Knowing God and the Gospel: Invitation to Discussion

I know for many the idea of the Trinity is straight-forward. I know for many the teaching of Oneness is straight-forward. I know for many the idea of the Son as a creating being is straight-forward. To be quite honest, none of this has seemed so straight-forward to me. I’ve grappled with the nature of the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for sometime, and I’m never fully satisfied with any teaching on the subject–either from others or from my own bible studies.

This is an important topic, and if it is even possible for our human minds to truly comprehend this, I would like to. I’m sure we all would, and many think they do. I want to invite discussion on this topic.

Here are my thoughts.

God is a spirit. (John 4:24)

Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. (John 1:14)

The Holy Spirit inhabited the virgin Mary, and she gave birth to Jesus. (Matthew 1:18)

Perhaps this is foolishness, but here is how I’m dealing with this right now. Man was made in God’s image, right? So maybe this is not so foolish.

God has Word. Jesus is that Word. It is by the Word that God created all things. (John 1:3) It is also by God’s word that all things die.

Man has word. Our words are not anywhere near as powerful as God’s, but they do carry a similar power. Our words can create and our words can destroy. There are even scriptures telling us that God will judge us according to our words. (Matthew 12:36-37).

Our word is not us, however, our word cannot be fully separated from us because it proceeded out of us.

Jesus is God’s Word. Jesus is not exclusively God, however, Jesus cannot be separated from God because he came forth from God.

God is a spirit. In the scripture, there is mention of seven spirits of God. (Revelation 4:5) Does the Holy Spirit contain the totality of the seven spirits of God? (shelve that question).

Man has spirit. The spirit of life from God is what entered Adam when he became a living soul. It is the same for us. Our spirit is not us, but it animates us (John 6:63). The spirit of life returns to God when we die (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

The Holy Spirit does not naturally inhabit man, but God can give us the Holy Spirit. Man can be filled with all kinds of spirits, some of which are under the authority of Satan who is the “prince and power of the air (spirits).” (Ephesians 2:2)

Jesus teaches us that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” The spirit of man is not the man, but the spirits that act on man affect our hearts (thoughts, emotions, character, etc). Without the Holy Spirit, the hearts of man will dwell in evil, and we will speak evil.

God is Holy. He cannot lie. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. The Holy Spirit inhabited the virgin Mary and she gave birth to the Word which is Jesus.

Jesus came to “testify to the truth.” Jesus is the Word made flesh, conceived from the Holy Spirit of Truth.

Okay, so. We can see what it might mean when we say man was created in God’s image.

God is a spirit. God has Word and by his Word were all things made. The Word is distinct from God, but it cannot be separated from God. The Word became flesh, concieved by the Holy Spirit, and lived the life of the man Jesus. So we see, Jesus cannot be separated from God. He cannot be separated from the Holy Spirit. Yet, He has his own being at the same time.

Man is flesh, but man has word. Our words cannot be separated from us, though they are not us. The spirit in man affects our words (for good or evil). By our words we are either justified or condemned.

Jesus, being the Word of God born of the Holy Spirit of Truth, could not sin because God’s Word is pure and true. God’s Word created all things.

Jesus died on the cross to deliver us from sin. What is sin? Sin is when our words or other actions are contrary to the will of God. What is the will of God? The will of God is Truth and Life. God kills, true. However, as created beings, we cannot kill. When our hearts are evil, we do things that kill. As Jesus teaches, this is more than murder of the flesh. This includes murder of the person on a spiritual level, even accounting for slight offenses like calling someone a fool.

God said that if we sin, we must die.

God is a spirit, as we mentioned. God is also described as a “consuming fire.” There is a passage in Isaiah that states the Lord will put away evil by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning (Isaiah 4:4). God will destroy the earth by fire. Even the second death is described as being brought forth by a lake of fire. The seven spirits of God are described as the seven fires of God burning before the throne.

Do not the spirits of God, which contain all perfection, judge man? Is not this also the “spirit of judgment” and “burning.”

Jesus is the Lamb of God who had the “seven eyes which are the seven spirits of God.” (Revelation 5:6)

When Jesus died on the cross, he sacrificed his flesh in place of our judgment for sin. He took the wrathful fire of God and turned it away from those who believe in him. Jesus also sent the Holy Spirit.

Through the Holy Spirit, the souls of man are not left without defense against the spirits of the “prince of this world.” Through the power of Jesus who overcame the world, we too can overcome. The glory of the Lord — the Word of God — is our defense. And if you will, our “smoke by day and flaming fire by night.” (Isaiah 4) We will have “peace like a river and the glory of the gentiles like a flowing stream.” (Isaiah 66).

When we learn of the commandments of Christ and seek to keep them, God sends the Holy Spirit to live within us. (John 4:15-1) Those who walk after the Spirit are the sons of God and joint heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:14)

Why? As those who have the Spirit of God and walk after the Spirit of God, our mouths should not continue to speak evil and destruction. Our mouths should “confess Jesus.” (Romans 10:12) Our actions should be as Christ himself. (1 John 2:6, Colossians 2:6) At least, that is the goal we should continually strive for, and we are told that Jesus rewards those who diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) Our sins are washed in the blood of the Lamb, and through the Holy Spirit we have resurrection–both in this present world and as a promise of the first resurrection leading to everlasting life.

Satan is described as a liar and a murderer. He is the adversary and accuser. He is the prince of the power of the air (spirits). He has authority given by God over this present earth.

As children of God, “born again” by the Holy Spirit, we are not in bondage to Satan. We are not in bondage to the spirits wickedness. However, if we love our sin, justify our sin, or do not have the faith to be freed from sin according to the promises of Jesus, then we will remain in bondage. We will sin, which is to do things contrary to the will of God, which is in essence murder, lying, pride, usurping God’s authority, and so-on.

If our words and deeds are not made conformable to the image of Christ — who is the Word made flesh — who died for our sins and sent the Holy Spirit who would give us power over the prince and spirits of this world by “writing the laws of the kingdom in our hearts” (Hebrews 10:16) then we are not walking after the Spirit. The kingdom of heaven might not be “within us.” (Luke 17:20-21) We might not be the sons of God. When faced with the judgment of God, we will be consumed.

The judgment of God — who is a flame of fire — is the very Word of God. You might recall that God gave all judgement to the Son. (John 5:22) You might also recall that “The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Unlike Man, God is Holy and True. Therefore, the Word that proceeds from God is Holy and True.

Can a being that is unholy and full of lies, hate, murder, pride, vanity, and all the like stand before the Word of God and live? No. His Word, His judgment, His very nature would consume you if you were to be in His presence. None can see God and live, can they? (Exodus 33:20, 1 John 3:6)

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).

 

Do you see how all of this might fit together?

What are your thoughts?

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Posted in Christian Doctrine, Christian Faith, Questions / Discussions, Salvation
2 comments on “Knowing God and the Gospel: Invitation to Discussion
  1. Amanda says:

    I want to say something about mercy. God loves mercy. I know I write things here that go against some common ideas about the gospel, but it is not contrary. If we have faith in Jesus, we hope in mercy. However, if we have respect towards the sacrifice of the Son and what that means, we will seek Jesus. If we seek Jesus, we cannot help but grow in the things of God. If we grow in the things of God, we become “zealous for righteous works.” This includes our words. We all need grace, and grace can cover any sin. Grace also frees us from sin. Forgiveness and freedom are acts of grace (unmerited favor) and mercy. However, if we do not show due respect and show a faith that is fruitful, then something is dead about our faith. Here I write in terms of an ideal we continually strive for. Striving in faith prevents complacency and leads to greater “fruitfulness.” Striving in faith is an act of good conscience towards God, so according to the measure of faith, talent, and time we are given, we should earnestly seek with all reverence. God is merciful. God is also someone to be feared. Those that fear God receive mercy.

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  2. Amanda says:

    One more thing 🙂 Pertaining to the title of this article. I don’t think any of us can truly know God. There is always more to discover. I certainly don’t claim to know God, aside from what measure of knowing is given through relationship with Jesus by the Holy Spirit. I thought this would be a catchy title, and I’m a sucker for alliteration. Could not help myself.

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These are the things that ye shall do: Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things I hate, saith the Lord.  — Zechariah 8:16-17