There was no law before the Fall. After that it was only given to the Jews. God gave it to them in the knowledge that it would not work. It was a corridor to lead to the Messiah. Not only would God be with us but in Jesus He would be a life to indwell us. This would not be our own life, yet He would be our possession. He would not be our own self, yet He would be us. He would be the real us as sons of God. This is the love of God and the paradox of the gospel.
ONENESS WITH GOD
The genius of the incarnation is that you are part of God and entirely the real you: Perichoresis.
‘This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God’ 1 John 4.2 NIV.
There was an order before the Fall however. This order was found in relationship with God. Wholeness, holiness, harmony and joy were entirely the function of Adam and Eve’s relationship with God.
This relationship harmonised us with Father and the entire universe. It was not law in the normal sense. It was the logos who is the living word - the Son of God. Paul named it the law of the spirit of life. It’s not the Ten Commandments either. It is Christ in us, Christ as us and Christ as society. We are the manifestation of the trinity.
That’s what sons are. Many Christians have missed this. They live in externalities and their Christianised version of the law and the knowledge of good and evil. The Kingdom will not be revealed in glory or authority until we live from the incarnation because we will remain puddling along in our post cross version of the law.
IN THEM AND WITH THEM
Healing folks in the manner of Jesus is the outward sign of the spirit and life who is incarnated in us and who becomes us. There is excellent teaching on the incarnation and the trinity here. But healing and signs are advertisements for the greater healing that is already ours.
We have been made one with God. Our salvation is certain and our life is very much spirit and life because by incarnation Christ Himself is our life.
The old relationship before the cross was called the old covenant. It was a deal made with the Jews to maintain relationship with God until the fullness of union would begin with the advent of the Son of God as Jesus of Nazareth. The new covenant is a radically new and living way of being human. It’s the only way we can be sons of God and minister Kingdom life. Paul called this life-giving mode COMPETENT.
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6. In an old covenant mindset we are competent to minister the religion but not the Kingdom of spirit and life. Transition from the old to the new covenant mindset is our genuine rebirth – a rebirth that is in spirit and in truth rather than notional.
If we choose we can have sex with a partner occasionally or on a regular basis. It’s a relationship of sorts but not a marriage. A marriage is actual when we and our spouse are one on a forever basis. Living in the new covenant we are the bride of Christ. We and Jesus are one as He indicated when He urged, ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV. The day that we realize this is the day that we become bride of Christ. In the law we are not married to Jesus. We remain in Adamic separation. In Jesus we are one with Him and with the trinity. Incarnation is actual union with God. Law-keeping is neither a marriage or being part of His body.
The old and new covenant are radically different. One is of Adam and the other of Jesus. “One covenant brought death and the other brought life. Quite often the starting point for covenant confusion is not realizing the Old was made obsolete, removed completely, and replaced with something New. We have been drilled with phrases such as ‘Judeo-Christian’ that have caused us to jumble one covenant with the other, as if they were meant to be merged together as one. This combination of law and grace has transpired into something I’ll call legalanity.” (1) Gregory Boyd calls it a christianised version of the knowledge of good and evil. It results in our being partly alive and partly dead.
I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YOU ARE IN ME, AND I AM IN YOU
We have an inheritance to live in. It’s up to us whether we live in ten percent of it or 1oo percent. The completeness of our inheritance is ours when we live in the completeness of the incarnation – in the reality that the trinity lives in us and imparts themselves to us. Holy Spirit and the gifts are fine. But without this active union with God that is ours now, the Spirit has nothing to grip onto and either fades or produces flaky people.
YOU AND FATHER ARE ONE
It is the incarnation that separates us from separationism and makes us one, not only with each member of the trinity but with the mind of Christ and the thinking of God. Such ideas are no longer fundamentalist utterances of the letter but are statements from our being in God with whom we are actual rather than notional participants. Thomas Torrance writes,
RATIONALISM IS THE LETTER
“. . . Rationalistic fundamentalists [socialised from the law] are those who think they can treat biblical statements as independent from the ultimate Being to whom they refer. Once this move is made they can then apply preconceived rational structures to fit biblical statements (such as “God is love”) into a dogmatic system. But this would be to commit the error that is referred to elsewhere in this article, namely to impose our own systems of logic on the subject matter of enquiry rather than letting it teach us its own inherent logic. Such systems of doctrine tend to be legalistic constructs of our own minds where we may seem to put grace at the center of a theological system but instead end up with a new legalistic system that does not really set people free in Christ.” (2)
God is love because that is what God is – which is to say God is a fellowship and communion of three. God is love because the trinity desire to share the joy of their being with those like themselves. Thus they created us and then went to the ends of the earth to redeem us so that their vision of a joyous fellowship with men and women would be realised.
The Kingdom of God is not an intellectual scheme, a belief system or a law-based ideology in which judgment is the main issue. The life, love and joy are the issues that ensure that all of us belong. But we must dig to embrace the treasure in the field, purchase the pearl of great price at the expense of our long held notions and ‘eat the Son of Man.’ As we eat Him we live because of Him. As we eat his flesh and drink His blood we cease being religious ciphers and become our true selves because we find our being in Him.
(1) Kapler, Michael C.. Clash Of The Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee (Kindle Locations 340-343). Kindle Edition.
(2) Taken from: Participation: Journal of the Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship, 22-23)