Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bittersweet Refinements: III

Bittersweet Refinements is another book that I have been given to publish. If it gets to sounding an awfully lot like a broken player stuck on repeating the same old wrong song over and over again that is because it is to a fairly great extent. For most of it contains rewritten parts of the Bitter/Sweets that were published here before. Hopefully, it will get to sounding a lot better to you very soon, and for the benefit of those who do not have access to multiple versions of our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible, numbered Scripture references in the text (for example, [1]) provide links to such through Bible Gateway this time around. The same also applies to verses included in the text.

Chapter III
A Term Of Endearment

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. [Romans 8:15-16 NIV]

Before proceeding any further, please let me explain that when I make some reference to our Heavenly Father, I am referring to not only the Lord God Almighty, but to His only begotten Son[1], who truly is the Lord Jesus Christ[2], and His Holy Spirit[3], as well. For I do not want to add to the confusion myself.

Yes, I have been made well aware of the fact that they are three distinct individuals. Well, at least to the extent that I have been allowed and enabled to understand such[4], but the absolute truth of the matter truly is that our Heavenly Father is also One[5] and the Same[6] with His only begotten Son and His Holy Spirit.

No, I cannot explain how that is possible—certainly not physiological terms. I just know that it is indeed true through the witness of His Holy Spirit[7], and it is because of how much more intimate it is to me to refer to Him and Christ Jesus as also being my Heavenly Father that I do so.

More importantly, this is something that our Heavenly Father wants. For we were created to have a very close and personal relationship with Him[8], and rigid formalities get in the way of this, even when they are well intended[9].

Of course, there is something far more serious that gets in the way of us wanting to truly have a very close and personal relationship with our Heavenly Father—instead of just with His only begotten Son. For it has been widely taught that Christ Jesus stands between us and the wrath of the Lord God Almighty[10].

No, this is not to deny that[11], but whole truth of the matter is that Christ Jesus IS the Lord God Almighty[12]! Furthermore, it is written: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:28-39 NIV]

Tragically, our Heavenly Father’s Holy Spirit is generally left out of the equation. For He is usually presented as being nothing more than merely a helper to us by those who do openly recognize His existence, but He is never considered as truly being on the same level as Christ Jesus and the Lord God Almighty by most.

Yes, it is indeed a very great tragedy. In fact, it will spell the eternal doom for far too many[13]. For it is written: “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” [Matthew 12:30-32 NIV]

It is to miss the point of truly having a very close and personal relationship with Him to think in terms of punishment, however. For it is written: We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. [1 John 4:16-19 NAS]

{1}John 1:14-18; {2}Matthew 3:13-17; {3}1 John 5:8; {4}John 14:20; {5}Deuteronomy 6:4; {6}Genesis 1:26; {7}John 16:13; {8}Matthew 11:28-30; {9}1 Peter 5:7; {10}Romans 1:18; {11}Isaiah 53:1-12; {12}John 10:30; {13}Matthew 12:36-37.

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