His life as your life


It would be easy to assume that the Kingdom of God is about right and wrong and our doing of it. It is and it isn’t. The primary quality of the Kingdom is life without limit – which engages the deficit of life resulting from the lie that God cannot be trusted and that we would do well to row our own boat.

We already were ‘as gods’ when Satan mouthed the initial lie. We were sons. We are sons of God now. But the original lie has been perpetrated in a new form. Much ‘christianity’ assumes that we are separated from God and that we must ‘do things’ to undo that separation. Some communities continue the separation inherent in law observance. Others acknowledge that by the cross we are forgiven for our sins. But they do not know that by the cross we are woven into the 'Godness' of God and God is woven into us. ‘Atonement’ actually means at-one-ment.

Because we have been made one with God our living in this reality causes us to take on God’s qualities. Since He has become us we become Him, so to speak. But not in metaphor. In reality. Reality is Christ and you are real as a son because Christ is expressed as you.

‘The Father knows the Son and the Son knows our Father. This is not merely knowing of or knowing about. It’s the ‘knowing’ of ‘marriage’ of the kind that is in play when husband and wife know each other. The truth is that the full union of husband and wife is a mirror of the union of our Father and the Son and of the trinity.

This is the meaning of Christ come in our flesh. It is the being of God who has become the being of us. The incarnation involves the coming of the Son of God as a human being. Then it involves the trinity dwelling in and expressing itself in us. Thomas Torrance writes,

“The understanding of the atonement in terms of the inner ontological relations between Christ and God and between Christ and mankind, implies that the very basis for a merely moral or legal account of atonement is itself part of the actual state of affairs between man and God that needs to be set right. The moral relations that obtain in our fallen world have to do with the gap between what we are and what we ought to be, but it is that very gap that needs to be healed, for even what we call ‘good’, in fulfilment of what we ought to do, needs to be cleansed by the blood of Christ.” (1)

In Jesus we have been made one with God. We have that relationship that Jesus had as our own. We and Father are one. This is the larger meaning of grace. Grace is not just forgivingness. Grace is Christ for you in your relationship to God and Christ as you in your relationship to you. Christ joins you to God and Christ is the means of God being expressed in you. Torrance continues,

“Christ subjected himself ‘under the law’ to redeem those who are ‘under the law’, nevertheless his act of grace in justifying us freely through redemption was ‘apart from law’. Such is the utterly radical nature of the atoning mediation perfected in Christ, which is to be grasped, as far as it may, not in the light of abstract moral principle, but only in the light of what he has actually done in penetrating into the dark depths of our twisted human existence and restoring us to union and communion with God in and through himself. In this interlocking of incarnation and atonement, and indeed of creation and redemption, there took place what might be called ‘a soteriological suspension of ethics’ in order to reground the whole moral order in God himself.” (2)

You don’t have to row your own boat. But you do need to agree with God that Christ is your life.

In this age you have the privilege of being holy even as God is holy. This not by the impossible task of copying Jesus and attempting ‘Christ-likeness’ but in the mystic reality of Christ becoming you.

(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 160). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.

(2) Torrance, Thomas F. Ibid. (p. 160). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.