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THE INTIMACY OF THE TRINITY AND
THE EXTENSIVE AND SUPERNAL APPLICATION TO MAN
THE GLORIOUS TRINITY AND MAN
Within the Trinity, as we find from the Bible, the verified and validated word of God (cf. Alpha and Omega ... Ch. 3, *12; Let's Be Reasonable, for God is Chs. 2, 5), from the God who cannot lie (Let's Be Reasonable, for God is Ch. 2; Sparkling Life in Jesus Christ Ch. 4; Barbs, Arrows and Balms Ch. 6), there are many marvels. It is natural that this should be so, for when man, the creature, looks to his Creator, then the GROUND and BASIS, the REASON and the WISDOM back of his very being is there. What makes man to have the powers he has, including liberty to lampoon God if he so will - at least for a time, is clearly inordinately superior to what merely possesses these invented powers, wrought by the mind of the Creator, by His powers to inaugurate. If it were not so, it would be a marvel of another kind!
It is revealed that God is a Being who instead of having merely various aspects, as man does, has three distinct, concordant personalities - IS three persons - in and as one Being. Thus man can be viewed in terms of the one who decides, of a person who is the background, then of his expression, the words, and lastly of the implementation, the attuned action. Man himself is a person of various dimensions, depths and possibilities and actualities.
God however is someone categorically more staggering. Yes, it is implied that man's construction is staggering, and his scope of action and function. However, we cannot even begin, rationally to contemplate with the powers at OUR disposal, how to make a spirit, who is able without any predetermination, direction or control from us, how to make another being to take us on, to reply and even to reject what we have in mind, exhibiting freedom to turn in rebellion from all that we have devised in its final and entire orientation.
Instead, WHATEVER we do to make artificial intelligence and its paramours, it is what WE have in mind that is done, whether it be statistical correlation with adjustments to action, in terms of what happens, or anything else.
In such cases, it is we who determine what determines, however indirectly, in whatever systems of thought or enterprise, and we cannot escape this. Even if we had something which attunes itself to what happens in ways we do not entirely understand, yet still, it is our understanding which has devised these, poor though they might be, and accessibility to various systems is by no means freedom (cf. Predestination and Freewill, Licence for Liberty).
God, however, not only IS able to make beings, called man in this instance, who can seek to mould their own psychic matrix by actions of revolt of will, detestation of authority, investment in wild liberties of the libertine or such other machinations and interpretations, clashes and conveniences as may appeal; but those who may love and respect Him, or worship or hold Him in awe. God Himself has such inordinate liberty that grand as man's liberties are, God's freedom is far beyond this. With Him, there is neither constraint nor limitation, for what COULD constrain or limit HIM would BE God, the basis of all, and rational ground for anything.
He IS what He pleases; and indeed, it is only by knowing Him, who has such powers, that any person can BE what he pleases, and even that - since man is now a fallen remnant of his created self, inured and travailing - is only by the grace and mercy, the interposition and foreknowledge of God, who knows man better than even he can know himself (cf. To Know God ... Ch. 1. Serenity not Serendipity Ch. 12, Lights and Perfections Ch. 1). Only through, by and in Him, can one escape the considerations of a damaged responder, and know the truth. Moreover, it is necessary for Him to act, so that what is now possible becomes actual. For that there needs to be a transformation that permits the transition, though a prelude can stir the soul and acquaint the heart with the nature of the situation.
God is both the author and the prototype (except that He is not any type, but resembles one only in this, that His is the fountain, we are the stream) of freedom, the Lord of liberty and the King of command. As in any invention, there are things to be done and not to be done, for it may break, or be spoiled, or become a liability in dysfunction; and indeed, man becomes just this, through sin, through rebellion, through the art of liberty from the artifices of the all-knowing God, who permits abuse of Himself and does not exclude assault on His name, or in the case of His prophets, on His disciples. The Cross of Christ was the finale of this love, and wonderful it is; and it is the beginning for any who prefer light to darkness, truth to folly and wisdom to woe, such as is wrought by unconscionable abuse of God, of His works or His ways, which are indeed everlasting (Habakkuk 3:6). It enables pardon, clearance of static, removal of foreclosures on truth, opening of heart to heart communication between creature and Creator.
Thus His Being has a liberty which is original and both the beginning and the end of all liberty. If He makes someone in His own image (clearly not eternal in kind, since it has to begin, but able to be eternal from then on, since with God nothing will be called impossible - except in the case where His will is to the contrary, leaving an item a determinate, residual matter), then likenesses in fellowship and aspiration to be like Him in spirit, and unlikenesses in obtrusive refusal to have anything to do with Him, these readily follow. Friendship is through an open door (John 10:9,27-28). There are of course total diversities of status, since the infinite must be above and beyond the finite, except through permission to rove, with His own aid, should be given. Indeed, we learn that if we seek Him with all the heart, He will be found (Jeremiah 29), and with this we are told WHERE this is (Galatians 6:14), and when (Isaiah 55:6).
Further, whereas man is a person with a mind and will and expressive power and ability to act and to superintend the provisions of his own will, albeit limited, God is three Persons, There is He who sends, He who is sent and He who superintends and applies. This at least gives a beginning of understanding in terms of the biblical depiction, which being His own, is the only one to be trusted or used where truth is the criterion (as in I Corinthians 2:9-13, where God searches the very deep things by His Spirit to transmit to man by revelation). It is very God whom we know, and not another; and the perfection is this, that since He is always what He would be, and time is a mere invention for creation, with its waiting and conditions, therefore once you know God, you know someone more permanent than the familiar hills, the grandeur of the ocean and the majesty of the Alps. For His children, this knowledge increases as the familiar neighbourhood of the spirit, just as with parents when one is a child in one's home.
God has the name Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each a Person, each infinitely intimate. The Son may be named Word as in John 1*1, which in the Greek equally means the expression, the One who acts as cause and executive, but also as portrait and exact image of God. He is the Son both in a non-biological sense, for God has no beginning nor any change (Psalm 102, Hebrews 1, 13), as of One proceeding from the Father, as water from a lake*2, and in a unique sense resulting from the inner counsel of God (Ephesians 1:11), who works all things after the counsel of His own will. Thus when God instituted the virgin birth (Matthew 1) in order to have in Himself, the means of sacrificial substitution in their very place, for those who receive it from Him, that is, for the atonement, He became what He was already in Spirit, namely the Saviour in practice and in grand wisdom (Hebrews 2).
It was then that the Word became indeed even in a human sense, His Son, and in view of the work to be done, being the once only sacrifice (Hebrews 9), He became His only begotten Son, the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary as in Luke 1:35.
ONE in Being, THREE in Persons who comprise that Being, a Spirit unlimited by the subtle, the profound and the express limitations of matter, which is merely a creation, God provides ONE salvation by ONE man, the incarnate Word, the only begotten Son of God, who in ONE act, on ONE Cross wrought one eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12), which has outcomes which last for ever (Hebrews 10:10,14, John 3:16, Titus 2-3). Like the creation, these things are wrought entirely by God without any aid from anyone (Isaiah 44:24, Psalm 100, Ephesians 2, II Timothy 4). Whether the birth of an idea, a universe, of mankind or of salvation for him, by His grand salvation plan, it is the product, the result, resultant, of the One who does it; and it is His own.
So is salvation, like creation, a thing sure, and more sure, since that was the act of implementation; but salvation is the action of death in our format, on the part of Him who made us, an infinitely grander thing, and of course, the final reason for changing the day of rest (from HIS works) to Sunday, which was by far His greatest work, requiring of us, both in justice and worship itself, just that day for the original purpose: the completion of rest.
The one in seven was for the creation MODE and need; the change of WHICH one was a work of salvation FOR the ruined product. In being personal in its mode, involving death and its breach, this last work of all works, is justly the day of worship, when indeed they COULD again worship in faith, having seen on that very day, the work to end works, at the foundational level, the very ratification of the reality of IMMORTALITY for man, through faith in Him. What a marvel! instead of being buried in death's domain, man could and many would be found in a death-free glory which is the ultimate sharing with God, as adopted children of His very own, by purchase, the adoption papers signed in blood (cf. Matthew 26:28, Ephesians just as the creation is no mirage, we being part of it! Hence it is free (as in Romans 3:23-27, Ephesians 1:7). To this adoption, there is no end (cf. Ephesians 1:11).
Whoever therefore wants even in part to pay for it is like the man in the parable of Matthew 22 who, although able to put on a wedding garment for the wedding, came in his normal clothes, and for this reckless rankness, was cast out. You come by invitation, and need new clothing even for the heart (John 3), through regeneration indeed. It is a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17ff.) which is involved, and your adoption papers are faith in the infallible Christ, in His death in atonement, in His life breaching death's grip in His very body, aroused, arisen, triumphant.
Now we come to our theme for this Chapter. Just AS God is three Persons, one Being, and just as He acts thus in concert, and in love, for God IS love (that is, nothing contrary to it in essence is permissible or included or characterisable - John 4:7ff.): SO man is a sphere of outreach BY and FOR His Spirit, in TERMS of His Word, and its written formulation for salvation, the Gospel of grace. That Spirit comes from the Father and is sent by the Son (John 15:26).
It is He, the Spirit of God, who meeting the spirit of man, presses the truth home; and it is the Word of God, incarnate as Jesus Christ, who IS the truth which is pressed home, He being the express image of God, the living and eternal expressiveness of all that the Father is.
As God in three Persons operates on man, for man, out of love, so man is affronted, confronted, drawn to the Lord, the Saviour, who died; and his spirit is subject to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit where the case arises, in a telling manner, so that the truth appears. Man is incapable of knowing spiritual things (I Corinthians 2:14) in his own unconverted, diverted self, but by no means incapable of being met and vitalised by the presence of God, so that truth appears and sin is revealed for what it is, a sort of spiritual madness, whether in sedate mode or manic, so that man moves where he is to go.
This in foreknowledge all is known to God, who is not limited by the seasons of and reasons for sin, but sees beyond pathology to reality, and knowing His own, finds them.
Indeed, He would have all, bring all to reconciliation by Christ's blood, and says so (Colossians 1:19ff.)'; but He does not charge in like a bull, or steal like someone who drugs his prey; but He acts in terms of the will of man which in His ultimate knowledge, may be set for ever against Himself. This He exposes as seems fitting, as HE is well able: just as, on the other side, He gives this, the truth to the sinning soul, while opening the valves, the access routes to the very depths of the heart, wrongly dominated as it is. From these things, He is able to present to man his plight, His right and His redemption through the Cross of Christ.
Man thus may find in his heart this or that part of the entirety of the divine work on his soul, accomplished in vision and in essence, before time was; and he is received into or rejected from eternity in life, as the Lord sees fit. It is He who knowing the truth, and desiring to find all, yet does not press as if it were a mere take-over. He does not need to: love and wisdom are both infinite, and hence truth wins, love being chaste, mercy being tumultuous and sickness surpassable in the source both of health and of creation itself. Whether to man, the thing seem like a dream undesired, or becomes like the light of common day when the Sun of righteousness arises in his heart, it is God who having known all before time, before sin put its clammy hand on man's spirit, brings light and love. This, it is not curtailed by eternal knowledge, but on the contrary, it is made perfect through it.
Many who will never know God may experience vast movements of the Spirit of God, but some will not come, though they may taste, only to spit out the heavenly gift. The intensity of the love of God is not to be diminished by any over-blown theology. It is undimmable, undiminishable, and no mystery except in one thing, that anyone could SO love as HE does! That is the empirical, the actual fact. It is not only, then, the extent of His love, who would have all reconciled by the blood of His Son, but the quality of it. He would rather weep in Jerusalem than merely dazzle and work a public relations triumph. HIS is truth. He would rather lose some than gain all, if the only way to gain all were to remove the very nature of their souls, and make them over again without consulting what they are, their nature, or knowing finally and ultimately in Himself, their preference.
That is precisely why He so often and so plaintively, so piteously seeks and speaks to man, but does not simply intervene. It is not that He does not know His own mind, but having created man in His own image, He refuses to violate what He made in order to 'save' it, but insists on dealing with it as it is, standing afar off is need be, when the soul is moved to its ultimate disaster.
Since He knew from the beginning the result in the end (cf. Isaiah 46:8), this might be thought to diminish His ardour and zeal, but the most passing reference to the Bible reveals to the contrary impassioned appeals and searching exhortations of the heart. Knowing a result does not diminish the reality of the love, which neither time nor space can alter. His depth does not qualify His intensity, for time is a mere vehicle. His living love and loving life surpasses time, and seeing beyond it, acts in it. What a God we have, who hold fast to Him!
In fact, it takes a lot to get to hell, but some seem bent on it. They CANNOT and WILL not abide God. He knows it all and has always known it, so that the outcome being before Him, the income accords with it. Nevertheless, so GREAT is His love that a sense of mourning may come to those who eventually reject Him, like Esau. It is stupendously pitiful, but TRUTH will NOT subvert, and God Himself once for all is on record that although He SO loved the world (and the topic is God, the world and those to be saved in it) that He allowed His infinitely intimate Son, incarnate, to die that those who believe indeed in Him should not perish, yet despite this, it is the WILL, the PREFERENCE of man that corrupts, corrodes, collapses the mission for some. His love was not a love of objects, but subjects (cf. Great Execrations ... Chs. 7 and 9, The Glow of Predestinative Power Ch. 4).
This by no means militates against the almighty character of God, for love (for which He, in the stated sense, is the prototype) is like that. It may have the utmost desire for the friendship, for the collegiate status, even for the hand in marriage of someone, but IF that one does not desire it, then neither does love pursue it, except to the point that truth may be exposed. Love is stronger than death, but not intractable where it is rejected.
Having made man in His own image, God does NOT, repeat not, directly or indirectly subvert, secure the heart anyway. It is He who states the correct approach: HE would, but man WOULD NOT, where such is the outcome. THAT is the divine statement on the relevant dynamics (John 3:16-19).
It is not that man CAN simply opt, though fallen for God; but that God KNOWS, and indeed foreknows the truth in the terms in which HE has stated it. Before time, He knows in time, in a timely fashion, and fashions events accordingly (Ephesians 1:11).
Now the Spirit of God, with all these depths and wonders, in pity, in comforting assurances, in conviction of sin, in testimony of truth, in gracious revelation of judgment that all must meet, either as saved and hence delivered from it, or rejecting salvation and hence liable in truth for it, moves upon the face of man, on his heart, through his mind. AS He moved on the face of the waters in the creation (Genesis 1), so He moves on the face of the hearts of mankind.
The revelation of the meaning of the Cross of Christ, its background in foreknowledge, its performance as a work by the Saviour, its outcome in free salvation, both as to mode and as to access (Romans 5:15, Ephesians 2): all this the Spirit of God can bring like a Summer's day in its brightness, an ocean-scape in its majesty, to the heart of man. God is not blocked by the obstructions of pathology, but is able to bypass its despicable ministrations with His own, and does so where in foreknowledge, those who are His are exposed. It is not that others may not feel impending and impervious, the love of God; but that they are not liberated, since liberation is not their love, as known before all time to God (Ephesians 1:4).
It is as impossible to defile the purity of God as to dupe His righteousness. He WILL have it, and if there is no transactional truth in the cover of guilt by His blood, through the operation of faith in His ministrations, His only (Ephesians 2), then He will NOT be manoeuvred into sentiment. In heaven, all is clear and cleared. There are no undrawn cheques, or cheques outstanding.
Those who in God's own knowledge have opted away, these may indeed experience (for pathology disturbs, without wholly denaturing its victim) much of these impending realities, and realise their personal responsibility'; for THEY ARE responsible for their own exclusion, since God affirms this of them. In this case, though His love extended toward them all in sincerity and even in passion, yet not shanghaied, they stay on the other side: some, they fall, fail, wilt, depart.
It is NOT that this is a sad fate, starkly and without qualification. It is nothing of the kind. It is a sad preference on the part of those whom God IN His desire for all (as also in Colossians 1:19, I Timothy 2, Ezekiel 33:11, for HE is no respecter of persons), in chaste love does not penetrate. For them, therefore, there is no enduing of eternal life, though vast is His yearning for them (cf. Luke 19:42ff., Jeremiah 9, 48). God's continual yearning and seeking and appealing and exhorting of Israel as in Jeremiah 1-17, for example, as reviewed in Ezekiel 20 for instance, as seen in the case of the rich young ruler, whom Christ statedly loved (Mark 10:17ff.), is pervasive in the Bible (cf. SMR Appendix B, Gratitude for His Glorious Grace Ch. 2).
It is not His inaction, inattention, lack of desire, that is the reason. He does not engage in extravaganzas of His love and His revulsion from the rejection of His salvation because He is impotent; for He is almighty. It is not because anything is beyond Him, but that it is beyond HIS love that anything which ultimately, when all is done and known, prefers NOT to be His, should nevertheless BE His. His love refuses the scenario where its object to be forced or bypassed, directly or indirectly - since He IS the truth. He will NOT savingly operate when that being, made in His image, is not known BY HIM, beyond all the insidious slitherings of distorting sin, to prefer it.
To come down from the Cross would have been not a display of power, but of cowardice and imperiousness. HE HIMSELF made it apparent that there was no other way (Luke 22:42). HENCE that would be yielding in weakness, not parading in strength. Hence appeared the irony of the matter, when some said they would believe IF HE DID come down! Similarly here, it is not an exhibition of weakness on the part of God that He does not just take whatever He wants in the way of the souls and hearts of men.
That would be a weakness, since His exposed and multiply illustrated method, and His stated principle is this: that HE WOULD like to have all, seeks all, but WILL NOT, repeat not, subvert, secure by any means whatsoever which imply force or embezzlement of reality, overthrow of the very nature of the person created, will not use subversion or mere adjustment. EITHER the person comes, in HIS sight, freely or not at all.
Being chaste, to be sure, DOES require self-control; but that is a strength, not a weakness.
Just as the three Persons of the Trinity, then, relate in such intimacy, SO the Lord comes in the Person of the Saviour, the Father sends that same Saviour (as in Isaiah 48:16, John 3:16) and the Spirit of God reveals and applies the meaning of that same Saviour (John 16:8ff.), glorifying Him, and not speaking on His own authority, since the WORD is the Christ (John 16:13). Such are the planes of influence from God to man, and within man, made in God's image.
Out from heaven comes the Son via a virgin; out on earth goes the Son to death, via a cross, condemned and hated; on from heaven comes the Spirit of God, who moves into the hearts of mankind, WITH the Gospel of grace, founded in the work of the Son, wrought in the wisdom of the Father. Then and in such ways as these, the person of man, his spirit in its rovings and ponderings; the mind of man, his power to consider with acumen and understanding of separable aspects; and the placement of man, with all his opportunities and applications in this vast, wide world of events: this little trilogy of a human being, he is met. He is divinely met.
He ponders. He pouts, he routs, he retorts, pursues his torts, fears, feels, considers, meditates, and the Lord works through him and upon him, as He has foreknown, and rescues His own.
THE DEPTH OF THE LOVE WHICH DESPISES NOTHING,
BEING DESPISED THAT WE MIGHT NOT BE
The result is the truth, whichever way it goes. It is delicious, delightful, stunningly superb. How and why is this so ? someone may ask. It is in this. SINCE God IS God (and let God BE God, if you have any wisdom at all, for without this, you are assured of confusion, since you then depart from necessary truth cf. Let God be God!), there is no possible error. NO ONE who MIGHT have been saved, will fail to be so. Thus Christ, as seen in John 15:23ff., explicitly stated that IF He had not come and done two things, then those to whom He then spoke "would have no sin." Since all are sinners, the point is relevant to the context which is one of destiny and ultimacy, in terms of man before God.
The issue was and is eternity, what Christ has to give, eternal life, to those believing in Him (cf. John 6:47). They would not, He asseverated, be held responsible IF He had NOT come and done these two things in their very midst. What WERE those two things ?
The first was this: that He had come and spoken the words which He had, and which no other man had done. The second, it was that He had come and done the works which He had, and which no other had done. The words told the truth, and His actions showed its power and reality. BECAUSE, however, He in fact had done these two things, made an exhibit of the very base and point of the Gospel and the need for God's salvation in Him, as of His power to give it, then the situation changed for them. He who was sent to secure and grant and achieve salvation justly for man, in mercy, having shown its nature and His nurture and power, and indeed having fulfilled what was required which none but God COULD: then the case changed categorically, and in fact catastrophically.
NOW, they had "no excuse for their sin," (John 15:22).
What, you may say, is so beautiful about that ? Do you not see ? The core of pity is what might have been and is not. If something could not have been otherwise, then it is mere event, disembowelled from all personality, responsibility and concern (speaking in the ultimate sense). In that case, we are not dealing where pity dwells. If someone insists on folly despite all, then this is the disposition of the heart, and sad as it is, grievous even, it is the outcome of the income which IS that person.
SINCE God foreknows all persons, and has foreknown His OWN, therefore no one is going to be lost who might, in the love of God, have been saved. IF YOU, for example, right now, wish you could be saved, yet are not, then there is no room rationally at all for you to talk of God's reluctance. HE is not reluctant, but SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that anyone who believes in Him should not perish. If you insist on trusting in yourself, your culture, your world, all of which in this format pass away, what folly! Yet is it this that you DO! You do not have to do it, for God seeks all and no technicality can stop Him, with whom we have to do. Judge yourself. You do not want it, so be it. HE in the background is the basis of all mercy and how often would He have gained you; but you would not.
But this is not so! someone cries. I DO desire God. Very well, HERE is the beauty. Come, simply come, put your sins on the Lamb of God, as the all-sufficient cover without compromise, yield yourself by His grace (HE knows how to do all these things) and submitting to His divine counsel, rejoice in God your Saviour. Seek with heart and spirit, will and mind to do whatever thing is His will. With love like this of His, and this is another beauty, who would NOT want to do that will; with truth that is sparklingly brilliant, who would want a lie! With the beauty of holiness so starkly different from the sagas of sin (whether intended or not, it is still sin, falling short of what should be), there is the way. It is not one not costly in areas you cannot pay, but simply requires a surrender to Him who surrendered Himself for you, that sin might not conquer you and send you into those travails of mind, soul and judgment which God would desire to demit from you, while remitting salvation and in it, remitting sin.
If this be the case, then the stage is set: SO ACT! (cf. John 1:12).
THE BEAUTY OF HIS PLAN AND PERFORMANCE:
PERFECTION IN HIS WAKE, GLORY IN HIS WILL
If this is not beautiful, what would or could be. Love in person, more beautiful than the rainbow in the clouds; effectuality in action, more total than any creation of man, enduring, simple and yet profound; chasteness in enterprise, showing restraint that starkly amazes, warmth in desire, not coldness of heart, realism in route and duty, arousing the heart, frankness of truth, satisfying the mind; reliability of redemption, giving rest to the soul! it is all there. Who would NOT praise God for this, and join the saints as shown in Revelation 7 and 14, in their praises of Him to whom salvation belongs, and in whom we who are His belong!
Are you concerned about being determined, directed, made a sucker to culture, to kings, to classes, to wealth, to trickery, treachery, forces of historical this and that, and to being mere flotsam and jetsam left high, at high tide, on the sands of meaningless expanse ? Are you afraid on the other hand, of your imagined enormous powers, and of how to use them responsibly, when on all sides, you are eroded, incommoded, overthrown, uplifted for a time, dashed, exalted, humbled ? Does power appal you for yourself, or does its subversion attract, when it is from others ? Are you concerned about being an individual who counts, and can do more than count various forces, and find some substitute for life amid the throng ?
Then here lies deliverance from both extremes. Quite simply, basically man is not autonomous: he is too limited, and sin blinds, so that even when he may feel romantically the captain of his soul and master of his fate (till a car swipes his, crossing the freeway inadvertently, as drugs take effect on its driver), he is not. Emphatically he is not. Though responsibility is indeed his for his various contributions, all power is not his, and in a moment, pride is swept as by a tsunami, with merely a breath preceding. Is it merely swamped in the run and ruin of events ?
To some extent, for the non-Christian this is so. He is like chaff which the wind blows away (Psalm 1). That is, the one who is not interested in Christ the Saviour is indeed dislodged from his place in the Creator, and HENCE vulnerable to passing winds of false teaching, understanding; and is a liability to life (cf. Ephesians 4:14). He has some capacity to will, despite being blind to the uttermost and ultimate features of the life which God made for companionship with Himself. Yet this is swallowed up, like Jonah in the midst of the great fish (probably a whale-shark, which can reach enormous dimensions and has a relevant air-pouch).
It IS possible to live that way. It is like being a pen which 'lives' on a mat for scraping shoes from mud. It does not belong where it is, and has some potential; but is out of the way.
Again, man is not merely a rump, a fiction for responsibility, a mutt for direction. He has standards. Admittedly, these are often self-deceptive, and this cannot be escaped unless you know the truth, which is not a part of everything, but its basis, in God. It is He who has His own exclusively governed manner of approach - John 14:6, as might well be expected. He has ideals. He has ideas. He has priorities. man even then, has a certain significance. Yet this approaches insignificance when so little so readily can destroy, twist, de-frame, defame, distort, deceive.
WHEN he returns where he belongs, then the ignominy or the insanity, the depression or the paranoia, the self-deception or the blatancy, all is forgotten. Now he KNOWS where he belongs, who is going with him, why and to some extent even how, by His Spirit and His Word, with His written word, the Bible, as a criterion not to be breached. He LOVES the power, the authority, the peace, the joy, the personal nature of God, and freely seeks to observe His ways and delight in His presence, which is not too hard, since He IS delightful. However, He is not, in one way, more delightful than an atomic bomb, if you insist on destroying what He has created, by not turning it in and over to Him, and so acting like what you are not, namely a god. Fiction in the end frizzles before fact.
Responsibility, however, without autonomy means faith with availability, challenge with means to meet it, a journey with a travelling companion, a life not so vulnerable that it is mere waste at the passion of another, nor yet so robust that it determines as if a god. It becomes a matter of being a child of God, and AS a child, being ready to grow up in Him, in patience, grace, robust understanding and love. It then puts man back where he was designed to be: a responsible being with liberty to act contrary to God, but ways to work with Him.
It means now that having had to act to deliver man from his pitiful and fateful digressions from his intended life, God who being truth does not pretend, but died in Christ to save many children for eternity, now brings to man the delight of His being, the joy of knowing Him, the power for following Him and the courage for meeting the forces of rebellion. It is these which seek not only to steal the universe from God, but to subvert salvation by every manner of false sect, doctrine, remoulding, adding, subtracting as if there were no power to create their own religion.
In fact, most of the religions of the world are derivatives from God*5, by distortion and deceit, synthesis or other meddling. They take some of the Bible, and not the rest; they put works in place of rest in free salvation; they shirk or shrink the cross and its requirements to forsake all, and its free gift of eternal life from the deity who, being incarnate in Christ, did all required. They have another prophet, such as Muhammad, add his things, even if in self-contradiction, endorsing Old Testament prophets while heartily denying their message (cf. SMR pp. 1080ff.). They have other christs, messiahs (Israel even had one who died a few years ago, attracting some), false prophets, and altogether mimic the day of Israel which led to its fateful crucifixion of the only Saviour there is or ever will be (Acts 4:11-12, Isaiah 43:10-11, Hebrews 13:8, Revelation 5, 20-22) ... to this, and to all that followed.
Let them. The singularity of God remains. In that, singularity the Trinity remains; for God is like no other, and one of the ways in which this is true, is in His triune quality; for three Persons are operative together with spiritual liaison, mutual accord, equality of nature, specialisation of task (cf. SMR pp. 532ff.). From Him, in the way described and stated in the Bible, comes the great 'front' to man, reaching him like the glorious meteorological marvels which traverse the ocean and anoint the land, pulsing, moving in mist, covering up greatness with greatness, and leaving the air clear. THIS front however will never be in the rear; for to Him who DID it, what it took to make these realities clear and beautiful and holy, freely available to man, comes ineradicably forward, for nothing that can alter (Galatians 1, 3, 6). It flows so, because God Himself is unalterable, knowing all and having resolved all things before anything was made (Romans 8:29ff., Ephesians 1:4, Isaiah 46:8).
From Him and to Him are all things (Romans 11:36); and one of those last ones, it may be you; or it may not. For this, you are responsible, and this gives to you a place and an opportunity, a meaning and a value, a resolution and a reality which is overwhelmingly great, gloriously simple and under the protective hand of God.
Come therefore, if you have not already done so, and being a child of God, inhabit life, and inherit it eternally.
See The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch. 10
See A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 12.