ROOTED IN THE VINE
Jesus has bequeathed you His life in which to live. In Christ you have been made one with the Family of God. God is part of you as a result of the atonement and incarnation and part of you by expressing Himself in you by His Spirit. It’s the Spirit of sonship manifest as you.
Many Christians live from a form of contract in which ‘I do this so that God will do that.’ It’s not explicit but it is inherent in every kind of legalism. This is not your inheritance. God’s obsession is not sin and certainly His Gospel is not moralism. It’s not a bargain but it is a gift – the gift of union with God. As such He is the Vine and you are the branch.
‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20.
The incarnation is foundational to Christ our life and our belonging in the fellowship with the triune God. Oneness with God is found in Christ our life – not in Holy Spirit and the gifts and anointing. The cross has achieved at-one-ment. Oneness with God is the achievement of the cross which is the life of God as our life. Any gospel that sustains the law in the post cross age is not Christ’s Gospel. Since it denies and suffocates Christ come in the flesh and takes a sceptical view of Christ our life it is as John warns – the effect of the spirit of anti-christ.
‘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.
In speaking of the centrality of the incarnation, Athanasius writes, “First, it must truly be God who came to exist in the flesh. We already observed this in Athanasius’s defence of the Nicene doctrine that the Son is God as the Father is God. Second, the divine Son must be fully human. Here, the emphasis is on the full and authentic humanity of Jesus. .. Third, the divine Son of God must truly be a genuine human being. This truth highlights that the union between the Son’s divinity and his true humanity must be such that the Son actually exists as one of us.” (1)
ABERRATIONS AS NEW LIGHT*
The Son is the expression of God and the expression of the sons and daughters of God. The addition of the alien entity of the law detracts from the authenticity of Jesus as the Christ of God and substitutes a false identity of the kind the Bible calls False Christ’s.
‘For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect’ Matt 24.24 NIV. Prophets and teachers are not validated because they are associated with supernatural elements. They are validated when their gospel is the Gospel of Jesus, Paul and John.
THE REAL CHRIST
Here we are talking about who Jesus is and who He is for us. We are talking about Jesus real identity and distinguishing between a true Christ and a false christ. The Real Christ is the Representative of the Trinity and the One who includes us in the trinity as daughters and sons who belong to the Family that is God. ‘Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV. Through incarnation in us Jesus nature becomes us with the result that we are the expression of Christ and sons in spirit and truth, rather than notionally. Spirit and truth is about being. ‘Notionally’ is about the letter and religion.
REAL GOSPEL, REAL CHRIST
‘Christ our life’ denotes the un-impeded, un-diluted mystery of the Christ of God by the spirit manifest in our flesh which is to say in our person. Notice that this is direct union with Christ. Jesus does not mediate religion. He mediates Himself, the Father and Holy Spirit. To define Jesus as an advocate and representative of the law is a serious perversion of His identity as fully God and fully human. The knowledge of good and evil – Adam’s tree of death is not part of Christ or the trinity. Any theology that insists on the addition of the law makes for a false christ and results in a false us – sons and daughters who are crippled by eating the fruit of the death tree and blinded by to their inheritance in the Last Adam who is Life itself manifested as Bill and Sarah.
*New light and ‘distinctives’ is a form of Gnosticism.
(1) Athanasius and His Legacy: Trinitarian-Incarnational Soteriology and Its Reception (Mapping the Tradition)Paperback – November 1, 201, by Thomas G. Weinandy (Author), Daniel A. Keating (Author). P38.