God has made a way in His Son for us to live from His Person rather than His laws. We can make a theology and a community of faith out of the law and cherry-pick scriptures to support it. There are gospel of the kind Paul called. ‘No gospel at all that apportion some effort to Christ and some to man. They argue for 'something of grace' and 'something of man', something done for me by Christ and something I do for myself'. This is not Christ’s Gospel, nor is it the apostles reaching or the doctrine of the Church Fathers. It’s the product of decayed christianity and a subverted gospel.
HUMAN AND PERSONAL
God in Christ makes us more human, more personal and never an abstraction of ourselves or of an abstracted God. Thomas Torrance observes, “In all his healing and saving relations with us Jesus Christ is engaged in personalising and humanising (never depersonalising or dehumanising) activity, so that in all our relations with him we are made more truly and fully human in our personal response of faith than ever before. This takes place in us through the creative activity of the Holy Spirit as he unites us to the perfect humanity of the Lord Jesus.” A person who is the manifestation of Jesus Christ is quite a different person to one who is the expression of the law or of Jesus and the law.
An oft-used ploy is ‘the law on your hearts text’. This text written by Jeremiah in the days of the law was the product of the law and temple culture – itself a construct of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He could not have imagined that the Messiah would come – God come among people and then He would come again, so to speak by being incarnated in their flesh in a way that makes Syd and Joy the expression of Christ.
Jeremiah could not have understood what life in the Spirit of Christ would mean. Many Christians don’t today. Some because they don’t want to and others because they have not been taught properly. Taught poorly because they have been schooled in ‘other gospels.’
Others because their status and identity is in this subverted variation of the gospel and they have convinced themselves that they are serving Christ by promoting this aberration. The truth is however that they are promoting themselves.
“Sometimes the Bible is like a Rorschach test, telling us more about ourselves than about God. All Scripture is fulfilled in and by Jesus Christ. So if we don’t see it in Jesus, we let it go—because even the Bible must bow to Jesus. If we read the Bible allowing it to do what it does best by pointing us to Jesus, we are engaging with Scripture properly. But if we read the Bible in search of texts to force Jesus to conform to our ideas about who to hate and how to justify violence, we can expect to be rebuked by the spirit of the living Christ.” (1) Don’t insist and attempting to get Jesus so be the light of your light. It’s a sure way to darkness and confusion. In Jesus God has drawn us through Christ into the oneness that is God. God is not like us. But we are like Him in our tripartite nature. The parts of our being – the spirit, soul and body follow the paradigm of the trinity in that we are one person with three aspects.
REAL PERSON AND REAL ONENESS
Thomas Torrance writes, “In our understanding of the New Testament witness to God's revelation of himself, "the Father," "the Son," and "the Holy Spirit" are unique and proper names denoting three distinct Persons, or real Hypostases, who are neither exchangeable nor interchangeable while, nevertheless, of one and the same divine Being.
There is one Person of the Father who is always the Father, distinct from the Son and the Spirit; and there is another Person of the Son who is always the Son, distinct from the Father and the Spirit; and another Person of the Holy Spirit who is always the Holy Spirit, distinct from the Father and the Son.
In this three-fold tri-personal self-revelation of God, one Person is not more or less God, for all three Persons are coeternal and coequal. They are all perfectly one in the identity of their Nature and perfectly homoousial or consubstantial in their Being.
Each of the three Persons is, himself, Lord and God, and yet there are not three Lords or Gods, but only one Lord God, and there is only one and the same eternal Being of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Trinity of three divine Persons is, thus, perfectly homogeneous and unitary, both in the ‘threeness’ and oneness of God's personal activity, and in the threeness and oneness of his eternal unchangeable personal Being. One Being, Three Persons.”
It is this nature of God – the who of God – who has reached out in Jesus Christ to draw us into His Godness. This is why Paul can say, ‘Reality is Christ’ because it is. In Jesus we are drawn into real life that is personal and communal. Father is not only our Father in this living way but the Father of the universe. We are drawn into real truth because we are made one in fellowship with the Father of Lights.
(1) Zahnd, Brian. The Unvarnished Jesus: A Lenten Journey (p. 59). Kindle Edition.