YOU ARE PART OF GOD AND GOD IS PART OF YOU - SONSHIP
The Body of Christ is much more than the church collected. It’s more than a mental attachment to Christianity and certainly much more than being a member of a Christian Institution. As the Body we are part of Christ in our being and in fellowship with the trinity because Christ is our life. The words Christ our life are relevant personally and cosmically.
Christ is our life but we need to agree that He is as a way of life.
Torrance notes that the Nicene Fathers saw heresy as impiety and ungodliness, usually rooted in some sort of epistemological dualism. This is not surprising as spiritual dualism has its orgin in the Fall.
We need to see dualism in spirituality as what it is by nature and effect. It’s a form of separationism that flows from the attempt to ‘be as gods’ in mistrust and separation from God.
The identity politics and polarised thinking that has become a plague in this season is the result of our being found in ourselves and not in God. This separationism is par for the course ‘in the world’ and has made great inroads in the church. The fact it that as Believers we are one with God. This is our objective situation. We need to make it our subjective reality.
FALSE NARRATIVE BEGINS
Adam and Eve bought the lie that God could not be trusted and who they were in God was not enough. The truth was that Father was fully trustworthy and that they were more than enough as sons of God.
Believers today can continue to buy into the lie that the incarnation is not enough, that Christ our life is insufficient compared to the law and that self-activity in the flesh is more holy than Christ come in their flesh. They believe this because of poor teaching and because it appeals to the human ego.
Separationism is the fabric of life in the realm of the law of sin and death. We are talking a culture of the knowledge of good and evil lived out in versions of Christianity that pay only lip service to the incarnation and Christ our life as both our salvation and the expression of our best self.
A debilitating illusion in some circles is that the law is an entity that exists separate from God. One may wish to assert that God is the law. But even this is not correct. God is the trinity. This is the authentic expression of God’s being and this is why we can say that God is love. The relationship of the trinity is life, love and joy.
RED HERRING MADE CORE
In Jesus we are made one in this perichoresis. The red herring of the law subverts this reality and introduces an element that is largely irrelevant to our life in God.
LEGACY OF ARIANISM
The fabric of some communities of faith is an implicit Arianism that subverts the one substance of our Father and the Son to a less than God teacher and moral leader – an exponent of the law, whose mission was to show that the law could and can be kept.
Such a christ is not One who is one with Father and who draws His being and life by being one with Father. This is a lesser christ – a false christ who is not the Christ of God.
Torrance argues that Athanasius rejected Arianism among other reasons because of their dualism between God and the world. This dualism was expressed in Neoplatonist dichotomies. Some systems of belief with their dichotomised sacred/secular outlook are more the product of Neo-Platonism than they are of Christ.
HOLY IS WHERE YOU ARE
Although Moses was told to take off his shoes because he was on holy ground, the truth that God was presenting to him in the burning bush was the truth of the coming Christ who would come as a human being yet be the manifestation of the triune God.
Since the cross, the ripping of the curtain in the temple and the cry ‘It is finished!’ separation real and imagined has been undone. God is incarnated in our being and through us His Spirit is incarnated in the creation in an intensity that was not possible before the son of man appeared as God with us.
PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE
I was brought up in a church that believed law keeping made people ‘Partakers of the divine nature.’ It does the opposite. The law is the province of the separated Adam. The Spirit is Christ our life.
In Christ God is in us. This is the meaning of Paul’s Christ our life. “Torrance puts forward the view that the primary sacrament of the church is Jesus Christ himself and holds that this means that the sacraments must be understood as participating in the mystery of Christ through the Spirit.” (1)
The Lord’s Table does not bring Christ into us. It is reminder and a celebration of the fact that Christ lives in us to manifest Himself as us. This is the church Jesus builds without human hands. It is the new creation Kingdom of God that has more substance that any element of the knowledge of good and evil.
(1) Radcliff, Jason Robert. Thomas F. Torrance and the Church Fathers: A Reformed, Evangelical, and Ecumenical Reconstruction of the Patristic Tradition. Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.