What is worship? According to Jesus in His conversation with the woman at the well, worship in spirit and in truth is a life. It’s His life for us and His life as us. Belief in Christ is not old wine in new bottles – not a patched up old testament wineskin with a ‘Jesus reno’. Those who say that ‘worship is a life’ have nailed it. Not only does our post cross life entail belief in Jesus. It is belief of the kind that is a state of being – of being in union with God.
WITH AND IN
‘Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV. Make their home where? In our hearts, in our spirit, soul and body. It makes sense that the tripartite God inhabits our tripartite being in agency and fullness. We are talking incarnation, which denotes ‘oneness’ with God.
There’s a difference in Christians according to their believing. We create our reality out of our beliefs and are what we believe. Post cross we have been made one with God. No hero of the faith possessed this before the cross. It’s the result of the at-one-ment and the incarnation. Thus, as good a fellow as John the Baptist was any post cross Believer had a superior state of being because of Christ in them. The difference between an old covenant life and a new covenant life is the difference between drops of living water and rivers of living water.
When talking worship we are talking life of the kind Paul is extolling when He speaks of ‘Christ our life.’ This kind of life has nothing to do with the law, which itself was a manifestation of the knowledge of good and evil and the era of dead Adam. We are talking the life in which we are hidden in God and God is expressed in us. Christ in you is the hope of glory because in this kind of life we are joined to our origins and linked to our destiny as sons and daughters of God. This is the reason the person who lives in the Spirit lives in substance while the person attached to the contract of the law and its ‘doings’ has the illusion of substance while living in something and nothing.
Real life is never to do with the abstractions of the knowledge of good and evil. It is the relational dynamic of persons.
“James Torrance advocates a different theology of worship that is trinitarian and incarnational, reflecting the double movement of the incarnation: worship is a participation in the worship of the Son to the Father in the Spirit.” (1)Torrance highlights the communion of the trinity that is incarnated in us and touches on the truth that because Christ is our life, Christ’s worship is our worship.
Our life in God is a state of being because this life is a state of beings – the beings of God and of ourselves. In John 17 the truth is made explicit that the communion of God – the trinity in loving relationship with each other becomes our ability to be together in genuine loving community of the kind that will astonish the world.
‘I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one— I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me’ John 17.22 NIV.
(1) “Kettler, Christian D.. The Breadth and Depth of the Atonement: The Vicarious Humanity of Christ in the Church, the World, and the Self: Essays, 1990–2015 (p. 32). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.”