‘For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.3, 4. NIV.
Religion based on the law as the core issue of salvation is profoundly misguided. It is an example of a Christian poverty mentality that subverts the gospel of the Kingdom and reduces it to an abstraction. But with Christ as our life we live in a person, we live in abundance and we live in God. With the law as our life we live in self-imposed scarcity.
In Paul’s day some were slipping into revised gospels that were ‘no gospel at all. We can do it today as sons of the slave woman in which we have defined ourselves as a pre-cross Eve instead of who we are: The Bride of Christ.
There are good people who define themselves as poor when they are adequately reimbursed middle class citizens on good incomes. Maybe not rich but certainly not poor. Yet they have adopted a poverty identity as a descriptor of themselves. Think poor and you are poor.
God’s plan was not for us to live in religion or in the law but to live as the expression of Christ. We are part of God. Jesus wants us to live in our inheritance which is this: ‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV. John was able to say ‘Now we are the sons of God’ because Jesus on our behalf laid claim to this sonship on behalf of us. Our part is to say ‘yes’ to what God has made real in Jesus so that we can be ‘real’ as ourselves.
WHAT IS THE VICARIOUS HUMANITY OF CHRIST?
What is the vicarious humanity of Christ? The short answer is that it is the fullness of grace. A longer answer is that it is grace in action as the ‘being of God’ for us and as us. A concise answer is this quote, “To preach the gospel of the unconditional grace of God in that unconditional way is to set before people the astonishingly good news of what God has freely provided for us in the vicarious humanity of Jesus.
“To repent and believe (1) in Jesus Christ and commit myself to him on that basis, means that I do not need to look over my shoulder all the time to see whether I have really given myself personally to him, whether I really believe and trust him, whether my faith is at all adequate for in faith, it is not upon my faith, my believing, or my personal commitment that I rely, but solely upon what Jesus Christ has done for me, in my place and on my behalf, and what he is and always will be as he stands in for me before the face of the Father.” This is grace and this is the vicarious humanity of Christ.*
STATE OF BEING
We see that this sonship is not a doctrinal position or a religious assertion. It is what God did in Christ, what Christ is doing and who you are in the action of God. Your sonship is a state of being in which what God is doing and has done is your reality. This is the reality that is ours in the reality that is Christ. Discerning theologians have captured the essence of what Christ our life means in the words, ‘The vicarious humanity of Jesus is our reality. We are part of God and God is part of us. He invites us to live in this truth and not allow this reality to be subverted by distorted teaching and ‘other gospels’.
Our inheritance is our union with God, our fellowship with the trinity and the manifestation of the fullness of God not only in us but as us. Jesus manifests Himself in the uniqueness of you and in fullness in the church when it is the expression of Him and not some institutional abstraction. Jeff Turner explains the true nature of our inheritance here.
“Think of the pre-emptive planning that goes into a child receiving of an inheritance. A parent does not begin laying aside money for their child while they lay on their deathbed, but oftentimes, years before the child is even born. The parent is responsible enough to look into the future and anticipate their children’s needs before they arrive. At a particular time in that child’s development, typically after the parent has died or after the child has married, the inheritance is released to them. The inheritance itself, while given well after its initial creation, predates the child’s reception of it, oftentimes by many decades. Salvation is pictured in a similar way. It is an inheritance which was planned for and set aside long before the human race was brought into being. The fall, which is resolved as a part of the inheritance, was seen and planned for long before it was realized in time. The Godhead allowed sin to run its course, and enacted the Mosaic Law in order to exacerbate and expose the problem in order to magnify the beauty of the soon to be revealed inheritance.” (2)
The Mosaic law exposes un-righteousness. It has no power to be righteous or to make us righteous, let alone impart life to us. ‘The letter’ being the law actually kills. It is Christ entering us by way of the cross, the resurrection and the infilling of Holy Spirit that makes us alive with the personalised life of God. This is the person of God in our being that drives out sin and all the forms of habituation and degradation. One of the pseudos driven out is religion. It is replaced with spirit and life which is none other than Christ in you being manifest as you. To see Jesus is to see you. He is the Mirror and He is the life that you are becoming. Accept no substitutes.
* This is what it means to say and live in the fact of what Paul calls ‘Christ our life.’ It’s a state of being and the difference between living as a supposition member of Christ’s Body and a spirit and truth member of His Body.
(2) Turner, Jeff. Saints in the Arms of a Happy God: Recovering the Image of God and Man (p. 100). Jeff Turner. Kindle Edition.