“The first man, Adam, became a living person. But the last Adam–that is, Christ–is a life-giving Spirit” (1Cor.15:45)
A very warm greeting to all my readers!
Independence, What Is Its True Meaning? (Wiki Commons)
July 4th is the United States of America Independence Day. Many nations have their day to commemorate their own independence. Independence is a word that’s divine in its origin. Its etymology is derived from the very nature of God. God is three independent Persons in one divine Godhead. Author Jon Tal Murphree says this of the nature of God “Each Person of the Trinity transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own (independent) personality with the others…the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as (independent) persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other.” (Pg,29, The Trinity and Human Personality, my emphasis).
When Jesus was about to give His life on the cross, He said, “No one can take My life from Me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what My Father has commanded” (John 10:18, NLT). Jesus is an independent Being, but what makes the Trinity behave as one is their Love for each other, for the scripture tell us, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). If “God is Love,” then it is equally proper and true that “Love is God.” The two are inseparable for it reveals the oneness of their nature. Yes, Love is completely transparent where though independent, their Love for each other automatically cause them to think and act interdependently as one, where each occupy one another in complete giving of themselves to each other.
So independence was conferred upon man because he is made after God’s Triune image: “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Gen.1:26). And we were created to Love like He does in His Tri-Personal Being. Yet, independence is also portrayed in an opposing sense where fear and shame is at its core, not Love and honor. Satan the devil chose to live the way of fear, rebelling and rejecting God’s Love. (Isa.14:12-14). Adam succumbed to the devil’s temptation in Eden and rejected God’s Love. Hence, man was consigned to exist in the sin-condition and lived by the devil’s philosophy of fear, shame, and self-centeredness. God cannot be anything other than being honorable and other-centered because He is Love. (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8) These two distinctive forms of independence defines the two forms of humanity: the fear-motivated, corrupt “Adamic humanity” influenced by the devil; and the Love-motivated “Immanuel humanity” of Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit. (Read more on the new humanity of Jesus at: http://bulamanriver.net/9718)
Jesus did not come to save us in our old fallen, corrupt, depraved “Adamic humanity” that was sired by the devil. (John 8:44) Because of that fact, the prophet Jeremiah said our “Adamic humanity” is “beyond cure.” (Jer.17:9) I suspect many believers are trying to live the Christian life in such a way, and because it cannot be done, they are living a fatalistic lifestyle. Jesus’ clear mission was to nail the corrupt humanity on His cross, and give us a new birth into the new redeemed man of His perfect “Immanuel humanity” as Paul explained it plainly and bluntly to the Galatians: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20, NKJV).
The Resurrected Christ took Man into God’s Presence, and thereby Ushered the New Humanity. “Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone” (Rom.5:18) (Wiki Commons)
There is no way known to man by which he is given the means to once and for all rid of man’s corrupt humanity that’s been the harbinger of all the human suffering, pain, and misery, other than by the cross of Jesus. Without the cross, we are doomed to relive our unspeakable and maligned history which bears the footprints of our offensive way of life. Paul says, “My old self (“Adamic humanity”) has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me (“Immanuel humanity”)” (Gal.2:20, NLT, my emphasis). The reason this is man’s saving grace is because only God’s Spirit has the power to make it possible.
“Immanuel humanity” and “Adamic humanity”? How are they different? What do they mean? There are only two forms of humans that has ever existed and walked upon this earth. Both originate from the Creator God. As humans we are all God’s children through two distinct creation, as Paul explains, “So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45; Act.17:28). The first, Adam was created from the dust of the earth perfect and sinless until his fall in Eden at the hands of the devil. (Gen.3:1-24) Thus, mankind was consigned to a life of spiritual imprisonment under the sin-condition. Consequently, from fallen Adam all the peoples of this world proceed. This is our old fallen and corrupt humanity – he is the “Adamic humanity.”
The First Fallen Human, Adam and Eve Evicted from God’s Presence in Eden. “Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone” (Rom.5:18) (Wiki Commons)
Then there is the second new humanity Jesus brought from God the Father to restore mankind to the blameless condition before the fall. God used the prophet Isaiah to announce this beautiful truth to man, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:22-23, KJV). He is the new and now glorified humanity of Jesus, the “Immanuel humanity,” the “life-giving Spirit.”
What is the fundamental difference between the two? There is the primary difference of origin. The first Adam was created from the earth, and God gave him the breath of life and Adam became a mortal human. The second Adam, Jesus, is the eternal Word who originate from God’s holy Trinitarian Being. (1 Cor.15:47; Gen.2:7; John 1:1-2) Jesus is referred to as the “Son of Man” in Scripture. It is Jesus’ Messianic title that means He was God and fully a human being, who spring from the one Triune Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (John 1:1; 14:16-17; Eph.4:4-6; 1 Pet.1:2) So Jesus was fully man and fully God. Therefore, the title denotes the difference between Jesus’ new redeemed humanity and Adam’s fallen corrupt humanity. Through Jesus’ mother, Mary, God assimilated Himself in mankind through His Son, and conversely Christ now joins humans to God, and ultimately for eternity in the resurrection. (1 Cor.15:50-56) By assimilating Himself with humans, Jesus subjected Himself to all the pulls of our corrupt sinful Adamic nature and through His new humanity redeemed man by living the sinless life, and taking man to a higher plane of existence by His death, resurrection, and ascension. Jesus glorified our humanity and made it new.
Jesus’ New Humanity Defeated Satan in the Temptations (Matt.4) (Carl Heinrich Bloch, Wiki Commons)
In so doing, He opened the door to the new redeemed human being that mankind can now receive that’s joined to the divine nature of God. (Heb.2:17; 4:15) The Bible calls Jesus the second Adam, “The first man Adam became a living being. But the last Adam, that is Christ – is a life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor.15:45, NLT). Paul speaks of our new humanity in this fashion, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new (redeemed) life has begun!” (2 Cor.5:17, NLT, emphasis added).
I perceive that many Christians are trying to live the true Christian life (“Immanuel humanity”) through the corrupt, fallen, and sin-bound “Adamic humanity,” and it’s impossible to do. Sadly, many live this way without realizing it, and in so doing they incapacitate the move of the Spirit in their lives. Either it is ignorance on their part, or the true way is narrow and hard to follow. There are shortcuts to everything in life, and the Christian life is not immune from it. It’s human to follow the path of least resistance because confronting anything bad and evil requires struggle and our total attention. We are always faced with the choice our first parents had in Eden. Metaphorically speaking, we are eating (living under) from the fruit of the tree of good and evil, or we are being nourished from the tree of life. The tree of life represent the Spirit. The tree of good and evil represent the devil. We either follow divine guidance, or we do what seems right or wrong in our own eyes.
Even in mature spiritual matters we can be misguided and deceived. Spirituality is no guarantee for divinity. Recall. the devil quoted the scripture to Jesus in the temptations. So our spirituality can take its own diabolical disguise and turn self-righteous so the Spirit’s power is set aside and negated. That is what happens when we are living the Christian life in the fallen “Adamic humanity.” I believe the book of Job was given to teach us that vital lesson about life and spirituality. We can carry a blinding self-righteous attitude to life that is founded upon fear and not Love. Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it” (Matt.7:13) The time of ignorance has past, and it is time to live life in Jesus’ new humanity and grasp its full reality. (Act.17:30) There is a thin line between the pathways of the two human forms as we can see in Jesus’ temptations (Matt.4). We ought to prayerfully choose and ensure we understand where we stand in our faith walk.
Jesus explained how our “Immanuel humanity” replaces the fallen “Adamic humanity,” He said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). It is not a physical birth, as Jesus explained to Nicodemus, it is a spiritual birth into Jesus’ glorified humanity. (John 3:4) So, He was not talking about the physical body per se. In fact, the human body is constantly undergoing metamorphosis through cell regeneration as a consequence of our diet, our environment, and other factors which affect us epigenetically. The human body is merely a shell, a casing, held together by cells, connective tissues, nerves, organs, bones and the blood flowing in its veins give it physical life. (Lev.17:11) The human body is given to us by God to be a temple for His Spirit. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Cor. 6:19-20; also Gen.2:7). But fallen man has allowed a corrupt spirit to enter, occupy and control him. As Paul said, “The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam–that is, Christ–is a life-giving Spirit. (1 Cor.15:45, NLT).
Adam’s humanity succumbed to Satan’s Tempation (Gen.3) (Wiki Commons)
Jesus said, “Life is spiritual. Your physical existence doesn’t contribute to that life. The words that I have spoken to you are spiritual. They are life” (John 6:63, God’s Word T.) That’s clear enough. How so? His words feed the real person who is spiritual and lives in the temple of the human body and manipulates its deeds and works through the spirit which controls it. The picture of the “temple” that was given to ancient Israel where they would come and meet and relate with their God, all along was really a shadow picturing the coming New Covenant “temple” of the human body. (Heb.10:5, NLT) The Bible says, “However, the Most High doesn’t live in temples made by human hands…(God asks) ‘Could you build me such a resting place? Didn’t My hands make both heaven and earth?'” (Act.7:48-50, NLT). But God made humans to exist independently so that he/she has to choose to give himself/herself voluntarily. So, “Man is either the old “Adamic human” manipulated by the spirit of the fallen self, or, the redeemed glorified “Immanuel human” motivated by Jesus in the Spirit’s helping power. It is the living faith of the spiritual man which takes the believer into the miraculous reality of Jesus’ glorified humanity in heaven. Paul said, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6).
Let’s examine some examples so we can evaluate them in relation to living the Christian life as it relates to these two human forms:
- When Paul said, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph.2:6), many see “us” as the fallen “Adamic humanity” but somehow made right with God. Is this why many are trying to live the Christian life and fail at it. The truth is only when we exist in the new “Immanuel humanity” of Jesus can this passage become reality. Paul makes this plain, “My old self (“Adamic humanity”) has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me (“Immanuel humanity”)” (Gal.2:20, NLT, my emphasis). He further said, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person (“Immanuel humanity). The old life is gone (“Adamic humanity”); a new life has begun!” (2 Cor.5:17, NLT).
- When Paul said, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor.3:16), do we imagine the Spirit comes and live in our fallen “Adamic humanity?” No, the purpose of the Spirit in man is to “personify” Christ’s “Immanuel humanity” and nothing else. (John 16:13-14) Instead, He empowers us to carry our “cross” daily to ensure the demise of the fallen humanity so Christ new humanity may live and walk in us? (Luk.9:23)
- When the Bible speaks to us, thus: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect,” (Rom.12:2, ESV), we ask, is the fallen “Adamic humanity” capable of this task and feat? No, only the new “Immanuel humanity” of Jesus can bring renewal.
- When the Scripture instructs us, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these, the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them (in the “Adamic humanity”). But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices …” (Col.3:5-10, ESV, emphasis added), is this speaking to the old “Adamic humanity” battling himself? No, this is the Spirit activating the “Immanuel humanity” in man so the believer will defeat old habits and traits of the corrupt humanity that was put to death at the cross. (Gal.2:20)
- When the book of Romans tell us, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom.12:1, ESV), does this speak of the corrupt “Adamic humanity” under the devil’s influence sacrificing himself? Jesus said, “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand” (Mar.3:25).
- Here we see Paul urges us to follow him as the Spirit personifies Jesus’ by becoming a ‘prisoner’ in His new humanity: “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” (Eph.4:1-6, ESV).Jesus’ Death and Resurrection was His final act of Victory and Redemption for Man, “Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but He died for sinners to bring you safely home to God” (1Pet.3:18) (By James Tissot, Wiki Commons)
Jesus said this, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness’” (Matt.7:21-23, ESV). Now, this passage has puzzled many. Who were these people Jesus addressing? I believe this passage comes down to His purpose and reason for His Being – Jesus came to reveal the Father and by extension the Spirit to man. (John 10:30; 14:16-17) I believe this passage is speaking of ‘believers’ who are trying to live the Christian life in the fallen “Adamic humanity.” Paul said, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person (“new creation” NIV). The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor.5:17, NLT). Only the new person personifying the new “Immanuel humanity” in Jesus in the Spirit’s move and power, can say, “Lord, Lord, and will enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Taking the label of a Christian does not make one a true follower of Jesus, likewise, attempting to follow Christ in the body of the fallen and corrupt “Adamic humanity” cannot make one a true convert. True conversion takes place only by the Spirit manifesting the new glorious humanity of Jesus in man: “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ… For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God” (Rom.8:8, 14).
The proof of Jesus’ “Immanuel humanity” in the Christian is the presence of the Holy Spirit, for it is He (Spirit) who manifests Jesus in believers as He lives in them as His temple. (1 Cor.3:16; John 16:12-15; 14:26, ESV). Paul said, “And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ” (Rom.8:9). Jesus said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). No one can be a true follower of Christ if the three Persons of the Triune Godhead is not directly involved in his/her life. This is the underlying message of the Gospel Christ brought to man. Without Jesus we would not have come to the knowledge of God as the Father, the Son, and the Spirit as a Triune God. The reason for this revelation ought to be obvious, we can only apprehend the divine Love when we exist from within their Tri-Personal Being. Divine Love cannot be experienced outside of their relationship, but from the inside out. (John 17:26) Outside of their existence is a fake love and false unity which Satan promotes and deceives man.
Jesus final words to His followers were, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt.28:18-20). To “baptize” means to be inducted into something. It means to be given a new birth into the life and Love of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Paul told the Romans, “Have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives” (Rom.6:3-4).
The birth of Jesus and His baptism in the Jordan inaugurated His new humanity to mankind. After Jesus was baptized and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove, the voice of the Father boomed out of heaven, “You are My Son, whom I Love; with You I am well pleased” (Mar.1:11, 10). Thus, Jesus inaugurated our new “Immanuel humanity” which was first introduced to humans on that momentous day of Pentecost in 33 AD. (Act.2:1-4) By fulfilling His promise, the Father revealed His will and purpose in humanity, “If you then, though you are evil (“Adamic humanity”), know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit (“Immanuel humanity”) to those who ask Him!” (Luk.11:13, emphasis added, also John 7:37-39). O, how awesome, beautiful and subliminally divine is the purpose of the Father’s Love to bring mankind into His bosom.
Dove, Icon for The Spirit, “He will glorify Me (Jesus), for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14, 12-15; 14:26), ESV (Pic: Wiki Commons)
The history of mankind have seen people struggle for independence and freedom from aggression, enslavement, and other forms of subjugation. Perhaps the most iconic example was the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian slavery. (Exo.6:6) But Israel’s deliverance through the Passover and their subsequent yearly enactment of this event, was picturing Jesus in the greater role of delivering all of mankind from the spiritual bondage of sin. (1 Cor.5:7; matt.28:18-20) A contemporary example of independence would be the breakup of what was once the Soviet Union. Then, there is our own American independence on July 4th, 1776. There are many other mundane examples of the capacity to be independent but equally sacrosanct, like our struggles to express our gifts and dreams. Individuals have formed partnerships and sought freedom through their ideas and causes through Independent thought. Today independence and freedom forms the very backbone behind the achievements of various fields of human endeavor.
Yet, we must not lose sight of why we are conferred this unique gift to express ourselves independently and freely as humans. Most of all, to be clear in our minds about the purpose of independence in God’s divine plan for mankind. Our independence reveal the divine nature that exist in all of us which can never be erased regardless of race or nationality. It is about who we are as humans fashioned in God’s Tri-Personal likeness. Paul frames a question succinctly in relation to human independence and Jesus’ new humanity in us, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (of true independence) (2 Cor.13:5, my emphasis).
Humanly speaking, we are capable of expressing multiple facets of independent thought through likes and dislikes, with human desire being the principal driver. But the Love-nature of God (Spirit) gives us the power to summon our resolve to harness all our errant independent desires into one shared and virtuous inter-dependent life and purpose in Christ. (see 2 Cor.10:5)
Have a Happy Independence Day, world!
To read more about the new humanity of Jesus Christ go to: http://bulamanriver.net/9718
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or you may email me on bulamanriver.com. Thank you for visiting.
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”* in the person of Jesus’ “Immanuel humanity.” 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 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: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website, www.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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