THE WOMB OF THE TRINITY
When Christians say the Christ-Life is in them, they do not mean simply something mental or moral. When They speak of being "in Christ" or
of Christ being "in them," this is not simply a way of saying that they are thinking about Christ or copying Him. They mean that Christ is actually operating through them; that the whole mass of Christians are the physical organism through which Christ acts, that we are His fingers
and muscles, the cells of His body.
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
An obsession with the law/moralism is an aberration that does not come from God. God comes from God. Persons come from God. Personhood comes from God and God comes in you. This makes you a person who is a son rather than a slave.
CHRIST AS YOU
When Paul stated that Christ is our life he was instilling into the minds and hearts of Believers the truth that in every way Christ is for us and the expression of us – which is to say that we become sons of God as a manifestation of Christ.
A focus on ‘Original sin’ fastens us in the view that we are totally evil by inclination. We may be inclined to evil but we are not totally evil. The non-believer is imbued with the spirit of God. The Believer is more personally and intensely imbued, yet capable of meanness and dishonourable deeds. For this reason, we are graced by Christ’s atonement and made alive in His incarnated life. He becomes us.
Our predilection to evil began with Adam. Original sin is not original. We came from the trinity. This was our womb and our place of origin. There’s no sin there. So Adam is our problem – if we choose to live in Adam. But our life is in Christ. Jesus joins us to our origins in the life of God. He joins us to our present in our incarnated life. He draws us into our destiny as sons of God growing into our glory.
You are not meant to be engaged in sin-management in the post cross age. The conflicted life Paul spoke of was the life lived in the bisected world of the knowledge of good and evil. Neither Paul nor ourselves become perfect when we move from Adam to Christ. But we do say with Paul, ‘By the grace of God I am who I am.’ We live in the freedom of not getting into a tizz or a depression about sin. We live in the freedom of growing into our True Selves.
We also say with Paul that when Christ is our life we grow daily into our glory. What is this glory? It’s the glory of being the son/daughter that Christ made us to be.
True holiness is to be who you are in Christ. Sinning is caused by being a non-self in separation from Christ. Such sins can be the degrading things we do and the more subtle sin of settling for a false self in a self-made grace, a denominationally manufactured messiah or the belief that we have found an identity in a career. We may have, but it will not be our real self in the spirit of sonship.
Many years ago while on holiday I read a book by Matthew Fox entitled, ‘Original Blessing.’ Its theology confirmed what my heart was telling me, that we are not overwhelmingly bad and that the corollary – that pleasure, especially sexual pleasure was bad, promoted a life of inhibition in which the deceived are constantly afraid that enjoyable things may become ‘the thin edge of the wedge’ leading us in to the swamp of our inner perfidy.
The fetish with original sin, and its association with sex blinds us to the subtly of sin, its cause as separation from God and its cultural expressions in the form of materialism, greed, economic injustice and the killing of the earth at the behest of the god of consumption.
In Adam all die. In Christ all are made alive. In Adam we will distort ourselves. In Christ we will become who we are. In Adam our degradations and sins re-emerge in another form. In Christ, His life becomes our life in our body, soul and spirit.
In Jesus Christ we are not given a moral program with ‘Jesus power’. We are given His life come in our flesh as John puts it. In Christ we are given His life with God – which is to say that we join Him in the Communion that is the triune God.
Sin did not exist before the fall because the law did not exist in heaven or on earth. The state of being was oneness with The Communion that is God. Adam and Eve belonged to this Communion as sons and daughters. The knowledge of good and evil and the obsession with sinning and sin did not exist because it cannot in oneness with God.
Jeff Turner explains this well when he writes, “In this [pre-fall] state of possessing a pure knowledge of God humanity was lacking in any concept of good or evil, for this “knowledge” had not yet become a part of the human experience. It had yet to enter into our lives which would seem to suggest that originally, man was not made to behold God as “holy” in a moral or behavioural sense, as God discouraged man from eating the fruit that would grant him this ability. In man’s original mind there were no lines of distinction between good and bad, or sacred and secular. God was all in all, and Adam and Eve enjoyed life in the context of His presence, without a consciousness or understanding of sin.” (1)
The pious Sin Manager is as irritating and small-minded as the miser and scarcity-monger. An obsession with sin and the law, with moralism and pious agendas is not the inheritance Jesus has given us. God’s passion is life – not right and wrong. Significantly Jesus declares, ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ John 10.10 NIV. Jesus does not mention ‘sinning.’ He mentions the robbery of life that is the essence of lies, false narratives, deviant gospels and the cursed un-life that they produce. Jesus in contrast comes to offer life that flows from Himself, to restore life without limit.
(1) Turner Jeff, Saints in the Arms of a Happy God, p.32.