Jesus said unto them, ‘If you are still with Moses in the law, you have not been born again.’
The Bible needs to be read holistically or not at all. There’s a reason why Christians can be officious, legalistic and ungracious and this is because the Kingdom is about persons. Not about precepts. The living word is not a treatise in the letter but the Son of God. As a result, those for whom the Son is life are sons in spirit and in truth.
TAKEN A WRONG FORK
Of course if we are contained in the law and old covenant, we will think it’s about precepts because our touchstone will be the Ten Commandments or Christian lore (culture). This is not the touchstone in this age. Jesus is. He is our life as regards grace and our life as regards wholeness and righteousness. It’s His life as ours: The vicarious humanity of Jesus.
Your life does not consist of an ongoing attempt to ‘be Christ-like.’ This might be ‘christianity’ but it’s not our inheritance. Our life is the effect of Christ in you – or as Paul defines it incarnationally as Christ your life.
‘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.
Grasping your salvation with fear and trembling in Paul’s terms is the discipline of living in Christ instead of living in you and living in the law or some externality like a valued identity – a meaning structure that we think confers status and special agency. It does confer agency but only among the ignorant and the bound. Jesus came to set all captives free. We are free in Christ: bound and hidden in His life as our life – the vicarious humanity of Jesus.
Life in the Spirit is not the gifts of the Spirit and certainly not an old covenant existence with gifts added. The mystery of the incarnation is that you and Father have become one. Jesus becomes you and so that you become the real you and leave behind the false self. The chief effect of life in the Spirit is that you are a manifestation of the trinity. The law no more effects holism in people than a packet of hundreds and thousands is a soccer ball. Thomas Torrance promotes a holistic gospel - a gospel that is about ‘being’ and not about words on paper or the letter that kills. The insidious nature of living in the letter is that one does not know that one is dead and one may even think that one is an example of the Lord’s blessing.
PURPOSE OF GRACE
Such is His love and grace that we can have elements of blessing even though we insist on ‘other gospels’ and non-apostolic teaching. But with Jesus grace and truth go together so that grace is always the door to opportunity and more complete revelation. Ministry in the fullness of our inheritance is huge in fruitfulness and authority. Ministry in ‘other gospels’ invites demonic pollution and binding people in new ways. The Fall has been undone. We are here to foster people in the life of Christ – never in a revived Adam or a rejuvenated Moses. We are competent as ministers of the Kingdom as new covenant ministers of limitless life.
A HOLISTIC LIFE
“Torrance’s holism is part of the reason for the difficulty of his theology, and yet it’s one of the crucial elements of his thought. It’s extraordinarily important when we talk about the Trinitarian character of Christian faith because the doctrine of the Trinity arises holistically as we indwell all of Scripture. That’s one of the reasons why we often haven’t seen historical-critical biblical studies generating a robust doctrine of the Trinity, because they tend to focus on the individual texts rather than how the texts bear in relation to one another.” (1)
It’s nonsensical to talk of a ‘whole person’ message when we are captured in the law – a structure of bits and pieces. We can no more be a whole person rooted in the law than a dead horse is a live horse because we have placed a bridle and a saddle on it.
God did not come among us as words. The Divine Word is the person of Jesus Christ. You are a word from Him when Jesus is your life: Incarnation. Just agree with Him that this is so and it is. Similarly the Bible cannot achieve its real meaning as a compendium of scriptures. It must be read in Jesus so that it is Jesus reading the Bible in you for the truth to out and the doctrines of demons to be discerned and undone. Your inheritance in the post cross age is this: By the Spirit you are a manifestation of the Christ.
(1) Written with reference to.. Anderson, Ray; Colyer, Elmer; Dawson, Gerrit; Deddo, Gary; Kettler, Christian; Kruger, Baxter; McKenna, John; McSwain, Jeff; Newell, Roger; Young, Paul. Trinitarian Conversations, Volume 1: Interviews With Ten Theologians (You're Included) (p. 76). Kindle Edition.