There are people who stopped learning early in life because they stopped listening. The result was that they stopped growing and started shrinking. A passion for life fosters an appetite for truth. If you are a listener you are a green tree. Jesus is the truth and the life because life and truth are one.
Whether each person desires glory I do not know, but each heart desires to be its true self – even when it is being lied to by the false self.
The first half of life can sometimes be us in pursuit of a false self - a self that was not really us and which did not provide satisfaction even when it was realised. Should we reach the end of this rope it is a great advantage because we are now positioned to grow into the self we were designed to before the beginning of time.
Who you are was ‘seen’ by God and you were ‘known’ before you were. The ‘knowledge of you’ is contained in the trinity – in the books of life, that are what they say they are – not books of condemnation and judgment but the books of your progress into the glory of your real self. As you may have guessed, we are speaking of your new birth – which is the emergence out of Adam, Moses and religion into Christ as your real self. Christ is more than the way, the truth and the life cosmically. He is your life personally. You grow into your glory by being hidden, yet revealed in Jesus.
Christ in you is the hope of glory. This is to say that Christ in us and as us is the realisation of everything that is good. But it is not just an individual Jesus to which we are privy. Jesus and Father are one which is to say that Jesus of Nazareth was one with His Father and as such fully God. What does it mean to be fully God? It means to be related to God as participants in who God is: The trinity. What does the trinity means for us? Baxster Kruger writes,
FAMILY OF ORIGIN
“The doctrine of the Trinity means that relationship, that fellowship, that togetherness and sharing, that self-giving and other-centeredness are not afterthoughts with God, but the deepest truth about the being of God. The Father is not consumed with Himself; He loves the Son and the Spirit. And the Son is not riddled with narcissism; he loves his Father and the Spirit. And the Spirit is not preoccupied with himself and his own glory; the Spirit loves the Father and the Son. Giving, not taking; other-centeredness, not self-centeredness; sharing, not hoarding are what fire the rockets of God and lie at the very center of God’s existence as Father, Son and Spirit.” Quoted in Jesus and The Undoing of Adam.
God is love as the above quote explains. God is love because God is Relationship and life. No sterile Unmoved Mover type God here. The mystery is that God is both unity and community AND IN YOU.
I do not know if life precedes love or love precedes life. But in God life and love are one, as is truth – which is why Jesus came among us and ministers now as the way the truth and the life. It is because Jesus lives in you that the trinity lives in you. God is woven into your being. In Jesus you are woven into God. God is not an abstraction. God is individuality, relationship and community. It is this incarnation, this nature of God and the truth about you and all of us that makes the Kingdom of God a reality – the reality of Family.
SOURCE OF FULLNESS
Paul declared, “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” Eph 3.14-19 NIV.
This fullness that surpasses knowledge is a shared experience – shared with the trinity of God and shared with each other. Bonhoeffer establishes the foundational nature of this truth.
He writes, “In Christian brotherhood everything depends upon its being clear right from the beginning, first, that Christian brotherhood is not an ideal, but a divine reality. Second, that Christian brotherhood is a spiritual and not a psychic reality.” (1)
This is to say that it is not a theological position or a church-growth formula. It is real because it is the nature of the trinity who live in us and the real nature of us who are birthed from the trinity. When we have embraced God and agreed that God is our life because God is incarnated in our being individually and as people, God is real in our lives and community. God manifests God among us.
(1) Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Life Together . Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd. Kindle Edition.