Moses and David had a close relationship with God but no old testament person was capable of the kind of intimate relationship with Jesus that any new testament Believer has. Since Pentecost all of us are capable of being interwoven with God, which in practice means being woven into the family of the trinity. The apostles John and Paul were examples of the new covenant minister. Their life and the insights of the Kingdom they presented were the effect of the interwoveness of God in them and they in God. Thomas Torrance explains this well in his observation,
UNION FOLLOWS THE CROSS
“While mediators of divine revelation like Moses were said to speak with God ‘face to face’ and prophets and psalmists clearly had moving intimate experiences of God, nevertheless before God’s Word became flesh in the fullness of time the faithful were not brought into such a close personal relation with God that they came to know him directly in himself as he became known in Jesus Christ.” (1)
God’s word became flesh first in Jesus the Living Word. This kind of word is not mere ‘words’ but a manifestation of God. On His ascension Christ the Living Word became manifest in Believers in the outpouring that was Pentecost. Thus in the new testament age those who believe become the manifestation of Christ.
This is the doctrine of Christ and the apostles – a narrative and the teaching that contradicts the distortion and lies released by Satan’s lies and Adam’s fall.
CHIRST MULTIPLED AS YOU
However the strength of the church is not found in the ‘gifts.’ The potency and fertility of the church is found in the incarnation which is our union with God. This is the ground in which the new creation is rooted and the union from which the gifts flow.
Jesus came to undo the narrative the father of lies had implanted in human consciousness. He not only taught the nature and truth of the Kingdom. He delivered the truth in His body given for us. Nevertheless our holiness is not found in lamentations about the cross. Our wholeness comes from the union with God that became ours – the AT-ONE-MENT that the trinity devised to make earth and heaven one. The Lord’s Table is clearly the sign and the reminder of the reality of the Kingdom and the words, ‘those who eat Me will live because of Me.’ By eating Jesus in the Spirit Jesus becomes everyman and every woman.
The atonement applies to all, Believers and non-believer alike. It is the possession of those who embrace it, dig the treasure out of the ground and absorb it into their person. Non-believers can ignore it and count it as nothing. Christians can maintain an old covenant life of separation because they do not understand it or because they are clinging to an identity that excludes it. But in doing so they are confined to externalities as a way of life; a way that is outside the living way; a way that is sincere yet lacking in spirit and life and a way that insulates them from the kind of spiritual discernment that is sharper than a two-edged sword. We can pass on to eternal life as an old covenant minister but we cannot minister the Kingdom of God.
‘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. We are ministers of the new covenant Kingdom of God and agents of the new creation by realizing this with gusto. But ministers of a form of godliness by ignoring it.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (pp. 66-67). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.