In writing the perceptive work, The Normal Christian Life Watchman Nee drew a clear distinction between Christianity and spirituality. A . W Toser was similarly aware of the distinction between religion and godliness which he defined as union with God as compared to the merchandising of ‘god stuff.’
There are authors who are able to write of Christianity and its culture using charming anecdotes and apt similes who nevertheless never write revelation or release spirit and life because they do not write out of *union with God*. This is not to criticise such people but it is to urge us to look for life in life itself rather than in the container of religion. ‘Religion’ is not spirituality. The latter is spirit and life. It’s ‘Person’ – the interweaving of God and you. Martha was on the way to knowing more of God in Jesus but it was Mary who had gotten past externalities and motions to the source of life itself - oneness and instruction by Jesus in person.
Life, light, knowledge and deep spirituality comes from knowing God. Only the Father knows the Son and only the Son knows the Father. God will reveal Himself to all who desire to know Him in depth. But one has to be willing to find one’s identity in Jesus ad not in human externalities and institutionalism.
Thomas Torrance draws our attention to the fact that God makes Himself known to us by union, communion and sharing His being with us. Not just by information. Thus the ‘living word’ where God is concerned is not words or marks on paper, but trinity, a relationship and an interweaving of God with us.
This is to say that God can never be known in fullness through the law but only through Himself.
INCARNATION IS KEY
“Torrance writes, “It is not too much to say that this relation of the Son to the Father revealed in Jesus Christ [and] the incarnation .. opened the way [for our] knowing God in himself, as nothing else could have done. In Jesus Christ the Son of God took our human nature upon himself and made it his own so completely that he came among us as man; and by what he was as man, he revealed to us what he was and is as God. That is to say, without giving up his divine nature, he united himself to us in our human nature so completely, that by living out his divine life within our human life as a real human life he revealed something of the innermost secret of his own divine life as Son of the Father.” (1)
God cannot be known through the law and neither can you. You are known through God and specifically through the Son of Man. To see Jesus is to see our Father and to know our Father is to begin the adventure of knowing ourselves and the human race.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 55). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.