A MODEST CONCEIT
John Calvin Wrote, ‘Humility is the beginning of true intelligence’ and
‘Peace is not to be purchased by the sacrifice of truth.’ Humility affords an opportunity to embrace challenging ideas while peace becomes ours when we engage God’s provision as it has been given to us, rather than altering it for partisan reasons.
BETTER THAN NOTIONAL SONS
We become sons of God in the Son of God. In the New Testament the mediation of the life of God comes to us via Jesus Christ. He mediates Himself as Himself, by which we receive the spirit of sonship and in which we are placed in the River of Life with is our communion in the Holy Trinity.
Jesus never proposed that He was giving us religion. Nor did He parade a new version of morality. He did not endorse Moses or the law, because He had not come to do maintenance work on the temporary schoolhouse framed in the tenets of the knowledge of good and evil. The school room that gave way to the reality that is Christ, ended our life in Adam and gave us our new life that is His life as us.
HE IS YOU
‘And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory’ Col 3.4 NIV.
Christ your life means Christ our life. If you want to stifle your glory as a maturing son/daughter of God, resolve to come down on the side of Moses instead of becoming one with God in Christ your life. You can acquire a form of godliness in this mode but will not shape up well as a son.
Always realise that the incarnation is the reality in which we are privileged to live and that our oneness with Christ is real because the Son of God is a human being. And because by believing in Him, we eat Him as He commanded and because He left us the reminder of the truth that He becomes us with the words ‘Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you.’ This reminder and celebration is the sacrament of the Lord’s Table.
BAPTISM AND TABLE
The other sacrament that marks the start of our life in God is baptism. This signifies the end of our life in Adam and the start of our life in Christ. It is the sign not just of an event but the sign of the state of being in which we live our entire life – being crucified with Christ, yet coming fully alive in increasing life because Christ lives in us by the Spirit and manifests in our flesh. As John Powell observes, the evidence of a truly human person is living in a continual state of becoming; in what we call advancing from glory to glory.
Thomas Torrance observes that, “We recall that in the divinely instituted form and order of worship described in the Old Testament the people of Israel were not allowed to come before God with any kind of offering or sacrifice of their own choosing, or with some liturgy they had invented for themselves. … So, it is here in the new covenant in which the divinely instituted forms of human response vicariously provided in Jesus Christ are represented by Baptism and Eucharist.
“They are sacraments of the vicarious human response to God effected by Jesus Christ in his representative and substitutionary capacity in our place and on our behalf.
“They are sacraments of the finished work of Christ to which we can add nothing, sacraments which have as their substance and content none other than Jesus Christ clothed with his Gospel of atoning mediation and reconciliation, and thus sacraments which in their unique way represent the indivisible oneness of Christ's Word and Act and Person as Mediator between God and man. They are sacraments which by their nature direct us away from ourselves to Jesus Christ in whom all God's blessings for us are embodied, out of whose fulness we receive grace for grace.”
LOGOS INCARNATED IN YOU
Baptism and eucharist are entirely post cross, completely undoing Adam and the law of sin and death. Comprehensively replacing decay and fragmentation with oneness in Christ and oneness in the creation. Negating the laws of Moses to replace them with the law of the spirit of life, which is Christ in you and Christ our life – what we call the incarnation.