INTEGRITY, SPIRIT, TRUTH, PURPOSE
Christ is either all and in all or He is not. The Son of man is either in us and is our life or He is not. Jesus of Nazareth either represents us and is actually ‘us in God’ or He does not. Christ has either come in our flesh to be incarnated in us or He has not and what we have is insufficient and we must make some addition of our own. If this is so and we do add something, we have made our own gospel and obscured His gospel - so castrating ourselves of potency and life. We can make ourselves a bunch of eunuchs by attaching ourselves to law. This was Paul’s point when he railed against those who wanted to add bits of law: ‘I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!’
FUTILITY AS DEVOTION
Paul contended for the faith. It was necessary to unwrap it and protect it from false gospels, other gospels, non-gospels and anti-christ dilutions.
He spoke of variations
‘Which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ’ Gal 1.7 NIV.
It is futile to make a life and ministry out of a gospel that is no gospel at all because we have concocted a narrative that undermines the completeness Jesus for us and the fullness of what His achievements have accomplished for us.
Jesus births everyone as sons. The law births everyone as slaves.
There are Believers in the community of the church who live in great insecurity because they have adopted a variation of the apostles doctrine that negates the cross and ignores the incarnation. There are others who live in a false security because that have made a Messiah out of some rite or observance like a Sabbath. Some Believers have a split personality resulting from the challenge of holding antithetical positions at the one time. They cling to the law while asserting ‘belonging’ in the Body. But a religion from the law which is innately separatist.
‘For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility’ Eph 2.14 NIV. Jesus has made us ontologically one with Father, one with life and one with each other.
‘The real gospel is not yes and no but yes.’ We have been made one with God. Our part is to live in what He has made. We are joined to God, to heaven and each other in the person of Jesus – never in some performance of our own. Satan’s lie and its variations are that we must ADD SOMETHING to what we are before we can be sons of God.
Thomas Torrance, following the church fathers observes that, “Everything would be emptied of evangelical and saving import if Jesus Christ were not fully, completely, entirely man, as well as God.” (1) The point here is that spirit and life are found in person, in being, in relationship and incarnation.
You are joined to God in the person of Jesus Christ. You are in fellowship with God in the Family of the trinity.
IN CHRIST OR IN PURGATORY?
But if you cannot accept this, you must settle for a half-life. You must assert that there is something else that is germane to God and your relationship with Him; something that has been over-looked and left out needing rectification and adjustment, something that you must do – something such as the supposed centrality of the law that takes priority over Christ or which must be included to gain access to eternal life – then we are not saved and we are thrown back on our own resources. We are no further ahead in Godliness than was the mistaken and independent Adam.
That Jesus is fully God and fully man and lives in us to such an extent that we and the trinity are woven together is not only our salvation but our new creation life - a life that is as infinite as God is infinite. This is a life that is your life as a life and the spirit that is your life in every fragment of the day.
If Jesus Christ is beholden to the law, then there is an entity that is higher than He. This means that the law is God and that Jesus Christ is not, but some lesser being who can be imagined to empower a bunch of separated Adam’s but who cannot re-create the human race into sons and daughters of God. He puts it more bluntly. “If Jesus Christ the incarnate Son is not true God from true God, then we are not saved, for it is only God who can save; but if Jesus Christ is not truly man, then salvation does not touch our human existence and condition. The message of the Gospel, however, is that Jesus Christ embodies in his human actuality the personal presence and activity of God.” (2) This is the meaning of Christ our life.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 146). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.
(2) Ibid. (p. 149). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.