‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ John 10.10 Niv. Jesus offers us the infinite life that is God, and which flows from God. The thief is happy when he does us out of most life and when he deludes us into accepting far less life than that which is available to us. Extravagant life is available to us when Christ has come in our flesh. The least life is ours when the flesh has come in our flesh. John indicates that any teaching that would have us accommodate ourselves to pseudo-life comes from the spirit of anti-christ.
Our treasure in this life is ultra-life – the life that is ours because in Christ we have been enfolded in the communion of the trinity.
A life in Christ is much more than the forgiveness of sins and infinitely more than abstaining from evil and doing the good. The gift of eternal life is that it is infinite and that it begins when we agree that Christ is our life. His life as ours is that in His Person we become spirit and life as sons and daughters of God.
CHRIST YOUR LIFE
Myk Habets following Torrance observes that “Torrance argues that a truly Reformed understanding of justification must go beyond a merely forensic or legal transaction to include the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. … [an] understanding of forensic justification has failed to comprehend the re-creation of the sinner effected by Christ’s resurrection from the dead… Justification is not just a cancellation of guilt and the bestowal of a new status. New status is achieved through union with Christ .. the believer’s holiness is found in Christ’s.” (1)
WHOLE PERSON APPROACH
Paul’s use of the words, ‘Christ our life’ is holistic and indeed the only real ‘whole person approach’* that makes humans whole and holy in actuality. This is a state of being in which we really do participate in the divine nature because the Divine in the person of Christ is incarnated in us.
It’s oneness with Christ. Not just association or ‘following.’ It’s Christ as you. Torrance writes, “It is an outstanding characteristic of all the documents of the Scottish Reformation that a place of centrality is given to the union of God and Man in Christ, and therefore our ‘blessed conjunction’ or ‘society’ or ‘fraternity’ with Christ. That union with Christ lies at the heart of our righteousness in him, for it is through that union that we actually participate in his holy life.”
Myk Habets adds, “Participation or union with God makes us truly holy, not just legally so. ‘Justification is not only the forgiveness of sins, but the bestowal of a positive righteousness that derives from beyond us, and which we have through union with Christ.’” (2)
This is why ‘Christ is our life’ and the law is not - because any ‘righteousness of the letter’ is far less than Christ manifesting as us – so much less, that Paul asserts that to live in the law is to live in this Body of Death. ‘The letter kills’ life.
*A whole person approach based on the innate fragmentation of the law is a contradiction in terms.
(1) Habets Myk, Theosis in the Theology of Thomas Torrance, p120, 121