WORSHIP IS A LIFE IN GOD
“Worship” is relating to God. Worship is a life. Scottish theologian, J. B. Torrance observes that, “The bible is primarily a manual of worship, but too often it has been treated, particularly in Protestantism, as a manual of ethics, of moral values, of religious ideas, or even of sound doctrine. When we see that the worship and mission of the church are the gift of participating through the Holy Spirit in the incarnate Son’s communion with the Father and the Son’s mission from the Father to the world, that the unique center of the Bible is Jesus Christ, “the apostle and high priest whom we confess” (Heb. 3:1), then the doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the atonement, the ministry of the Spirit.. all unfold from that center. (Pg. 9)… Worship is.. the gift of participating through the Spirit in the incarnate Son’s communion with the Father.”
We are urged to worship in spirit and in truth. But if we are contained in the law we worship neither in truth or in spirit.
THE I AM OF YOU
Concrete thinkers fall easily into legalism. A mechanical mindset is the modus operandi of the engineer and the surgeon. But God is not a clock and we are not machines. We are embodied spirits. God is because God is. We are as we are meant to be when one with God – sons instead of inhabitants of the valley of dead bones. You are not an I AM if you are a mechanism. But you are a son of God in spirit and in truth if you possess what is yours: Oneness with God.
Knowing God comes from the courage to be. Thomas Torrance believed there was a proper way to do Christian theology. Essentially this way was the LIVING WAY that is Christ in person in us. The aptness of this Way is that in Christ we are the lens in which the truth of God is discerned and known. We are also the being who is the expression of Christ. This is the genuine whole person approach.
The truth about God and ourselves is found entirely in the person and teaching of Christ and the apostles – known as the ‘apostles doctrine.’
THE KNOWING OF SONS
Knowing God’s truth is a state of being – of union with God – which is the Fall undone. Truth separated from God is never truth. This is why information as information is bereft of spirit and life. A life of texts presented as Bible study will only be alive with spirit and life if we are in oneness with God – not oneness with the law.
VALID CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY
Torrance defined orthodox Christian teaching: There is no legitimate revelation pertaining to our salvation additional to that enunciated by Jesus and the apostles. Describing ‘proper theology he asserts,
“We do not question God but are questioned by God. We are confronted by God’s self-revelation in the person of Jesus Christ; we do not discover God in our own strength or through our own isolated observations. Theological science is therefore impossible if God has not first spoken to us. Nature, on the contrary, is mute and cannot speak for itself. Natural science discovers truth; theological science is encountered by the Truth.”
ONE GOSPEL NOT MANY
‘Encountered by the truth’ is the key to knowing God. The truth is Christ Himself and His revelation of His own and the apostles teaching. There are no additions or subtractions that are valid.
TRUTH SETS FREE
God has spoken to us in His Word and God speaks to us as the Living Word. The written word is known accurately for what it is in the being of God. To be incarnated by God is to know God as God is. All versions of separation from God confuse the mind and deny us fullness of life.
God speaks to all but it is easier to hear Him clearly and un-muffled when we are living in the new covenant oneness that is ours in the Last Adam. Here we are positioned to be ‘encountered by the truth’ since we are in God and God is in us. This is the reason why those who live in oneness possess sharp spiritual discernment while those who remain in the law wander in religious circles uttering half-truths or nonsense. Just as one can be a climate change denier because one thinks more of one’s status quo than climatic truth, so one will be a life-denier when one prefers one’s own version of the truth rather than the apostles doctrine.
Joined to God in your new covenant inheritance you are marinated in truth and light and sensitised to spirit and life. Here you will quickly discern death pretending to be life because you are not a son according to a definition. You are a son in your being – a son in spirit and in truth.
(1) Morrison, Stephen D.. T. F. Torrance in Plain English (Plain English Series Book 2 (p. 11). Beloved Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.