Any normal Believer wants to be considered part of the Body of Christ. It’s our need to belong. Whether we are part of the body depends not so much on an adherence to bunch of words or the citing of a proof text – but whether our self is one with God. This seems like saying we can’t be one with God until we are one with God. And it is.
The fact is, God has made us one with Himself independently of ourselves. This is the achievement of the cross and the ministry of Holy Spirit. There’s nothing undone in the atonement, nothing yet to be completed. The at-one-ment means we have the union with God that Jesus spoke of. We and ‘our Father are one. Be clear on this. You are not one God because you have repented sufficiently. Or one because you have done some ‘god thing.’ The atonement is there for all even if we choose to ignore this pearl. But you do have to choose and embrace what is already your inheritance as a son/daughter of God. It’s not subjectively ours unless we give a ‘yes’ response to Jesus. This is when we belong and become worshipers in spirit and in truth.
This is the possessing of your inheritance. Paul emphasises this in Galatians where he distinguishes between notional sonship and authentic sonship which is the same as notional belonging in the Body compared belonging in the Spirit. Take care. ‘Belonging’ in the letter may well be no belonging at all.
‘But what does Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son’ Gal 4.30 NIV. What is our inheritance? It is our union with God.
Actually all of us have been made one with God. As has been declared, ‘We are included.’ Our part in this is embracing what we have been given. This is living in our inheritance as sons and not in separation as workers and slaves. The latter are in fact sons. But not in spirit and in truth. They are like people who have a fortune in superannuation but have never bothered to access it.
SEIZING THE TREASURE
In religion we attempt to earn this oneness by right actions. We can work hard at it. Either we will imagine we are one when we are not, or we will sense that all our efforts have no effect on our aim of union with God. The truth is that we are one with God because God has made us so. This is the message of the Divine Conspiracy and the truth taught in The Power of Right Believing.
THE PRIMAL FREEDOM
We can be sophisticated and intellectual Christians of long standing and never have lived in the primal self. Many live in the ‘construct of me’ that is a combination of their religious motions, adopted externalities and a communal identity thy are loathe to forsake for a pure in heart identity in Christ. The primal self is who you are in oneness with Father. The real you is ‘you’ in the spirit of sonship. A law culture entangles us in an epistemology of the letter that leaves a notional you in place of the real you – your real self as a son of God. C. S. Lewis depicts these undeveloped selves as phantoms that are the direct opposite to Christ come in our flesh to manifest our glory.
In religion we feel we must repent in order to be forgiven. In the gospel of the Kingdom we are already forgiven. Now repentance takes the form of retreating from our independence, our addiction to idols, false identities and false christs. Richard Rohr writes, “We have defined freedom in the West as the freedom to choose between options and preferences. That’s not primal freedom. That’s a secondary or even tertiary freedom. The primal freedom is the freedom to be the self, the freedom to live in the truth despite all circumstances.” (1) Nevertheless there are communities that take it upon themselves to define their own truth, imagining themselves a variation on the gospel when they are ‘no gospel at all’.
The truth is that Christ is in you and with you. The truth is that you are a son/daughter and you are one with God. The truth is that as son you are a manifestation of our Father. The truth is that you and Father are one.
The greatest freedom and the greatest joy is the freedom to be you – the freedom and empowerment to be who you are and live out your identity in works of fruitfulness and power. None of us are clones of Jesus of Nazareth. We are not meant to be. We are however empowered by His Spirit incarnate in us to be the expression of His being – to be as ourselves by becoming manifestations of the Son of Man. We become larger on the outside than the inside because our inner person is spirit and life. As such we are kings and priests in this life and agents of the new creation.
(1) Rohr, Richard. Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (p. 108). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.