Walk In One Spirit

Image result for fruit of the spirit

We have one divine spirit, the Spirit of God’s exclusive love(agapaō). All other types of “love” can be captured by our mortal enemy.

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE(agapaō) YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Galatians 5:14)

That’s it! It’s the key to God’s plan, for here and for eternity.

It’s that simple? Simple because God spoke the universe into existence. Simple because He gave us His Word. Simple because the Fruit of God’s Spirit is simple.

If you want your life filled with God, you need to bear God’s Spiritual Fruit. If you don’t want God in your life, take your chances with cruel fate.

God’s Simple Fruit

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. (Galatians 5:18)

God’s domain rises infinitely higher than any given law. If you want wordly law, enjoy its bad fruit.

The Fruit of God’s Spirit is just one fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

It’s singular, ie the fruit. It’s not one kind of fruit called love, another called peace, a third called patience, etc. Singular fruit may have many characters, like sweetness, tartness, tenderness, scrumptiousness(getting a bit carried away). Also like fruit, it might be dry, grainy, tough, or other unflavorful characteristics.

This essay would become impossibly long if I covered the whole list. Instead, I will try to do a good attempt at each time I deal with it.

To be continued …

Making Sense of The Holy Trinity

I’d almost be willing to bet that your reaction to my title was along the lines of, “Yeah, right,” especially if you’re familiar with the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.

One concept of the Holy Trinity

It’s commonly presented as a mystery, roughly stated as, “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are God, co-equal Persons, with each bearing all the divine prerogatives. Jesus Christ is simultaneously, fully God and fully man.”

Well … maybe the Trinity isn’t such a mystery after all. Just maybe, there’s a valid analogy that we all understand, based on the human family. I’ll present my idea as fact, even though I’m just suggesting it as a possibility, so don’t get all offended at my “heresy.” That said, I invite any thoughtful broadsides.

My Whacked-Out Trinity Theory

As the word “man” is both a singular reference to a unique, male human being, and a plurality, synonymous with “mankind,” so the word “god” is both a singular reference to a deity, and a plurality, synonymous with, if you’ll allow me to coin a phrase, “God-kind.” In Genesis 1:26 and other places, God referred both to himself and to man as pluralities. A gospel account that supports God’s tri-unity is Matthew 3:16-17 (EMTV) And having been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon Him. (17) And behold, a voice came out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I have found delight.” That’s a fairly common “proof” verse, though. (I quoted proof because only the totality of God’s Word is proof of anything. Folks love to quote a verse or two to “prove” just about anything.)

MACMILLIAN‘s dictionary defines “kind” as, “all the people who are similar to a person, for example, because they come from the same social class.” So, “kind,” bunches all similar people into one category, type, or class. Applied to mankind, it includes all members of the family Hominidae (billions of us). “God-kind,” then, is all people who are like God, or three in total: Father, Word, and Holy Spirit.

Maybe it’s best to begin with the basics: Isaiah 45:5
I am the LORD, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God …

So the Divine Name, which means “Existing One,” refers to God’s totality. I take that to mean the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit.

Did you notice Jesus’ name isn’t in the list? That’s because, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) The eternal Word of God “became” God’s unique, human expression when he took on human form at conception and grew into the man, Jesus of Nazareth. I think that’s what some brethren mean when they say, “Jesus isn’t God, because he had a beginning.” I agree that Jesus had a beginning (obviously), but from conception he was, and still is, God’s eternal, divine Word.

No doubt you’re wondering where I got that whacked-out theory. Well, everything I read in the Bible suggests it.

Jesus: Fully God and Fully Man

Now, let’s tackle the idea of Jesus simultaneously being fully God and fully man. Wouldn’t you think that would equal 200%? Not when the two are substantially different. Think of a bowl filled with sand. Is there room for anything else? Of course not, except, perhaps, for a different kind of substance, like water. You’d be surprised how much water that bowl will take. Maybe that’s why God’s Word uses the figure of water to represent his Holy Spirit (just kidding).

Now, please, don’t jump up and down shouting, “I gotcha!” I fully realize my illustration doesn’t apply exactly. Body and spirit aren’t like sand and water, except in principle. God’s Word says in 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (EMTV) For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, (6) who gave Himself a ransom for all, the testimony in due time. What more perfect mediator could there be than one who is both plaintiff and defendant, or lawyer and judge? Yeah, go sue yourself.

So there you have my whacked-out theory. Mind you, I’m not a theologian by a long shot. But part of the beauty of God’s revealed Word is anyone can study it and arrive at their own conclusions, and I can’t be excommunicated from God’s church for making a mistake. When I do—that’s not if—God is perfectly able to correct me, and I love correction, if it makes me more like my Lord.

Hope’s Failure

failure is its lingering death,

prolonged than that of old age.

Hope divine, thought to be

toward its sudden, cold end,

While another, adorned with its death

on, fatally immortal.

      While that might seem dark and
morose, understanding its “Hope divine,” depends upon Romans
8:24. Divine hope ends when we close our eyes upon this world, and
open them to our Savior’s loving countenance. Then, our living hope
will have outlived its function, and die with a “sudden, cold end.”

8:24b ESV Now
hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?

      “Fatally immortal” hope is the oxymoron it seems. As it is essentially temporal, fleshly, its death shroud conceals the hopeless morass of unrequited love, a pathetic existence
centered upon the erstwhile emotion of some mythical, brief
interpersonal connection. It seems immortal because it refuses to
die, continuing with the regularity of a toothache.

Did He Get it Right?

David McCasland wrote an article for Our Daily Bread titled, “Our Hopes and Dreams.” Basing this piece on Apostle Paul’s dedication to advancing God’s kingdom, and the trials and setbacks he faced while so doing, the author concluded with this statement:
When our goal is to honor the Lord, He guides and guards us each step of the way. Whatever our hopes and dreams may be, when we place them in God’s hands we know that everything, including setback or success, is under His control. —David McCasland
McCasland used as a reference Scripture passage Acts 20:16-24.
I have to wonder if our lives more resemble a model sailboat under radio control, or one with a preset, wind controlled rudder and sail. To what extent does God micromanage our lives?
While the passage in Acts testifies to the Apostle’s own inability to predict the future, and his confidence in God’s faithfulness to carry out His intentions, it doesn’t say “everything, including setback or success, is under His control.”
Our absolutely sovereign, self-existent God cannot be constrained to human concepts and expectations for Him. We’re locked in to thinking of Him as either in control, or not in control. Are those the only two possibilities? Oh, I hope not, as those options are so … finite.
Apostle Paul gives a different perspective.
(Rom 8:28 NASB)  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
To me, this says He coordinates, but He doesn’t control. I desperately wish He would do just that, so we could see His mighty hand at work minute-by-minute. But trust doesn’t work like that, for we walk by faith, not by sight–  (2Corinthians 5:7 NASB)
Whether God micromanages our lives, or guides us through life’s pitfalls, matters little to a Christ-follower. We must simply trust Him to love us as only He can.