The good news of Jesus Christ can be reduced to Christ being our life. This may sound trite to the legalist and astonish the religious person who is accustomed to think that his Christianity is his life. Or that good deeds are a godly life. Or that the gifts of the Spirit are life. But real life is always our oneness with God. By living His life as ‘being’ we are one substance with God. We are His life as daughters and sons. His life as us is His righteousness becoming us. More importantly His spirit and life is us.*
We should be aware by now that religion is not itself a relationship with God and that it can in fact become a very effective insulation between God and our real self.
Torrance observes that “Doctrinal statements about God are possible and true only when Christologically grounded, for only in Jesus Christ do we really have to do with an objective personal self-revelation of God, which bridges the distance between God and us and which is identical with the very Being of God himself.
We cannot think and speak of God truly apart from his Word and his Act in the incarnation, and that means, apart from Jesus Christ.” (1) This explains why the law as authentic godliness is a farce. In the incarnation Christ becomes you – the one way of genuine sonship.
ONENESS IS OURS NOW
We have been made one with God in the person of Jesus Christ and we are made like God by the Spirit of Christ in us with the result that Jesus does not mold us to some abstract version of righteousness. He make us a living word in the image of Himself.
This is to repeat that ‘Jesus becomes us’. This is the true meaning of our new birth – not becoming a moral poster board but becoming one of the faces of Jesus.
FRUITS NOT A RE-PRESENTATION OF THE LAW
The fruits of the Spirit are not a list of moral excellencies. They are merely the description of Christ’s life as our life. This is the effect of the incarnation and the way in which we ourselves become a ‘living word.’ And the word was made flesh and became us. This is life in the Spirit. Life in the gifts is not life in the Spirit.
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
Life in the Spirit is living in the achieved at-one-ment and the baptism of the incarnation.
The Bible has its real meaning when read through the Jesus lens. But a distorted meaning if read through religion and the law. An old covenant frame over the Bible will not render truth or the gospel of Jesus and the apostles. But it can portray a false christ and ‘another gospel.’
* It’s possible to be vigorous in the gifts yet remain a dead man walking. Or busy in charity work yet and have a weak and crippled soul. Spiritual wellness manifests as Jesus as us. With Christ our life we possess a straightened spirit, a robust soul and often (not always) a body that resists physical disease.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 17). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.