Relationships Part Four
The overlapping lenses of “Homoousion – sameness of essence and nature” and “inter-relational dynamics of joint and several”, have enabled us to understand, with a little more clarity, the Triune Being and inner-relations of and in the One God. At the same time, other attributes of God are brought to focus.
One of them, I dare say, is that God is able to have new, authentic and experiential actualities. An explanation is warranted here.
Creation, contingent on God, will always be and remain only creation. God was never a man before he became a man. It would be proper then to say, that in becoming a man, a human, a creature of creation, a created being, God had become something that he was not. Becoming man can be considered to be a new, authentic and experiential actuality for God.
As such, God with us, in God becoming man, has immense and momentous implications.
For God, it means that within the actual Being of Triune God, there is now also a man, a created being, in whom the fullness of the Godhead (Deity) dwells, fully occupies and lives, inhabits bodily.
Where there were only Three, now it can, properly, also be said that with, in and through the one person of Christ Jesus, being “homoousion – sameness of essence and nature” with God according to Divinity and “homoousion – sameness of essence and nature” with us according to humanity, there is now a man, human nature, in the actual Being of God.
“Christ crucified” is pregnant with this meaning. No wonder, to the Jews it was a stumbling block. They could not conceive and accept that Christ Jesus, the man, that they crucified, could, at the same time, also, be God. For the Greeks, who honoured and pursued wisdom, this is foolishness as what is divine is divine and what is human is human. They could conceive in their mythology demigods, entities that resulted from the union of gods and humans. But God becoming human, becoming this man Jesus who was crucified, this they could not comprehend. Hence, complete and utter foolishness as far as they were concerned.
Both Jews and Greeks distinguished between divinity and humanity and rightly so. This several approach could only have provided an either/or lens through which to relate and view Christ Jesus. If only they had applied the joint and several lens, they would have caught a glimpse of Christ in actuality, being the power and wisdom of God.
A revelation of God in the Son becoming man would be that God also grows experientially, for until the Son became a man, God did not know what it was to be a man.
 Acts 17:28
 Numbers 23:19 The prophet Balaam in Numbers 23:19 also asserted this understanding of God not being a man “God is not a man that He should lie.” Note that this was before God became flesh, a man, in the person of Christ Jesus.
 Colossians 2:9
 1 Corinthians 1:23
 Matthew 20:19, Mark 15:13, Luke 23:21, John 19:6
 1 Corinthians 1:24
Relationships Part Three
Jesus - God with us, Christ in us: The New Covenant
God has always been with us, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” 
Psalm 139 extols:
“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,
even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.”
If God has always been with us, within an existential and relational paradigm, then what, if any, is the difference that is to be found in the “God with us”, the new covenant, the new relationship? What is new?
This depends on who Jesus of Nazareth is, and our answer to the latter of the two questions that Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”, “Who do you say that I am?”
Peter’s answer as recorded in Matthew was: “ You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Martha’s answer in John’s Gospel was “I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming to the world.”
Other statements made of Jesus in the Gospels include: Emmanuel-God with us,Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Man Word ..with God.. was God…became flesh,” “John the Baptist, ..Elijah, …Jeremiah, …one of the prophets”.
The answers are varied and unending. They evolve and change, even as perceptions, understandings, relationships and experiences, grow and change, for each of us, respectively.
Many in the early church struggled as they grappled with this.
Giving an answer is one thing. But what does our answer really mean? The extent of our ability to express with clarity what our answer really means is one measure of our understanding of our answer and consequent significance, ramifications, impact and consequences. Clarity will also enable us to better communicate, reveal and share with greater simplicity our thoughts and actions with others.
Many views and perceptions, as to Who Jesus, are also found in the historical records of creeds and writings in the early church. Though, the overwhelming answers were that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” and ‘Word. Who was God, became flesh”, the meanings that were attached to these answers were not the same.
 Acts 17:28
 Psalm 139:
 Mark 8:27
 Mark 8:29
 Matthew 16:16
 Mark 8:29 only records the answer as “You are the Christ”.
 John 11:27
 Matthew 1:23
 Mark 1:1
 Luke 5:24
 Matthew 16:14
Relationships Part Two
Inter-relational dynamics in the Old Testament
With this in mind, the singularity and plurality of God may be addressed and, hopefully, accepted in the creation narratives in Genesis 1 and 2 and the encounter that Abraham had with the LORD in Genesis18:1-33.
“In beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”. “This is the genealogical annals of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens”. “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
There is only One God. This God is affirmed as being One in the opening of the Shema (or the “Saying”), a central teaching in Judaism: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one”.
Prima facie, references to plurality of this one God, who is also one, can be inferred in the creation narratives by the words, “Let us make humankind”, “in our image, in our likeness”, “male and female he created them”.
It has been advocated by many that the plural “us” and “our” here is akin to the royal prerogative used by sovereigns in ancient times when addressing themselves. However, this cannot explain the distinctiveness and separateness of male and female, in humankind, made as image and likeness of God. This can only infer and suggest plurality in the singularity or one of God.
Adam acknowledged this male and female distinctiveness in humanity, even as he also acknowledged that the distinctiveness has a common source. “And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
The word rib can also mean side. Hence, the phrase “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” makes sense if God took a side of Adam to make woman.
Immediately after Adam’s acknowledgement, God pronounced: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and join to his wife and they shall be one flesh.” – Two flesh becoming One flesh origination. This Two flesh becoming One flesh simple joint relationship can in some sense be viewed as an embryonic form of the joint and several bonding. Though the two are no longer two but one, yet in order to be one there must be the two and the distinctiveness of each in the two is acknowledged and accepted. What has not been fleshed out, however, is acknowledgement that any one of the two is able to act for and on behalf of all, and as all.
 Genesis 1:1 Hebrew Text: Westminister Leningrad Codex with vowels – Scripture 4 All Hebrew Interlinear Bible (OT), The Stone Edition Tanach
 Genesis 2:4 Hebrew Text: Westminister Leningrad Codex with vowels – Scripture 4 All
 Genesis 1:26,27 New International Version
 Deuteronomy 6:4
 Genesis 2;21-23
 Genesis 2:22,23
 Hebrew צֵלָע tsêlâʻ, tsay-law'; or (feminine) צַלְעָה tsalʻâh Strong’s Definitions H6763; from H6760; a rib (as curved), literally (of the body) or figuratively (of a door, i.e. leaf); hence, a side, literally (of a person).
 Genesis2:24, Matthew 19:5
Relationships Part One
5 INTER-RELATIONAL DYNAMICS
Within the relational matrix, we fundamentally and dynamically relate to each other in 5 ways. The extent and depth of trust and intimacy that we have with and for each other is also reflected in these 5 manners in which we relate one to another.
The first way in which we relate with each other is severally. As an adjective, describing the manner of relating, this word severally means respectively, individually, particularly, specifically, differently and separately. We relate and treat each other as unique and distinct individuals. We recognise that who I am is different from who you are. All that I am and all that I have belongs to me even as all that you are and all that you have belongs to you. In essence, what is mine is mine and what is yours is yours.
To many of us this is the normal and default mode whereby we relate to the majority of the people that we meet and come into contact with everyday; the strangers that we pass by, our colleagues and others in our workplace, services providers to us and so forth.
To relate to each other severally is to recognise the authenticity of our own identity and the authenticity of the identity of others.
In this respect, it is good. Relating to each other severally affirms the integrity and wholeness of who we are as a person and the integrity of others as persons, in their own right, at the same time.
We also relate to each other in a common manner. Though we are several, ‘what is mine is mine and what is yours is yours’, we recognise that sometimes we have shared and overlapping interests. As such, there are times when we choose to pool resources by contributing part of who we are or what we own into a common pool or venture so that parties in common may benefit from such pooling and sharing of resources. At the same time, the downside or lost to us is limited to the contribution that we have put into the common pool: our energy, time, money and the likes.
Relating because and sharing of a common stake enhances and deepens our understanding and appreciation of giving and receiving. We give a little of what is ours and receive a little of what is others within the sharing in the common. We are brought into a new relationship and experience of being fellow stakeholders with others in proportion to the limited contribution that each brings into the common.
Being common shareholders in a limited company is one such relationship. In common, a portion of ‘what is mine and what is yours’, is now being shared in a common pool( the company) and treated as what is ours, in proportion to the contribution that we have made and agreed to. What each person contributed continues to be recognised as that person’s distinct and divisible interest in the common. Another case is when two or more persons hold property as ‘tenants in common’, in equal or unequal shares.
A representative element is found in the next relationship. This is when we relate to someone as a representative of another or be the representative of another. Here, a person(Representative) assumes the role of a person chosen or appointed by another(Appointee) to act or speak for another or others when relating to others. One instance is an ambassador of a country; a person appointed to represent a country in a forum or place. The ambassador does not act or speak for himself as an individual. He acts or speaks for and on behalf of the nation he is representing. Another illustration is an attorney under a Power of Attorney; a person appointed, given the authority and recognised as having the authority to act for and on behalf of the giver or appointee of the Power or Attorney. The attorney is representing his Appointee and acts for and on behalf of his Appointee, as if he is the Appointee.
In relating to a representative, we are not relating to the representative as his own person in his own right, but as a different person, the person he is representing. Being a representative, I am not who I am, my actions are not mine. In a sense I assume the identity of my Appointee and my actions are the actions of my Appointee. It is only when I am not acting as a representative am I, severally, my own person, and responsible personally for my actions.