Much of Christianity has been about ways of trying to be one with God. We should be much relieved however to learn that we have already been made one with God, by God. This is the achievement of God and what we might call the enterprise of the trinity on our behalf.
When Jesus cried, ‘IT IS FINISHED!’ our separation in Adam was undone and our union with God in God’s Son was achieved and became our reality. A persistent attachment to any facet of the law indicates that we are not living in the inheritance of the cross.
The stone in the shoe that legalism is that we are operating in the mindset of Adam’s separation from God. We are adopting measures to be like God and to undo our separation from God. This is the essence of religion. When Jesus says He is the Way and Paul talks of Christ as our life they are telling us that separation has gone and union with God has come. The amazing truth is that Jesus is us.
The ploy of the Enemy is to get folks living in a separation mindset when they are actually in union with God right now. Whether we uphold one law or ten or live in a religious routine, we are living as peasants when we are actually kings.
The prize of post cross life was never to engage in the attempt to be Godly with Jesus’ help. Simply because the new covenant (testament) is not a variation on the old testament. It’s not a new a way of Adam’s quest to be like God. It is the new and living way of God living in us to impart Himself to our being. Jesus described this as spirit and life. God imbues Himself into us and we become sons in spirit and truth rather than just notionally because we are living in union with Father in the Spirit of Sonship. This is the effect of Father in us. We are talking incarnation – which is the key to Kingdom Life, being union with God. Jesus healed many people and these healings at His hand are taking place today. Such healing is not only about kindness. Healing is a sign that Jesus is among us to heal our relationship with God. In Jesus we get to have the Sons relationship with the Father. But more than this the trinity comes to live in us and we in Christ are woven into the trinity. Myk Habets observes that,
GREAT EXCHANGE “As Athanasius said in the early church, “God becomes man so that man might become god.” The early church talks about this theology of “the great exchange” – in Latin, the mirifica commutatio, the wonderful exchange. I get what’s God’s; God gets what’s mine, the great exchange. This is the incarnation.”
The incarnation is the basis of our spiritual life and everyday life in the world. It is the one way in which the spirit-life of God flows through us to regenerate the world. It’s the difference between living in religion and a christianised version of the knowledge of good and evil and living in God – literally. This is the real meaning of spirit and life and ‘Christ come in our flesh.’
THE KNOWLEDGE OF KNOWLEDGE
It’s possible to walk in confusion because we have been taught it as godliness from childhood. Writing on the work of Thomas Torrance Habets tells us, “A large part of his work was, How do we think rightly? How do we know what we know? It’s in the domain of epistemology. He’s trying to clear the ground for a Christian conception of reality and truth, and it’s Christ-centered. We only know reality by knowing Christ who is the real, who is the way, the truth and the life.”
We are talking epistemology which is a word for how do we know what we know? Thinking rightly is a challenge for the legalist and old covenant Believer who, whether he knows it or not lives in the frame of the knowledge of good and evil that is affecting his spirit and is embedded in his soul.
We are not talking of a bad person but we are taking of persons who cannot see the Kingdom of God because they have a way to go in being born again.
STATE OF BEING
If our identity and status are the product of religion we are probably living in some degree of separation from God. We will not be in union in the sense that Jesus was in union with His Father.
Theosis, incarnation and perichoresis are a state of being that is ours in union with God. This is quite different to the positional assertions of fundamentalists who speak confidently of being of the Body of Christ while being tied to the law and its separation.
As it happens such persons are of the Body but whether this union is theirs in spirit and in truth is another matter. In the old testament Jews could be circumcised as a formality but it did not affect the core of their being. Living from a position is never the same as living from actual union with God. The former is religion. The latter is spirit and life.
Our being is joined to Christ and we are joined to God in His person already. This is the ground of our being and the authenticity of our sonship.