Lisa Taylor (8 Jan 2017)
"The Tri-unity of God & Man"


 

Holy Spirit

Son/Word Incarnate

Father/Soul/Mind

Spirit

Body

Soul

Spiritual Death

Physical Death

Eternal/Second Death

Spiritual Rebirth

Physical Resurrection

Eternal Life

 

          I believe that God desires to have a “face-to-face” relationship with us.  We were created for that very purpose.  In fact, eternal life is actually defined as a relationship with God: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”  John 17:3.  In order to facilitate this relationship, God has made human beings into His image.  So, we mirror the triune nature of God. 

          “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”  1 John 5:7.

          “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  Genesis 1:26-27.

          “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23.

          Because of this similarity, our spirits can relate to the Holy Spirit; our souls/minds can relate to the Father/Mind; and our bodies can relate to the Son/Body.  In this way, we can know God and experience eternal life.

          Conversely, death is the lack of a relationship with God.  It is separation from God – a separation that begins in this life and will continue throughout eternity.  “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power ….”  2 Thessalonians 1:9.   

          So life or death is essentially a progression toward or away from God.  Since God is triune, this progression (in either direction) is three-fold.  Communion with or separation from the Spirit of God; communion with or separation from the Body of God; and communion with or separation from the Mind of God.

          The order of this progression to life or death is also the same:  first, spiritual; second, physical; and third, eternal.  Each of us chooses which direction we will take.

 

Spirit to spirit

The Holy Spirit is God the Spirit.  He is the literal Breath of Life.  “For in him we live, and move, and have our being ….”  Acts 1:28.  Without the Breath, Adam was just a lump of clay.  Without the presence of the Holy Spirit, we too are empty vessels of clay.  When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, however, we have life.  “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us …. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”  2 Corinthians 4:7,16. 

          It is this “inward man” that must first be brought to life or born again.

          It should not surprise us that the progression to eternal life must start with the spirit, since physical life began that way.  Adam became a living being only after God breathed life into his nostrils.  “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  Genesis 2:7.

          Each of us requires the presence of the Breath of Life for eternal life to begin.  The Spirit will not enter us uninvited, however.  We must receive Him.  “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost ….”  John 20:22.  But the Spirit is near us – ready to be received – wanting to be received.  “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us ….”  Acts 17:26-27. 

          It is incomprehensible that the God of the universe is willing to dwell in each of us, His creations, forever.  But that is exactly what happens when we are born again.  “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  John 14:16-17.

          A Spirit to spirit relationship begins when we are born again.  The Spirit of God communes with the spirit of the believer.  He comforts and teaches us (John 14:26), testifies of Christ (John 15:26), and assures us of our adoption.  “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God ….”  Romans 8:16. 

          We can have this Spirit to spirit relationship with God today.  But the existence of our sins must be addressed. 

 

The Problem of Sin

The dilemma is that everyone who has sinned is under a death sentence – a sentence of eternal separation from God.  In fact, according to John 3:17-18, we already stand condemned: “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

          Thankfully, God has provided us with the means to satisfy this death sentence through the sacrificial death of His Son.  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 6:23.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16.

          If we repent of our sins and accept Christ’s death for our sins, we will be reborn.  This is also the prerequisite for entry into the kingdom of God.  “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”  John 3:5-7.

          One way or the other, the consequences of our sin must be paid – either with Christ’s death or our own.  If we accept His sacrifice, we will live.  If we do nothing, we will remain dead in our sins.  The decision we make in this life will determine how we will spend our eternity.  With or without God.  In eternal life or eternal death.  

 

Body to body

          But Jesus Christ is much more than the sacrifice for our sins.  He is God Himself – the Word.  The Expression of God.

          “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  John 1:1.

          “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high ….”  Hebrews 1:2-3.

          It is through Jesus Christ that we can see God face-to-face.  He became like us, taking on the form of humanity.  He became the Body – God Incarnate.  

          “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  John 1: 14.

          “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”  Colossians 2:9. 

          Because He was sinless, there was no obligation for Him to pay for His own sins.  Instead, he could be the substitute for us ( a human for a human), paying the penalty of death for our sins by proxy.  But it did not end there.  Because Christ was sinless, death could not maintain its hold over Him.  He was resurrected from mortality into immortality.

          Because of this, we too have the hope of immortality.  In fact, it is the next step in the progression to eternal life. 

          Significantly, the Holy Spirit is also a deposit or earnest guaranteeing this future resurrection.

          “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”  Ephesians 1:13-14.

          “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 5:1-5.

          Someday, we will become joined to Jesus Christ wholly – Body to body – Immortal to immortal.

          This connection is likened to the relationship of a husband and wife.  “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”  Eph. 5:30-32.

          Jesus Christ became like us so that we could become like Him. 

          “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly …. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 15:49-57.

 

Soul to soul

          The final stage in the progression to eternal life concerns our connection to the Father – Soul to soul.

          The soul itself is a bit hard to define.  In the Bible, it is used to describe the mind, desire, will, the seat of emotions, and the inner being of man.  It is the thing that makes a person who he or she is.

          God the Father is the Soul of God.  He is the Mind of God.  He is the Will of God. 

          When Job describes the Almighty in Job 23:13, he equates His mind with His soul and with His will: “But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.” 

          When we see how the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ interact with God, we learn that we are to act in accordance to the Will of God.  For example:

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”  Romans 8:26-27.

          “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”  Luke 22:42.

          Furthermore, we are exhorted to pray for the time when the will of God will reign supreme: “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”  Matthew 6:9-10.

          So, in order to have a Soul to soul relationship with the God, we must submit our will to the Will of God.  “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”  Matthew 22:37. 

          By acting in accordance with His will, we put on the new man.  Our minds are renewed to holiness. 

          “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  Romans 12:2.

          “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him ….”  Colossians 3:10.    

          “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”  Ephesians 4: 23-24.

          Holiness of the mind is the final requirement for a face-to-face relationship with God.  Remember when Isaiah saw the Lord of Hosts (Holy, Holy, Holy) seated on the throne, he could not bear it.  “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”  Isaiah 6:5.  No one can bear to see God without holiness.

          “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord ….”  Hebrews 12:14. 

          And it is only through Jesus Christ that we can attain holiness acceptable to God.  “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  John 14:6. 

 

We Must Draw Near to God

          While it is clear that God wants to have fellowship with us, true fellowship is mutual.  We also must want to be with God.

          Remember that God approached us first.  We love him, because he first loved us.”  1 John 4:19.  And He has shown His love for us by making the way for fellowship with Him possible.  This was an act of love by a Being who is the embodiment of love.

          “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  1 John 4:8-10.

          In return, we show our love for Him through a humbling or putting aside of self.  Through the repentance of our sins and the acceptance of His grace.  Through the advancement toward holiness.  Through a drawing near to God.

          “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”  James 4:6-10.

          God’s love draws us to Him.  And our love draws God to us.

          “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”  John 14:23.

 

Eternal Life

          We were created by God – for God.  “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him ….”  Colossians 1:16.  Our purpose is to have fellowship with Him.  To dwell with Him who is Love.

          It boggles the mind that God designed us to be like Him.  We mirror His own triune nature.  And because of this we can relate to Him in a way that no other creation can.

          At the end of the age, after all have been resurrected and judged, God comes to dwell with us in the New Heaven and New Earth – in an immortal universe.  “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”  Revelation 21:3-4.

          “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”  Revelation 22:3-4.  

          This face-to-face relationship with the Triune God is eternal life.  When we will know God:

          Spirit-to-spirit;

          Body-to-body;

          Soul-to-soul. 

          “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”  Proverbs 9:10.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  – Lisa Taylor