Ghan at Marla SA



The TARDIS of Dr Who is bigger on the inside than the outside. A good parable of us living incarnated. In Christ’s Grace, aka union with Himself, Father and Holy Spirit we are bigger than we are. But in the law we are just an English police box.

Legalism is a triple deceit. It is an expression of the lying assumptions of the knowledge of good and evil. Then it is a way of fastening onto one or two fashionable issues embraced by our culture, while ignoring a multitude of others. Thirdly it’s a deceit because it allows us to assume a measure of holiness that is not ours because our very legalism is a sin. Legalism is a ploy the
carnal Christian may use to deceive himself into thinking he has earned acceptance with God.

One can fasten on to a vociferous opposition to same sex marriage or decry abortion and persuade oneself that one is a moral person even if one is a glutton, if one supports a political-economic system that justifies extreme wealth and wide-spread poverty and at the same time kills the earth. Obvious legalism brings blindness. Subtle legalism produces poor spiritual discernment.

Holiness is ours when we live in the oneness God has provided. Wholeness, holiness and Godliness is not defined by what we are not. It’s who we are. Are we a son/daughter, a slave or a lying rake? We are holy in Christ by definition and Holy in Christ by transformation. The latter because God in Christ becomes us, incarnates in our being and transforms us holistically from the inside.
If there is one thing that is noticeable about the covid pandemic it is the outbreak of acts of love and kindness to others in the form of food kitchens and like graces. This contrasts with the justification of selfishness and greed coded in words like ‘my rights’ and ‘the economy.’ Clearly there were not a few who desired business as normal despite the toll on people’s lives. We are not Life-Givers because we are Christian by religion. We give life when Christ is our life.
Thomas Torrance observed in his book The Mediation of Christ (Christ mediates Himself – not religion or law). “
The human heart is so desperately wicked that it cunningly takes advantage of the hiatus between what we are and what we ought to be in order to latch onto the patterns and structures of moral behaviour required of us.
“So that under the image of what is good and right it masks or even fortifies its evil intentions.
“Such is the self-deception of our human heart and the depravity of our self-will that we seek to justify ourselves before God and our neighbours by a formal, impersonal fulfilment of the divine law in which we remain untouched in ourselves and uncommitted in our own persons. Yet all the time we are fostering the very process of dehumanisation at work in the depths of our beings and trapping ourselves inescapably in insincere and hypocritical personalities.” (1) There are varieties of Christian superficiality. But genuine Kingdom Life is the state of being in Christ and expressing him in our families and vocations.
The import of these words is that by defining righteousness for ourselves in a finite and limited way, we persuade ourselves that in our person or denomination, we have a corner on justification that is self-earned and self-justified. It helps to explain the practice of pumping up our version of the gospel when it is actually no gospel at all. But just another example of what Paul calls ‘another gospel’ with which to curse ourselves and those foolish enough to be in our orbit. Or being a political figure who touts Christianity when there is an obvious disconnect between Jesus and the policies they promote.
(1)  Thomas Torrance. The Mediation of Christ. P.71
RapidWeaver Icon

The Trinity in You