Christ in you is the center, middle and edge of our life as sons of God. As such Jesus has united us with His union with God. What this means is that Jesus has gifted us with the trinity’s relationship with each other and with His relationship. God is both three and one without contradiction. This undoes dualism with its ‘either or’ mentality in that God is both plural and singular. Or that He simple is.
My reading of a number of informed theologians revealed that each member of the trinity is a distinct person and that these three are one God. Well that may not be new to most. What impressed me was that ‘oneness’ was found in the fact that all lived so that each could be who they actually are in their personhood and that their distinctiveness is lived in such togetherness that they are indeed one God.* But the key fact is that the living out of this relationship is the essence of love and is the reason why we can say that God is love.
The implication for you as a person is that God’s Spirit enters you and becomes you in that you become the expression of Christ and the manifestation of the trinity. The word for this is perichoresis which means that two become one, yet each retains their unique identity. This is the meaning of life in the Spirit. It has more to do with the incarnation than it does with spiritual gifts, although these are a result of this union with God.
RELATIONSHIP AS BEING
The best brief explanation of the trinity I have found is this one: “The doctrine of the Trinity means that relationship, that fellowship, that togetherness and sharing, that self-giving and other-centeredness are not afterthoughts with God, but the deepest truth about the being of God. The Father is not consumed with Himself; He loves the Son and the Spirit. And the Son is not riddled with narcissism; he loves his Father and the Spirit. And the Spirit is not preoccupied with himself and his own glory; the Spirit loves the Father and the Son. Giving, not taking; other-centeredness, not self-centeredness; sharing, not hoarding are what fire the rockets of God and lie at the very center of God’s existence as Father, Son and Spirit.” (1)
This is what is meant by communion and it is what we should understand as ‘love.’ This communion existed between our First Parents and God before the fall and it is what has been res-established in Christ – meaning that in Jesus we have been drawn into this kind of relationship with God.
How do we get to be one with God? The Son of Man/Son of God has woven us into the this God-Relationship and this trinitarian God lives in us. The fact that God is part of us and we are part of God – this is what a son is – means that is not to be found in special days or in special places. He is to be found in us which means that just as the Christ came among humans into the world, prior to the cross, so post cross the victorious Christ has come into us by the Holy Spirit. We are incarnated with the trinity.
MADE TH TWO ONE
There is no dualism in a trinitarian life. “Christians fail to be Trinitarian by thinking, “He is over there and I am over here. [That is to say be thinking dualistically] Worship, faith, obedience, etc. are all things that I must do in order to have a personal relationship with Him.” [Well actually no. We are holy as God is holy because we have become His life].
As theologians Thomas and James B. Torrance most clearly articulate, Christ’s vicarious humanity has woven us into the life of the Trinity. The Gospel was never about your own direct personal relationship with the entity we call “God.” That would not be good news, because the relationship would ultimately be based on your flimsy performance. You don’t have a direct relationship that depends on your faith, prayers and worship. No, the good news is that you have been grafted into Jesus’ relationship with the Father! It’s all based on Christ and His performance!” (2) It’s based on Christ’s life as your life.
Your relationship with God is a real and stable relationship because Christ’s relationship with God is yours.
* This trinitarian relationship is the model of a good marriage – where one is not bound by the other but nurtured and empowered by one’s spouse. It’s analogous to one marriage. It is no doubt disquieting to the misogynist that the trinity as a model is not a hierarchy but a communion.