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A Special Vessel, A Secret Place Formed from the Potter’s Wheel

All Creation is Fashioned Unique Yet Similar for The Unified Glory of God

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In Psalms 139: 14-16  God is speaking to the writer and informs him that he and all of creation was created before the existence of known time in Heaven and that man was fashioned out of the clay of the Earth each for a specific plan or design.  This purpose, which is not hidden from anyone but rather is reveled to all, is to be used to be serve his Glory in all things in every thought, feeling and action.

To fully understand this Jeremiah writes ,“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future ( Jer. 29:11 NIV).”’ Furthermore, Jesus commissioned us all for one purpose, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (Matt. 28:19-20 NIV) .” This directive is edified by but a single twofold command, “Love God with all Your Heart and Love and teach people to do the same thing for my Glory (Matt. 22: 36:40).”

When all the above verses are taken in conjunction they simply, state God has given each person a set of unique skills and the potentiality to learn specific skills and experience life for his glory.

All that we are given, think feel and experience are meant to serve his divine purpose for the restoration of creation that is the result of Mankind’s’ fallen state of Sin. However, humanity was and is justified and redeemed by the gracious and merciful love offering on the Cross-through his Only Sone Jesus Christ who will return and complete what was finished on Mount Calvary when he returns to reign as King of Heaven and Earth. Until such a time we as God’s stewards or managers of creation must prepare ourselves, others creation for his return.

Furthermore, as love can never be coerced, manipulated, or forced. Only those that chose to accept and believe are granted citizenship and the inheritance to the Kingdom of God and transformation into the exactness of Christ. All others will pay the full penalty of sin, which is total separation and death form eternal life and God himself (Premise of Gospel of Romans). Finally, each of us must do our part in maturation or growth, by renewing our heart and mind to become more like Christ (Phil.1-6, Rom. 12-15) with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

Intriguingly many draw a correlation to The Secret Place” in Psalms 139 with the womb. The traditional interpretation would be to view this as Heaven or alternatively to be within God himself at beginning of time before time began on earth during instances when God began forming but did not fill creation (Genesis 1).  However, as Adam was created after God’s initial in Genesis 1 and Humanity descended and evolved after the initial fall in the Garden this is also an accurate and relative interpretation.

As stated in Matthew 10 God values all life and all creation nothing is insignificant or unworthy in God’s eye and God loves all things unconditionally and provides for all creation with grace and mercy despite any intention, instinctive action, thought feeling or reaction.    Thus, God desires all creation for a relationship with him and all human interaction or our relationships should imitated of function in the same manner as the Trinity.

In such a dynamic the father, son and The Spirit which is viewed as the female aspect of God in some translations of scripture (The Septuagint for example)[1], each have distinct or unique duties, characteristic and personalities or qualities but are able to perform the duties or functions of the other personas office.

This form of Empowerment or interdependent relationship model respects and embraces the unique strengths and weakness of each member of a family or group and combines them into a cohesive unified element supporting diversity and unity giving strength and enabling positive growth and development for the greater good of all members of the social dynamic involved (Balswick & K, 2014).

In Matthew 10: 29-31 Jesus is addressing the issue of fear and worry. Jesus states, That God loves and addresses the needs of all his people and Children.  Additionally, Jesus emphasizes, all of his creation has worth and value.

The vision given to Peter by Christ in The Account and Gospel of Acts is often considered to be addressing the issue of Judaic dietary restrictions however, Luke recording of the account further drives this point home. The basic premise states, that God has never made nor would ever make any junk (Acts 10: 9-16).

Finally while we all are sinners having weaknesses and excessive characteristics. Some of these traits and shortcomings are innate to our nature while others develop from our interactions and reactions to people and forces outside of us. Additionally each of us have innate talents and developed strengths or skills and abilities.

Both the Prophets and Paul proclaims, “Has the potter no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor (Rom 9:21) HCSB)?” “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed ( 2 Cor 4:7-9 NIV).” How the precious children of Zion, once worth their weight in gold, are now considered as pots of clay, the work of a potter’s hands ( Lam. 4:2!)” “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. “We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand (Isa. 64:8).”

Thus, each individual and creation are fashioned for different plans but serving only one purpose to live in worshipful glory for God in the Spirit of love and unity both in a quantitative manner ( Works / reactive process) and qualitative way ( deeds/ active process).  All interact, are shaped and respond to our initiate nature and nurture as we mature. (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014) In addition forces outsides of us transform us as we live in and by faith through the various continual stages of life from conception (Martorell, Papalia, & Feldman, 2014) to one’s transformation- Resurrection and final restoration into the Eikōn of Christ (  Eccl. 3, Rm 8, James 1).

In God, Christ and Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

Word Count # 1167

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References

Balswick, J. O., & K, B. J. (2014). The Family. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic.

Martorell, G., Papalia, D. E., & Feldman, R. D. (2014). A Child’s World: Infancy through Adolescence (13th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill Education.

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[1]“If anyone loves righteousness, the products of righteousness are the virtues. For wisdom teaches self-control, discernment, righteousness and courage, Concerning which things there is nothing more valuable in the life of man. But also, if anyone longs for great experience, She knows the things of old and portrays the things to come; She understands subtlety of words and the solution of riddles; She has foreknowledge of signs and wonders, And the outcomes of times and seasons( Ws. 8:7 OSB).

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Three Testimonies:

The Providence of the Holy Spirit

& the Early Believers in Acts

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One could argue that a suitable Title for Acts would be The Acts of the Holy Spirt as the Book of Acts of the Apostles depicts the Holy Spirit as the inspiration behind the preaching, the source of protection the provider, of miracles, healing signs and wonders and the comforter throughout the Book. The Holy Spirit is often depicted as fire, water or wind. Additionally, “In the New Testament the Holy Spirit is the instrument of Baptism, prophecy, and judgement and a source of unity and the instrument of service. Furthermore he is our seal of the inheritance of the kingdom and intercedes on behalf of the saints to serve the Father’s will.”[1]

The Significance of Stephen’s Dying Vision of Jesus

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The significance of Stephen’s vision  (Acts 7: 55-56 )while “being full of the Spirit and see Jesus standing at the throne as the son of man at the right side of the father serves a duality of meaning. First, the vision has Jesus Christ hyper-exalted and at the right side of the God-The Father it shows a position of Authority. Additionally, confirmation to the fact that Jesus Christ was resurrected and ascended in both human form and divinity is stated by the usage of the terminology “Son of Man” as Stephen proclaims the vision before the Sanhedrin preceding his execution. It also, in the use of the Son of God confirms that Jesus is God, sent by God as Messiah and in his ascension equal to God. The Standing position serves a duality of purpose to show that God through the Authority of Christ is welcoming Stephen in Heaven. In Addition it serves to illustrate that Jesus Christ is standing to pass judgement on the Sanhedrin and those who persecute the faithful, rejected the teachings of all the prophets on the coming and fulfillment of Salvation through the righteous one. He finally charges them with being guilt of the murder of Christ, and it the future they will continue to persecute the saints (Acts 7:52-53). These saints are the  believers who spread the Gospel thus serving  the advancement of the Great Commission or  Kingdom Fulfillment of Salvation availability to All people as this is  the will of God and thus persecutors are guilty of not living under the Law  and failing to fulfil God’s will for Israel, and denying the Holy Spirit( Acts 7:51-53). Polhill states “In Daniel 7:14 the Son of Man vision is used to illustrate God’s Providence or dominion over All peoples of every nation, and every language.”[2] This supports the role of the Holy Spirit as the Agent of Inspiration, gifting provider of miracles, wonders,  and signs and the Authority of Christ as Ruler of Heaven and Earth and judge and the unstoppable nature of God’s will over any of manmade desires or creations ( Acts: 7: 39- 50) .

Cornelius & the Necessity of the Gospel

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Cornelius and his household are stated by Luke as being God-Fearers and one can easily draw an assumption this applies were familiar with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the disciples. However, a closer look at Acts 10:2 simply states he was God-fearing, prayed regularly, and gave to the needy. In Acts 10:4 God sends an Angel to him because his deeds of prayer and gifts have gained the notice and favor of God. He is told to send for Peter. The next day at noon during prayer, Peter has his vision of the eating of unclean food, as “nothing created by God is unclean. Followed by the Holy Spirit announcing the arrival of the entourage of Cornelius and invited the men in as guest and the next day sets out to meet with Cornelius(Acts 10: 9:23) .” At Cornelius house Peter stresses it against the Law of God for him even associate with a Gentile because he is unclean but God had called him to do so. They  share an exchange of the visions given by the God to them and Peter remarks that He knows that God does not discriminate or show favoritism accepting all who worship him and do what is right.(Acts 10: 34-35) . Peter then begins to preach the Gospel in a unique manner from his other speeches but is interrupted when the entire audience composed of Cornelius and his household, his relative and close friends are baptized by the Spirit and then begin Speaking in tongues. Later he orders them to be baptized in Water in the Name of Christ and brought into the Body of Christ. The question is if Cornelius is God-fearing then why did Peter feel the need to proclaim the Gospel? Polhill explains this in the following manner.” Peter’s unique tailoring of the Gospel is based on Peter’s view that God does not discriminate and thus there is no division of people from a divine perspective. However, God does discriminate on an individual’s actions and attitudes, He accept those who worship, him and live in a manner that is acceptable to his ways. Polhill goes on to state that although one may view this as theology of Saving Grace more accurately it can be seen more in line with the view presented by James the faith and works are inseparable.[3]

The Significance in a Name:  Christians in Antioch

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The term Christian is historically associated with Books of Acts and the Church of Antioch. It only occurs in Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16. The Term was not originally used by the believers themselves but by outsiders to designate members of the faith. The first usage to designate fellow believers can be traced to the second century to Ignatius, the Bishop of Antioch; Roman writers to designate followers of Christ more commonly used it. The preferred term was Brother, Believer, or Disciple.[4] In contrast the Judaic Church preferred the term Disciple of the Way, Believer, Brother, or simply Disciple.  What is the significance of the term Christian between the Hellenist Church of Antioch and the Gentile Churches that sprang fourth from this movement? According to Polhill, this reflects the success of the Gentile movement and the distinction of identity.[5] No Longer could the church be seen as an exclusive Jewish sect or movement rather it had distinct identity. More so, it illustrates the view of the Global nature and inclusiveness of salvation and the breaking down of nationalism and cultural barrios. From now on God’s concern is nondiscriminatory except in manners of conduct and behavior that are against God’s own nature.

When the three testimonies on the Providence of the Holy Spirit are combined it illustrates God’s unstoppable nature authority, the inclusiveness of Salvation, the inseparability of faith and works, the Homoousios (of same form & essence), and ultimately the judgement of those who deny Christ and the will of God.

In God, Christ, & Spirit,

Trent Rindoks

 

Bibliography

Caulley, T.S. “Holy Spirit.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, by Walter A Elwell, 569-570. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001.

Polhill, John B. The New American Commentary. Vol. 26. Nashville: BroadmenPress, B&H Publishing Group, 1992,2003.

 

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[1] Caulley, T.S. “Holy Spirit.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, by Walter A Elwell, 569-570. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001.

 

[2] Polhill, John B. The New American Commentary. Vol. 26. Nashville: BroadmenPress, B&H Publishing Group, 1992,2003.

 

[3] Caulley, T.S. “Holy Spirit.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, by Walter A Elwell, 569-570. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001.

Polhill, John B. The New American Commentary. Vol. 26. Nashville: BroadmenPress, B&H Publishing Group, 1992,2003.

 

 

[4] Caulley, T.S. “Holy Spirit.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, by Walter A Elwell, 569-570. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001.

Polhill, John B. The New American Commentary. Vol. 26. Nashville: BroadmenPress, B&H Publishing Group, 1992,2003.

 

[5] [5] Caulley, T.S. “Holy Spirit.” In Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, by Walter A Elwell, 569-570. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001.

Polhill, John B. The New American Commentary. Vol. 26. Nashville: BroadmenPress, B&H Publishing Group, 1992,2003.

 

 

 

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