The veracity of our apostleship rests on the foundation of our gospel. Is it Christ’s Gospel or is it a variation that robs Christ of substance in the name of zeal? Jesus warned us of paddocks of tares and Paul wrote of ‘other gospels’ that attract a curse.
ROOTEDNESS IS MANDATE
There’s a line of rootedness that starts in Jesus and the apostles, continues in the Church Fathers and the Nicaean Creed, is revived in the Reformation and is being re-lived today in the living out of a complete atonement and the direct mediation of Christ in His incarnation in people.
If Arianism was a perversion, then so is legalism and moralism masquerading as the Kingdom Jesus began.
The apostolic nature of the church is the the Body of Christ acting out the mandate of given to the first apostles. This is the realisation and activation of the Divine Enterprise that saw the son of God manifest as Jesus of Nazareth and following His resurrection, it saw the Christ of God manifest as you and I and as the church. We are talking the incarnation – Christ come in our flesh, the bread and the wine of the Lord’s Table, being the Lord Himself, lived out in our flesh and blood. We are talking the being of God, the trinity, lived out in the sons and daughters of God.
Jesus is the New Adam in that all Kingdom life comes from Him. This is the gospel of the Kingdom. This is the apostles doctrine. This is the Body of Christ as the manifestation of the Christ of God and this is the apostolic and universal church. Jesus did not come to deliver a new way of keeping the law. Jesus has not installed Himself as the Fixer-Upper of Adam’s deviant way. He is the new and living way and this way is Himself manifesting as the church of God who are the Body of Christ. Given the above - the law is irrelevant. Irrelevant because it is replaced by the mystery and reality of the fullness of God manifest as the individual and as the church. Thomas Torrance writes,
“In its simplest sense the apostolicity of the Church refers back to the original foundation of the Church once for all laid by Christ upon the apostles, but it also refers to the interpenetration of the existence and mission of the Church in its unswerving fidelity to that apostolic foundation. As the incarnate Son of the Father Jesus regarded himself as having been anointed by the Spirit and clothed with his power for the fulfilment of his unique evangelical mission.
With its completion in the cross and resurrection, he commissioned his disciples as apostles to act in his name, thereby linking their subordinate mission with his own supreme mission: ‘As the Father has sent me, so I send you’. At the same time he breathed his Spirit upon them, thereby constituting their sending by him as the empirical counterpart to the sending of the Holy Spirit by the Father in the name of the Son, which took place as Jesus had promised on the day of Pentecost.” (1)
God is manifest as you in the incarnation. This is a constant and subtle presence of the trinity in you. It’s your healing and the healing that makes you as a disciple a healer of people and the earth. There are manifestations. There are gifts of healing. But these to have a lasting effect must be rooted in the incarnation and act as a sign of the Greater Healing which is the achievement of the union of God with humanity in the person of Jesus Christ.
The apostolic foundation of the church is the incarnation of the Christ – God with us in Palestine, God in us following Pentecost and the trinity in us every day.
Any law-based gospel makes sin the pressing reality. The ultimate reality is the trinity and your inclusion in the Family of God.
‘Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV.
Baxter Kruger following Thomas Torrance and the Church Fathers writes, “It all begins with the Trinity and the great dance of life shared by the Father, Son and Spirit. That is the rhyme and reason and mystery of it all.” The meaning of life since Christ and His cross is that we are included in their Communion. In Jesus Christ this Communion that is God has reached out and drawn us into itself. Our being is alive in this Ultimate Being.
Our being is also one in our oneness in God. God is not in some compartment in us. God is woven into our being just as we are woven into Him. God can speak to you any way He likes and the Bible says He does in visions and dreams and words of Knowledge. But the Spirit of God bears witness to your spirit because His Spirit is part of you. You are one with God but always yourself.*
There is no separation in Christ Jesus. There is no dualism that is real and no cosmos divided between Satan and Christ. By the atoning work of the cross Jesus has drawn all people and all things into Himself and is doing so continually. The fall is finished. The Kingdom of Heaven has come. It lives to the extent that we live in the truth of Christ and reject the lies that continue the fall beyond the cross. The drawing of all things into Christ will reach its completion at the Second Coming of Christ.
* You can know things that come from God because you are one with Him. Don’t be over-awed by those who say ‘God told me’ something that you already knew without a vision or dream. God does not tell us things that contradict scripture. But He does correct legalised interpretations of the Bible by good theology and by instruction by Holy Spirit. Steer clear of those who advertise their hearing from God but who have the spiritual discernment of a pumpkin and the wisdom of a newt.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (pp. 285-286). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.