THE LAW THAT IS UNION WITH LIFE
I studied under a theologian who had many good things to say about grace. Yet his teaching was limited in that it he taught a variety of grace that enabled Believers to come to terms with the law. A law-based epistemology is incapable of portraying an accurate view of righteousness, our life in God or membership in the Body of Christ.
Grace is never the application of external precepts. It’s the replacement of your life with Christ’s life.
The law has been dealt with by Christ. It has been abolished.* It has been annulled because Adam’s tree of knowledge has been undone. The law as one expression of the knowledge of good and evil and a delusionary godliness is finished. Abolished in exchange for the new and living way - the person of Christ as us – Christ come in our flesh. In Life in the Spirit Christ gets to manifest in your being as you. You as an individual are graced with His life to become the expression of Christ. Together as such we are the Body of Christ.
No matter how hard we try in the law, we can never encompass the completeness and holiness of a righteous life. However at rest in Christ and welcoming Christ as our life, His incarnated person in us will always make us more than we are and deliver a holistic life. Only in the incarnation can one live out a whole person approach to Kingdom living. Our post cross inheritance is a state of being of oneness with Christ and the triune God.
The experience of the living Christ in you has been called mysticism. It is mystical because it is the same kind of spirit and life that bore Sarah and Abram a child. It’s the same agency of the Spirit by which the Son of God became incarnated as the Son of Man. Christ in you is life in the Spirit and Christ come in your flesh. This is not some add-on. It’s the basis of Kingdom life in God.
John Crowder in ‘Mystical Union’ observes, “The reformers – they did not go far enough. Yes, their theology on faith was revolutionary. But they missed it on the topic of indwelling sin in a believer.. The reformation was cut short in many ways. Or perhaps I should say that the reformation is not yet finished.. Even the reformers were not reformed enough. You will see how the cross united us to Christ, not just positionally, but effectively. It doesn’t just cover our sins, but eradicates sinfulness itself from us. Just as there is a new mysticism on the rise, I believe it is coupled with a new reformation.. Even the days of Luther will seem utterly primitive in its concepts of grace and faith.” (1)
CHRIST OUR LIFE
Via the incarnation, we do not become sinless. But we do become transformed. Christ is mediated directly to the Believer. He is incarnated in our being. Woven into us His life becomes our life. Sin and degradation is driven out and healing and righteousness is imparted. The Lord’s Table does not secure this. This sacrament is a celebration and reminder that we have been made one substance with Christ. We live in a perichoresis of oneness with God yet growing into the fullness of ourselves. Righteousness is more than anti-sin. It’s you coming into your glory as your real self as a son of God.
‘The law of the spirit of life is incarnation. Not the law and the prophets.
(1) John Crowder, Mystical Union, Introduction.