Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ephesians 4:6 comments: above all, through all, and in us

6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

As Moses repeated to the children of Israel from God’s word to him;

Deuteronomy 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

Jesus Christ confirmed;

Mark 12:29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

As did Paul;

Galatians 3:20  Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

The unity of God is a very important Biblical concept to understand. God is not three separate individuals, three separate Gods. That is where some religions mistakenly view Christianity as a form of idolatry. Note the following verses;

Genesis 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Genesis 3:22  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Then, pay close attention to this verse;

1John 5:7  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

(Contemporary Bible versions based on the Westcott-Hort heretical text remove this verse from the Bible as being a late addition when the evidence shows it was quoted or alluded to in virtually every century of Christianity and even the editor of the Latin Vulgate, Jerome, admitted that it was in the original. It is also in Wycliffe’s medieval Bible).

What are these three? And how are they one? God is composed of three parts, as we are and as the higher animals are. He is composed of a soul, the seat of self-identity and will, a spirit, the Holy Spirit, the principal way He operates throughout His creation, and a body, a physical image, the likeness of God. Unlike we temporal beings, earth-bound, those three parts of God can act independently and apart from each other in space-time. Were we to be disconnected from our spirit or soul we would cease to live physically.

For man’s body, soul, and spirit;

1Thessalonians 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For the beast’s soul and spirit;

Numbers 31:28  And levy a tribute unto the LORD of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:

Ecclesiastes 3:21  Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

Why would the beast’s spirit go down into the earth? It is important to know what man’s spirit does.

Proverbs 20:27  The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

God uses your spirit to see you from the inside, all of your thoughts and your physical processes. Your spirit does not know God until you are born again, however, because it is a dead spirit inherited from Adam. Beasts are not accountable for salvation as they have never been in rebellion against God. Their suffering and death is a consequence of Adam’s sin.

Paul talks about how he wants to know Christ as Christ knows him using the word, apprehend, an older meaning being to know.

Philippians 3:12  Not as though I had already attained (understand –Psalm 139:6; Proverbs 1:5), either were already perfect (finished and complete -  2 Chronicles 8:16; Colossians 4:12): but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

We are made in the image of God as in we are made in the form of God’s physical appearance. See the word likeness in the following verse;

Genesis1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

In Adam’s perfect state he looked like God. He had the likeness of God which is the appearance but in his sin that appearance was compromised. Adam’s son, Seth, was made in his likeness and each generation bears that removal from God’s perfect likeness.

Genesis 5:3  And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

Mankind is deteriorating so rapidly from the point of view of genetics that he could not be much older than a few thousand years. I have a National Academy of Sciences article by researcher, James Crow, from 1997 entitled, “The High Spontaneous Mutation Rate: Is it a Health Risk?” where he laments man’s deterioration and calls for government action as if the government could do something about the effects of sin.

Another paper I have from 1995 from the Journal of Theoretical Biology by Alexey Kondrashov cries out, “Why Have We Not Died 100 Times Over?” Clearly, the human race should have been extinguished by now based on scientific reasoning. Each time our cells divide information is lost. 

You can see it in real-time as you age. Just look in a mirror holding a picture of yourself at 15 or 20 years of age.

But, those men and women who believe will be returned to better than that perfect image that Adam bore of God. We will be like Christ and will not sin again.

Romans 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

That completeness and perfection is our destiny in Christ.

The three operational parts of God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or Ghost, are mentioned throughout Scripture. First, we saw the words us and our in Genesis’ first chapter and then later, when God viewed the work of man at Babel.

Genesis 11:7  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

The three parts of God are active in creation right away in the first three verses of Genesis setting the understanding for us in all future references.

Genesis 1:1 ¶  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God (the part of God that interacts with His creation) moved upon the face of the waters.

3 ¶  And God (the Father, the seat of self-identity and will)  said, Let there be light: and there was light (the Word spoken and the Light being God the Son, also the physical image of God, His person).

The three parts of God are expressed all through the Old Testament. God the Son walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam.

Genesis 3:8  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence* of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

*Isaiah 63:9  In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

No man has seen God the Father at any time. He is a Spirit in distinction from other spirit beings which He created.

John 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

God the Son, being the, “express image of His person,” is who is seen virtually every time a person sees an angel or appearance of God or talks to God face-to-face in the Bible. As God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is seated at the right hand of the Father now we will not see Him face to face until He returns. We have His Book, the Scriptures, the Bible which tells us about Him and through which He speaks to us. The three parts of God are mentioned throughout the Bible but also in the same verse in several places by different speakers.

Jesus refers to the three as quoted by Matthew.

Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Paul refers to the three.

2 Corinthians 13:14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

The Apostle, John, refers to the three.

1John 5:7  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Repeating verse 6, “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Isaiah 55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God is as far above the greatest saint as He is the greatest sinner so that God’s greatness, above all, is no impediment to your coming to Him. He’ll come to you.

David pleaded;

Psalm 25:11  For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

It is the very fact that our sin is so great, so hideous, and so vile that we can call on God who is so great, so perfect, and so merciful to us because it is in His character to forgive. The God who made all things is not a part of all things but is above all things.

When Paul is arguing with the Greeks in Athens he quotes a pagan poet and prophet, Epimenides from his 6th century BC poem, Cretica, when the poet said, “For in you we live and move and have our being.”

Acts 17:22 ¶  Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23  For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. 30  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

    32 ¶  And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.

The Greek wrote this about Zeus and Paul, acknowledging that to the Greeks Zeus or Jupiter in Rome, was the supreme god, used this well-known phrase to point out how dependent we are upon the real God who he linked to a monument to a god the Athenians exalted named “The Unknown God.” The legend had it that there had been a plague centuries before and sacrifices were offered to every god that the Athenians thought they might have offended but the plague continued in spite of that religious effort. So, Epimenides thought that there was a god they were not honoring, whose name they didn’t know, so they sacrificed to him and the plague ceased immediately. This supposedly resulted in the monument to the unknown god whom Paul is insisting is really the God of creation.

So, God is above all things, through all things, and as Jesus and Paul both points out dwells within the believer.

John 14:23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

And Paul;

Romans 8:11  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

1Corinthians 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

2Timothy 1:14  That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

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