The Realm of Life

By  Alice Cheng

The realm of life is considered as the awareness of one’s mind and the cultivation of one’s character. It is closely related to our vision, mood, and cultivation. When the horizon is high, there is no obstacle and there is a clear wave in the heart. The eyes are the window of the soul: What comes into our eyes is what goes into our hearts. Seeing can become our points of view, our visions, and even our realms. God’s vision is much deeper than ours. May God expand our realms of life.

Our Functional World of Order

From God’s point of view, He called his 6-day creation good 6 times and even very good one time. God placed the sun, the moon, and the stars each in their own place. He also made plants with seeds that later became very fruitful. The animals that God made in the sky, in the water, and on the land continue to grow; The first man and woman created by God established a family and multiplied. Everything in the creation was made according to their kinds have their own special functions and features. People are authorized to govern the earth. Nature provides vitality, resources, inspiration, and knowledge for mankind. Man and nature are a community with a shared future. People should respect and love nature. People must also give full play to the potential given by the Creator, and live up to the grace of nature.

Our Moral World of Right/Wrong

Man’s dignity comes from conscience and morality. Morality brings good character and ethical responsibility. God commanded our ancestors not to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil. This prohibition kicks off the moral world of right and wrong. However, they disobeyed the moral boundaries set by God, and decided right from wrong according to their own will, arguing the status and authority of the Creator. When they became anthropocentric instead of theocentric, they were trespassing and that’s a tragedy of a lost paradise. The reason why God gave us the heart of right and wrong is to let us choose to do good rather than evil so that we can manifest the noble humanity and build a beautiful society.

Our World of Divine Relativity

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) There will always be relative encounters in life, including: life and death, crying and laughing, gathering and dispersing, love and hate, gains and losses, etc. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)  As we face the reality of changes and limitations, the sense of eternity catalyzes our sense of helplessness. However, we can trust God’s vision which seems to limit our life within a frame. Surprisingly this frame highlights the beautiful things in our lives, including: joy, gathering, love, gain, life, and accomplishment.  Even though we can’t understand why we have adversities in life, we may accept our limitations and unpredictable changes so we may be able to stay in peace.

Sanctification by Faith

By God’s general grace, we might achieve some level of self-transcendence or temporal divinity through the vastness of nature, selfless love, moral struggling, or confronting hardship.  Yet the revelation from nature and conscience is not sufficient to purge our guilt from sins and the huge gap between God and us.  Reconciliation can only be done by Jesus’ redemption which cleanses us from sins. The only way to establish this love relationship is by opening ourselves to God by faith. Sanctification only comes from the integration of man’s limited vision and God’s unlimited horizon. The four realms of Chinese philosophy on life include: nature, function, morality, and heaven and earth. The realm of a Christian’s life is the state of sanctification in which man and God are reconciled, by faith and God’s holiness. Only when Christians are embraced and changed by God’s holiness and love can they become holy, suitable for the Lord’s purpose, and ready to do all kinds of good deeds.

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do…”   (1 Peter 1:15)

Author’s credentials: Bachelor at Overseas Theological Seminary, Master of Pastoral Counseling at Chinese Mission Seminary, Former minister at Hong Kong Christ Evangelical Church and Hiulai Church