It is clear that all who take the name of Christ belong to the Body of Christ. The issue is, however, what kind of ‘belonging’ have we embraced. It is true that people do not have to understand the detail of the salvation that has been achieved for them to be saved – but there is more to a relationship with God than ‘being saved.’ We should ask the question, ‘What kind of salvation is ours?’ and ‘Is it the fullness of the inheritance that belongs to us in Christ?
WHEN BELIEF BECOMES A CURSE
Paul was emphatic about this. He asserted his Gospel as the Gospel of the Kingdom and warned of ‘other’ gospels, particularly ‘gospels’ sourced from angels and by implication ‘prophetic figures’ offering some new interpretation or ‘key.’ Such interpretations can emerge from schools of theology or be the result of misguided reactions to historical events. Whatever the source, the underlying source is doctrines of demons purveying cunningly devised fables. Thus many of these aberrations are variations on the original lie of the fall. Some of them take the form of an inverted cross, because they start with Christ and end with the law.
LIGHT AND LIFE
Nevertheless, as the prologue to the book of John attests the truth will out because the nature of truth is light and light eventually overcomes the darkness. Jesus is the Light of the World. Walking with Jesus enables us to learn how to see and to see things as they are, so that we ‘Rightly divide (interpret) the word of truth’. Thus while ‘special knowledge’ worship’ as a thing in itself is a form of Gnosticism, the knowledge of God as God, is life and light.
Myk Habets cites an example of this in regard to Thomas Torrance’s view of right knowledge as ‘right life’. “Knowledge is the basis of this.. theosis: knowledge of God the Father as revealed through God the Son. Jesus Christ is the Truth who has accommodated himself to humanity in an economic condescension. He is also a man who hears and obeys the Divine Word in his incarnate life. As such he provides for us in his own obedient Sonship, within our human nature, the way whereby we are carried up to knowledge of God the Father – the attainment of true life.” (1)
SONS NOT DELINQUENTS
Genuine discipleship is learning and being willing to be carried along in the sonship of Jesus to the Father.
Paul warned that the consequence of following ‘other gospels’ was a curse. This means that any variation from the Gospel of Jesus, Paul and John exposes us to a deprived life in which the fullness of Christ’s infinite life in us is suffocated by false assumptions and ideas polluted by elements of the lie that brought on the fall. ‘Grace’ does not overcome self-delusion. Grace and truth leads the way to the liberty that is Christ’s life without limit.
(1) Habets Myk, Theosis in the Theology of Thomas Torrance126