The Spirit of God is the “Source of Life”
There is an interesting statement preceding creation. It reads, “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Genesis 1:2). Two facts are evident, which are essential to life. These are “spirit” and “water.” The “spirit” is similar to oxygen. Without oxygen, life, in any form, cannot exist. And even blood cannot live without water. Oxygen permeates everything, especially, in a human being. If we take away the “spirit,” the “breath,” or the “air,” life ceases to exist. When we stop breathing, we stop living, whether we are saints or sinners.
What must I do to keep the “Spirit in me” and “in the World?”
God made us and the world; however, to stay alive we must keep His Spirit in us and in the world. We must keep our bodies healthy and functional, and the world that is suitable to live in. And, as long as we feed ourselves and our environment with the good things God has created, the cycle of life renews itself. Even the person, who estranged God, has part of God in him/her and they can be revived and restored into God’s Family and God’s Kingdom. The “spirit or breath” in man does not die because man sins or dies physically. The Bible gives us vital examples.
Job believed that when his “spirit” was broken, then Job’s days were extinct (Job 17:1). The Psalmist begged God not to take “His Holy Spirit” from him (Psalms 51:11). Jesus held that the “spirit” gave life (John 6:63). The preservation of the “spirit” or “oxygen” is also the preservation of life. The other ingredient is “water.” Water is just as essential as oxygen. Water and oxygen are closely linked together. For instance, when Samson drank water, he was revived and his spirit returned (Judges 15:19). An Egyptian ate and drank and the spirit returned. Nicodemus had to be born of water and of the spirit (John 3:5). When Jesus’ side was pierced, on the cross, out of His side came blood and water (John 19:34). Death, on the cross, happened after Jesus had released His Spirit and Jesus allowed His Spirit to return to God (Luke 23:46). Death does not end the “spirit’s” existence. The “spirit” returns to God (Job 34:4; Ecclesiastes 12:7). The point in all of this is that, even the secular and the unbelieving human being, still depends on oxygen, on the “Spirit” and the “Breath of God.” There is an underlying religious basis whether we acknowledge it or not. God is faithful and God cannot deny Himself (II Timothy 2:15). God lets His sun shine on the good and on the bad. His rain falls on the just and unjust. God allows both to grow until harvest time, when God shall gather the wheat into His barn, and then the weeds shall be burned (Matthew 13:30).
Religious and scientific fabrication cannot explain the “mystery of creation.” Man deals in tangible reality, and the Creator is not tangible; neither is the “Mysterious Energy and Breath (Spirit)” that puts life into matter. Everything moves in the universe. What kind of energy is it, which never runs out? For instance, I drive a vehicle only as long as the fuel lasts. God’s creation never stops to refill. No one, but God, knows how a human life, with all the components, can function together. The spirit, the mind, and the soul, cannot be scientifically tested; nor can the spirit, the mind, and the soul be theologically diagnosed. The interaction of the Spirit of God with the “spirit within man” is a mystery. And why is the interaction with some human beings greater than with other human beings is even a greater mystery? The mystery increases, when the Spirit of God moves individuals to do what is right, even when these individuals had broken most of God’s Laws and God’s Commandments in the process. How could Moses, who altered God’s Law on marriage, be regarded as one who saw his Maker face to face? There is David, as a man after the heart of God, when David committed adultery and even killed for his passion? What is even more puzzling is that these accreditations were made to come from the mouth of God and not from man. Jesus’ own statement that the tax collectors and the harlots shall make it into the Kingdom ahead of the religious leaders is mind-boggling. How can God, who is a good Spirit, overlook such atrocities? How can God be partial to some who think they get away by simply saying that they are sorry? Especially, those who have taken it upon themselves, to take and to alter the course of life? They have much to answer for what they are doing. And no good feeling, in the heart, can absolve them of the blood of the “innocent beings” that cry out to God. Life is sacred and only God has the right to call “His Spirit” home. Life enters a human body at conception and life leaves the body at death. Jesus was the perfect example. Jesus was conceived of the Spirit of God. Jesus gave up His “Spirit” on the cross to the Father (Matthew 1:18; 27:5). That is why the “soul” and the “life principle,” within man, can be saved or it can be lost (Matthew 6:25). There is a dimension to life that is beyond the grave. To get there, life has to cross a few hurdles.
What “Role” do I play in “Sustaining Life” on earth?
Life depends on the life of others to exist and to survive. Life does not exist on bread alone, but life exists in relationship to other human beings. There has to be an interaction, a co-operation, and a mutual dependency on each other. One life, by itself, cannot become a family, a community, a state, or even a nation. One life cannot dictate policies or make some set-up rules to govern others. Mutual consent is basic to good leadership and to good organization. Life does best in harmony with others. Life endures longest in a peaceful environment. Human life has been endowed with the potential of creating a mini-utopia on earth. Life can be pleasant and satisfying. Life, itself, is not overly demanding. Life’s basic needs are easily met. It is when life seeks after pleasure that life becomes greedy, and when life covets more than it needs, that life gets out of hand. Then, life disrupts the harmony within the system. Life then sets up classes and casts, which separates and divides life into fragments. Fragmentation makes life weak and useless.
To overcome such disruptions, the situations and the conditions, require to be altered. In most cases, the disrupted life has to be changed and life has to re-adapt into the system. It is similar to a religious conversion experience. Life can only be changed from within before it can reform the community. More than often, that reformed life must seek other lives with the same mentality and environment. A classic example was Adam. The reformed Adam had to leave the comfortable garden and relocate into an unprotected world where he had to contend for himself. It so happens that the new nations were formed by the same principle. England, for instance, shipped their undesirables to Australia and America. Holland shipped her Mennonites to Russia. The United States forced the Mormons to move to Utah. Every creed, culture, and country has some dark spots in its life, which makes it unwilling to provide a place for a life that is different, or even reformed.
In addition to keeping up physically, I am also a “Moral Agent of Christ?”
The instructions Jesus gave to his disciples were also intended for you and for me. We glory in the “Cross of Christ” and bear with dignity our crosses that resemble our Lord’s Cross. We are the “Vessels of Grace” that serve Christ’s redemption in the world. We may not be what the world expects, but we are the ones Christ chooses to show the way back to God and a decent mortal life on earth. And it is the Holy Spirit that engages us in spreading grace in the world.
“If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin;but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It is to fulfil the word that is written in the law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’ But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning (John 15:18-27).
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.”
Where is the wiseman? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.For the Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly
to Geniles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of god is stronger than men.
For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many whereof noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what was low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts boast of the Lord” (I Corinthians 1:18-31).
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow mee. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:24-28).
“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish,all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:27-33).