Real ‘Believing’ is a State of Being.
Many Believers have ‘believed’ without being born again. This is because many of us have never stepped out of religion into God. Thomas Torrance who has been quoted often here assures us that we can know God and know ourselves because God is in us and we are in God. We are joined by Jesus Christ to God. Jesus urges us to believe and realise that ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
Real ‘believing’ is a state of being – of being in God where we have been placed by God. In Jesus we step out of Adam and are born again in Christ. ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ Gal 2.20
The real self is who we are in relation to God. I have known people who obsess over manners and etiquette. Yet they are not people of grace and love. Having made a self from externalities they have no real self, little kindness and can sometimes accurately described as a bitch. But we can be a hollow man without being a witch or a jerk. We can be a nice guy who possesses no real self. Hidden in Christ and in union with God, one thing is for sure. You will possess a real you and grow continuously into your glory, full of grace and truth.
The person whose self is a product of their Christian belief system is different to one whose self and beliefs are the expression of Christ their life. One has a muted christ. The other experiences Christ in them and as them. When Christ is their life and Ben and Jill are a manifestation of the trinity, they are different people who those whose life is the expression of an intellectualized God. Paul asserts that Christ is our life. He never says ‘Christianity’ is anyone’s life. We are unveiled before the Lord because we and God are one.
‘And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit’ 2 Cor 3.18 NIV. The glory of Jesus is that He is the explicit image of God. The glory of Jesus is that He is also the explicit image of you and who you are becoming. Your glory is to live to your design. This is the self you were created to be and the self you are becoming because Christ is your life.
Knowing God and knowing ourselves is closely linked. This is because we came from God and are an expression of God. This is what sons and daughters are. We have no real identity as figments of the law and indeed cannot be persons in the sense of sons of God if we are an expression of the law. Our personhood is affirmed and grown when we and Father are one. Which is to say when we and the trinity are woven together in a fellowship that is joyful and real. The good news is YOU ARE SO WOVEN. Richard Rohr writes,
“We might now call the False Self our small self or ego, and we might call the True Self our soul. When the True Self becomes clearer to you, and it will for most of you, you will have grounded your spirituality in its first and fundamental task, and you will have hired the best counselling service possible. I love to tell people, “You have just saved yourself ten thousand dollars in unnecessary therapy!” Why? Because in finding your True Self, you will have found an absolute reference point that is both utterly within you and utterly beyond you at the very same time. This grounds the soul in big and reliable truth. “My deepest me is God!” St. Catherine of Genoa shouted as she ran through the streets of town, just as Colossians had already shouted to both Jews and pagans, “The mystery is Christ within you—your hope of Glory!” (1:27). (1)
(1) Rohr, Richard. Immortal Diamond: The search for our true self . SPCK. Kindle Edition.