In her book, ‘Real Presence’ Leanne Payne writes of the dichotomisation inherent in the knowledge of good and evil. She refers to the tendency of goodness defined as refraining from the bad and the embrace of the good to be separate from us and stand over against us to tyrannise us by presenting us with an ideal that we are seldom able to meet.
WITH LIMITATION We are talking here of the limited spirit and life that is available to the Believer when one makes the mistake of thinking that Godliness is sin management. With this perspective it is not difficult to fall back into the practice of being our own virtual messiah.
DUALISM Leanne Payne is writing of the inherent problem of separated goodness; of goodness that is posited in separation from God. It’s a dualistic conception in which righteousness, morality and ethics become a thing in themselves – the kind of thing that fundamentalists make religion from and which the unwary mistake as something they must master to gain acceptance with God. Jesus is your acceptance with God and He in us imparts Himself to our being. REALITY Payne’s book is about C. S. Lewis’s concept of incarnation and presence. She writes, “The key to the healing of these [separated] relationships has to do with incarnational reality – with being filled with god’s Spirit and seeking to dwell in His Presence. It has to do with man’s choosing union and communion with God, rather than his own separateness, which is the practice of the presence of His old Adamic self.” (1) ANYTHING NOT CHRIST IS A SHADOW OF THE REAL This brings us to the foundation of our life with God. To the fact that salvation is union with God. We must note that incarnation is the reality of post cross living for the Believer. While Payne mentions the presence, it is not the presence that comes from the Holy Spirit that is our foundation. It is Christ who is our life who is our Rock because it is Christ who makes us one with God. While God was in Christ securing our salvation it was Jesus Christ who secured it and Jesus Christ who makes us one substance with God in His person and body. Holy Spirit is the Agent of Christ. FRUIT OF THE VINE Oneness with God joins us to the Spirit without limit. The gifts of the Spirit are the effect of incarnation. Never the cause of it. Anointings in the Old Testament did not have the rootedness that they can have in the new. Indeed we can be graced by Holy Spirit even if the incarnation has not been adopted as our living way due to ignorance or stubbornness. But it does not last because it has no root. JOHN 17.22 If we could add to Leanne Payne’s insight it would be that the incarnation is not a presence that rattles about inside us, but God woven into our being and we into His. ADAM’S SEPARATION UNDONE* There is no separation between God and the Believer in the post cross age. Not unless we have a separation mindset. God undid dualism in His Son who made the two one. We are one with God which means that we share God’s life and that His righteousness is manifest as our person. The Gifts and the anointing are never a thing in themselves, not done in a silo but the effect of our union with God who sustains them and protects them from nonsense posing as revelation. ‘Reality is Christ’ means that we participate in the person of Christ and in doing so we participate in the triune God. GOD AS ABSTRACTION Speaking to the issues of a false dualism in which many Christians live, Thomas Torrance perceived that “It was the Hellenistic notion of divine immutability .. that created a wedge between God and creation necessitating a realm of intermediation that was then conceptualised in the formation of causes. [Causes such as a mediating priesthood, the mediation of the celebrity pastor and celebrity church and the reversion to old covenant legalism on the grounds that the Spirit of Christ expressed as the Believer is not enough or not something to be believed in.] “Torrance sees in the alternative Chalcedonian notion of participation an assertion of a direct communion without mediating causes. This same idea is presented or reclaimed by Calvin when he writes that ‘all nature, and the gifts and endowments of man, depend for their being upon the immediate agency of God through His Spirit and His Word.’ (2) Note the agency of participation and that this agency is ‘immediate’ and dependent on no other element. This is what Richard Rohr means by living in the ‘naked now’. It means living in direct communion with God without layers of religion to stifle the life-flow of God into our being. This is the life lived by Adam and Eve before the fall. It is the increased and superior life any Believer can live now should she be brave and obedient enough to agree with God rather than in shades of the original deception. *See C Baxter Kruger, The Undoing of Adam. (1)Leanne Payne, Real Presence, Baker, 1995. P.59 (2) Myk Habets, Theosis in the Theology of Thomas Torrance, p.43