We are talking about the union of persons. A union of the kind in which the two are one yet they retain entirely their unique identity. Yet the identity of each is in fact enhanced by the union. This is the gospel of the Kingdom: Union with God in Jesus Christ.
A GOOD MARRIAGE
You may not have been fortunate enough to have experienced this kind of union in friendship of marriage. Some have and are greatly enriched. Whether you have or you haven’t this is the relationship that is yours in Jesus. It is the kind of ‘oneness’ you have with Father in your ‘I and the Father are one’ relationship. J Baxter Kruger writes of it,
“Genuine acceptance removes fear and hiding and creates freedom to know and be known. In this freedom arises a fellowship and sharing so honest and open and real that persons involved dwell in one another. There is union without loss of individual identity. When one weeps, the other tastes salt. It is only in the Triune relationship of Father, Son and Spirit that personal relationship of this order exists, and the early church used the word ‘perichoresis’ to describe it. The good news is that we have been included in this relationship and it is to be played out fully in each of us and in all creation.”
It is safe to say that this kind of relationship is unknown when we remain tied to the law. It is solely the property of grace of the Kind in which Jesus is our life and inclusion in the Family of God. No group that teaches a false gospel is part of the biblical church any more than a potato is a person because both have eyes.
BELONGING IN THE BODY
We know God in the person of Jesus, which is to say that we know Him in the incarnation of the trinity in us and the drawing of ourselves into trinitarian fellowship with God. Such ‘knowing’ is a union of ‘being.’ This knowing and being is what it means to belong to the Body of Christ. Thomas Torrance writes,
“We can know God only if he brings us into communion with him in the inner relations of his own being as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This sharing in the knowledge that God has of himself was made possible through the incarnation of God’s Son and his mediation of the Spirit of the Father and the Son.
In the incarnation God communicated himself to us in Jesus Christ his beloved Son, not something about himself, but his very Self, and thereby made himself known to us according to his own divine nature as Father. And at Pentecost God poured out upon us his own Spirit who as the Spirit of the Father and the Son is the immediate presence of God to us in his own very being as God.
In Jesus Christ God has embodied in our human existence the mutual knowledge which the Father and the Son have of one another and in the Holy Spirit he gives us communion in the mutual relation of the Father and the Son and thus makes us share in the knowledge which the Father and the Son have of one another. To express it the other way round, through Jesus Christ we are given access to the Father in one Spirit.” (1)
Jesus is the embodiment of God and the expression of God’s nature and character. Thus Christ in you becomes not only the righteousness of God as you but the life of God as you and the nature of the trinity expressed through you. This is what it means to belong to the Family of God and the Body of Christ.
GET WITH YOUR INHERITANCE
There is a kind of fellowship of Believers – a sad kind - that is the community of those who live in separation from God. Separated because they either live overtly from the law or separated because they live from religion and the discipline of Christianity that is simple a more subtle form of the law. To be in God we need to make the incarnation ours because – guess what. We already own it.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (pp. 54-55). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.