NO DOUBLE JEOPARDY
Distorted Christian gospels may appear as some form of ‘Earning Christ’, ‘Getting yourself good enough to enjoy intimacy with Christ’, ‘Keeping close to Jesus’ and attempting to live from the law. Christ’ Gospel is that we live in Him and from Him. It’s direct because God has made it so. John puts it succinctly as Christ come in our flesh and Paul undoes dualistic conceptions with Christ our life.
WORDS TRUE AND DODGY
Bob gave Jane a ‘word’ which said, ‘Get yourself cleaned up and you will have more of Christ.’ But it takes Christ to clean us up so - what was presented as a word from the Lord was a Catch22 statement that did not come from Christ. George’s ‘word’ to Jim was that ‘Nothing you can ever do can separate you from God.’ This came from God because it is the testimony of scripture, of the Church Fathers and Christ Himself. ‘Nothing can take you out of My Hand.’
You are joined to God by God which is to say your separation from God is undone forever in Jesus Christ. Entitlement Practitioners may not like this but it affirms Paul’s words in Romans, ‘Nothing can separate you from the love of God.’ God’s word in Christ is yes and yes. Not yes and maybe.
Jesus declared to the woman at the well that He was the key to her worship of God in spirit and in truth, which is to say that in Himself He would include her life in His, so that she would possess His Worship as her own.
James Torrance writes, “Worship is.. the gift of participating through the Spirit in the incarnate Son’s communion with the Father… He lifts us up out of ourselves to participate in the very life and communion of the Godhead, that life of communion for which we were created. (1)
(1) James B Torrance, Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace, p 20.22.