We have seen that God created us in His own Image and Likeness and also appreciated the significance of His Image and His Likeness. Then we went further to elaborate His initial intention for Man, which is: Constant communion and interaction with Man. But when Man fell, he lost that Image of God in him (Holiness, purity and blamelessness). But still retains the likeness.
God made the approach of trying to re-connect us to Himself, as it was in the beginning with Adam, but due to the new Nature we now have which is the Adamic Nature full of Sin, such a relationship became very difficult to establish. God on one side is Holy, righteous, blameless, without sin and detests sin. While Man on the other hand is sinful
Isaiah 64:6: "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like
filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep ..."
Not even the sacrifices of Animal blood or other items was sufficient to completely wipe away our sins
So, this is a relationship between two subjects of different images. Totally incompatible, would it work? The Bible records that without the shedding of blood, there would not be forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22) but is the shedding of Animal blood enough? With an Adamic and sinful nature, we will definitely return to the filth we were redeemed of, so what is the perfect solution to this?
- Cleanse our sins once and for all
- Practically (and not theoretically) show us how to live rightly even with the Adamic Nature in Us
- Have a mediator who will stand in the Gap for us in order not to ignite the other component of God's image "His consuming fire"
- Have a guide, a teacher or helper who will teach us and enable us live the life which will be worthy of the communion with God.
What Happened Next?
With Animal sacrifices not sufficient, pure blood which is perfect enough to cleanse all humanity once and for all of sin was essential. And this is the reason for the death of Christ. Jesus Christ being the son of God came to die for our sins, making that sacrifice a done deal, a once and for all seal. Hebrews 9 says it all.
From our previous episodes, we read of how wretched Paul described himself in Romans 7, due to his sinful nature and despite not wanting to do some certain things, he finds himself doing them. One striking point about that passage is: the last verse was deliberately left out which is:
Romans 7: 25: "Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."
Christ death, now places us in a position where we can now relate and commune with God which is His initial plan for man. Christ's death does not give us that image back, because we cannot be perfect again, even though we strive to perfection. But with his once and for all cleansing, coupled with his intercession, we are able to relate and communicate with the Father. In summary, Jesus Christ came not only to die for our sins. He taught, He lived a righteous life even as Man, because he had every feature of a Man; He was hungry, he was tempted, he wept, he perspired (sweat), He was angry, He was challenged etc. He showed us how to live a perfect Life, even in the flesh. Did He stop there?
Romans 8: 34: "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. ..."
The Holy Spirit
Now, Jesus Christ has made that one time sacrifice. He extended His love by showing us and teaching us how to live practical Christian Lives and it didn't end there, He is back to Heaven to intercede on our behalf. With His purity, God looks at us through the righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ and this alone with His (Jesus') intercession, makes us whole again even in the sight of God.
Even with all these which God Has done, He still deemed it fit to send the Holy Spirit (the comforter) to us, to teach us the ways of the lord and make us sustain the path of righteousness even as we await His (Jesus Christ's) second coming.
John 14: 26: "but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and will bring to your remembrance all the things ..."
John 16: 7: "... I say the truth to you, It is profitable for you that I go away; for if I do not
go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go I will send him to you .."
John 15: 26: " But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: ... "
The coming of the Holy spirit has finalized the entire long process of bringing us back to God's initial plan of having that constant communion with Him. The Holy spirit helps us in interacting with God, walking for God and also working with God. In every aspect of our Life, the spirit is there to guide us, and even though we aren't perfect, nor have that image of God, we strive to perfection longing to be like God, yearning to having His Image.
Romans 8: 26: "In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don't know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession ... "
2 Corinthians 3: 18: "So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."
If after going through all these just for us to be re-connected with God and we still stubbornly refuse to get connected, what then becomes of us? This will be answered in the next episode.
(c) 2013, Infobarrel
Dr. Funom Theophilus Makama
22nd. July. 2013
First published on the 14th. February. 2013
Biblical Love Psychology
The Paperback copy
Amazon Price: $12.45 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 7, 2016)
Biblical Love Psychology is the product of the understanding of the word of God from the Bible and as well the practical application of its Psychology; hence it is easily applicable and understandable irrespective of your belief. Lots of emphasis hits on Love itself, breaking it down into its stages, forms and levels and trying to differentiate these various stages of Love as distinct units. Take for instance, Love can be viewed in two categories, the horizontal (Man to man) and the vertical (God to man) and we will understand that The horizontal (Man to Man) exists with an initial step: THE ATTRACTION! But the vertical has no attraction in its initial phase because God loved us while we were yet sinners, doomed to die. This attraction could be blood (blood relations), romance (eros) or compatibility in likeness (Phileo-friendship).
This Book has explained explicitly the significance of the attraction, independent of Love (despite going hand in hand). It did not stop there, it is vivid in elaborating Love itself which is a deeper level and a soul to soul connect which is in by no means same as the initial step (the attraction). Despite all these wonderful revelations about Love, why do we have failed relationships today? Why are marriages not lasting up to 30 years as it used to be? Why do parents disown their children? Why are relationships so shallow, insignificant and treated like high-school courses where they come and go? A typical or an average young lady in her mid-20s should have experienced a minimum of 7 failed relationships in her life, is this supposed to be so? What about Love application to other phenomena such as material things, Money, Animals, what can we say about this? Despite the vertical kind of Love (God to man) being the AGAPE Love, does that mean man cannot exhibit this Agape? When a person adopts a child, this has definitely by-passed any form of attraction, because despite not being their blood (the attraction), the person adopts and loves this child, can we consider this Agape?
All these questions will be thoroughly answered and as well some doctrinal controversies such as: the doctrine of Hell (is it necessary since God loved us without any form of attraction?), the doctrine of the trinity, and the justification of disowning a child from the fact there is Hell, despite (God) showing us such immense love and many more issues.
So, as much as this basic psychological issue of Love is coming from the foundation of the Bible, it is applicable to everyone. I may not believe in Buddhism, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying any Buddhist Movie and even learn from it. There are lots of principles we can apply from this book into our love-relationships irrespective of our beliefs, so try to read it.
On a final note, we should be cautioned that this Book is not a relationship manual. This is far from it. This book is about Love and solely about Love, of which if we understand its basic principles can be applied to any form of relationships. Psychological tools like the Love graph, the perfect square formula are used to explicitly elaborate Love Psychology. Also, science is brought into the picture for us, to a large extent use critical thinking for the justification of the existence of God. If somewhere in our subconscious we believe in His existence, then we will appreciate the Agape Love better.
ENJOY READING BIBLICAL LOVE PSYCHOLOGY!