MADE ONE WITH GOD AS SONS OF GOD
When Adam and Eve decided that God was not to be trusted as a result of the insinuation of the Enemy, they did as Satan suggested and began the project of ‘being as gods’ aka being Godly on their own. They did not realise that they had been dudded immediately. But the result was that their decision to distrust Father and believe he who has come to be known as The Father of Lies, resulted in separation from God.
There are Christian cultures that imply we have to be Godly in order to be Godly. Needless to say they are ‘another gospel’.
JESUS IS LIFE
The essence of salvation is not a focus on sin. The essence of salvation is Jesus Christ and our union with God achieved in Jesus Christ. Thus Paul writes, ‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NLT.
Separation is the result of distrust of God. It is the essence of sin. Separation leads to the disjunction of the spirit, the death of the soul and ultimately to the death of the body. Separation generates attempts to be alive in separation from God. This is the essence of sin.
DUALISM – THE ESSENCE OF SEPARATION
Separation from God produces a split reality. This is the source of dualism which is the core of all religion that is not Christ our life. Dualism is birthed by separation and is the effect of it. Dualistic thinking as common as it is, is a manifestation of the anti-christ spirit as John writes ‘Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV.
‘Come in the flesh’ means Jesus has woven Himself into you and us.
FRAGMENTATION BE GONE
The trinity is oneness. Separation from God is the opposite of the love that is the life of the trinity. When we say God is life we are referring to the joy of the mutuality of the trinity. The categories of life, love and joy are distinct as words but are one in the triune God.
The chief manifestation of dualism is the knowledge of good and evil as a framework, resulting in secular/ sacred dichotomies and the separation of religious life from Everyday life. The effect of this bifurcation is that holiness gets to be seen as something one does on special days, in special places and in special ways. Jesus was one with God and was God. There was no affectation in Christ Jesus who was the expression of The Father and the expression of us. To live in the salvation He offers is not to live in something called religion. It’s to live in Him in the oneness that He has drawn us into. You are in God.
THE MAGNIFICENT GRACE
Christ is our salvation, our incarnation and our life. Jesus is our salvation and our union with God. But the basic thrust of Arminianism in current church life is the assumption that Jesus has offered us salvation but that it is up to us to earn it.
The essence of Arminius’ teaching is separation. Arminians (1610) believed Jesus had two separate and distinct natures. Thus the person of Christ was thought to be basically divided.
The Church Fathers asserted that Jesus had one nature that He was fully human and fully divine. Paul asserts this in Colossians 2.9. Jesus is fully one with God and fully one with His humanity. There is no separation in Christ Jesus. It is in Him that we are one with God – one in His person and being, one with God in that in Christ we are included in the trinity as daughters and sons.
Legalistic culture is innately separatist. In this culture there is an implied assumption that ‘God has produced salvation but you must earn it’.
We hear this in reversions to the law, in rejection of the truth that Christ is our life and in sayings such as ‘keeping close to Jesus.’ This implies that possessing the salvation that is gifted us is ours if and when we purchase it by doing enough to ‘deserve Jesus’.* The belief is innately anti-grace and a subtle and self-defeating kind of legalism.
Speaking to this attitude Paul Molnar observes that this means that
“What God provided was only the possibility of salvation on the cross of Christ so that every person must ‘translate that general possibility into actuality in their own case..
He then states that which can easily be seen in some faith communities – “[There is] a kind of thinking that opens the door to Arminianism which makes salvation contingent on people’s responses of faith."
EACH THEIR OWN SAVIOR
That unfortunately advances the distasteful idea of conditional salvation which, in [Thomas] Torrance’s view, ultimately teaches that ‘everyone is their own saviour, in so far as they have to co-operate with Christ for their salvation’. Regarding salvation only as a possibility and not as a completed reality creates uncertainty regarding our salvation and transfers the weight of salvation itself to those who are powerless to save themselves.” (1) But this is the faith and often the religion of some communities. It’s why much Christianity is not Christ our life but jumping through hoops to be worthy of Christ. This is rightly seen as humbug as christianity.
‘OTHER GOSPEL’ CURSE
The debilitating effect of every doctrine that justifies separation is a vitiated life. The effect of the un-gospel of Arminianism is not that the Believer is dead but that she is never alive.
* The theme of the book Prophets and Kings is, 'The didn't Try Hard Enough.'
(1) Paul Molnar, Thomas Torrance and the Problem of Universalism, p171.