‘But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse! Gal 1.8 NIV.
In John 17, Jesus urged that we ‘know God by knowing Him.’ God cannot be known like a packet of chewing gum. Everything about God is infinite and eternal. As we engage in the adventure of discovering the limitless realm of infinite love, we come across the amazing fact that CREATION IS CONDITIONED BY REDEMPTION. Our redemption was not panic stations for God and not an afterthought. Redemption was woven into creation. This is the fact that throws a proper light on predestination and removes from it the fraught nature and sense of arbitrariness it can provoke.
HIS ADVANCE PLAN
‘Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan’ Eph 1.12 NLT.
The prologue to John is the introduction of the new creation – the new dawn that is not separate from the original plan but a continuation of it. Similar in effect is Paul’s declaration in Col 1.15-23.
‘The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him…’
Belonging and not separation - which is the culture of the knowledge of good and evil - is the fabric of the trinity and hence of God’s Plan. Belonging and inclusion is God. This is why the law that is innately separatist leads up to and gives way to the Christ who draws us into union with God. It is why the Christ does not lead us into the law – unless he is a false christ.
‘For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect’ Matt 24.24 NIV.
THE UNIVERSAL CHRIST
Myk Habets observes “In the Incarnation redemption intersects and overlaps with creation in such a way that Christ and his Kingdom encompass all of history. Purpose is deliberately built into creation from the beginning and, as with the theosis of human beings so with creation itself, perfection is anticipated from the very creation, yet this perfection will not come about mechanistically or ‘naturally’, but rather through divine grace.” (1)
NOT A CLOCK
Sadly when surgeons of a fundamentalist stripe step out of their authority to re-invent themselves as theologians, they can tend to the mechanical concept of ‘being’ that the law suggests.
There is nothing mechanical, abstract or legalistic about the salvation formed and implemented by the trinitarian God. Nor can there be seeing that theosis* is about the ‘divinisation’ of humanity. To partake of the divine nature is to partake of God is in God’s living relationship of the trinity. Certainly this is because our lens is not the law but the Christ Himself as a member of this trinity.
We are not advocated deism. We are affirming that God incarnated Himself in the creation and in Israel and specifically revealed Himself and you in the person of Jesus Christ – God incarnated among us and now God incarnated by the Spirit of Sonship in you. God is not a generality. God is infinitely personal and it is in the person of Jesus that we encounter God’s fullness and agency.
“This same theme [communion of redemption with creation] echoes within the theology of Athanasius, a key influence upon Torrance, who repeatedly emphasised the connection between creation and redemption.” (2)
Thus the who of God is woven into the what of what God has done in drawing us into Himself. This explains why in Christ and oneness with Him we are alive with spirit and life when Christ is our life because in Him we have been made one with God. A mechanical life versus a ‘union with God life’ in oneness with Godself is the difference between the Gospel of Paul, Christ and John and the un-gospels of legalism and religion. * Theosis - Theosis is the belief, that Christians can experience a union with God and become like him so much that they participate in the divine nature. Retrograde ‘gospels’ see this as accomplished through the law. Classical Christianity sees it as a result of the incarnation.