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Sunday, November 9, 2014

The work of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the disciple

How do the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the deity who dwell in the believer, reveal their presence in the believer?

the LORD is one

The faith that is in Christ Jesus with its roots in Israel, the law of Moses, the Tanakh (Old Testament) and Abraham unabashedly asserts faith in the Father, faith in the Son as well as faith in the Holy Spirit. Of course, the inability of some saints to understand or much less explain their convictions with confidence to those who inquire about their faith in Father, Son and Holy Spirit often results in confusion, ridicule, mockery and rejection by Jews, Muslims and others.

The lack of understanding and less than substantive response to the plural form references to God in the Shema seems well underscored by one rabbi. The Shema, which is taken from Deuteronomy 6:4 is the Jewish prayer call to heed God: 4 "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! After acknowledging that the Jews are aware of that plural form the rabbi states, “We just ignore it.” Unbelievable, and that, from a teacher of Israel. Is it any wonder that Israel had no better understanding concerning Jesus who claimed, as the Jews understood quite well, that he was God in the flesh?

What Jews and Muslims have misunderstood is that the Shema is not a quantitative reference to God. The Christian failure seems even more dismal given the monotheistic claims while claiming faith in the deity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Rather, the Shema is a prophetic statement to the fact that God is one, namely, that everything which God said, everything which Moses said that God said, everything which the prophets said that God said, everything which Jesus said that the Father said, everything which the apostles said as being what the Holy Spirit said and everything which the saints in Christ declare from the written word of God is one.

It is all one in harmony with the same will of God as revealed at various times through many different servants of God. The tendency of unbelief by Israel towards God and what God said was not unlike any other people including Christians.

manifestations of the God who is one: human form

God manifested his form and his will in different ways throughout the history of Israel. Whether it was in the call of Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, in a burning bush to Moses, dwelling in the ark of the covenant or a bronze serpent Israel had numerous opportunities to gain insight and understanding into how God can and does manifest himself and his will in different forms. Whatever and whenever Israel did gain some insight it was short-lived. They were terrified at the sights and sounds coming from the mountain that they instructed Moses to speak to God for them and whatever God said, that they would do. It is little wonder and not without understanding that the idea of God taking on human form should be so incomprehensible and offensive to Israel. They were, even Korah, (Numbers 16) offended and incensed about the commandment of God as delivered to them by Moses and later the prophets. The prophets paid with their lives for the offense taken by Israel.

Yet, Jesus made it clear to his Jewish listeners that the Father had sent him. Furthermore, he added that he and the Father were one. (John 10) Some have tried to dilute the direct meaning of these words of Jesus by explaining that Jesus was speaking of the common Jewish practice of meditation to be one with God. However, if this were what Jesus meant his audience would not have reacted with such hostility. Instead, they understood that Jesus was declaring to them that he was God.

the work of the indwelling of deity in Jesus and the believer

Jesus not only asserted that the Father had sent him, but that Jesus dwelled in the Father and the Father dwelled in Jesus. He spoke these things on the matter of the indwelling of deity in him in the context of informing his disciples that He would shortly ask the Father to send the Comforter. The Holy Spirit was to bring to their remembrance all things which Jesus had taught them and lead them into all truth. If Jesus revealed how deity indwelled him we, the saints in Christ ought just as well be able to understand and take courage as to, not only how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwell in us, but what is the work of their indwelling in the believer, also. The apostle Paul gives us more than a subtle clue in Ephesians 1.

Yes, the Father did draw up the master plan before the foundation of the world. The Son, for his part in that master plan, was to execute it through his redemptive death on the cross for all who believe in him. Yes, the Holy Spirit was, per that master plan, to affirm who are the elect by putting his seal on the redeemed.

So, what does the indwelling of Father, Son and Holy Spirit look like in the believer?

As usual, if we set our eyes on what Jesus stated about the indwelling of deity in him and what Paul spells out as to what Father, Son and Holy Spirit have done in their relationship with man, then we may possibly be able to understand, appreciate and rejoice in what they do in the daily life of the disciple.

Father

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.

The Father did his work of choosing us for himself before foundation of the world. This was what he purposed to do, but the Father himself did not carry out the fulfillment of what He purposed.

Son

5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us.

It was the action by the Son (the capitalized form of Son in the New Testament is strictly the arbitrary decision of the translators. It is not necessarily malicious or deceptive. It was merely to denote this son was from the Father and sent by the Father.) to redeem us through the blood of his own death which fulfilled the will of the Father according to what the Father had purposed.

Holy Spirit

13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

What the Holy Spirit continues to accomplish in the ongoing fulfillment of the will of the Father to redeem through his Son a people for his own possession is to affirm the believer by sealing the believer through His indwelling according to promise.

conclusion

God has always been true in the revelation of his will whether it was through Moses, his prophets, Jesus or the apostles. This is the God who is one; everything that God and his servants have spoken is one and in harmony with God. He revealed himself in different ways to those whom God spoke through were often an offense, such as Moses and the prophets, to the people.  

This same harmony, according to the testimony of Jesus, was present in the will of the Father. The entire mission of Jesus during his life on earth in the form of a human was to do the will of the Father. It was Jesus who stated to his disciples that he would ask the Father to send the Comforter; the Holy Spirit. Then, it would be the Holy Spirit whose work would be to affirm, that is, to seal the redeemed according to promise through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit himself. The Father purposed all this before the foundation of the world. The Son fulfilled it when Jesus did the will of the Father. The Holy Spirit affirmed it.

This is the manner through which the believer can take courage and be confident that not only does deity dwell in him/her, but how deity manifests himself in the believer to accomplish his will for his glory. This is what happens when the believer purposes to do anything for the glory of the Father. It happens when the believer fulfills what he/she purposed to do. It is when the believer can confidently testify and readily affirm that what he purposed to do and which he did this is the work of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in him/her. peace to all

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