God is not a generality. ‘Person’ is the essence of God’s being and relationship with God is made for us by God in Christ. Christ who by the Spirit lives with us and in us. Jesus promised the disciples and us that we would never be orphans. Jesus’ relationship with Father becomes ours in Christ who mediates Himself to us in similar fashion to the kind of relationship that is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is to say that we participate in God, yet get to be entirely ourselves – our true selves as we advance from glory to glory in sonship/daughtership.
We are included in God. This inclusion and not the law/moralism is the basis of the new you and the new creation Kingdom of God.
Thomas Torrance assures us that we have “
A Hebraeo-Christian soteriological conception of God .. governed by the decisive fact that in Jesus Christ God himself personally intervenes in the world working out the salvation of mankind.
“Jesus Christ is none other than God the eternal Word and Son revealing himself to us and acting directly on our behalf within our human existence and life. Hence the Nicene theologians argued that, with the incarnate presence of God among us, whatever is said and done by God is said and done exclusively from the Person of Christ. Here the Old Testament concepts of the Face and Word of God are so intensely personalised that to see and hear the Lord Jesus Christ is to see and hear God the Father himself face to face.” There is no separation in Christ Jesus.
We are not distant from God, not separated and not waiting for a visitation or manifestation to give us some assurance. The cross is our assurance which is the atonement of Christ for us in real time. The Son of God came in the flesh as Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus, the Son of God comes in our flesh by incarnation. This is our life in the Spirit and is the basis of our peaceful-satisfying life. The gifts and holiness grow from within. Holiness comes as Christ as you. Never from our successfully assimilated selves to a bunch of virtues.
Many books have been written on
Churches that Abuse. Much of it happens as a result of authoritarian, manipulation and control – and all of it with some version of legalism. I joked to a pastor once saying, ‘We belong to a form of abuse.’ The abuse in this case was not of the kind describes above. It came from a subtle fabric of  non-gospel, woven as church culture in which one earns Christ by self-effort. Such a christ is a false christ crafted from a false gospel and a lying culture. The effect is to dehumanise and the dull the spirit.
The truth is that Christ has earned us. Conscientious pastors and teachers can spend their lives trying to put a decent face onto that which is a corrupted gospel. ‘Blind guides’ end up as executives in these cultures, often chosen because they lack the intellect to perceive that the culture they represent a lie based on years of deceit. Or chosen because their stubbornness of heart immunises them to genuine discipleship.
‘If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea’ Matt 18.6 NIV.
It’s a mistake to degrade Christ into a front for legalism and religion. You will live an un-encumbered life if you live from where Christ has placed you – in company with Himself, Father and Holy Spirit. In Christ you are included, and you belong. The issue of the ages is your inclusion in God. The issue for us is whether we are going to live in our inclusion or manufacture some criteria of our own.