FELLOWSHIP WITH DIVINITY – DEFINING THE TERMS OF RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LORD AND HIS PEOPLE

All scriptural references given in this text are from the King James version of the bible, except on few occasions where the amplified version of the bible was used. The underlined texts are part of the referenced verse of scripture. The red texts are the points of emphasis.

 

Introduction

In the beginning, when GOD created the first man (Adam), HE (i.e. GOD) would sometimes visit him during the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). From this, we can infer that the relationship between GOD and Adam was a ‘one-way’ relationship, because the LORD was the ONE who was always coming to Adam. After disobeying the LORD by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and all his descendants (i.e. mankind) took on the ‘nature of sin’ (Romans 5:19). Because of this, the one-way relationship between humanity and Divinity was severed (i.e. broken). So all of humanity would grow old and eventually die because there is a disconnection between humanity and the source and foundation of all life, which is Divinity. Recall that concerning CHRIST, the scriptures testify that in HIM was ‘life’ and the ‘life’ was the light of all men (John 1:1-4). In other words, resident in HIM is the ‘life force’ that sustains all of creation, for HE is before all things and by HIM all things consist (Colossians 1:16-17)

Fast forward to the New Testament, CHRIST came and HE established a two-way relationship between the Father and humanity. This time around, man can choose to approach the LORD (Hebrews 4:16, Matthew 11:28), and the LORD can also choose to approach man. CHRIST became the way, the truth, and the life, anyone who chooses to approach the FATHER must go through HIM (John 14:6). So the FATHER encourages us to draw closer to HIM (James 4:8) through the LORD JESUS, for he that comes to the LORD JESUS, HE will in no wise cast out (John 6:37). This is to the end that we would have a united and an unbreakable bond of fellowship with the FATHER (Romans 6:10-11 Amplified Version), for the goal of fellowship with the DIVINE is so that DIVINITY and humanity can become one (i.e. united in perfect harmony) (John 17:21).

 

Old Testament Revelation of the Relationship Between GOD and Mankind

The following verses of scripture reveal the fact that Abraham was GOD’S ‘friend’: 2nd Chronicles 20:7, Isaiah 41:8, and James 2:23. Genesis 18:17-19 (Amplified Version) establishes Abraham to be GOD’S ‘friend’ and ‘servant’. Numbers 12:1-7 and Hebrews 3:5 reveals another form of Old Testament relationship between GOD and mankind, this relationship is one where a man becomes GOD’S ‘servant’. One notable example can be seen in Exodus 28:1-3, where Aaron and his lineage were chosen to be priests who would minister to the LORD in the tabernacle of old. ‘Ministering to the LORD‘ implies ‘service’, also, a priest is one who tends to the ‘service’ of the altar. Another person who had the privileged of becoming GOD’S ‘servant’ and ‘friend’ was Moses. Hebrews 3:5 validates the truth that Moses was GOD’S servant, and Exodus 33:11 revealed that the LORD spoke with Moses face to face, as a man would speak to his friend. Further, all the Old Testament prophets could only relate with the LORD as HIS servants (Amos 3:7). Although the relationship of servanthood and friendship continued in the New Testament, this is specifically for those who are called into ministry.

The Old Testament revealed that GOD could not have a united relationship with mankind, so the ‘closest relationship’ that mankind could have with GOD was either that of a ‘servant’ or a ‘friend’. As a friend, GOD would share HIS ‘secrets and intentions’ with man, and as a ‘servant’ man would be involved in the process of ‘fulfilling’ and ‘establishing’ GOD’S will. On the other hand, one must note that both forms of relationships (friendship and servanthood) are intertwined (i.e. inseparable). The reason why GOD could not have a united relationship with mankind was because, in the Old Testament, mankind only had the sin nature (i.e. the flesh) inherent in him. As a result of this, man would always sin, and his sins would lead to spiritual deathseparation from GOD (Romans 5:12, Isaiah 59:1-2). In the New Testament, those who belong to the LORD have the ‘nature of righteousness in them, and as such, they have ‘right standing with the FATHER.

 

New Testament Revelation of the Relationship Between GOD and Mankind

In the New Testament, the separation between mankind and GOD was taken away. This separation was exemplified by the ‘veil’ of the Old Testament tabernacle. While on the cross, the LORD JESUS said, “it is finished …”(John 19:30), and as HE gave up the ghost, the veil of the tabernacle was rent in two (Matthew 27:50-51). The significance of this was that there is no longer any separation between GOD and mankind, for the ONE who dwells in the holy of holies, beyond the veil, is the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. This also implies that the ‘ultimate atonement for the sins of mankind was completely paid by the LORD JESUS (Hebrews 10:10-12). Since there is no longer any separation between GOD and mankind, those who belong to the LORD can now enjoy an ‘unbroken fellowship‘ with the FATHER (Romans 6:10-11 Amplified Version), because the penalty for their sins have been paid in full by the LORD HIMSELF. This leads us to further New Testament revelations on the subject of relationship between GOD and HIS people.

In John 15:12-15, it was revealed that the LORD JESUS first saw HIS disciples as ‘servants’. But after faithful followership, HE later on saw them as ‘friends’, and this was before HIS crucifixion, that is, before HE paid the penalty for our sins. Here we see the relationship of friendship and servanthood playout again. After HIS crucifixion, and thereafter, HIS resurrection, HE referred to HIS followers as ‘HIS BROTHERS’ (Matthew 28:1-10). For HE became the ‘FIRSTBORN’ amongst ‘many brethren’ (Romans 8:29), and we became ‘joint heirs’ with HIM (Romans 8:16-17). This was the beginning of the ‘united relationship between DIVINITY and humanity.

The Old Testament revealed that the closest relationship between GOD and HIS people was that of ‘servanthood’ and a ‘friendship’, but in the New Testament GOD’S people became HIS ‘children’, and ‘joint heirs’ with CHRIST. Being ‘joint heirs’ with CHRIST implies that we have being united with HIM. This united relationship with CHRIST was revealed in the part of scripture where it states that we abide in CHRIST and HE abides in us, John 14:10-11, 20 speaks of the united relationship between the LORD JESUS and the FATHER, and also between HE and us. By virtue of this united relationship, we share HIS (i.e. JESUS’) ‘divine attributes’ and ‘spiritual designation’ as joint heirs, and we also have access to ‘divine realities’ which were not provided in the Old Testament. The entire book of Ephesians captures most of the divine attributes and realities that we share with CHRIST as joint heirs. The summary of our New Testament relationship with the FATHER is that in terms of union, we became GOD’S children, in other words, we became part of GOD’S family, but in terms of sharing divine attributes and spiritual designation, we became joint heirs. On the other hand, there is some sort of hierarchy that exists amongst GOD’S children. This leads us to further revelations on the subject of ‘spiritual maturity’.

 

Revelations on the Subject of Spiritual Maturity

In Galatians 4:1-7 we can see two hierarchies of spiritual maturity: ‘children’ and ‘sons’. For a child, the HOLY SPIRIT bears witness to the truth that one has been begotten of the FATHER (Romans 8:16). For if anyone does not have the SPIRIT of GOD, such one is not begotten of the FATHER (Romans 8:9). This implies that such one is not a child of the FATHER. At first, the LORD JESUS was refered to as ‘child of the HOLY GHOST‘ (Matthew 1:18), but HE grew spiritually (Luke 2:40) to become a SON of GOD (Matthew 3:16-17). Sons are those who are led by the SPIRIT of GOD (Romans 8:14). So in addition to the fact that the HOLY SPIRIT bears witness to the truth that they are GOD’S children, sons yield themselves to the promptings and leadings of the HOLY SPIRIT frequently, and as such they live to please the FATHER. This was the testimony that the LORD JESUS had the moment the FATHER declared HIM as HIS SON, “This is MY beloved SON, in wWHOM I AM well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17). From the statement in the preceding verse of scripture, we can infer that the FATHER was well pleased with the LORD JESUS. After the declaration of HIS ‘SONSHIP’, HE was ‘led’ by the HOLY SPIRIT to the wilderness (Matthew 3:16,17Matthew 4:1).

All through out HIS three-and-half years in ministry, HE was always being led by the SPIRIT, and HE lived to please the FATHER. In John 5:30, HE said, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge …”. This implies that the HOLY SPIRIT always told him what to say, especially when he was preaching. This goes further to imply that HE was always led by the spirit on what to say whenever HE was preaching. Moses testified concerning the LORD JESUS that the FATHER will put HIS words in the LORD JESUS’ mouth, and HE (i.e. JESUS) will speak to the people all that the FATHER commands (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19). In John 9:4, HE said, “I must work the works of HIM that sent ME, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” – notice the words ‘I must work the works of MY FATHER’. In John 5:17, HE said, “My FATHER worketh hitherto, and I work”, for as HE sees the FATHER do, so will HE do (John 5:19). So, the preceding verses of scripture (John 9:4, John 5:17, and John 5:19) imply that the LORD JESUS lived to serve the FATHER’S will, for HIS meat (i.e. satisfaction and fulfilment) was to do the FATHER’S will finish and to finish HIS work (John 4:34) and by this, HE pleased the FATHER.

How then can one who is still a ‘spiritual child‘ become a ‘son? The two factors for spiritual growth that have been discussed, must be prioritised. These are:

  1. Yielding to the promptings and leadings of the HOLY SPIRIT frequently.
  2. Living to please the FATHER by serving HIS will.

On the other hand, there are spiritual prerequisites which enable us to satisfy or fulfil these two spiritual factors for spiritual growth listed above. These include:

  • A lifestyle of prayer.
  • A consistent devotion to the study of scriptures.

A lifestyle of prayer is a strict recommendation for all GOD’S children to ensure a consistent spiritual growth. This is because prayer edifies spiritually; Jude 1:20 says, “…’build up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the HOLY GHOST”. Without a lifestyle of prayer, the believer will eventually faint, for men ought always to pray and not to faint (Luke 18:1). To this end, all of GOD’S children are encouraged to pray without ceasing (1st Thessalonians 5:17).

On the other hand, a consistent devotion to studying the scriptures is required from all of GOD’S children, for only by desiring the ‘sincere milk’ of the word can one ‘grow’ (1st Peter 2:2), and if you are already a son, then desire the ‘meat’ of GOD’S word (Hebrews 5:12-14).

Beloved, concerning these things which relate to ‘spiritual growth’ and ‘fellowship’ with the FATHER, ‘meditate’ on them, give yourself wholly to them; and your profiting will appear to all (1st Timothy 4:15).

 

 

Selah (Pause and reflect on these things for a moment)!

Written by Arthur Adama

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