In the online magazine Patheos.com we find, a quote from a theological novel that highlights for us the difference between light and darkness – the difference between notionally belonging to the Body of Christ and belonging in spirit and in truth.
In any marriage that is a marriage, a couple belong to each other. They are one. In good marriages the couple are one flesh and one spirit. In lesser marriages the marriage is a shell. They live separate lives and do not really have a marriage in spirit and in truth. Sure they are married and ‘one’ according to the law. But according to the spirit they live in separation. What we are in the spirit is our real self. What we are in the law is the self of externality – the false self that is a shadow of the real. Our real self is who we are in relation to God. In the Spirit as distinct from the law, you and our Father are one, just as you are in a marriage that is a marriage in spirit and truth.
Marriage and family find their origin in the trinity. Here each person flourishes in togetherness and the uniqueness of themselves. Yet they are one. That God is one yet three is the archetype of all relationship in our relationship to ourselves, to others and in marriage and family. Trinitarian relationships and marriage are clearly relevant to our notion of the Body of Christ. Our union with God and with each other is premised on this similarity. It is never notional. It is always a matter of being; The interwoveness of ourselves with the trinity.
Vigilance in living in this reality requires the rejection of every status and theology that would imply or assume that we are still separated in any way from God. This is the theme in the following lines from the novel, Patmos.
From the novel Patmos. “There is only one battle.” “One?” I asked, curious. His eyes flashed, and he looked straight at me. “Union or separation,” he said definitively. …
I knew to the core of my soul that we had arrived at the heart of everything. I could see it in his face and in the way he held his head. I was not sure what he meant by union or separation, but it was clear that to him this was the crosshairs of the cosmos. … “The truth of all truths: Jesus. Jesus in his Father and us in him. Without Jesus, what do you have?”
“Not much, I reckon. Just ourselves.” “Ourselves and ideas of separation from God,” St. John declared in his most authoritative apostolic tone. “Listen, young Aidan.”
And as I did, I felt that my world was about to be shattered. “The assumption of separation is the great darkness.” (Patmos, page. 91)
CONSEQUENCES If we remain contained in the law we are living in separation whether we know it or not. To embrace Christ as our life is more than a piety. It is to participate in His relationship with Father and be interwoven into the trinity. It is a marriage and not just any marriage – our marriage to Jesus as the bride.
In the law we are forever caught in an impossible quest – the attempt to make ourselves acceptable to God. In the Spirit, which we are since the cross, we are always acceptable. That is if we care to live in our belonging (marriage) in Christ. This is our inheritance in spirt and in truth when we believe what God believes. We belong because we are in Christ and therefore in God in the fellowship of the trinity. There’s a real narrative and a distorted narrative. The polluted version of reality led to the fall. The reality that is life, is the narrative that we are in Jesus and are the sons and daughters of God. Again Satan offers distorted narratives in similar veil to the original lie. Such as the at-onement is but partial or that our belonging is tentative and dependent on our performance. The truth is that God is for us, Jesus is in every possible aspect you and I and our belonging is settled and certain.
This is our inheritance. We are the sons/daughters of God and the Bride of Christ. We are all married to Christ. The quality of the marriage we have depends on our embrace of the fullness of this inheritance. We can have a marriage that is a husk or a marriage in which we will be fruitful and multiply. Right belief, sound teaching, the gospel of Jesus and the apostles is important because we create our reality from our beliefs.
Everyone belongs. But whether we experience the joy and comfort of this belonging depends on our believing what God believes. He believes the issue is settle that you belong. Belonging in spirit and in truth depends on believing the truth – in believing what God believes about Himself and about you. Video. Watch it as though your spiritual life depends on it. It does.