WHY CHRIST IS OUR LIFE
There was no law before the fall because there was no ‘good and evil’, no dichotomised reality and no dualistic conception of being. God, Adam and Eve –just were.
SPLIT REALITY UDONE
When Paul uses the words, ‘Made the two one’ in Ephesians, he is not just talking about Jews and Gentiles. Paul is telling us that in the atonement Jesus Christ has healed a riven creation. Humanities’ alienation from God has ended in the at-one-ment that is Jesus Christ.
You are not on your own. You belong. You are included in the circle that is God – the Holy Family. This trinity is unity in diversity, oneness, belonging and life without limit. You have been drawn into this life and this life has entered you in in the Spirit of Christ.
Many folks understand that exclusiveness, withdrawal from community, selfishness, narcissism and the contraction of the self into deep within one’s being - connotes ill-health of the soul and positioning for sin. It has been argued that sin is what we do to find life in separation from God.
In Ephesians Paul states that Jesus Christ draws all things into Himself. John tells us in chapter 17 that Jesus prays that all will live in the oneness with God that the trinity enjoys and that this kind of love – unity in diversity - when seen by the world will convince many that God is love and that God is real.
‘I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one— I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me’ John 17.22-23.
Jesus is saying that the oneness offered in Himself is the oneness that is the trinitarian communion ENFOLDING US IN THEMSELVES.
Jeff Turner writes, “Formerly [before the fall] man had seen only the declared “it is good” of God’s creation, but this fruit offered him the opportunity to see things differently. By eating it he could become “like God”, possessing the ability to see evil in what was originally said to be good. This tree’s fruit injected a literal “knowledge”, or way of thinking, into the stream of human consciousness that was not a part of the original creation.”
HEALS THE WORLD
In response to the fracturing of reality, God entered the world as a human being and initiated a new creation that grows out of Himself into us. In Jesus our Adam died and in Jesus our real self – seen before the foundation of the world - comes into being. We are becoming whole, if we live from where God has positioned us – in Himself - the expression of Christ. This is what it means to be incarnated and alive in the spirit of sonship. Jesus Christ is the healing of the world and the healing of us all. For this reason, although signs and healings can be an evangelistic tool they are not the main event. They point to the Christ of the Greater Healing – the healing of our relationship with God.
Union with God, which is what we now have, leads to Godliness. Our attempts to be godly do not make us Godly. Union with God, which is what we have, makes us Godly.
SEPARATIONISM AS RELIGION
Legalism is not un-related to Arianism – at least to the notion that “There was once when the Son was not.” The assumed separation of Jesus Christ from Father undoes the incarnation. Such a postulated separation undoes the at-one-ment and lays a foundation for a variety of christianity that that is consumed with overcoming separation from God. It lays down an epistemology of separation and an obsession with earning intimacy with God.
CHRIST OUR LIFE
Athanasius saw this, as did the Church Father’s, Thomas Torrance, Baxter Kruger and others who have helped explain the vicarious humanity of Christ. If oneness with God in Jesus is not the reality that we have been given, then self-effort, legalism and continuing in the tenets of the knowledge of good and evil is the way. N. T. Wright might assert this. But it’s not. The new and living way is Christ our life in His Person and in His joining of us to the Communion that is the trinity.
Legalism is both a subtle and profound aberration of the Gospel of Jesus and the apostles. To believe that we earn union with God by success in keeping the law is like saying that we overcome in the realm of the knowledge of good and evil by mastering the issues in the knowledge of good and evil – which is quite a delusion.