173-185 (edited)

To walk out the leading of the Lord in one's own strength is indeed difficult (if not impossible).

173. To walk out the leading of the Lord in one’s own strength is indeed difficult (if not impossible).

174. Yes, even Christ Himself, of whose mind the Word says that I possess but must willingly put on, did not exult Himself but the opposite; Christ who did not possess an obstinate heart but if He did, submitted it in its totality in the power of the Spirit to the Father.

“I asked Him for insight and was given worldly foolishness.”

175. Yet, knowing well that God, who is goodness incarnate, does not give snakes or rocks to His children who ask of Him, compels me not to scorn the Lord’s foolishness but to instead see His worldly foolishness as the power and purposes of that which can only come from His wisdom.

176. Christ’s brief time on the earth is the fulfillment of every promise and utterance made by God prior to His coming and since. Truly, there is no limit to the correlations one can draw between His life and the ever-unfolding present, especially that present as revealed in the Gospels.

177. If man is indeed made in the image of the triune God, let us say we have three different dimensions to our humanity that correspond to the three distinct persons of the trinity: (1) that which is derived of the Father, which is to say, the objective, general, eternal, and unseen which sees its correlation in the soul of man; (2) that which is derived of the Son, the body of man and his emotions, his mind, and, in particular, his subjectivity, finitude, spatiality, and “timeliness” and (3) that which is derived of the Spirit, the will and spirit of man which, through His Spirit, bridges the chasm between body and soul, the objective and subjective, between Reason and Faith, man’s Spirit which – in the domain of Reason – is the expression of a man’s character and the animating force behind the movements of his mind.

178. For though our present bodies will pass away along with the earth, when He returns in His exalted body we will receive our exalted bodies as He receives us and we are given a new earth and a new heaven. As it is written, “creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself would be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” {Rom 8:22-24}

179. So then soul, body, and spirit: the objective, the subjective, and the “willful” bridge therebetween.

180. Christ, by and through whom God made the worlds {Heb 1:2}, and in whom “were all things created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible” {Col 1:15}, is – as the essence of material existence itself – in every way the material body, mind, and emotions of an invisible and immaterial God; Christ who, in His body has dwelled uncreated since eternity passed is, again, the body of the Godhead. As a body, He is the emotion of God and, as material, manifests as material by working in and through such material wherever in history we see God manifesting on the earth to man in a tangible way. For does not the book of Jude say, “Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” {Jude 1:5 ESV version} Indeed, it was Jesus who came as the judgment upon Pharoah, and split the waters of the Red Sea and also sent them back, and also led the Israelites by the cloud by day, warmed them by the fire by night, and fed them morning by morning with the manna of His flesh and filled them with the water which came from His rock, {John 19:34} yes, even these He destroyed because they did not believe; this Jesus who came materially and, as the eternal suffering servant who, as timeless and “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” {Phil 2:6-8}

181. If He did not limit Himself to human likeness and thereafter empty Himself of His divinity – not only when He came in the flesh but from before the foundations of the world – He would not have been able to die on the cross, nor complete His mission in the flesh, among much else. Indeed, all that had been written about Him would never have had any validity if Christ had not done the things described in the second chapter of Philippians since before the foundations – for Christ, as God, is eternal, outside, and independent to time. Thus, anything said of Him has happened, happens, and will happen again, perhaps not materially speaking but certainly as a manifest reality in and to His people for whom He died.

182. In much the same way does the New Testament declare that “we have been saved” {2 Tim 1:9}, are “being saved {1 Cor 1:18} and “will be saved” {Rom 5:9-10}. This again, speaks to the timeless and eternal work of Christ and the ministry of His Eternal Spirit.

183. All the same, it could also speak to the distinct work of the individual members of the trinity in a man’s salvation: (1) we have been elected before the foundations to be saved by the Father; (2) the Son accomplished that salvation in actual space and time; and (3) the Holy Spirit carries out the ongoing and (to us) future work of sanctification which is the verification of points (1) and (2).

184. To “rightly divide the word of truth”, {2 Tim: 2:15} one must not be divided on the issue of God’s sovereignty. Indeed, the manifold Truth that it is God who elects, saves, and alone has the power to save, He who “uphold(s) all things by the word of his power” (by the “logic” of His “dunamis”), is the “Rosetta Stone” by which the entirety of scripture can be interpreted and should and it is through that lens and only through that lens that a man can prove himself to be “a worker who has no need to be ashamed”. {2 Tim 2:15}

185. Indeed, though some of the most difficult issues that a life of faith presents may continue to be difficult for a believer to synthesize (e.g., why is there evil and who is responsible for it?), when one has the right view of God’s sovereignty, one is at least able to plainly answer them, even if he is completely inaccurate in his assessment.