John Calvin wrote, “Faith is like an empty, open hand stretched out towards God, with nothing to offer and everything to receive.” We can dim Christ’s light if beholden to the law. We dilute Christ’s life when we insulate ourselves from Him with religion. We are alive in Christ and we ‘see’ in Christ when Christ is our life and our eyes that ‘see.’
The Light that dispels all darkness is Jesus Christ. The Christ who is the Christ of God is the Christ of the apostles teaching and Son who always was.
Baxter Kruger asks, “Are we violating the witness of the Spirit if we give Jesus Christ too much of a hearing when it comes to our thinking about God, about creation, about humanity and human history? Are we in error if we make Jesus Christ our fundamental hermeneutic – the key to our understanding of God, humanity and the cosmos, and everything within it?” The answer is we are not.
Jesus is the Light of Himself and the Light of the world. In Jesus we are enabled to interpret all things through the lens of life, rather than through pragmatism and religion. Christ our life is our wisdom and revelation.
We are privileged to know God because of God. We can appreciate intimations of God in nature and in good people. But the revelation to our hearts and minds comes to us from God – directly in the spirit of Jesus Christ.
We can if we wish construct an ideology of God. This is the inevitable result of any theology couched in the law. A product of the human mind, constructions of the knowledge of good and evil insulate us from God and eventually lead to inhumanity in the form of judgment and in some cases, institutional sexual abuse. Ideological expressions can lead to a false grace and an obtuse support of religion over spirituality. A kind of non-discernment that takes the view that it is judgmental to attempt to draw people out of the experience of the tares into the wheat fields of the sons of God. The law is perverse because the tenets of the fall are perverse.
Nevertheless we are surrounded by the Spirit of Christ who lives with us and is in us. Any longing for more of God and more of Jesus is meant with the seeding and unfolding of revelation into our hearts and minds. We will see what we did not see before in the word and in the experiences of life.
“God confronts us with the Word of grace in Jesus Christ. Theology is bound and controlled by this Word. God reveals God; God discloses Godself to be known by us. Jesus Christ is God’s self-revealing, His self-interpretation and witness. Deus dixit—God has spoken!” (1)
John names Jesus Christ as the life and light of the world. The writer of Hebrews (probably Paul), in the same vein names Jesus as the sharp and living Word who separates the kingdoms of flesh from the Kingdom of Christ.
‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’ Heb 4.12 NIV. This is the word and the light that becomes us as we live in our inheritance of Christ our life. There is no separation in Christ Jesus. You and Father are one. This ‘oneness’ is yours when you believe it.
We can manifest bits and pieces or religion to others in the law. We cab clothe ourselves in abstractions in a Christian version of the knowledge of good and evil. We can live a commendable life in Christianity as a religion. But we become truly ourselves and truly and expression of God’s life in our person when incarnated with the trinity. This is the effect of Christ our life.
Gregory Boyd observes with targeted prescience, “Our central job is not to solve the world’s problems. Our job is to draw our entire life from Christ and manifest that life to others. Nothing could be simpler—and nothing could be more challenging.”
(1) Morrison, Stephen D.. Karl Barth in Plain English (Plain English Series Book 1) (p. 17). Beloved Publishing. Kindle Edition.