The Bible reveals that God clearly desires to connect to humanity through the engagement of a covenant relationship. However, the covenant relationship God desires involves human response and commitment. One of the deepest types cast which reflect this relationship is found in the Old Testament incident of the voluntary love-slave (Ex. 21:1-6, KJV). To know God and connect on the level of relationship that He desires is to forsake self, the world, and carnal wisdom to embrace what the Master loves, desires, and demands.
The overall purpose, as laid out by Wilson (1993), in the first four chapters of Bonds of Love, presents the foundational understanding of covenant relationship between God and man. Scripture is emphatically clear on both the benefits and obligations of those that would attempt to engage in such relationship with God. Whether it is in the story of the love-slave, the king and servants, or a marriage; all hinge upon a “reciprocal faithfulness of the two parties” (Wilson, 1993, pg. 12). In order for such a relationship to be successful it must clearly be understood that humanity must approach God through a correct discernment of the spiritual man and the unchangeable Word of God (Wilson, 1993). Scripture is the “only reliable guide” (Wilson, 1993, pg. 36) and it reveals the way in which one is to fine “the way, that is, to the master’s doorpost” (pg. 37).
Covenants and Legalism
There is a great difference in scripture between those that are in covenant with God and those who are not (Wilson, 1993). One covenant relationship scripture uses to emphasize God and his people is marriage. In order for marriage to reach the apex of its potential one’s involvement must be predicated by love rather than contractual law alone. It is possible within the context of marriage to live within the confines of law and duty alone. One can actually honor their commitment but never love the one whom they married.
This is revealed in service to God. It is possible to live for God solely out of duty yet when one does this they cease to live within the realm of covenant bond and instead become bound only by a legal obligation. Those that do this enter into legalism. It is law without love and duty without true desire. Those that serve out of love and desire will never view guidelines of the covenant as limits and rules but instead will see them as ways to be bound closer in relationship with God.
Lifestyle Shaping Theology
Since the Bible is clear on the guidelines which are to draw one closer to a love-bond relationship it is important that the individual never allow his/her lifestyle and desires to shape his/her theology. The word of God is meant to define the individual’s decisions, attitudes, dress, demeanor; or, as Peter stated, “All manner of conversation” (1 Pet. 1:15).
The Lesson of Bonnie
The lesson of Bonnie, as laid out by the author, at least in regards to the strong question of “why” that so many ask when confronted by life’s various problems, basically leads to the understanding that regardless of an individual receiving truth within the realm of the cognitive, it must become something that affects the spiritual person. At some point in the life of an individual one must surrender in brokenness of spirit and relinquish all of ones hurts, pains, and troubles to trust completely in God.
The Dwelling and the Glory
There is much information in regards to God’s glory and God’s dwelling because typically wherever God chooses to reveal His name is the place that God chooses to dwell. Wherever God decided to dwell it was from that place that His glory would be revealed, either through a cloud, fire, lightening, or other visible manifestations. This is important to the church today because after having come and dwelt in the flesh (John 1:14), God ascended up into heaven to ultimately come and dwell within humanity through the infilling of the Holy Ghost. Born-again believers become the temple of the Holy Ghost and thus the place through which God is to be manifested to the world.
Thus, because the born-again believer becomes the dwelling place for God’s glory it is important, as lined out in chapters 5 through 9, that the individual be sanctified wholly; body, soul, and spirit. Every dynamic of the vessel is important as the revealer of God’s glory. How one speaks, dresses, thinks, acts, believes; just to list a few, is crucial to the role the individual plays as the temple of the Holy Ghost.
The Bible reveals two representative women; Sarah and Jezebel. Sarah is the picture of godly women whose inner beauty is her outward sparkle. She is characterized by a meek and quiet spirit that is in submission to her husband and adorned with inner glory. Jezebel on the other hands it the personification of that which is brassy, bold, and against creative order. She represents wickedness, spiritual adultery, idolatry, and unholiness. She can only depend upon artificiality and trickery (Wilson, 1993) to attempt to influence and please others.
The Temple of God
As already laid out, scripture reveals that the born-again believer becomes the temple of the Holy Ghost and thus everything the individual does must be to “shew forth the praises of Him that called us out” (1 Peter 2:9).
Since the believer is the temple of the Holy Ghost the individual must express and reveal that inward glow of God’s glory. Nothing should take away from the inward glory. No jewelry, make-up, seductive or revealing dress should diminish the life that dwells within.
Logic of Gender Distinctions
One dynamic way which speaks of the manifestation of God’s glory is found in the difference between male and female. What stands out is that both express God’s glory in ways that are different. Men primarily express the glory of God through their actions (1 Tim. 2:8) whereas women express the glory of God through their adornment, hair, dress, and spirit. What stood out the most is that to blur the lines on gender distinction is to also delineate from the ways in which God is expressed through men and women. Beyond just creative order, submission, and the standard concepts involved, men and women as the temple of God must express that inner glory the way that God designed.
It is clear that scripture presents an obvious pattern for the life of the individual to draw closer in covenant relationship with God. Ultimately, anyone that would push against the clear doctrines of the Word of God which reveal these infallible truths does not wish to become the love-slave of God whose sole purpose in life is to manifest the power and glory of the Almighty God that dwells within. The individual believer must be sanctified wholly, not just adhering to the letter of the law but falling deeply and madly in love with the lawgiver, Jesus the Christ. When one comes to the place in his or her life that service in the house of God becomes a choice of love rather than of duty they become true bondservants of God whose lives can become the transparent temples of the glory of God.
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