Many people adapt and change over time and embrace fresh ideas with joy. Others never leave behind their mother’s ideas and their gazing at the past. Caught in a thimble of their own dogmas they react to the truth as heresy and confirm themselves in stagnation and decay. The adventure of life is to discover truth, to learn that things once held as gospel are not actually so and to step into reality as it is and not as it has been distorted to be by fearful minds and sincere ideologues. Thomas Torrance and those who have elaborated and explained his theology have done much to free Believers from subversive beliefs that undermine our fullness in Christ. We can enter heaven as an athlete or stagger in as a cripple. TRINITARIAN ONENESS Torrance's key idea is that the triune God is one in being (homoousion). [Another] key idea is that the doctrine of the Trinity holds the place of primacy in Christian theology in that it is the ground and grammar of all theological knowledge, it declares that God is for us, and it includes the doctrine of perichoresis, which declares that both God and humans are beings-in-relationship. It may be recognised that this state of being is quite different to the legalisms and definitionisms of fundamentalism. This contrasts with the mis-information that some Christians have absorbed, which is that the law is the ground and grammar of theology. It is not. The law is not the issue of life or of salvation. God and our sonship with God is the ground and being of our salvation and our union with God.
Our relationship with God is the effect of God’s relationship with Godself and Christ’s oneness with the trinity. Our oneness with God takes the form of God’s oneness in Himself – from His nature of personhood and communion. Never from an abstraction like the law.
WHO IS OUR CHRIST?
We need to live from the real Jesus in order to become the real us. In his excellent book Patmos, Baxter Kruger draws our attention to the false christ. Many of us would have imagined this to be some kind of occult figure or demagogue and it may include these. But the strategy of anti-christ deception is to present a subtle false christ: One of our own imagining and making; a christ composed of fear, guilt and twisted religious ideas of the kind to which we are all prone. Then again our false christ may be the product of a gospel that is different to Jesus and Paul, to that of the Church Fathers and the orthodox Body of Christ.
Any Christ that is not the Christ of Jesus, John and Paul is a false christ as is any Christ who is not the Representation of the New Covenant. Here’s a test. The command of God is to believe His Son.
The testimony of Jesus is that He is our life. That’s the testimony of Paul and the testimony of heaven. If you have made the choice to follow wherever Jesus leads and you have agreed with Him that He is indeed your life – you will be increasingly absorbed into His truth about Himself and about you.
If you have been smug enough and lazy enough to rationalise away the uncovering of inconvenient truths about your inherited ideas you can expect increasing torpor and delusion. We are now in a season where folly and futility are regarded as wisdom in the political sphere. Reject the same folly in the spiritual sphere and you will enter the Kingdom of God.
THE RICH AND THE POOR
‘Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.’ Don’t be among those who think they have something of substance when what they have is a mirage.
Just so we know, Jesus never represented the law or came as an apologist for the law. He was not informed by the law, did not conform to it and has never been a representation of the law.
Jesus came from the Father. He and the Father were one. He only did what Father was doing because He was one in the sense that the Son was a son as the Son of God and the Son of Man. Jesus did not live out of the law. He lived out of His Father. Had Jesus been subject to the law He could not have been God. The law would have been god being superior to the Son and the Father.
We are quite a different person as a Christian if we believe that the law is God to what we are if we believe Jesus Christ is God.
A law-based theology is a nonsense because it elevates the abstraction of the law above the agency and person of God.
MEANING OF PERSONS You as a human being were birthed by God from the womb of the trinity. The meaning of persons is that they are alive and have agency as sons of God. We are spirit beings with a body. When John emphasises that the core teaching of the Kingdom is that Christ has come in our flesh He is establishing the agency of personhood- spirit and life as the distinguishing feature of our sonship.
Spirit and life is the ‘brightness’ of life itself. It’s the ‘zing’ of true personhood. Christ our life makes us persons in a way they the law never can. There is something dull about law-captives that is not to do with intelligence. The dullness comes from a restricted and enervated humanity that has a mind-set separated from God. But objectively we have union with God. Why live in deceit and make a religion of it?
To be a real person Christ must be our life. Access to this life comes from the recognition that we have already been received into His mode of life; His fellowship with our Father and the grace of His life as ours. We come to know Jesus by Jesus and through Jesus being alive in our being. Don’t suffocate His presence with a misguided obsession with the law. Francois Du Toit writes,
“It is impossible to contemplate the real Jesus, without being overwhelmed with the way He unveils the real Father and the real you in himself!”
Your ability to impart His life and reveal the good news of the Kingdom in its glory depends on your being informed by a real gospel a real Jesus and living as the real you. False Christ’s always generate false selves and crippled souls. You will live in surpassing vitality of spirit and bodily life when you live in the reality that Christ really is your life.