We can limp along in what we like to call our Christian Life or we can go boldly in the reality that Jesus is us. What does this mean? John called it ‘Christ come in our flesh’ and asserted that this is the difference between Kingdom life and counterfeit godliness.
When Christ is our life our living is apostolic. We and Father are one and we are doing what Jesus is doing. When religion is our life, even when it is His religion, we deliver something and nothing and the river of spirit and life remains closed. When Jesus is our life we are alive with His life. Everything we touch comes alive with the spirit-life of heaven.
God is known through God, which is to say that He is known through Himself as revealed in Jesus Christ. To know Jesus is to know our Father. In Jesus we humans are joined to our Source – joined to our Father and joined to ourselves. We discover our real selves in the actual life and revelation of Jesus, the Last Adam.
We are graced to Know God and know ourselves through God, through God’s person and because of the fact that we are part of God as sons and daughters linked in the person of the Christ. Thomas Torrance asserts,
“We can know God only if he brings us into communion with him in the inner relations of his own being as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This sharing in the knowledge that God has of himself was made possible through the incarnation of God’s Son and his mediation of the Spirit of the Father and the Son. In the incarnation God communicated himself to us in Jesus Christ his beloved Son.” (1)
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
Clearly the issue of the ages is knowing God as God is and knowing ourselves as we are as sons and daughters in relation to the trinity. Just as the identity of a human being is known as man and woman, so the identity of God, His nature and grace is known through the trinity and in recognising the trinity as the nature of God.
Far from the red herring that would see the law being the icon and the issue of the ages, as some would hold, the incarnation is the reality that reveals God, explains ourselves and joins heaven to earth. Torrance explains,
“The incarnation of the Son opened the way to knowing God in himself, as nothing else could have done. In Jesus Christ the Son of God took our human nature upon himself and made it his own so completely that he came among us as man; and by what he was as man, he revealed to us what he was and is as God. That is to say, without giving up his divine nature, he united himself to us in our human nature so completely, that by living out his divine life within our human life as a real human life he revealed something of the innermost secret of his own divine life as Son of the Father. But precisely in revealing to us his own nature as the Son, he revealed the nature of the Father, not just by word, teaching us what God is like.” (2)
Life is not revealed in parsimonious revisions of the truth or in miserable ideologies posing as an improvement on the teaching of the apostles. It lives in its fullness as Christ our life.
‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.4 NIV.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 54). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition. (2) Torrance, Thomas F.. Ibid. (p. 55).