Greetings Friends. In previous posts, I have written about the “Triune Life.*” I have coined the term to mean simply a human being who lives by and in the three-dimensional spiritual life of the Triune Godhead, as opposite from the one-dimensional solitary life of a person in his/her fallen self from Adam. You may read the footnote below under “Triune Life” at the end of this post to get a fuller explanation of the term. What I am proposing to do in this post, and future posts, is pick on a topic that is relevant to the human spiritual life and expound it from the perspective of the “Triune Life.”* Humanity was created to reflect God’s divine Tri-Personal image, hence, the term, “Triune Life.”* (Gen.1:26-27)
Let us begin with the most basic subject of LOVE! Why Love? Because the Bible states, “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). Love is God’s nature. Love is the substance of which He is composed. Love is God’s inherent reality. Humans were created to live by and in His image to reflect Him in His Love through His Tri-Personal Being in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Gen.1:26-27; Matt.28:19) God did not create Adam a rebellious being. Adam acquired rebellion from someone apart from God. Be that as it may, because humanity was created in God’s Love-image, the underlying image of God’s Love can never be eradicated, but lies dormant deep in the heart of humans as their very essence of being, waiting to be awakened from the dark cloud of deception, rebellion, and sin.
Each topic I will write about will follow the “Triune Life” format, starting with Love. The format follows three steps revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, are directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!
The three ascents spontaneously leads to the manifestation of the divine Love! The ascents reveals three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation – Love! The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity, no. Rather, each ascent represent the relationship a human has and enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life. In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life”*.
The three ascents which leads to Love are: rebellion, deliverance, and rest. These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory. The fourth step is the divine Triune Love being manifested in the life of humanity. I will expound each ascent and how they lead to Love.
First Ascent – Rebellion: The first ascent of Rebellion reveals the energy that is opposite from Love. So, we see two conflicting energies: Love and rebellion. (Gal.5:16-17) Why is this, what does the two opposing energies teach us? This first ascent is intended to remind and teach us that before embarking on this journey of Love, we must first understand who we are and where we came from. We cannot understand our road to Love without the knowledge of our past. Our past shapes our future. It has been said that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The important point about this first ascent is it reveals a person’s relationship with the Holy Spirit, because He is the personification of the divine Love, the opposing energy of rebellion, in humans. Paul informs us masterfully how the Love of God is made to manifest in the life of humans, “For 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, NLT).
This is the inward act of God’s Love upon humanity. Why the Holy Spirit? Because in the Person of the Spirit is the manifest power of God’s Love in humans – the reverse of the spirit of rebellion. He (Spirit) enters the human life to replace the evil spirit of rebellion which causes humans to commit sin and bring on all the negative consequences leading to suffering, unhappiness, pain, loss, and ultimately death. We read in Paul’s epistle to the Romans, “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). Yes, by filling humans with God’s Love, the Spirit empowers humans with Love to defeat rebellion and sin.
This first step calls for an answer to the obvious question, how did rebellion first invaded and entered and became part of the human character and psyche? For one thing is clear, when God first created humans He made us in His Love-image. (Gen.1:26-27) God did not create humans to rebel and sin, but to Love and goodness. Yet, Paul said, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). The “Glory of God” means the source and sum of all that He is in nature and substance by which He has eternally existed in Love. If God created humans in the likeness of His Love, how did sin and rebellion became an intrinsic part of mankind? The Bible points us to the answer, “You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in—first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death” (Rom.5:12, MSG).
Rebellion, sin, and death became part of mankind’s lot through Adam’s fall at the hands of the devil. (Gen.3:1-12) Paul gives us the ultimate punishment for rebellion and sin, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom.6:23). Here, we see God’s Love for mankind is to save humanity from sin and death and bless humans with immortality. The path to Love ultimately leads humans to God’s gift of immortality. (John 3:16)
Adam had succumbed to the wiles and deception of the devil’s temptation in the Garden of Eden and rebelled against God by eating the forbidden fruit. (Gen.3:1-6, 11, 23) So, rebellion and sin began with Adam and Eve, our first parents, and came upon all humanity. (Rom.5:12) Later, Jesus the second Adam, who came from God, entered our humanity and defeated the devil in His own temptation and through His cross rescued humanity from sin and rebellion. Thus, He opened the way to receive the Holy Spirit and the divine Love. (Matt.4:1-17; 1 Cor.15:45; John 16:7; Rom.5:17, 5) This first ascent of rebellion is really the ascent showing how Love defeats rebellion for it reveals the human relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Second Ascent – Deliverance: The second obvious question is, what must humanity do in order to change this self-evident truth about human rebellion, and how can the Holy Spirit (Love) be made to come and enter the human life and remove this evil curse? (2 Tim.1:7; Rom.5:5) The answer brings us to the second ascent of Deliverance! This second step reveals the human relationship with Jesus Christ. Let us continue with Paul’s words to the Romans we read earlier, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood—to be received by faith” (Rom.3:23-25).
God gave His Son Jesus to become human, defeat Satan in His temptation and die on His cross as the perfect human sacrifice to atone for human sin and rebellion. (Isa.7:14; Matt.1:21) This is the outward act of God’s Love to humanity. (John 3:16-17) Jesus was resurrected from the dead, ascended to the Father and became our eternal High Priest, where He forever mediates for sinners before the Father. (Mark 9:31; Act.1:9-11; Heb.2:17)
On that memorable Pentecost day in Jerusalem, the Spirit was poured upon humanity as Jesus promised. (Act.2:1-12; John 16:7-11). Peter stood before the people and gave the means by which the Spirit (Love) of God is made to enter human life and defeat rebellion and sin, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (rebellion). And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Act.2:38, italics mine).
Yes, it requires personal change through an act of acknowledgement that we harbor the spirit of rebellion and sin by receiving Jesus as personal Savior, and be given the divine Spirit of God’s Love in exchange for the curse of the rebellious spirit. Jesus explained the scriptures as it relates to human deliverance to His followers, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luk.24:45-46).
What exactly does deliverance through repentance mean? Jesus explained it this way, “You must be born again” (John 3:5-7). If Jesus speaks of a rebirth, then death must precede it first, for He said this when He foretold His own death, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over” (John 12:22-24). Jesus was foretelling His own death and resurrection, portraying what a believer must undergo – to die first, spiritually speaking, before he /she can be reborn or resurrected to a new spiritual life in the Spirit. Paul expounds this further when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ (death) and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (rebirth). The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who Loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20, italics mine). Paul further said to the Colossians about the new life in Christ, “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives” (Col.3:16).
What Paul says is Jesus came for the purpose of dying for human sin and rebellion and then be resurrected so we too can die and be reborn spiritually through God’s Spirit. (John 3:5-7) Yes, God the Father surrendered His Son, and through His life, death, resurrection from the dead, and ascension to heaven, He (the Father) imputed all that His Son had done to save us from rebellion and sin and experience the spiritual death (cross) where humans are reborn (resurrection) in God’s Love nature in the Spirit through Christ. Paul attest to this act of attributing Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension for human salvation, saying, “For He (God the Father) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor.5:21). The three-step act of the Tri-Personal God attests to their eternal Love for humanity by imputing their Love upon sinful humanity and making us God’s children who reflect Him in the likeness of His Love.
Too often people erroneously stress the legalistic provision of obedience to the law as the definition of repentance and change. They forget that the law has no power to remove the spirit of rebellion. Instead, the law was given to define what sin and rebellion is, so the law is the power of sin which condemns, but it is powerless to save us from its consequences. (Rom.3:20; 4:15; Gal.2:16) Only the Holy Spirit or Love has the power to defeat rebellion. (Rom.5:5; Tit.3:6; 1 Cor.6:11) There is nothing wrong with the law, but we must understand it cannot save us, no matter how much we try to obey it. (Rom.7:9-12)
Only through Love, the antithesis of rebellion, can sin and rebellion be overcome. This takes place when a person dies and is given a new birth in the Spirit or God’s Love. (John 3:7-8; Rom.5:5) We don’t “obey” the law, we Love God and through Love the law is powerless over us. Hence, we read the inspiring words of Paul, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to Love one another, for whoever Loves others has fulfilled the law” (Rom.13:8). When we Love God, Loving “obedience” comes as a natural outgrowth of the “Triune Life” relationship. Peter said, “Love each other deeply, because Love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Pet.4:8). In other words, any person who is controlled by Love is above the law (sin), and those who are led by fear and rebellion live under and condemned by the law.
Humans are given the power to Love God and their fellow humans in the Spirit’s Love through Christ’s mediation. Human relationship with God is made possible through the power of the Holy Spirit (Love), not the law. The only power the law holds is to condemn humans whenever the laws are broken. (Rom.4:15; 6:14; 7:1-13) The law is not bad, but good. (Rom.7:12) The Bible says that “sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Obedience to the law has become a loaded term that’s presented by religion who demand obedience through a legalistic life. But we are not called to have a relationship with the law, we are called to have a one-on-one relationship with God through His Son. The law is legalistic and impersonal, Jesus is personable who exudes Love with whom humans can develop a person-to-person relationship. Jesus saves through the Spirit (Love), the law condemns.
Human believers are under God’s grace in Christ, not the law which condemns. The Bible states, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Paul taught the Roman Christians, “For sin (breaking of the law) shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom.6:14, italics mine). God’s grace is manifested in the presence of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. (John 16:12-15) Sin is actually a condition. The sin-condition is called rebellion. God’s grace is a condition. That grace-condition is called Jesus and Love (Holy Spirit). (Rom.5:5) Too often, we mistakenly look at our lives through the legalistic lens of the laws and commandments instead of the condition which saves us through the Holy Spirit in Christ. (To read more on this topic of the Love-condition vs the sin-condition, you may go to: http://bulamanriver.net/13942)
The Holy Spirit’s role is to enter and take up residence in a person’s life for the purpose of empowering him/her with the power of God’s Love to defeat the curse of sin and rebellion. (1 Cor.3:16; Rom.8:9) Thereby, the Spirit ushers and manifests in humanity the ‘miraculous life’ who makes ‘all things work together for our good.’ (Rom.8:28; 1 Cor.3:16). The human person becomes God’s very temple, individually and collectively.
But the Spirit cannot indwell a person as long as rebellion and sin is very much part of a person’s nature which was inherited from the devil through Adam’s fall. (Rom.5:12; Gen.3:1-6) God’s temple is holy and sanctified for His purpose. We will recall the reason and cause for the Holy Spirit’s separation from humans in the first place. It happened in Eden after Adam and Eve rebelled and ate the forbidden fruit. (Gen.3:22-23) The ‘tree of life’ represented the Holy Spirit.
This is how the Bible records the event. After they ate the forbidden fruit, God asked them, “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” (Gen.3:11). Adam’s answer was typical of humans when crushed by guilt, he played the blame game. (Gen.3:12-13) Then the Bible records how the relationship between God and humanity was severed, “So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After He drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of Life” (Gen.3:23-24). Here, the “Tree of Life” represents the Holy Spirit. By placing a powerful angel with sword to guard the way to the “Tree of Life,” it showed plainly how man separated himself from God.
Recall, our first parents were able to eat from all the trees in the Garden except one. God told our first parents, “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Gen.2:16-17). As long as Adam and Eve ate the fruits from the “Tree of Life” (Holy Spirit) which they had been consuming until the day of their fall, they had divine life and Love in them which gave them the stature and capacity to relate with the holy God. Without the Spirit’s power and Love they were “naked” spiritually and could not appear before nor relate with God. (Gen.3:7)
The tree of good and evil does not represent evil and sin. It was Adam’s rebellion and disobedience that was sin. God taught our first parents what is right and wrong symbolically from the fruits of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The thirst for knowledge continues unabated in mankind. Humanity’s sin is it continues to take upon themselves the prerogative to decide what is good and what is evil without regard for God and Love.
We have heard it said that knowledge is power, but what humanity need is something greater than knowledge – wisdom! Knowledge is powerless without wisdom. Wisdom’s foundation is Love. Divine wisdom gives humans the insight how to use knowledge properly (Lovingly). The word wisdom (חכם) is mentioned 222 times in the Hebrew Bible. It is regarded as one of the highest virtues. (Pro.4:6-7)
Instead, since the fall of Adam and Eve, humanity has continued to feed from the knowledge of the tree of good and evil, but without the power to use it with wisdom and understanding. This activity signified that humanity have taken upon themselves the prerogative to decide what is good and evil, without regard for divine revelation.
In other words, instead of relying upon God who is the final arbiter of good and evil, humanity has lived a life of rebellion against God by usurping the role of arbiter which belongs in the divine will and realm. Hence, mankind continues to live in spiritual nakedness before the Creator for deciding to do what he/she thinks is right or wrong in his/her own eyes. (Prov.16:25; Gen.3:11, 21) Humanity was consigned to live in spiritual wilderness after being banished from the bountifulness of the Garden of Eden. (Gen.3:23)
Then God acted to restitute humanity by giving up His Son so humanity can cover their spiritual nakedness by freely choosing to receive Jesus as Savior and through Him receive and be clothed with the Spirit of God’s Love. God had covered our first parent’s nakedness with animal skin in Eden (apparently a lamb, symbolizing Christ). This was to symbolize the future atoning sacrifice of Jesus, the Savior of mankind, who came and reopened the way so the Spirit can reenter human life and again be clothed in divine Love. (Gen.3:21; John 1:29; Act.2:1-12) Living the “Triune Life”* is to default to the divine will in matters of right and wrong, and good and evil.
Let’s understand what the Bible says about the spiritual clothing humans require to cover their spiritual nakedness before the Father, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment” (Gal.3:27; Rev.19:7-8, emphasis mine). The Bible says, “Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)” (Rev.19:8).
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus counselled the church, “So I advise you to buy gold from Me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from Me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see” (Rev.3:18, emphasis mine). Yes, by receiving Jesus as personal Savior in faith, humans have covered their spiritual nakedness in the cloak of Jesus glorified life in heaven through the power of the Spirit. (Eph.2:6, 13)
Years later, at God’s appointed time, Jesus Christ appeared as the Messiah upon earth, and reopened the pathway to the Spirit so humans can relate with God in Love as Adam and Eve did before the fall. (John 3:16-17; Rom.5:5; Gal.4:6; Tit.3:6) This is what Jesus said about how He will reunite the Spirit with humanity. “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in Me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see Me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16:7-11).
Jesus was referring to His death, resurrection, and ascension as the pathway to the Holy Spirit. How so? Because Jesus is the promised Messiah who came to remove rebellion and human sin and reopen the path to receiving the Holy Spirit (“Tree of Life”/Love).
Remember how Jesus defined sin in the passage above: “About sin because people do not believe in Me” (John 16:9). So, sin is really to deny, disbelieve, and reject the Messiah God has made available and supplied for our forgiveness and restoration. Humans, due to the human fallen state rooted in Adam’s rebellion, are predisposed at failing to Love and keep the law and invariably sin. But rebellion and sin is not only about breaking the law and commandments, but more so about receiving and trusting the Messiah Jesus, whom God gave so that humanity can be saved from sin’s punishment of death, and give us access to the Spirit (Love) who defeats the spirit of rebellion and bring immortality.
Through Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension, He reopened the pathway to the Holy Spirit as symbolized by the “Tree of Life”. (John 3:16-17; 1 Cor.15:2-3; Eph.1:18-23) So, one of the role of the Spirit is to supply the required faith to a human where a relationship with Jesus as Savior is made possible.
Because of the rebellious spirit, mankind is predisposed to sin, hence, what humanity needs is a Savior who alone can come to our rescue and introduce the empowering Holy Spirit. Paul said, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit (Love) who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Rom.8:1-2, italics mine). The keeping of the law through legalism will not save us. As we saw earlier, the law is not bad but good, but its power to condemn is real and cannot be nullified except through Jesus. Only Christ’s mediation as Savior neutralizes the power of death demanded by the law.
In His unfathomable Love for humanity, God the Father decreed that His Son Jesus is the only One who saves humans from condemnation under the law, and bring salvation through immortality. (John 3:16, 18) If Jesus mediation sets up the condition where a person is “uncondemned,” then logically those who are not born anew in the Spirit through Jesus, stands condemned. (John 3:18) The condition of condemnation automatically brings on a life of separation from God into a life where the curse of sin, fear, and torment is the rule of the day. This separation has robbed humans of the blessed life that is the human birthright God gives humans out of His immeasurable Love. Humanity’s fallen state of mind cannot conceptualize the unequaled splendor and fascination of living in total captivation and magnetism of God’s Love. (1 Cor.2:9)
Third Ascent – Rest: Now, with the Messiah Jesus having opened the way for the Spirit as recorded in the Book of Acts, humans enter the third ascent of Rest! (Act.1:4-5; 2:1-4). This ascent reveals the human relationship with the God the Father, and thereby the Triune Godhead. This Triune union has been severed since the fall of Adam. What does rest mean? It means peace and the eradication of human condemnation and unity with the Godhead. It is God’s upward act of Love for humanity in bringing humanity to Himself in divine completeness. Paul said this about how peace and rest is attained with the Godhead through God the Father, “And through Him (Jesus) God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross” (Col.1:20).
So, rest means reconciliation and oneness with the Triune God has been achieved with the Father when He surrendered His Son and gave us the gift of His Spirit to make human union with the Triune God a reality since Adam’s fall. Thus, this union shows the Father caresses humanity in His Love, thereby, spontaneously channeling the divine Love to flow from the Triune Godhead to humanity, accomplishing the fourth ascent of the manifestation. Consequently, it is God’s Love shed abundantly in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which empowers the divine relationship with the Tri-Personal Godhead that brings peace and reconciliation with God the Father in Christ. (Rom.5:5; 2 Cor.13:14)
So, there you have it. That is how the divine Love enters human life to replace the devil’s rebellious spirit through the three ascents and the manifestation through the Father, Son, and Spirit. It has to take a personal relationship with the Tri-Personal God to remove the cause of separation between God and humanity. Sin brings on evil, human suffering and pain upon mankind. My hope is you will receive Jesus in your hearts before our heavenly Father in prayer, and entreat Him through faith to fill your heart with His Love (Spirit) by receiving Jesus as your personal Savior.
Fourth Ascent – Manifestion: Manifestation means the application of the divine Love in human life. Having understood how Love is made to enter human life, let us now answer the vital question about Love: when Love enters the human life, how do we recognize it? What does the Spirit (Love) do to us? Yes, what does Love look like in a typical day in a person’s life as he/she is being led and inspired by the Holy Spirit? How do we identify the Spirit’s work of Love on a day-by-day basis? Jesus gives us the answer, and He does not babble around and waste words, but gives a pointed answer, saying, “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me” (Luk.9:23).
Jesus was the personification of Love as God’s only Son in the Triune Godhead. Jesus took our humanity upon Himself and became the only human who lived a life in perfect Love in the Spirit. Becoming Jesus’ disciple means to become Love as God is Love. In this passage, Jesus gives us two fundamental hallmarks about Love – self-denial and taking up our cross daily. Self-denial or self-discipline is the primary motivating force in the application of Love. Why is self-denial an indispensable part of living in the Spirit’s power of Love? (Rom.5:5)
When we consider Love’s opposing energy, we can have a clearer picture and answer as to why self-denial is paramount and mandatory? Rebellion, Love’s opposing nature, shows itself in selfishness, greed, lust, self-worship, idolatry, etc. Self-indulgence, depravity, and corruption are the footprints of the fallen humanity inherited from the rebellion of Adam. These and such fruits stand up against God’s nature of Love. Humans acquired this self-centered rebellious nature from Adam’s fall at the hands of the devil in Eden.
After Adam rebelled, the pathway to the “Tree of Life” (Spirit) was blocked. He was forbidden access to the “Tree of Life” or Spirit because of rebellion and sin. The “Tree of Life” and its fruits symbolized the presence and work of the Holy Spirit and the divine Love-fruits our first parents displayed in their relationship with God. (Gen.3:21-24; 1 Cor.13:1-12) Jesus opened the path to the Spirit (“Tree of Life”) as we read earlier. (John 16:7-11)
Exercising self-denial and self-discipline is necessary and central to Love because self-centeredness and selfishness is the natural human response of the rebellious human heart and mind handed down from Adam. We are naturally disposed to living in the fallen self-centered nature and require the Spirit to instill God’s Love to counteract and defeat it. (Rom.5:5)
What does the second perspective, “taking up our cross daily,” mean? Or, as another passage says, “And whoever does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple” (Luk.14:27). The “cross” is synonymous with “death,” for it was upon the cross that Jesus was crucified and put to death as Savior to rescue humanity from sin and the devil.
This is Jesus’ second point about following Him in God’s way of life of Love. This represents the second activity of the Spirit in human believers. Peter explains what carrying our cross means, “Christ Himself carried our sins in His body to the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness” (1 Pet.2:24).
So, personally “carrying our cross daily” means we are crucifying our sins and sin-nature with Christ on His cross on a daily basis because we still live in Satan’s world that’s plagued and dominated by sin. Paul makes this abundantly clear, “I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal.2:20). Here, Paul correlates “death” with the “cross.” It is a spiritual death, just as our rebirth is a spiritual one, not physical. (John 3:3-8)
At first glance, we may think this is an impossible burden to carry, when it is the exact opposite. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt.11:29). The rest that the Father desires to give humanity is found in none other but in His Son, Jesus. We have been made to carry our cross because Jesus has already done it for us, and God imputes His Son’s life upon us through the Spirit’s power. Just as He died for us to obtain forgiveness, He also lived for us through the Spirit of power and Love. (2 Cor.5:21)
Remember this trinitarian Love principle, ‘the act of on is the act of three, and the act of three is the act of one.’ Whenever a person lives the “Triune Life*” this is the formula, the modus operandi, that kicks in and take charge of our lives and activity. So, by putting this principle into action, we can say that just as Christ died for us, so we are called to die for Him.
But this is not physical death, for Paul goes on to say, “I no longer live, but Christ live in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who Loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20). So, it is death and rebirth happening simultaneously. It is death (cross) of the rebellious spirit which led Adam to sin, and just as Jesus was resurrected from the dead, we are given a rebirth in the Spirit. (John 3:7)
Paul again weighs in on this aspect of the cross, “For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His. For we know that our old (rebellious) self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him” (Rom.6:2, 5-8, italics mine).
Jesus was the only perfect human who was glorified by God and given immortality, therefore, it is He who now lives in us to bring us to glory as He was glorified. Paul affirms this, “For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn (into immortality) among many brothers and sisters” (Rom.8:29, NLT, italics mine).
Yes, the Holy Spirit is God’s deposit of immortality in humanity. Hence, Paul said, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies (immortality) by this same Spirit living within you” (Rom.8:11, NLT). The rebellious spirit from the devil through Adam is substituted by the Holy Spirit of Love and power from God through Christ, the second Adam. (Matt.28:19; 1 Cor.15:45)
The Spirit of God now makes the human body (person) His temple. Paul said this, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple” (1 Cor.3:16-17). Through the power of the Spirit, He manifests all the qualities of Christ’s Love in the person (temple). You are now a human vessel that is filled to the brim with the divine Love by the Spirit’s indwelling. (Rom.5:5) You no longer live in fear and torment, but filled with grace and joy.
True life is not physical but spiritual. Jesus speaks of our new birth as being “born of the Spirit” (John 3:7-8). The physical body is merely a shell, a casing, held together by human cells, connective tissues, nerves, organs, bones and the blood flowing in the veins give it physical life. (Lev.17:11) The Spirit living within the person who manipulates the body’s activities.
In fact, the human body is constantly undergoing metamorphosis (change) naturally through cell regeneration as a consequence of our spiritual life, our thought life, our emotional life, our diet, environment, and other factors such as lifestyle, which affect us epigenetically. The human body was created by God to be a temple in which His Spirit can take up residence for the purpose of sanctifying us into His spiritual children. (Rom.15:16; Rom.5:5)
Love is the nature of God. In His Tri-Personal Being we can witness the various Love-tones by which the Godhead lived from eternity and into eternity. He revealed these Love-tones or Love-fruits to the apostle Paul who taught the Corinthians. (1 Cor.13) Since the 13th chapter of Corinthians is rather exhaustive to describe suitably here, I encourage you to visit my post titled, “Our Human Response In The Triune Life – LOVE!” at http://bulamanriver.net/9199 where you can read at your leisure.
Right away, we can see the fruits of Love that can be applied in a person’s relationship with God in the three ascents, and with his/her human neighbor. (Mark 12:30-31) We see such fruits as, patience, respect, humility, responsibility, delighting in good instead of evil, gentleness, faith, perseverance, joy, hope, to name some from the above post. God promises to bless and secure our lives when we dedicate ourselves to Him in Love.
We must all recognize that we still live in a world that is influenced by Satan and the sins that dominate people’s lives are all around us to see. Hence, “taking up our cross daily” and “self-denial” are two sides of the same coin that’s necessary to live victoriously through the “Triune Life.*” We cannot have one without the other.
Listen to the entire words of Jesus from our earlier passage, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what they have done” (Matt.16:24-27).
Jesus said further, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt.11:29). The rest that the Father desires to give humanity is found in none other but in His Son, Jesus.
Yes, humans will never experience their true potential as humans until they crucify the false rebellious self upon Jesus’ cross, and find their true self by conforming to the image of Jesus’ resurrection in the Spirit’s power, for only in Jesus we will discover our true selves. (Rom.8:29) The Bible states, “So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority” (Col.2:10).
Yes, when we come to Jesus, the depth of richness in who we are in our gifts and personalities all comes together, for His power extends over everything. It begins by surrendering the false self that was sired in rebellion by denying its power and putting it to death on the cross of Jesus we carry daily.
Let me encourage you today: I hope you will receive Jesus as your Savior in your hearts before our heavenly Father. All it takes is a simple heartfelt and sincere prayer and entreat Him through faith to fill your hearts with His Love so you will defeat the rebellious nature that has controlled life always to our detriment, hurt, and disappointment.
God is always ready to receive and make you His child and bless you abundantly through His Love. It is time to change your life for something the human mind can never compare. (1 Cor.2:9) His Love will bring you deliverance and rest. Study your Bible. Visit this web site often to see the various aspects of living by God’s Love as taught in the Bible. Write to me on the email address provided below with any question or prayer you need.
Remember, receiving Jesus as Personal Savior is a necessary part of experiencing the three-step process for humans to receive the divine blessings. In this post, we have covered the topic of Love. I will cover another subject from the Bible following this “Triune Life” three-step format in my next post.
If you have any 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”* Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
Kiang P. Lee
(Your Servant In Christ)
* Triune Life: The “Triune Life” is a way of life. It’s foundational tenet is based upon the Love of God, because it is the nature of God. Love is both a noun and a verb. We are called Love because we live by Love as God’s own children. It means a life lived according to the image and likeness of God. (Gen.1:26-27) It means as children of God we live the 3-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Being of God, as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life man lives in himself under the influence of the devil.
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/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092
**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book outlets. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.
Mssion Statement: Read the Triune Life Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
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