Paul declared that ‘reality is Christ’ because it is. Not a few Believers cling to the law, to religion and the notion of godliness as ‘contract’ because to them it seems solid and real. In doing their ‘things’ – their righteousness’s they feel that God will do His end of the bargain: His goodness – which includes recognising their fulfilment of the terms of the contract: Obey and live. Sadly for them and their best efforts this contract no longer exists. The contract that now is – is independent of us and not a contract at all. Just a statement of fact – Christ says, ‘I AM YOUR LIFE.’
In agreeing with this we have our inheritance: Ourselves as sons and daughters of God. In ignoring it we have a shadow- a shadow of ourselves and the absence of sonship in spirit and in truth.
BEING IN GOD. BEING REAL
Thomas Torrance talks much about ‘being’ and asserts that this is what we are about, who God is and what/who the Kingdom is. He is talking ‘holism.’ This is not new since Jesus presented the Kingdom as Himself and those who believed in Him – persons who are real because they have their being in God.
Spiritual people will eventually tire of living in a community of faith that is only about externalities and the husk of religion. Conservativism is a drag on society just like institutionalism is an inhibitor of the Kingdom.
‘These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ’ Col 2.17 NIV.
Just as all that precedes Jesus is the shadow, all that is not Him is not real. Reality is Christ and we are real when Christ is our life. Don’t live your entire life in your false self. In this self, a shadow of the real we can present something and nothing and think we have done well. But what we have not done is spoken words of spirit and life.
SHADOW TO REAL
None of us are ‘real’ unless our being is in God and we are an expression of that ‘being.’ Jesus announced the holistic gospel of being when He said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’ Nothing is left out here. This is why we are whole when Christ is our life and not whole when definitions and behaviors are our life. The latter is our life in the letter – the only life some people know. The former is our life in God – our new covenant, post cross, liberated - from - the - knowledge - of – good - and - evil - life. There’s a reason why people like surgeons don’t get this while simple folks do. It’s a function of revelation and not of knowledge. Elmer Colyer writes,
“Because holism is a difficult concept, one of the illustrations or analogies that I like to use to help people begin to get their minds around it is the magic-eye pictures. You’ve probably seen those; most everybody has, in our culture. You can buy books of them now. When you look at a magic eye, it at first looks like a bewildering collection of tiny figures that bear little or no relation to one another, and you can stare at it and it just seems like a bunch of little dots or pictures on a page.
But if you hold the magic eye close to your face, to your nose, to your eyes, and gradually move it away, all of a sudden a 3-D picture will come into view that’s embedded in the magic eye. Seeing that picture represents analogously what Torrance means about holism. Using an analytic or deductive approach, you can’t analyse all the little figures and ever see the 3-D magic eye picture. The only way you can see it is to indwell the pictures so that your mind deals with the clues that are embedded in the picture and enables you to see the 3-D image.” (1)
The Kingdom life is radically holistic because it is Christ in you and more. It is Christ as you. This is the meaning of ‘Christ our life’ and what Paul meant when he wrote of our being a letter from Christ: By the Spirit of sonship we are the expression of Jesus.