KNOWING WHAT IT MEANS
Incarnation is the topic of Leanne Payne’s excellent book, ‘Real Presence.’ In it we find that we are not alive in spirit because we have understood and adopted a rational argument or aligned ourselves with pieces of information. We are alive because we have responded to the invitation TO BE ONE WITH GOD.
MYSTERY OF GODLINESS
Recently I wrote of the necessity to make mysticism part of our Christian living and noted further than there is no mystery about mysticism. It’s having your being (you) immersed in the being of God. Paul wrote, ‘In Him we live, move and have our being.’ Many would think that this is living in Christianity. Not so. Not so, because it’s not living in beliefs and routines. It’s living in what God has already accomplished for us in Christ. It’s living in God. Living in His presence and fellowship. It’s living in the communion of the trinity and having the trinity live in us: We and our Father are one, known also as the incarnation.
‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20.
Some communities of faith would be offended to learn that they are not spiritual and hence not really Godly. Godliness is not found in the externalities of doing and the law. Godliness and spirituality is oneness with God. The mystery of Godliness is Christ come in our flesh.
IDOL OF THE LAW
Law is the opposite of spirit. Law is non-being. Law is the artifact of the lie that that we can be like God by self-effort. Law is the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, meaning that it is the fruit and the sign of separation from God.
Life in the Spirit is union with Christ. Life in the spirit is stifled by anything that is not Christ our life. Union with God by ‘the One Spirit’ is ours by the completed at-one-ment and the incarnation. By the incarnation Believers are gifted Christ’s oneness with Father. Christ does not mediate the law to us. Christ mediates Christ to us.
‘But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him’ 1 Cor 6.17 NLT.
Thomas Torrance observes that, “The New Testament stresses that the Holy Spirit is mediated to us only through Christ’s atoning death on the cross so that through the Spirit we are united to Christ in his ‘vicarious humanity’ and we participate in his saving work. That means that it is only through Jesus himself, and thus through the Spirit uniting us to him, that we are given access ‘to knowledge of him as he is in himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. (1)
The anointing and the gifts are not a means of securing union with God. Christ is that means and this union is already ours. The gifts function properly when Christ is our life; when we are incarnated with trinitarian being.
Not a few define themselves out of the incarnation because they insist on living in the law – as though this is what Christ died for. Sad delusion. Jesus is neither an apologist for the law or a medium of keeping the law. He lives in you to reproduce Himself.
Christ died to liberate people from the law so that they could live in Him in a living so complete that it is the union with God that Paul called ‘Christ our life.’
LOOKING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Some of those who reject or ignore the new covenant - even though it is over 2000 years - old look for energy, enlightenment and vision in the Holy Spirit and the anointing. But even this arrangement is stunted and stultified on its own because the anointing and the gifts must be rooted in the incarnation. Rooted entirely in the at-one-ment - if they are to avoid fading away or perverting the gospel with specious doctrines. To retain ourselves in the law is to retain ourselves in Adam’s separation. It is to rob ourselves of the agency that is ours as sons. As sons living out Christ’s life as risen ministers of the new covenant.
Living from the incarnation is the most relevant orientation we can adopt. It is the achievement of the cross and the foundation of the new creation Kingdom of God. It’s the trinity in us. The trinity woven into our being and manifesting as you and as the church of the Firstborn.
Richard Rohr writes in the introduction to ‘What the Mystics Know.’ “Can seeing with the eyes of mystics really have relevance in our busy modern world? I think it is not only relevant but absolutely necessary to change our levels of consciousness, which many religious traditions might have also called growth in holiness or divine union. As Einstein said, but now in my own words, we have tried to solve today’s problems with yesterday’s software—which often caused the problem in the first place.” (2)
(1) Paul Molnar, Torrance on Universalism. P.172
(2) Rohr, Richard. What the Mystics Know: Seven Pathways to Your Deeper Self. The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.