BE ALIGHT AND ALIVE
There used to be an excellent Christian magazine entitled ‘On Being.’ It was well named because ‘being’ is what our life and the Kingdom is about. It’s about being sons of our Father. The nature, discussion and reality of being is called ‘ontology.’ Theologian Thomas Torrance emphasises that our life in God is ontological, as distinct from definitional and positional. Paul spoke to this issue when he said that circumcision is of the heart and of the Spirit. He addressed the issue from a different angle when said, ‘The letter kills.’ If you don’t want to bother with words like ‘ontology’ just know that it means that a relationship with God is never legalistic.
TRUTH AND LIFE
Everything that is truth and life is participation in God. According to Jesus in John 1.1-9 ‘Light’ is something we participate in. The true light that enlightens every person is the Christ of God. Enlightenment, like sonship, is a state of being – not assent to propositions or knowledge. It’s participation in God. Participation in God is who we are in Christ. But never who we are in Adam or in Moses.
If there are false christs there is also false light.
There is truth that is truth and light that is not false light. Un-light of which Jesus warns is the confusion that occurs when our ‘light’ is actually darkness. This is the dark light that produces paddocks of tares imprisoned by the father of lies.
LIGHTS OF THE WORLD
‘Light’ according to Thomas Torrance is a state of being. If Christ is our life we become the light. This is Christian enlightenment - the ability to see beyond shadow and disguise. Others have called this light the ‘Jesus lens’ through which we ‘know’ light. Unless this lens is ours we distort everything we see. To view Jesus through the lens of the law is to make for ourselves a false christ.
Should we be unfortunate enough to view Jesus through the law and make Him a function of the law we will be sadly misguided and become almost impervious to truth. If our seeing is not right we will distort the most sublime truths, subverting them to something less than they are until we have made an inferior gospel.
The true self arrives after we have been born again. The REAL US comes into being on our entrance to new covenant living. The real self is the real us that has discarded the Adamic life to come absorbed and resurrected into the Jesus life. The new self is you as an expression of Christ. It is you who are a manifestation of our Father as a son. The real self is you out of the tomb of the knowledge of good and evil and into the sunlight of the Spirit of sonship. Richard Rohr observes,
“I promise you that the discovery of your True Self will feel like a thousand pounds of weight have fallen from your back. You will no longer have to build, protect, or promote any idealised self image. Living in the True Self is quite simply a much happier existence, even though we never live there a full twenty-four hours a day. But you henceforth have it as a place to always go back to. You have finally discovered the alternative to your False Self. You are like Jacob awakening from sleep and joining the chorus of mystics in every age. “You were here all along, and I never knew it!”” (1)
REAL LIFE IS REAL REBIRTH
Many Believers do not live in enlightenment. They have never been born again although they think they have. They think the new birth is the start of a new moral life. It’s not that. Not at the start. The new birth is the start of Christ as you. Jesus as the expression of Bill and George is the fruits of the Spirit. The fruits are the result of Christ as you. Not something you do to be accepted by God. You are already accepted and already belong.
Born again you will become who you truly are. You will be fully human and fully alive because the Resurrection will be in you in person and you will see as Jesus sees. Not as Adam sees. But more than bring forensically righteous you will be authentically you. Increasingly so.
(1) Rohr, Richard. Immortal Diamond: The search for our true self. SPCK. Kindle Edition.