Unity as the church comes to us from our baptism into and fellowship in the trinity. We do not experience the depth of communion with each other as the church simply because we want to.
I am reminded of a person who received an impression from the Lord that we needed to grow community among ourselves. Being obedient he attempted to put this into practice by meeting with other Christian casually and on a regular basis. But it did not come to anything. Externalities are not potent. What we need is the Spirit of Belonging to be present and active in our being - and we have it.
The ‘gifts’ and ‘hearing from God’ outside our new covenant union are incomplete and sometimes without substance. Reality is Christ in every way – Christ in us and Christ as us. As the trinity God is Fellowship. It is This fellowship active in us that enable us to love each other.
SECOND ADAM OUR LIFE
The undoing of Adam - which is our post cross inheritance - is our union with Jesus. It flows from the cross and the resurrection of Jesus, which has become our resurrection. Through the cross and the atonement our separation from God is finished and our new creation union with God has begun. We are one with God by the One Spirit which is our sharing of the communion and joy that is ours as part of the trinitarian family.
Living in our new covenant union with God we take on God’s qualities of togetherness and joy. This is a Spirit that makes us intuitively what we cannot be in the flesh. We can possess a natural and uncontrived love for others.
Incarnation is the ground of sonship and the ability to love as Jesus loves. John’s passion for us to love each other is grounded in the fact that we are one with God and channels of His love.
UNION WITH LOVE
I hope it is clear that we cannot be one with each other if we are not living in the oneness with God that is ours. Being part of the Body of Christ is premised on our believing that we are one with Jesus and the Holy Family entirely on account of Jesus and not as a result of any work or stance of our own. Thomas Torrance nails it when He writes,
“The holy Church is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the result of his sanctifying activity in mankind, and as such is, as it were, the empirical correlate of the Parousia of the Spirit in our midst. If we believe in the Holy Spirit, we also believe in the existence of one Church in the one Spirit.” (1)
CHRIST COME IN YOU
In the ministry of the Spirit, Christ comes in the flesh of our individual life and our community life. This implies that the beginning of real community starts with Jesus as our life as individuals and multiplies when we are together. Because as the church we are the manifestation of His fullness.
We can live in the fullness of Christ our life or in a mixture of law and spirit. The extent to which Jesus as us is adulterated is the extent to which we remain dead to ourselves and to our potential as the church Jesus builds without human hands.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 252). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.