There is nothng mean about God. No austerity culture with Him. God is better than many of us have thought and not some dark figure lurking behind Christ. Jesus said, ‘If you have seen me, you have seen the father.’ the Church Father’s established that Jesus is one substance with our Father, although the writer of Hebrews had always proclaimed it with the words.
‘The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven’ Heb 1.3 NIV.
God is fully revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is truly the Door. Jesus lives to reveal to us our relational God. Jesus is God. As the trinity God is community. With Jesus as our life we possess Jesus knowledge of and His relationship with each member of the trinity. Thus, the excellent life, as Jesus said ‘Is to know God and Jesus Christ whom God has sent’.
Irenaeus 120-202, wrote “The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father “to gather all things in one,” Against Heresies Book I Chapter X
In the union with God that is ours, each person of the trinity delights to reveal the true nature of the other to the sons of God. To be in Christ is to be in this Communion. This ‘Holy Communion’ is more than a rite. The trinity is three persons, one God. The issue of the ages is that this God has reached out to enfold us in the Communion that they are. We belong in more than a ‘might be’ relationship. We belong in Christ full stop.
We are never alone. John asserts that the trinity makes their home in us. ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV.
Many of my age were brought up in the parental notion that ‘children should be seen but not heard.’ This was one of my Grandmother’s sayings. Fortunate were we if we were the center of our parent’s delight.
Not that we were not loved. But many of us were just there. Even today ‘providing’ is thought of as love. But it can be a distant kind. So different to the love of our Father. We are God’s delight and the center of Trinitarian attention. They live to reveal themselves and each other to us as they are so that we can be known to ourselves and each other as we are. They desire our company and to them we are a delight. Many religions have their ugly Gods. Some sectors of Christianity have their austere god.
Parsimonious views of God are a form of idolatry.
If ‘graven images’ are forbidden by God so are graven gospels – which is to say a distorted Jesus and a misshapen gospel prevent us knowing God as He is and ourselves as we have been liberated to become. Jesus came among us and is here by the Spirit to dissolve false versions of Himself and His gospel. Jesus is the innately liberating Spirit.
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free’ Luke 4.18 NIV.
REAL GOD/REAL YOU
The Father of lies distributed a false identity that smothered the nature of God and ourselves. Satan seeks to maintain the deceit of the fall even though the fall has been undone. This is why we are not entitled to our own gospel and our own version of the truth. Lies distort and cripple all they touch. Distorted religion makes distorted people and even perverts heaven into hell. Baxster Kruger writes,
“Adam and Eve moved from hearing and knowing and receiving the Father’s love to hiding in fear in the bushes. Their inner vision became so terribly alienated–so fallen–they no longer had a clear perception of the Father’s heart at all. And worse, in the place of the Father’s heart, their fallen minds invented a new god, a mythological deity, who struck terror in their hearts and baptized their souls with anxiety and hopelessness.” (1) On the cross Jesus declared this finished!
THE BRIAR PATCH
There are religions where the inmates live like Brer Rabbit in their self-invented briar patches. The god viewed through the prism of the law that some Believers envision is alienated, distorted and mythological. As I wrote before, the person who thinks Jesus is here to help him keep the law is the man who eats the T-bone instead of the steak. Jesus is in you to reveal Himself and express Himself as you.
Denominations based on a veiled vision and distorted thinking have claimed a place in the Christian firmament. But Jesus ever lives to set such captives free. Jesus lives to draw the rebel and the addict from his daze in the opiate of religion into the light of life that is His person and His Kingdom. Christ’s mediation of Himself to you is direct. By the Spirit His closeness to us is closer than He was to the disciples. ‘He has not left us orphans. He has come to us.’
(1) Kruger, C. Baxter. Across All Worlds: Jesus Inside Our Darkness (Kindle Locations 422-425). Perichoresis, Inc. Kindle Edition.