NOT OF THE LETTER
The implied warning in Paul’s declaration that ‘the letter kills’ is that the word of truth is not a definition but a person; that the Word is a person and that being in the truth of God is a state of being that is alive. A state of being in which we and our Father are one. It’s not adherence to marks on paper. But it is Christ our life.
Paul announces the new and living way that that stands apart from the law and its epistemology of definitions with..
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV.
ALIVE OR NOT
Here Paul assures all that should we remain creations of the law, we are dead men walking, but when Christ is our life, we are the expression of the light and the life that is God in general and the trinity in particular.
If the knowledge of good and evil were the realm in which we are to live – words, definitions and constructs would suffice. But since truth is God and a state of being, the Word of God is Christ and we as sons of God are LIVING WORDS because Christ is our life.
WORDS ALIVE AND FLACID
The nature of this kind of ‘word’ is revealed in Paul’s, ‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’ Heb 4.12 NIV. This text is not just a reference to the Bible as a legalistic rendering might indicate.
Clearly this word is personal, alive, penetrating, revealing and spirit. It is spiritually discerning - unlike perceptions of the flesh that are dull and religiously obtuse.
LIFE IS A PERSON
This Word is the same personified life that that Jesus spoke of, in which He contrasts real life to religious life: ‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV.
This is the Word in which we become living words imbued with the spirit of wisdom and revelation and the ability to see things as they are. We are one with the Light that teaches us HOW TO SEE. Our transition to this life marks our passage from the old life to the new – from drops of water to rivers of living water.
‘The word’ is either embodied in us or it is not really the word.
“It was in accordance with that embodied nature of the Word and truth of the Gospel that Irenaeus thought of the Church. As the Body of Christ the Church embodies 'the union and communion between God and man' brought about through the incarnation of the Lord and the atoning redemption he effected for all mankind.”
And as such it continues to embody the deposit of faith or the saving truth of the Gospel as the God given source of its renewal and the inner secret of its identity and continuity in space and time. Hence when the Gospel of the incarnation came under attack from the dualist speculations of the Gnostics, which threatened to tear apart Jesus from Christ and thus dismember the embodiment of the truth in Christ and in the Church as his Body, he set about defending the integration of the Gospel with Christ and the continuity of the Church with its apostolic foundation in Christ, for the very substance of the Gospel and the identity of the Church as the one depository of apostolic truth were at stake.”
The projection of the law into the new testament age is both dualism and separationism. As such it is a continuation of the fall. God is not separate from His righteousness or His life. There exists no set of pious abstractions in parallel to the person of God. Righteousness, light and life without limit – all characteristics of the trinity and the sons of God are flooded into our being because the trinity lives in us and we are sons of God.
There is the old and dead way of Adam and the tree of death. There is the new and living way of Jesus the tree of life. The new way is Christ as us. Paul calls it Christ our life. Your inheritance is all of the latter and none of the former. The sanctification of even one element of the law ties us to Adam and to death. Christ Himself as all an in all as us and for us is life without limit.