“It is the Father Living in Me who Is Doing the Work” (John 14:10).
Christmas Greetings to all my Friends and readers!
Christmas is the time of year when our primary focus is given to the baby Jesus born to Mary in a manger in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago. The focus is rarely upon the Father who freely gave up His Son and provide atonement for human sin, and fulfill His wish to bring many more children into His Loving embrace. Yet, living the “Triune Life”* essentially means that when we consider important events, or for that matter any event, like the birth of the Messiah, it must be viewed holistically in its all-embracing implication, rather than narrowly as an event on its own.
We do this because God’s action is always Trinitarian, so the Father and Son stem from one substance, one divine mission, one Triune Godhead. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, they are individual Persons, all act as one and as such it was a heart-breaking act for the Father to give up a Son He Loved and treasured dearly from eternity.
Michael Reeves in his book, “Delighting in the Trinity” says this about God, who is to humans, first and foremost a Loving Father, and being Fatherly. He does what a true model of a Father would do, to express His profound and unbound Love for His human children:
The Trinitarian Mind – the Foundation of all God’s Actions (Ruble’s Icon of the Trinity, Wiki Commons)
“The most foundational thing in God is not some abstract quality, but the fact that He is Father. Again and again, the Scriptures equate the terms God and Father: in Exodus, the Lord calls Israel, “my firstborn son” (Exo.4:22; see also Isa.1:2; Jer. 31:9; Hos.11:1; He carries His people “as a Father carries His Son” (Deut.1:31), disciplines them “as a man disciplines his son” (Deut.8:5), He calls to them, saying, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him” (Psa.103:13), and “How gladly would I treat you like sons and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation. I thought you would call Me Father and not turn away from following me” (Jer.3:19; see also Jer.3:4; Deut. 32:6; Mal.1:6).
“Isaiah thus prays, “You are our Father… you, O Lord, are our Father (Isa.63:16; see also Isa.64:8). Then Jesus repeatedly refers to God as “the Father” and directs prayer to “our Father;” He tells His disciples He will return to “My Father and your Father, to My God and your God” (John 20:17); Paul and Peter refer to “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom.15:6; 1 Pet.1:3); Paul writes of “one God, the Father” (1 Cor.8:6), of “God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor.1:3); Hebrews counsels, “God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” (Heb.12:7).
“Since God is, before all things, a Father, and not primarily Creator or Ruler, all His ways are beautifully Fatherly… It was a profound observation, for it is only when we see that God rules His creation as a kind and Loving Father that we will be moved to delight in His providence… So what does it mean it mean that God is a Father? If I can make the jump – the Father is called the Father because He is a Father. And a Father is a Person who gives life, who begets children… For if, before all things, God was eternally a Father, then this God is an inherently outgoing, life-giving God.
“He did not give life for the first time when He decided to create; (rather) from eternity He has been life-giving. This gets unpacked for us in 1 John 4: “Dear friends, let 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)… This God, he says, is Love in such a profound and potent way that you simply cannot know Him without yourself becoming Loving (Love).
“This is precisely what it means for God to be Father. For when John writes “God is Love” at the end of verse 8, he is clearly referring to the Father. His very next words, in verse 9, state: “This is how God showed His Love among us: He sent His one and only Son.” The God who is Love is the Father who sends His Son. To be the Father, then, means to Love, to give out life, to beget the Son. Before anything else, for all eternity, this God was Loving, giving life to and delighting in His Son. Thus Love is not something the Father has, merely one of His many moods. Rather, He is Love! He could not not be Love. If He did not Love, He would not be Father.” (“Delighting In The Trinity,” Pg.23-26).
“The Adoration of the Magi” of the Baby Jesus, By Eugenio Cajes (Wiki Commons)
I hope you appreciate that vindication about God being our heavenly Father before all else, and who knows no other way but to Love humans as His very own children. His paternal Love is beyond what we can possibly fathom. The Bible expresses His immeasurable Love this way, “No eye has seen, and ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things which God has prepared for those who Love Him” (1 Cor.2:9). As we think about the birth of the Savior this Christmas, let us be vigilant as to Jesus’ origin, He sprung from the same Life as the Father and from the depth of the Father’s Love.
The Scriptures tell us, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and exact representation of His Being, sustaining all things by His powerful word” (Heb.1:3). We are His children because He created humans in order to conform us to the image of His Son, for Jesus is the exact representation of the Father. “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn (glorified human) among many brothers and sisters (humans)” (Rom.8:29).
Animals, beasts, fowls, sea creatures and other life forms were created to procreate after their own kind, but only man was made after God’s own kind. Of course, since the Father and the Son are from the identical Trinitarian substance, Jesus Loves us equally as the Father does. And the Spirit does not Love us any less. The nature of the Triune God is Love. He is not made of Love, but He IS Love in His Triune Being. (1 John 4:8, 16)
What we see unfolding in this scenario of the birth of Jesus is the “Trinitarian persona (which) do not exist in isolation, they live in and through one another, which makes their personalities relational.” The “Triune Life” or the life of the three Persons in the Trinity, where all three Persons are intrinsically bound in one act of Love for each other and outwards to the object of their Love, in this instance, man. The Son emanates from the Father and the Spirit begets Jesus through Mary. (John 3:16; Matt.1:20; Isa.7:14)
So, Jesus can’t be understood by and in Himself since He is inherently bound with the Father and the Spirit. And this is the way we must think about God in His “threeness.” So, we understand the birth of Jesus not merely as an end in itself, a solitary act, but the activity of the Trinitarian Godhead. Then throughout His life, Jesus continues to live the “Triune Life” and make reference to God as His Father, and promising the gift of the Spirit to His followers. (John 20:17; John 14:16)
The Scriptures show that at Jesus’ crucifixion upon Calvary two other men, said to be revolutionaries, were crucified with Him, one on His right and one on His left. (Matt.27:38) The historical images shown of Jesus’ death always had this depiction of three crosses. (see sample picture below). It is an interesting observation to note that the three-cross image symbolically represent not just Jesus’ death alone, but God Himself in His Triune Being died in and with Christ that day for all mankind. For in God’s Trinitarian Being the act of one is always the act of three. Jesus was fully God as the Father and the Spirit. John, speaking under inspiration about Jesus origin, said, “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
The 3 Cross upon Calvary Represent the Sacrificial death of the Triune God in Christ (Wiki Commons)
As we celebrate the birthday of Jesus, perhaps it would be relevant to ask: since we are created in God’s likeness, do we act in the same Trinitarian fashion, always making consideration for one another in Love? Unfortunately, since Adam no one has known how to live this way of life. And it was for this very reason that the Father sent Jesus to be born so man can recapture what the divine “Triune Life” entail by looking to Jesus as our example.
Jesus said this when He walked this earth, “By myself I can do nothing… I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me” (John 5:30). Again, “Rather, it is the Father living in Me who is doing the work” (John 14:10). We do not know how to live like Jesus did and He came to make it possible for man to live the “Triune Life.*”
We have been raised up in a world fashioned by Satan to live his “solitary” way of life, where he lives without recourse to anyone but himself. This, coupled with our fallen depraved nature inherited from Adam, we have not for one moment lived the “Triune Life*” as Jesus did. Yet, it was for this very reason where we are lost to His way of life of Love in the Triune God that Christ came to take us back into the Loving Father’s embrace.
It was the Father’s ardent desire to extricate us from the devil’s “solitary life” lifestyle, and bring us into His “Triune” way of life of God remaining in His Love. That is the sole objective why Jesus was born to bring us the Trinitarian Life of God. So we see when we place the birth of Jesus into the Trinitarian template we will not miss the purpose of God’s actions born out of His Love.
Yes, we will find out soon enough that living without the “Triune Life” is like walking in the dark – literally! But will man change? That is the question of enormous magnitude pointing to the survival of the human species where everything else pales into insignificance. I would like to present an analogy that may be of help to you But, as I have always said, no analogy is perfect because it is impossible to place God in a box of our human imagination. But I hope it serves the purpose just as Jesus used many parables to explain the Kingdom of God. Imagine driving through densely populated cities like New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Tokyo, or any major city in the world. Now imagine driving through such densely crowded streets without the help of any traffic lights to control and guide every other driver travelling through the city streets to their diverse destination.
Here, I am likening traffic lights to the “Triune Life.” When you are not living the “Triune Life” it is like driving through one of these major cities and trying to negotiate your way through its busy streets without the vital medium which controls the proper and efficient flow of all different kinds of moving vehicles – the traffic lights. The thought of travelling into one of these cities without traffic lights is unthinkable. To attempt it would lead to confusion resulting in accidents, injuries, and inevitable fatalities. Yet, spiritually man has attempted from the time Christ was born to live the human life with a “solitary” mode of thinking, without giving consideration to the “Triune” way of life Jesus was born to bring us to live daily.
We easily forget why the Father sent His Son to be born into our world, a world where man has lost his way to God’s way of Love, and is on a wayward downward spiral to oblivion. The purpose of Jesus’ birth is to reintroduce us to the “Triune Life” which Adam and Eve enjoyed before the fall in Eden. Hence, Jesus is called the ‘second Adam’ who came to repair the breach instigated by the first Adam. What is the one important attribute of a Father? His primary responsibility is to provide for His family and ensure that every member is living a life full of purpose, fulfilled, and happy. And every child want nothing less, and He has given us His Son to make that possible by living the “Triune Life” in the Spirit’s power.
I sincerely hope you will dedicate this season by thinking Trinitarian thoughts about how we ought to live and how to respond to God and our fellow humans.
May you, together with your families, have the most joyous Christmas ever. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life”* as a Bulamanriver.** Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
Kiang, (Your Servant in Christ)
* Triune Life: means a life lived according to the image and likeness of God. (Gen.1:26-27) It means a believer who lives the 3-dimensional life with the Triune God, as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life man lives in himself. It means God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, lives and walks in you. Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune God, who took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead. To live the “Triune Life” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit in us. The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/8036
**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website, http://bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my book, “Bulamanriver – The Miracle of Triune Living” Or, you may go to the directory banner at top and click “Mission” where you will find more information.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
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