Paul talks of My Gospel and also advises that there are gospels ‘That are no gospel at all.’ It’s not uncommon for some Believers to come to the end of their lives and come into the realisation that the Christian life that they had made so complicated and religious was far simpler than they had made it and for more comprehensive and restful than they had taught others to think.
Then there are others who come to the end of their lives who never realise that what they lived was a delusion and a substantial perversion of the Gospel of Jesus, Paul, John and the Fathers who established the tenets of the Christian Faith.
Paul uses the words ‘Christ our life’ because this is the summation of grace and the delineation of the Body of Christ. This is the means of righteousness and the one way in which we participate in oneness with God.
Thomas Torrance writes. [The] .. “incarnation .. has an intensely personalised character. We must think of Jesus as stepping into the relation between the faithfulness of God and the actual unfaithfulness of human beings, actualising the faithfulness of God and restoring the faithfulness human beings by grounding it in the incarnate medium of his own faithfulness so that it answers perfectly to the divine faithfulness. Thus, Jesus steps into the actual situation where we are summoned to have faith in God, to believe and trust in him, and he acts in our place and in our stead from within the depths of our unfaithfulness and provides us freely with a faithfulness in which we may share.” (1)
CHRIST OUR LIFE
Jesus is our life and hence our faith and as a result, our relationship with God. One does not have to work up a relationship with Jesus by demonstrating worthiness through various activities of piety that could be called ‘Keeping close to Jesus.’ Such a view implies we must save ourselves before we can be saved – which is an obvious nonsense. Nevertheless, this is the kind of ‘gospel’ that is the non-gospel that some Believers live their wilted lives in.
This derivation is not the kind of life that is ours as a branch of the vine. Incarnation as illustrated by the Lord’s Table indicates that we are ‘one flesh’ with Christ and that the Lord’s Table is a reminder and celebration that we have been made one with God in Jesus. The Lord’s Table is not a means whereby we mourn about the cross and resolve to give Jesus a better deal from our end. It illustrates that Christ’s life is our life.
GROWING UP INTO CHRIST
Jesus is our life and our faith. In oneness with Him we will possess His life and grow into His faith.
Torrance continues, “You will recall how, in the course of that meal in which Jesus inaugurated with his disciples the new covenant in his body and blood for the remission of sins, he told Peter that he would deny him three times, and then added: 'I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.' Now of course it did fail, but all through that fearful failure it was restored, stabilised and strengthened within the embrace of the unswerving faithfulness of Jesus. It was upon that rock of faith that the Church was built.” (2)
It's on His Faith that your faith is built and on which you are built as a son/daughter of God. You are a person who is a son/daughter of God in the Christ of God.