Sin results from separation from God. Sin is realised in the attempt to worship God as He is not and in the attempt to be ourselves in separation from God.
AT ONE WITH GOD
The power of the atonement is that it means at-one-ment, referring to the communion with God and ourselves and others that has been accomplished in Jesus Christ. This is the theme of Jesus’ Prayer in John 17 where He speaks of THE ONENESS He is achieving between ourselves and God. Later Paul was to call this accomplishment in his letter to the Ephesians, ‘Making the two one.’
Recently theologians have pointed out that the separation and alienation between God and humanity was never from God’s side. It was always from ours and it resulted from the seeds of the tree of knowledge sown into our soul by the Father of Lies. Thus when Jesus talks of the sons of the Evil One as tares, He does not mean they are innately evil. He means that they have been misguided by the leaven of the Pharisees, which in every case is some form of self-effort designed to secure Godliness and to make ourselves ‘as gods.’
This is the power of Tolkien’s one ring. ‘One ring to rule them all and in darkness bind them’. ‘Other Gospels’ of the kind of which Paul warns us - are always the expression of a refusal to throw the ‘one ring’ into the fires of Mt Doom – which is to say a refusal to walk in the fullness of our inheritance in the cross – a refusal and the intent to add something of our own.
These ‘somethings’ can be ‘keys’ to a supposedly ‘new level’, the gifts of the Spirit* , a reversion to the law and the intent to make the old covenant the new – which robs the cross of its power. Jesus did not come to establish the law or be the way of doing the law. He is here now and in you to be Himself in you and in us – so that you can be you as a son of God.
THE TWO ONE
In Christ God has made the two one in many ways. One of these is the linking of externality with internality meaning with the heart. Things we do are no longer for show, for impressing God or establishing our self-worth. One with God we have become life and can go about imparting life by being ourselves. This is Christ come in our flesh. This is rivers of living water flowing from our being. This happens because we and God are one.
NEW AND LIVING WAY
“Very important, and an utterly new idea from Paul was that the Gospel was not about following some criteria outside of the human person—which he calls “the law,” but that the locus of authority had changed to inside the human person. This is why he rails against law so strongly and surprisingly in both Romans and Galatians. The real and “new” law is an actual participation with Someone inside of us: the “love of God that has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5 and throughout). This Inner Authority, this personal moral compass, will guide us more than any outer pressure or law, he believes, and it is available to everyone.” (1)
It is the law of the spirit of life, which is Christ our life, meaning the Spirit of Christ manifesting as us.
* The gifts and signs have a proper function but they are not the gospel of the Kingdom. Christ come in you is the gospel of the Kingdom. The incarnation – our union with God is the source in which the gifts and signs must be rooted.