There are many perspectives on what it means to be alive. The biologists’, psychologists’, philosophers’, medical doctors’; everyone has a viewpoint that may be helpful.
From that perspective, if God is the life-giver, then all life shows he is alive. But life is very sterile, distant and objective. Such life could lead to a pantheistic sense that we are alive through God and God is alive through us. It sounds deep…objectively. Such objectivity is sacred in Roe v Wade, which resorts to quantifying alive as “viable” or “survivable.” That objectivity is front and center of the question in the supreme court at the moment. But that is not the alive I mean nor want.
By alive I’m referring to intimacy; the ability to deeply relate and interact in a visceral, all-consuming, substantial way. An intimacy where objectivity is consumed in tangibility. I’m laughing…I know Cathy is saying I’m using overly big words.
From a theological perspective, some hold God is spirit. It does no good to solely spiritualize God because Jesus was incarnate. I imagine Jesus more alive than I’ve ever been. He saw, heard and sensed things which seemed he should have be incapable of sensing. That’s what I mean by alive. So intimate! Is God that alive…still? When Jesus returned to heaven did he become less alive and become solely spirit?
On the other hand, some hold God to be flesh. It does no good to solely enflesh God because Jesus returned to sit at God’s right hand. He said as much himself but also promised that this was to our advantage so that the Spirit/Comforter could come. That advantage is exactly spiritual—not limited to time and space—and therefore able to comfort all! So is God alive? If you believe Jesus’ life and teaching then, Yes!
By this we know that we abide [are alive] in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
—1 John 4:13
It does no good to solely enflesh the Spirit in Jesus because he is in us. That is Jesus’ advantage–along with the fact he sits at the right hand of power advocating for those fully alive.
I [Jesus] came that they may have life, and have it abundantly [fully].
Absorb the deep implications for being fully alive:
6 For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. 11 For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13 But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke”—we also believe, and so we speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. 15 Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
—2 Corinthians 4:6-15
All scripture is from the New Revised Standard Version.