the Spirit. A seal is an insignia of ownership where the believer is given to enter God’s Loving presence. Sin no longer owns you, Love and righteousness is now  your dominion. The Love-condition can be likened to an ocean of “living waters” that propagate Love and right living(John 7:37-39).

File:Coral reef 3.jpg

The “Love-Condition”/”Sin-Condition” Can be Compared to an Ocean in which Marine life is Likened to Believers Sustained by Its “Living Waters” or “Deathly Waters” (Wiki Commons)

The spiritual ocean with its “living waters” depicted in the above picture is a portrayal of believers living in the Love-condition of the Holy Spirit. (Rom.5:5) The various species of marine life can be compared to the people of faith who have received Jesus as Savior, and received the gift of the Spirit to enter this spiritual aquatic world of Jesus Christ. The Spirit is the ocean of God’s Love in which all humanity (marine life) swim and draws life from its life-giving waters. (John 7:37-39) Empty out the ocean and all life will cease to exist and die. No other life-form can live in this oceanic realm, except for marine species (believers). All other species that are not adapted to living in the ocean, like the birds of the air, the beasts of the forest, etc, cannot survive in this aquatic kingdom. In like manner, only humans who have believed and received Jesus have been given the gift of living faith which enables them to live and swim in the divine ocean of the Love-condition in the Spirit.

On a personal individual level, the Bible compares the believer to a riverbed filled with the Spirit that’s the living waters which cover the person creating the Love-condition. (John 7:37-39; Isa.55:1; John 4:14) The marine life represents the people with whom the believer will have various contacts and develop relationships in the journey of life. The winding course of the riverbed (picture below) with its living waters (Love-condition), is determine by God who confers gifts and utilizes them to water, refresh, and fill the people where the believer flows in life’s sojourn on this earth. Then all the riverbeds ends in the Ocean who is Jesus Christ. There’s the “deathly waters” depicting the “sin-condition” of the devil from which we were plucked out and placed in the “living waters” representing the “Love-condition” in the Spirit.

Aerial View of River Near Houses and Trees

On the Individual Level, the Winding Riverbed (Person) with its Living Waters (Love-condition) Reveals God’s Purpose to Water and Refresh People Wherever He Calls Us to Flow. (Wiki Commons)

Paul affirms this truth, saying, “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh (sin-condition) but are in the realm of the Spirit (Love-condition), if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (Rom.8:9). Man’s fallen nature (sin-condition) entices him to sin, but in Jesus (Love-condition) we live victoriously in His triumphant defeat over sin and temptation. (Matt.4:1-12) The role of the Spirit is to articulate the life of Jesus and His glorious victory over the sin-condition. (John 16:13-15)

Whenever believers are told to overcome every single sin in their lives, it discourages them to no end because they know it’s an impossible task to do as a human. And, God our Father knows this well and paves the way to remove sins once for all time and make us perfect – it’s called righteousness. So, the second aspect of the Spirit’s work concerns the human conviction about righteousness – what is it? Jesus answers, “Righteousness is available because I go to the Father” (John 16:10, NLT) Jesus had just defined sin as, “The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in Me” (John 16:9). Now He defines righteousness. Here again, the Bible’s definition of righteousness is not what most people think it is. Most think of righteousness as obedience to the law because sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4) Therefore, the law condemns us when we break it (sin). But we are not bound to the law, we are bound to Christ who covers us with God’s Love that “covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Pet.4:8). 

So, we see how sins are forgiven and removed through Jesus’ sacrifice, and then the person is reinstated by a rebirth into righteousness through the Spirit’s power, no longer sinful. That is God’s answer to sin: Jesus’ righteousness! This is a life of faith, not obedience to a code whose only power is to condemn, but cannot save. God has decided what we are to obey in order to put us in right standing with Him – Jesus! So, the personification of the Love-condition that produces perfection is Jesus Christ.

But what has Jesus “going to the Father” to do with righteousness? Jesus gives the answer in the same passage, saying, “Unless I go away (to the Father), the Advocate (Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7, parenthesis mine). The Spirit is the personification of the Love-condition who brings Jesus’ righteousness to mankind. He (Spirit) cannot come and establish righteousness until Jesus returns to the Father in heaven. There is something else that’s equally important about Jesus’ return to His Father in heaven which interfaces with the Spirit’s role of coming and sanctifying human believers on earth. (1 Pet.1:2; 2 Thess.2:13)  

bird's eye view of city

Human Beings are Winding Riverbeds with its Living Waters (Love-condition) Watering and Refreshing People Wherever He Calls Us to Flow (Unsplash).

In the Father’s presence in heaven, Jesus is installed as mankind’s High Priest. As the perfect and glorified human He is qualified to be mankind’s High Priest forever. That is, He can perpetually mediate on our behalf, as Hebrews says, “God qualified Him (Jesus) as a perfect High Priest…Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them” (Heb.5:9-10; Heb.7:23-25). Paul said, “There is one Mediator between God and man, the Word of God who is Himself a man, Jesus Christ” (1 Tim 2:5). The role of the Spirit in believers is to sanctify believers, as Peter said, “God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with His blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance” (1 Pet.1:2; also 2 Thess.2:13).

The work of the Spirit is to take humans with all their imperfect human responses in life (past, present, future sins) to Christ the High Priest in heaven to mediate on their behalf before the Father, and bring Christ’s righteousness to humans. Hebrews again informs us how this takes place, “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Heb.4:14-16, NLT). Paul said Christ is “our righteousness” because of His Messianic role as High Priest who lives forever to intercede for humanity continually. (Jer.23:633:161 Cor.1:30) This is the only way for humans to defeat sin and the sin-condition forever and enter the pathway to Love and righteousness in God’s presence – there is no other way! 

black and white photo of waterfalls

All this work of perpetual mediation in Christ is happening within the Love-condition of the Spirit, as Hebrews informs us, “Every high priest is chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins” (Heb.5:1). To what end? “He entered the Most Holy Place (God’s throne in heaven) once for all by His own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption” (Heb.9:12; parenthesis mine). Paul further elaborates, “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor.1:30; 1 Cor.6:11; 2 Cor.5:21). Yes, Jesus’ mediation brings forgiveness, righteousness, holiness and redemption which is occurring as the reality of the Spirit’s sanctifying work in believers. So, it is not about individual sins by themselves, but about destroying the sin-condition which generates sin by living in the Love-condition of the Spirit who propagates Jesus’ forgiveness, righteousness, and redemption in God’s people.  

All of Jesus’ multidimensional mediation that’s materializing within the Spirit’s Love-condition now answers to the aspect of “judgment” which the Spirit brings to our awareness and conviction. Jesus explained judgment saying, “And about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16:11). Now, Jesus identifies the origin and instigator of the sin-condition – “the prince of this world,” or Satan, the devil who holds mankind prisoner. God is the Author of the Love-condition, who brings true freedom, as Satan is the founder of the sin-condition who imprisons humans as slaves to sin. Satan “now stands condemned” means his sin-condition which propagates sin and his wicked and deathly rule over the people on earth, is at an end, it has ceased to exist since Jesus came, for Jesus is the gateway into the habitation of righteousness – the Love-condition in the Spirit. (John 10:9, 1-7) Through Jesus, God has made all things new again by establishing the Love-condition that destroys all human sins forever. This passage from John focuses on how “the prince of this world now stands condemned”: “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8, ESV, also Heb.2:14; Heb.9:26).

The Love-Condition, Antithesis of The Sin-Condition (Wiki Commons)

Yes, sin originated with Satan when he rebelled against God’s divine order of creation by defying God’s rule and authority. (Isa.14:12-15) He deceived and manipulated Adam to believe and take ownership of the same rebellious spirit which has passed down to his descendants. He is the architect and father of the sin-condition to continue his wicked rule and imprisons the people of this earth. (John 8:44) Satan’s depraved plan is to ultimately wipe humanity from the face of the earth by way of the sin-condition. (John 10:10-11) Paul said, “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23). Satan knew God’s mind about sin and the  death penalty it generates. But God’s Love is greater than the enemy’s sin-condition with its death penalty, and paves the way to save humanity through His Son. (John 3:16-17)

Paul tells us what we are up against, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph.6:12). The devil’s wicked plan came to a grinding halt and was defeated utterly when Jesus appeared as the Messiah. Jesus became the perfect human to stand in for sinful humanity and restore righteousness lost through Adam’s fall. He took on the role of Savior and Mediatory High Priest in heaven, so Satan’s wicked scheme is defeated forever. In so doing, Jesus destroys the sin-condition of the devil, and restores His Love-condition of the Spirit.

The Spirit is mightier than any enemy and gives us powerful weapons to defeat the devil’s temptation and cunning. (Matt.4:1-12) Yes, the Christian life is not just smooth sailing into immortality, but our participation in the life of faith is vital in Jesus’ Ministry of Reconciliation for which we are ambassadors. (2 Cor.5:17-21; Col.1:19-23; Rom.5:10-11). Paul gives us insight as to what the battle we face incurs with the Spirit’s help, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph.6:13-17).

Yes, it is from within the Love-condition in the Spirit that we are given the spiritual weapons to fight this spiritual warfare and keep and not lose our place of freedom in God’s ‘promise land.’ Yes, the enemy is always trying to drag us back into bondage of the sin-condition. Jesus taught us to pray, “And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one” (Matt.6:13). Paul stresses our prayers as a vital aspect of our spiritual warfare, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Eph.6:18). In Paul’s testimony about his Christian journey, he told Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim.4:7).

“Pray Without Ceasing” – An Essential Weapon in Our Spiritual Warfare (Pic: Wiki Commons)

In that day of judgment believers who exist under cover of the Spirit’s Love-condition will not be condemned because they have no sin to answer for. Remember, they were continuously sanctified by the Spirit under Jesus’ High Priestly perpetual work of reconciliation. But not so for unbelievers who doubted, disbelieved, and spoke against Jesus’ role as the prophesied Messiah. (Isa.9:6-7) The Bible says of the judgment day, “For God will bring every deed into judgment, along with every hidden thing, whether good or evil… “This will come to pass on that day when God will judge men’s secrets through Christ Jesus, as proclaimed by my gospel” (Eccl.12:14; Rom.2:16). Paul said this about the day of judgment, “Therefore, judge nothing before the proper time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God” (1 Cor.4:5; also 1 Cor.3:13). Instead, clothed in Jesus’ righteousness His people will be rewarded with God’s invitation, “Well done, Come and share your Master’s happiness!” (Matt.25:21; also 2 Tim.4:8).

As for the devil, since he is the embodiment of the sin-condition, the Bible reveals both will be put away and deceive humanity no more. God will have brought mankind into His own family made immortality and living in God’s Loving presence. (Rev.20:1-3, 10) This Love-condition becomes the nucleus for what will eventually become the Kingdom of God, where Jesus is King and Lord. (Rev.19:16) There will be a new heaven and new earth where the people are clothed in righteousness, and Love will be the culture of the God’s new civilization. Concerning this time of restitution, John records, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev.21:1-8)

What a wonderful, beautiful, new world, and joyous life beyond our wildest dreams, which God our Father will lavishly bless humanity. Paul affirms humanity’s blessed future through these words, “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Cor.2:9-10). We have every reason to be thankful and filled with praise of our heavenly Father!

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

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.

Kiang,
(Your Servant In Christ)  

**“Triune Life” means to inherit human personhood identifying us as true persons with gifts in Christ and living according to the image and likeness of God. (Gen.1:26-27Rom.8:29) It means a believer who lives the 3-dimensional attributing life with the Triune God, as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life in himself (“Adamic humanity”). It means to live in relationship with God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who 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) This is a life of divine power. You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092, also at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036)

>>> Read about my true-life miracle I shared in my book and post, titled, “Miracle Living-No Ordinary Life!” I hope you find it inspiring and encourages you to receive Jesus and live the “Triune Life.” Go to: http://bulamanriver.net/2634

***Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website, www.bulamanriver.net, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, xulonpress.com, and other book store sites where you can order a copy of my book, “Bulamanriver – The Miracle of Triune Living” 

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

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PURPOSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, BY KIANG P LEE

“When the Spirit of Truth comes… He will Glorify Me (Jesus)” – John 16:13-14)

Greetings to you Friends!

To say that the work of the Holy Spirit is an indispensable part of the Christian life, is a gross understatement to say the least. For the Christian life has no legs to stand on without the Holy Spirit, plain and simple. (Rom.8:9) Yet, about half (49%) of all who say they are Christian do not believe the Holy Spirit is real, according to the research group called “Barna Group” (https://www.barna.org). It also found that “Americans are constantly trying to figure out how to make sense of biblical teachings in light of their daily experiences,” without realizing it’s the absence of the Holy Spirit which leaves this vacuum in their Christian life. Let’s discuss this vital aspect and see what exactly is the work of the Spirit in the Christian’s daily journey. There are many facets of His work, but we’ll discuss His basic foundational role in this post.

The Holy Spirit is given to those who believe and trust in Jesus as the prophesied Messiah because He is the Son of God sent by the Father to be mankind’s Savior. (Act.2:38-39) Through faith in Jesus the Holy Spirit is given as a gift where He comes and dwells in the heart of the believer, and man becomes His temple: “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16; also John 7:37-39; 1 John 4:13; 1 Cor.6:19, NLT). The work of the Spirit is to sanctify and bring the Love and life of God to man. A temple is a place of worship where God and man meet. The Bible says, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (Rom.8:9). This tells us that God is Trinitarian, so, you cannot have the Holy Spirit without Christ, and you cannot have Christ without the the Holy Spirit, for the purpose of the Spirit is to unify you to Jesus, who in turn unifies  you to the Father.

File:Gezi2.jpgDove – Symbol of The Holy Spirit (Wiki Commons)

Shortly before Jesus was taken to be crucified, He told the disciples about the role of the Spirit, “I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you. Everything that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you” (John 16:12-15). Yes, the Spirit’s sole purpose is to reveal Jesus, for Jesus is the revelation of God’s glory in humans. His purpose is to reveal all that Jesus means to you as a person in God’s purpose and destiny for you.

Jesus told the disciples He was about to leave them, but He would was not abandoning them. He did not want them to feel lost and forsaken. He said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you… The one who Loves Me will be Loved by My Father, and I too will Love them and show Myself to them… I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-18).

The role of the Spirit is to mentor people to become true believers of Jesus and becoming like Him. Jesus said, “The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace!” (John 14:26-27, MSG). The operative words are to “make everything plain to you.” So, if you are a believer and things like the work of the Spirit is not plainly understood, it may be that you are not letting the Spirit guide you. Many times we let others explain things to us, but we are still left with questions.

Recall what one of the New Covenant provision affords us, “And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the LORD.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already” (Heb.8:11, NLT). John reinforces the work of the Spirit in this regard, “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true–it is not a lie. So just as He has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ” (1 John 2:27, NLT). Look, can a human reveal what your personal calling in God’s plan for you? No human can do that, only the Spirit will do it for it is His work to reveal your gift that’s tied to your individual calling. 

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The Tri-Personal God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Always at Work to Bring Man to Immortality. Rublev’s Famous Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

Let’s ask, who is Jesus fundamentally and effectively to those who believe and receive Him? He is the first human ever who lived a sinless life, and now exists in His human glorified divine form. When Jesus was crucified, resurrected, and ascended back to be with the Father, He took our humanity with Him, and glorified it and made it part of God forever. Jesus made this possible because He was and is always the homoousios part of the Triune Godhead in heaven. Jesus was the prophesied Immanuel, God in the flesh, for the purpose of making man into the divine image of the Triune God. (Gen.1:26-27) He is the example the Father want for man to emulate so humans may enter into His Loving presence by becoming glorious and immortal themselves like His Son. Hence, we read Paul saying, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom.8:29-30, NASB).

The Son stands first in the line of humanity God restored and fashioned in His image and likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) Jesus is the only human who was glorified and made immortal, and the role of the Holy Spirit is to make Jesus’ reality happen across the board in all of humanity. Paul affirms this, saying, “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” (Rom.8:11).

God reveals how He will make this reality we see in Jesus happen, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people” (2 Cor.6:16; Lev.26:12). What this says is God will Himself guide and walk us to the reality we have in Jesus. And how does He do it, through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Bibles reveals “We are the temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:16a). Paul says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” (1 Cor.6:19, NLT; also, 1 Cor.3:16).

But here is the crossover many cannot and have not fathomed, including Christians: If God walks in us, and He is holy and sinless, then it stands to reason that the believer is also holy and sinless. You see, God and sin cannot co-exist. Can virtue live alongside sin? Can righteousness and wickedness live together under the same roof? Can light and darkness be bedfellows? The two conditions are poles apart. Nothing could be more diametrically opposite from each other, and the exact antithesis of each other. So one has to go! Paul’s closing words in his discourse with the Romans is, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?” (Rom.8:31-32). Can the sin condition stand against us? No!

If the Spirit is “Holy” and lives in man as His temple, then it’s logical to conclude that man is also “holy.” The light of God’s Love snuffs out all darkness. This is the role of the Holy Spirit – He is called “Holy” because that is what He does. All He touches, He makes “Holy.” He is the “sanctifier” of man. Let me give you a metaphor to help explain this. It’s not perfect, but I hope it serves the purpose. Think of a dark room in your home. You enter the room and close the door behind you. It’s as dark as black can be. You move and feel your hand along the wall to the light switch, and turned the lights on. What just happened? Electricity turned the bulb on, and now you can see in the dark. Yes, but more than that, what really happened was light swallowed up darkness and made it disappear and ineffectual. Darkness disappeared in the face of light. Light is virtue, while sin is darkness. In the same way, when we come into God’s presence through the Spirit, we come before light where there’s no darkness or sin. Sin has been taken care of once for all time through Christ, the true Light. 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 8:13).

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Light Swallows the Darkness of Space and Unveils the Earth in Ever Increasing Brightness of the Rays of the Sun         (Wiki Commons)

What is the spiritual mechanics of making this reality happen where the believer is made forever “holy” in the Father’s presence? Think about this, if the Spirit is intrinsically of one substance with the Father and the Son in heaven (existing as One Trinity from eternity), and He also lives and walks in the believer as His temple, then it’s logical to conclude that wherever the Spirit is the believer is with Him – in heaven and in God’s holy presence. If sin can never prevail with God, then man also is holy and is in a sinless state. There’s something else that we may not have realized, since Jesus has glorified our humanity in Himself and brought it into the life of the Trinity, then the Spirit automatically becomes part of mankind by this inherent union. Man was spiritually birthed into the divine by Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension, and through the doctrine of substitution, when we express faith in the Messiah we are likewise reborn spiritually just as Jesus explained to Nicodemus. (John 3:5-8; Eph.1:13) The all-inclusive expression of this spiritual birth will occur in the future resurrection from mortal to immortality.

Therefore, the role of the Spirit is to constantly and forever transport man to the heavenly courts before Jesus and our heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit sanctifies the believer by bringing him or her before Jesus as High Priest in heaven. Jesus in turn mediates all the inadequate human responses and shortcomings of the believer, and presents him/her before the Father perfect and acceptable every time, and always! (Rom.8:26,34) This is the ongoing process of salvation that never stops until God’s purpose in mankind is completed when we are resurrected to immortality like Jesus. All of this is encapsulated in the words of Paul, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness (sinless) of God in Him” (2 Cor.5:21, NASB). This is the process of salvation we are forever experiencing in the Spirit and in Jesus. Benjamin Franklin said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we must hang together, or most assuredly we will hang alone.” 

One might say, “But I sin all the time.” Yes, that’s exactly the point of the Spirit’s role, we live in sin always because of our fallen human nature. If we have been made perfect at any point, then we won’t need the Spirit, for the responsibility of the Spirit is to sanctify man. (John 16:8-11) And sanctification takes place where trespasses exists. That’s why the Holy Spirit is given to man – because we are trespassers, period. David said we have “secret sins” we cannot see and don’t know about, let alone repent of. (Psa.19:12) The point is not that we become perfect in this life, but we are brought before the “Light” of Jesus where all darkness is extinguized instantly.  If God should enlighten us about a wrong in us, He will do so and grant us the repentance to go with it. (2 Tim.2:25; Act.11:18) Man’s propensity to sin is no excuse to live licentiously, but to enlighten man of his need for a permanent Mediator in Jesus, and the Sanctifier in the Spirit.

Trespasses are snuffed out like darkness is swallowed up by the light. Of course, this doesn’t give us license to do what we like and live irresponsibly (sin) – we do not commit sin because we know we are going to be forgiven anyway. Those who live like that are still living in darkness. No, the key is to maintain an ongoing attitude of repentance, realizing that we still sin even with our best efforts to be morally good. We are kept in Jesus’ prayer to daily seek the Father’s forgiveness because we live in our fallen fallen and depraved humanity. (Matt.6:12) If it were not for the Holy Spirit we would remain in our spiritually corrupt condition. Paul said, “But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you” (Rom.8:9, NLT).

What a wonderful and beautiful life God our Father has brought to live in His Son Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Be ever grateful and praise Him always!

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

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.

Kiang,  

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

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

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GOD’S HUMAN ENTERPRISE – THE PURPOSE FOR HUMAN EXISTENCE, BY KIANG P LEE

Greetings Friends!

As I greet you, fall (autumn) is upon us. However, the temperature seems to carry a different message, summer is not ready to leave just yet, not for now!

I would like to share a question that seems to plaque good-hearted people from time to time. It is this: I want to do God’s will for my life, but how do I know this present life is what He wants me to do? How do I order my life to suit His purpose and design for me? A fair question! This world is falling apart at the seams, and we need more people to project a more objective, caring, and responsible attitude toward life. One can say, the cause of so much evil in this world is quite elementary – humans are not living their God-given purpose on earth. (Gen.1:26-29) All of us, in our own unique way, make our mark which contribute to the condition we find ourselves in the world today. The onus will always be upon each of us to take up our own life’s burden, and like a jig-saw piece, make it fit into the fabric of human society, and hopefully contribute to a kinder world with a richer legacy for our children. Let’s begin! 

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Is This Work God’s Will for Me (Photos: Wiki Commons)

How do I order my life? How do I know this is the job God wants me to do? How do I know this is the course of education He wants me to take up? Should I make this move to another state or another country? We are often left with a dilemma about what to do, and we pray it seems like God is not listening, much less answering.

First things first: I presume that if we are seeking to order our lives to befit God’s will, it is because we believe He is Love, and Love is the place where mutual benefit is the prime and only concern over our own selfish ways. When we live this way, no one takes offense for there is no law against it (Love). (Gal.5:22-23) We live as Paul proclaimed, “Owe no one anything, except to Love each other, for the one who Loves another has fulfilled the law” (Rom.13:8, ESV). In this life of outgoing concern for God and my neighbor, the Psalmist promises, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing” (Psa.23:1). As long as we live a surrendered life and make Him our Caretaker He promises to feed, guide, and shield us out of His abundance. (Psa.37:25; 48:14; 28:7)

Second, many of us have the mistaken idea we were born with goodness in our hearts to do something for God. Nothing could be further from the truth. This mindset finds its source in self-righteousness. The life of Love He offers comes from Him, and does not proceed from us. As the Bible says, “We Love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Third, life will be lived well where we find joy and strength in His purpose, if we remain open to God’s invitation to His calling for us. (Neh.8:10) He invites us to His enterprise, not the other way round.

God’s Enterprise

That being said, the question is, has God invited humans, you and me, to His enterprise? If yes, let’s ask, what is God’s enterprise? God’s enterprise has been known since the creation of man. Man can’t claim ignorance to His purpose which He made abundantly clear from the beginning. After recreating this earth for six days to make it habitable for humans, He openly and unambiguously spoke His enterprise, “Let Us make mankind in Our image, in Our likeness, so that they may rule (over creation).” So God created mankind for a purpose – to live and exist in His Love: “Let Us make human beings in Our image, make them reflecting Our nature (Love) so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.” (Gen.1:26-27, MSG). Yes, it is called God’s Human Enterprise! Human purpose is to be responsible for all creation. So God created humans in His image so they will live like He does – “In His image and likeness.” This is not rocket science for it is simple and straight forward. There’s no ambiguity whatsoever.

God’s human enterprise is for man to rule and have dominion over this earth and all life forms upon it as God would – according to “His image and likeness.” Paul says the same thing in our Christian context, “For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Cor.6:16; Lev.26:12). Yes, in carrying out our dominion (living our life-gift) on this earth, our primary purpose is to ensure we allow Him to walk in and through us. God is Love, so Love becomes our nature too and is the most powerful and influential spiritual element which inspires all our thoughts and actions. Most of all, Love motivates our relationship with each other. “Dear friends, let us Love one another, for Love comes from God. Everyone who Loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not Love does not know God, because God is Love” (1 John 4:7-8).

Who Is God?

It’s vital we get past a couple of basic details from the creation account:

a) It is imperative we understand “God” in His Being and existence, so we know what we speak of, who we are faced with, and how to relate with Him in His human enterprise. Ignorance is not an option. All religions of this world view God differently and we see their beliefs in the way they worship and live. The word for “God” in the creation account is Elohim, which speaks of a uni-plural Being. Elohim is translated “gods” in other verses, like Genesis 35:2, “Get rid of all the foreign gods you have with you.” But the key here is what God said about Himself. By saying, “Let Us make man,” and in Our image and in Our likeness,” it reveals God is not solitary, but pluralistic. And, when seen in the light of other passages of the Bible, He is Trinitarian. One such passage is Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Another is 1 John 5:7-8,  “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are One.” (Also, 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:26, besides others)           

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Rublev’s Famous Icon of The Trinity (Wiki Commons)

God is a Tri-Personal Being. He is three Persons in One Triune Godhead, commonly called, the Trinity. So we see why God said, “Us” instead of “Me,” and “Our” instead of “My” in the creation account. This explains why “God is Love” in His Triune nature. (1 John 4:8). He is not made of Love – He IS Love! It’s impossible for Love (God) to exist in isolation by and in Himself. For Love, must of necessity engender relationships, hence, He is Tri-Personal in His One Being. Love is outgoing. True Love can never Love Himself. That’s not what Love does. Love can only be Love when others exist to receive, give, and be showered with it. Hence, man is made to reflect His Creator. Each human is unique in personality for he is fashioned after the three Persons of the Trinity. I am using Love interchangeably as a noun and verb, because God is both – Love is who He is – His name – and Love is what He does.

So, man’s first purpose is to conform and become united with God’s pluralistic, yet One Triune Being. Just as God is unique in the three Personalities within the Godhead, so is man unique in the gift conferred upon him which reveal his purpose. So, whenever “God” is mentioned it always conveys His nature of Love and Triunity. He is not solitary and self-centered in Himself, for He cannot be God who is Love without being the Father, the Son and the Spirit. We’ll see how God makes a way and invites man into and live as He does in His Loving Triune Being – this is what I have termed in my blog posts as the “Triune Life” in my book and blog posts.

Man’s Purpose

b) Man, having fundamentally conformed himself to God’s primordial Triune Love nature, can now rule all creation as God would have him. But here is where man has lost the plot and moved away from God’s will and purpose on earth. Man has failed to live by God’s Loving Triune nature in the exercise of his God-given dominion over this earth. Instead, he ruled through his own solitary self-centered, fear-based mindset. It’s clear from the creation account that God wanted man to adopt His Loving Triune nature (“likeness mandate”) before exercising governance over this earth. By doing so, man would be blessed in all he does.

How did man lose the plot in the first place? Recall, Adam and Eve, our first parent, lived happily with purpose in Eden and experienced God in His Triune Personality. Jesus was the LORD of Creation, the Spirit was the Friend who personified the Love of God symbolized by the fruits of the “Tree of Life” from which they were free to eat. The Father was Overseer Father in heaven. We know the story, our first parent was evicted from Eden because they rebelled by eating the forbidden fruit. (Gen.2:15; 3:1-24) As consequence of their expulsion from Eden they lost all contact with the true God, and thereby were separated from God’s Triune Being. They now took up residence outside of Eden in the devil’s accursed world living solitary, self-centered, lives driven by fear – no longer Love as it was in Eden. Their actions had initiated  and dispensed curses upon all three – Satan, Adam and Eve. (Gen.3:14-24)

This is central to the whole story of human purpose – that we recognize Adam and his wife were given the freedom of choice to follow God’s Loving Triune way of life,  or the devil’s solitary, fear-based self-centered mode of living. Their decision will decide how they will administer their God-given dominion upon this earth. This became a parting of ways for our parent and for all humanity. Adam chose the devil’s solitary self-centered way. From the time of Adam’s eviction from Eden man has conducted his earthly dominion through Satan’s solitary self-centered spirit. The tragic events of man’s inhumanity to man has dominated the landscape of human suffering.

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Man – “Cleveland Museum of Art – Damaged Thinker” by Daderot – Own work. (Wikimedia Commons) 

But the Creator did not leave man to the unfortunate fate he has chosen for himself through the devil’s cunning and deception. He promised to send a second Adam to put right Adam’s wrong. (Gen. 3;14-15; 1 Cor.15:45) From then on, man’s salvation, physical and spiritual, hinges upon the advent of the Messiah sent by God to save man from Satan. (1 Cor.1:30)

New Covenant

God’s promise as it relates to His human enterprise is framed in what the Bible calls the New Covenant. A covenant is a promise. It is based upon the promise God makes with man to provide a Messiah after the fall of our first parent. A promise is between two parties who are free to agree or disagree. God tells man, “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them white as snow’” (Isa.1:18). The word “sin” has become so religionized that it has lost its authentic meaning. It simply means to live in a way contrary to the way of Love – who God is. (1 John 4:8) Love and freedom goes hand in hand, and fits like hand to glove. There is no Love without freedom, and no freedom without Love. Love never coerces nor does it pressures another by any means to its own will. We were made to embrace God’s likeness by freely choosing His way of life.

The covenant gives man a choice, like our first parent was given a choice between two trees. This is important for you and me, because in the covenant we decipher God’s purpose for man today, and our choice to harmonize ourselves with Him, or continue Adam’s rebellious path of following the devil. 

So, back to the original question, how do you find God’s will for your life? It begins with God’s covenant. We hear Him out and reason together, and decide freely if we choose to go with His plan. I don’t see why we should disagree because we know this world is badly in need of His Love, and so do we, even though we may not realize it. Let’s read it, then agree with it, because we know Love is the place where we want to be because we can exist through mutual benefit in His Love, and He may honor us with His abundance. (Psa.23)

Let’s read His plan (New Covenant promise):

“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of (spiritual) Israel on that day,says the LORD: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the LORD.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already. And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins” (Heb.8:10-12, NLT, emphasis added).

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A Look Inside a Replica of Ark of The Covenant in Timna Valley, Israel (Wiki Commons)

Holy Spirit

This is not a plan written on paper or chiseled in stone like the ‘old covenant’ made with physical Israel, but one carved into the hearts of the people of spiritual Israel. (Heb.8:9) This plan fulfills God’s main purpose for making man into “His image and likeness.” By saying, “I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts” (V.10a), and His people will not be schooled by humans about His way of life (V.11), He is pointing to a different process He will utilize to get us to know and impart His Love in us. It will not be like the legalistic ‘old covenant.’ Believers will get to know Him firsthand through this process, and it will touch all from the least to the greatest of them. This can only mean God has His miraculous means of teaching us which does not require human input.

How? Through the power of the Holy Spirit! The Spirit is the presence of God (Love) in humans who have chosen freely to follow Him. Paul told the Romans, “For we know how dearly God Love us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His Love” (Rom.5:5, NLT). Paul said believers are “temples” or dwellings for the Spirit, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?” (1 Cor.6:19, NLT; also, 1 Cor.3:16).

So, the process of imbibing the knowledge of His purpose for our lives is the responsibility of the Spirit who resides in us – not human teachers. (John 16:12-15) That’s why a person who is given the role of a teacher must understand he or she is the instrument of the Spirit’s work. Peter’s powerful preaching by inspiration of the Spirit on Pentecost is a fine example. Jesus said this to His followers before He was taken to be crucified, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate (Teacher, Helper), who will never leave you. It is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you” (John 14:16; 16:7, NLT, emphasis added). The Advocate is none other than the Spirit who first came to believers on Pentecost under the umbrella of the New Covenant. (Act.2:1-4)

The process is the deposit of God’s nature, His Love, in the hearts of humans by the Holy Spirit. The Bible speaks of this miraculous way of guiding us through the Spirit, “Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left” (Isa.30:21; 42:16; Psa.73:24). It is not an audible voice, but we hear through the ears of our minds, and speak through our hearts.

Perhaps an analogy might be of help. Think of the force of physical gravity in our physical environment, as the counterpart of the spiritual gravitational pull of God’s Love in His spiritual world. In other words, what gravity is to our physical environment, Love is to our spiritual environment which governs spiritual/human relationships. Naturally, we compensate for gravity as we grow up until we live with it intuitively and become second nature. We take gravity for granted. Here is my point, all our actions also answer to another, equally real gravitational force – the spiritual gravitational pull of Love (God). Just as gravity becomes ‘automatic’ and we become ‘unaware’ of its affect on all our actions – so is Loves’ spiritual gravity. I would like to think Paul was referring to this gravitational force of Love when he said, “For it is God who is at work in you to make you willing and able to obey His purposes” (Phi.2:13). Most of all the spiritual gravity governs human relationships. If we break it, gravity does the same to us – unequivocally. Human suffering is proof of this unseen spiritual gravity (Love) being broken repetitively because it governs human relationships.

Of course, no metaphor, no matter how elaborate, can adequately explain God’s grandeur, majesty, and glory –  “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One” (Isa.40:25). He is not gravity, it is simply a helpful tool for our limited human minds understand spiritual realities that’s beyond our discernment. The Bible says this about the work of the Spirit, “But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets” (1 Cor. 2:10). Yes, the Spirit imbues us with the faith of Jesus to comprehend what is physically incomprehensible. (Eph.2:8)

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Dove – Symbol of The Holy Spirit (Wiki Commons)

With man’s solitary pathway firmly entrenched in man through Adam’s fall, we see why human suffering has dominated the human landscape down through the ages and continues to our day. All the evil we see in the world arise from the broken unseen law of the spiritual gravity of God’s Love which governs human relationship. Note the distinction, our physical gravity inhabits only our physical earthly sphere, but God’s spiritual Love-gravity inhabits space, time, and all eternity. On one hand physical gravity is unseen but felt, while spirit gravity is unseen and not felt immediately. Hence, we read, “When a crime is not punished quickly (like physical gravity), people feel it is safe to do wrong” (Eccl.8:11). God is Love and He is omnipresent and omniscient, and you can be sure He is real and can be felt and experienced. (Isa.46:9-10) I hope this clarifies the process by which God works with those who agree to walk with Him. (Amo.3:3) The purpose of life is to live and harmonize our lives with His Spirit and His Love.  (You may read my Blog Post titled, “A Penny for Your Thoughts” in which I explain how this Love works in us individually. Posted on March 18, 2014)

Jesus – Man’s Mediator

I am explaining the process (Covenant) in reverse here, for the giving of the Spirit is criterion to another aspect and preceding provision of the New Covenant which says, “I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins” (Heb.8:12). Recall, Jesus said, “Unless I go away, the Helper (Spirit) will not come to you” (John 16:7). What He said was the Spirit can’t be given to man unless and until human transgression arising out of Adam’s fall is taken care of once for all. Jesus must first be installed as mankind’s High Priest in heaven to mediate between God and sinful man. (Heb.7:6-7) We saw that sin means to live contrary to the way God is – Love. Where there is sin, it has to be atoned for, hence we read, “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). So, here we see the Father giving His Son as Savior and Mediator to make possible the gift of the Spirit.

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Jesus Walking on Water to Peter and Disciples (Wiki Commons) 

Immortality

This passage from John also emphasize another aspect of the New Covenant – the Spirit is the deposit of God’s gift of immortality to man. The words of the Covenant simply states, “I will be their God, and they will be my people (children)” (V.10, my emphasis). The ultimate meaning of being God’s people is to be immortalized. (2 Cor.1:21-22; Eph.1:13-14) Jesus said this about the message He brought from His Father, “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:39-40) So, the Spirit has the dual role of being the Personification of God’s Love in man, and is the power that will resurrect humans to life everlasting. (1 Cor.15:51-57; Rom.8:11, 29) Therefore, we hear Jesus declare Himself as the doorway to eternal life, saying, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25).

God the Father

The ultimate picture of restitution where mankind is brought and made one in Love with the Father is uttered by John in a vision, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (Rev.21:3-5). If there is “no more death” in the new world order of God, then it must of necessity mean human mortality will cease to exist, and human immortality will be man’s legacy. At long last, the words God uttered at creation, “let Us make man in Our Image,” is brought to reality. Jesus is the first human who made this transition from mortal to immortality, and opens the gate to everlasting life for mankind. (John 10:9-10) What happens after this is not revealed to us, but you can be sure as the Author of creation, our heavenly Father has great things in store for us. To quote from a Shakespearean play, “The world is your oyster,” will now be, “The universe is your oyster,” for we will no longer be imprisoned to this earthly by our human mortality. (Rom.8:18-21)

And that in a nutshell is God’s human enterprise and our purpose for existence in it. Wherever we find ourselves in life, the work we do within the bounds of law and order, let His Love be the motivating force. As long as we keep His human enterprise a priority in life and order our lives to that end, we are living God’s purpose for us.

If you have any questions, please don’t 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 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,  

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

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

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