SONS OF GOD BECAUSE CHRIST IS YOUR LIFE
Jesus declared that following His teaching and cross, human beings would never again be orphans. He said that the presence of God would be in us and with us. This presence is not affronted by our sin, not repelled by it and never stalled in any way. Our darkness, stubbornness and obstinacy are overcome by The Christ who is Love and Grace in person.
To live Christ our life is to live in Him who is grace, forgiveness, the un-doing of separation and the certainty of belonging to God. More than anything else it is to have our being infused with un-diluted life.
CHRIST YOUR LIFE BEGAN
When Jesus cried out, ‘It is finished!’ all our misgivings and assorted alienations were made nothing. In being crucified Jesus entered into the most depraved act of human kind – the murder of the Son of God and the author of life. In this act Jesus used our gross wickedness as the means of undoing us from the deceit that began in Adam to start us anew as a race of beings who would truly be the sons and daughters of God. Being who are life and love because He is who we are. This was initiated by His cross and guaranteed by His resurrection.
Virtue has no existence on its own. It’s not an abstraction that hangs in the ether independent of God. Virtue is God and more specifically it is the triune God. Genuine virtue is not acts of piety. Real virtue is us as the expression of God. This is Christ our life.
STATUS OF SONS
We were always notionally the sons of God. Notional rather than in spirit and in truth, we were capable of killing the Savour of the World. Following Jesus’ resurrection we became sons and daughters of God in spirit and in truth. But to possess what is ours we must embrace our inheritance. The inheritance Jesus urged us to embrace is this:
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
IN HIS FELLOWSHIP
The relationship that Jesus has drawn us into is His relationship with Father and Holy Spirit. Thus, “When we talk about the Trinity and about Trinitarian theology, we need to start from our most basic encounter with the gospel. It’s that knowledge of God – the little old lady in the back of the church who’s read her Bible all of her life, who’s prayed, who’s worshiped, who’s been in Christian fellowship, who’s attempted to love her neighbour – that knowledge of God that she has, meditating on the Scriptures, coming to know the love of God the Father, through the grace of Jesus Christ, in the communion of the Holy Spirit – that is Trinitarian theology, and that’s what the doctrine of the Trinity is all about.” (1)
You are included in the fellowship of God. It’s a fellowship of persons. Not only companionship with our origins but intimacy with who we are becoming in increasing glory.
The Kingdom is about persons. About Family. About belonging. It’s about the person of us, the persons of the trinity and the community of people we call the church. We become the church by agreeing that we have been drawn into the fellowship of the trinity by the very enterprise of the trinity that culminated in Pentecost and more: The incarnation of God in His fullness in human beings.
Who you become depends on who you think you are. If you are a sinner saved by grace that is what you will be. If you are a son of God because you believe that this is who you became through the cross then you are a son/daughter in spirit and in truth.
The problem with certain theologies is that they are grounded in human experience. For example, law-bound theologies make us obsess over religion, entwine us in sin consciousness and suffocate the life that could be ours in God – because they are not about life. They are about religion. They start with our experience and strive to get to God. But never arrive. Our belonging in God does not begin with human experience. It begins in the experience of God. It begins in the conviviality and joy of the trinity. It starts in the Source of all life and being and it draws us into this through the person of Jesus Christ.
You began in God, you come from God. You are in God on account of Jesus Christ, you are growing daily into the glory of your own persons who is a son/daughter of God.
If you are like me and the many people I know, you may not have been very successful in fending off sins and sinning. You may have made bad choices of the kind one can make when one has more or religion than they do of God. There is not a lot of God in law-based religion. It insulates us from Jesus Christ. Knowing that you and Jesus are one and living from this, orients us to wisdom and right-doing. But this is not the main power of Christ our life. His life by the Spirit actually becomes our life. When Christ is in us and with and woven into our being, we have his attraction to all that is alive. We possess His antipathy to sin. This is not to say that we instantly become sinless. We live in His grace which gives us the freedom to be ourselves as we grow into greater degrees of His Life.
Godliness is the effect of Christ our life. If you are in any way observant, you will have seen that legalists are not alive in their spirit or robust in their souls. The pious are the most irritating and the most dead, swatting and gnats and living as camels. They are not actually alive in their spirit. Like people in a wheel-chair they make the best of what they have. The tragedy is that they have inherited so much more.
WOVEN INTO GOD
For example, we can study up all the Bible has to say about the Spirit of Sonship – and be no more a son than when we began. Because the sonship is not a product of understanding a text. It is participating in the fellowship of the trinity – being one with God in a real way. Jesus urged us to enter this real way with these words: ‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV. This is your life in God. Not some contract you are trying to keep in place to assure God and yourself that you are worthy of being loved.
Many Believers enjoy but a faint connection with God. The closest some get to him is the daily bargain they make, their quid pro quo arrangement of earning acceptance with God. While not overtly living from the law many live from selected virtues and dispositions or one or two of Moses laws that they have isolated. This is not to say they have no connection with God. It could be said that they have enough connection to make them miserable and turn others of off God.
But a connection of this kind is more like the relationship between landlord and tenant than the relationship of intimacy and joy in which the trinity flourish. This is not our relationship and our inheritance. We are one with God. This is the new covenant expressed as fellowship with God. This is why the law-bound Believer who asserts she belongs to the Body of Christ has quite a different relationship to a person who lives in God as part of God and interwoven into the trinity with the trinity woven into their being.
DRUDGERY OF THE LETTER
‘Letter’ construed ‘godliness’ is quite different to Godliness in which we and our Father are one in spirit and in truth. “The Bible is like a love letter you can read, but until you actually encounter the One that it’s talking about, you really don’t understand the letter. It’s only when you participate in the love of God and Christ that Scripture makes sense. Theology needs to be rooted deeper than simply in the text of Scripture. We need to go through the text of Scripture till we come to know the reality.” (2)
The reality is Christ. Both in you and as you. He has come in your flesh and you are in His Spirit. You are a son, a daughter in spirit and in truth. Have an Easter Life!
(1) Anderson, Ray; Colyer, Elmer; Dawson, Gerrit; Deddo, Gary; Kettler, Christian; Kruger, Baxter; McKenna, John; McSwain, Jeff; Newell, Roger; Young, Paul. Trinitarian Conversations, Volume 1: Interviews With Ten Theologians (You're Included) (p. 25). Grace Communion International. Kindle Edition.
(2) Anderson. Ibid. (p. 27). Grace Communion International. Kindle Edition.