The exquisite thing about our salvation is that in Christ the separation between ourselves and God has been undone. Absolutely. The rupture of the fall has not only been fixed. We are imbued with an interwoveness with God that exceeds the closeness of Adam and Eve before the fall.
Christ is never somewhere else. The fullness of God as trinity is not contained in some sacred boundary. The fullness of God is woven into you. The result is the Fatherhood of God is realised in the sonship of you in everyday life.
Our salvation is exquisite and cogent because it is all of God, with nothing of us other than our agreement with Christ that He has drawn us into His life so that the nature of God is shared with us because we have been enfolded in the trinitarian family.
Much Christianity will tell you that the ‘Christian life’ is about you disciplining yourself into participating in the treasure that is Christ. In other words the nitty gritty depends on you. In actual fact working for one’s salvation with fear and trembling is simply living in the radical grace of Christ our life. And refusing to be distracted by other gospels and the religiosities of the religious.
Godliness, holiness, healing and wholeness do not come from other people, from religious rites, commandment keeping or jumping through hoops. Your Godliness is Christ in you.
Thomas Torrance is an authoritative theologian whose ideas about God, Christ’s Gospel and the mediation of Christ come from the scriptures, the Church Father’s, John Calvin, Karl Barth and the Reformers. He presents a theology that was not just planted in the garden in the 19th and twentieth century but a theology that is informed by historical doctrine and the revelation that informed it.
Torrance's key idea is that the doctrine of the Trinity holds the place
of primacy in Christian theology. The nature of God and His triune being explains the nature of our salvation in the light of the nature of God and the perichoresis that is God. This means that ‘knowing God and Jesus Christ whom God has sent’ is understood in the context of our being part of God. Part of God as sons, yet fully ourselves. Thus justification and sanctification are distinct, yet subsumed in the person of Christ and the trinity to be realised holistically in you.
The remarkable oneness between us and God that has been achieved in God’s Son leaves no room for specious theologies of the law that are based on the letter that kills and the separation precipitated by the Enemy of Love.
“Jesus Christ is Mediator in such a way that in his incarnate Person he embraces both sides of the mediating relationship. He is God of the nature of God, and man of the nature of man, in one and the same Person”. (1)
BEYOND A WOODEN CHRISTIANITY
The true doctrine of Jesus and the apostles is anti-letter because it is fully life. There is nothing more alive than Christ our life and nothing more dead than constructions of the letter that emanate from gospels of the law and their epistemology of words. There is nothing more distracting than a gospel that starts with Christ and ends with the law. There is nothing more contradictory than a whole person approach that is couched in the letter and the law.
If you have made a life of pursuing Christ and delving into His Person for Himself, rather than living to pump-up a particular perspective, you will have already realised that when the Bible mentions the word of God it is not only talking about words. The subject is the Living Word of John’s Prologue – The Word of whom Paul speaks in describing Him as sharper than a two-edged sword who separates flesh from spirit – a quality not found in those who live from the flesh of the law. Just as Christ is the express word of God, so you are the expression of Christ when He is your life.
LAW DESICATES SPIRIT INTO AN ABSTRACTION
For Torrance, “The Word of God is not some sort of abstract Word thrown down aimlessly to us from on high. No, the Word of God is a living person who, through the incarnation, "has truly reached us in the depths of our darkness." The good news is that the Living Word of God has "sought us out and found us" (p. 137). According to Torrance, this stunning gospel truth means that the Word of God communicated to man includes within itself meeting between man and God, as well as meeting between God and man, for in assuming the form of human speech the Word of God spoken to man becomes at the same time word of man in answer to God.” (2)
There is a difference between the word that is alive and the word that is dead. One is the WORD AS YOU and the other is the ‘letter that kills.’ For this reason one can be a living organ in the Body of Christ energised with spirit and life. Then again one can be a dead person talking because one has never been resurrected from the law and Adam’s separation from himself and from God.
I drew on the material in the article, The Surprising God.
(1) p. 136, quoting The Mediation of Christ, p. 56)
(2) p. 137, quoting God and Rationality, pp. 137-138)