LIVING SEPARATE WHEN YOU ARE NOT
The counterpoint to the alienation and separation of the fall is the incarnation in which God becomes a man and man becomes a son of God in spirit and in truth. All through oneness with Christ. Because of the cross humans are made one with God in a oneness, similar to God’s oneness in His trinitarian nature and specifically in Christ’s oneness with Father that has become our oneness. As a result, the fall is undone.
‘Separatism’ is the result of the fall and a function of the dualistic, knowledge of good and evil mindset that produced Arianism and the supposition that Jesus Christ was separate to God and less than God. This heresy was put to bed by the council of Nicaea (325 AD) but has sleep-walked in various attitudes and sects ever since. Sacred/secular outlooks separate God from everyday life and law-centered theologies separate God from God and humans from ourselves. They do this by postulating the law as an abstraction that is separate to the trinity and separate to us as human beings.
PLAGUE OF DUALISM
The evidence of separationism is an obsession with dualistic thinking. The result of the separatist mindset is personal and social fragmentation. All of this is the effect of the knowledge of good and evil – a fragmentation that produces division and the current fad of populism.
But God has told us that in Him, we live and move and have our being – and we do when Christ is our life and we live in oneness with Him rather than an imagined separation and the illusion of a great controversy between Christ and Satan. ‘Separation’ finished when Jesus cried, ‘It is finished.’ Humans regained oneness with God and the cosmos became one with its maker in Jesus Christ. Pity about the father of lies and his alternative reality.
God is not separate from Himself because in Christ we see that the Word is alive and a person who is of the trinity, who represents the trinity to human beings and includes us in the fellowship of the trinity in His person. Union in diversity is the essence of God. Thus, it is no surprise that in Jesus Christ the ‘two are made one’. We are woven into God and God is woven into us to that we become not a description of legal qualities but we are expressed as sons who are explicitly images of God.
INCORPORATED INTO CHRIST
Thomas Torrance observes that, “In the Church of Christ all who are redeemed through the atoning union embodied in him are made to share in his resurrection and are incorporated into Christ by the power of his Holy Spirit as living members of his Body…Thus it may be said that the ‘objective’ union which we have with Christ through his incarnational assumption of our humanity into himself is ‘subjectively’ actualised in us through his indwelling Spirit, ‘we in Christ’ and ‘Christ in us’ thus complementing and interpenetrating each other.”
UNION OF BEING
This union with God is realised in Christ. It’s a real union, a state of being in which because of Christ, we are in God and God is in us. This is our grace and the source of our transformation and continuing joy.
Myk Habets writes, “Torrance understands union with Christ to be largely corporate in nature but applicable to each individual member of his body who is ingrafted into Christ by baptism and continues to live in union with him as they feed upon his body and blood in Holy Communion. Understanding the church as the body of Christ is thus another way of asserting an ontological union between the community of believers and Christ the Head.” (1)
A UNION OF BEING
Ontological union means a union of being – a holistic state in which we as sons and daughters of God are established in a living relationship that is Christ in us and us in Christ. God is in us in Christ. The purpose of the incarnation is the direct exchange of God’s nature for ours of the kind that is called ‘participation in the divine nature.’ As such our life in Christ does not consist in us adopting the Christian behaviours that we call religion because this would dilute and dull the direct union that is ours with the trinity. Religion, if it is any good will lead to union with God. But union with God will never dumb us down into religion.
BELONGING IS REAL
Perichoresis* .. involves human participation in the divine life and love [that is God]. Perichoresis is not a union of identity but ‘a real sharing in the union of the incarnate Son with the Father, through a sharing not only in his human nature but in the life and love of God embodied in him’. The end or goal of union with Christ is thus to participate in the Divine life by being lifted up into a perichoretic union…Torrance.. repeatedly speaks of ontological communion, real participation, perichoresis, and partaking of the divine life and love, all cognates for theosis within his theology. (2)
Your union with God is much more than an assent to certain scriptures. Yu have more than forgiveness. Grace means that in Christ you are one with God and one with you.
*Perichoresis - is a Greek term used to describe the triune relationship between each person of the Godhead. It can be defined as co-indwelling, co-inhering, and mutual interpenetration. Alister McGrath writes that it "allows the individuality of the persons to be maintained, while insisting that each person shares in the life of the other two. An image often used to express this idea is that of a 'community of being,' in which each person, while maintaining its distinctive identity, penetrates the others and is penetrated by them."
(1) Habets Myk, Theosis in the Theology of Thomas Torrance.