Jesus declared to the disciples that in seeing Him, they had seen The Father. This together with Jesus’ proclamation of Himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life ensures that we look for nothing external to Christ, no addition to Him or to something that is not Him to bolster our Godliness. Arius wanted to make Christ less than He was by asserting that He was not fully God – not one substance with God as the Nicaean Creed declared. Had Arianism become established as orthodox belief, it would have undone our salvation and the transforming effect of Christ come in our flesh.
Arianism made for a false christ by diluting who Christ was, as one substance with Father. Legalism has a similar effect in that it makes Christ into what He is not: The Supervisor and Empowerer of the law. We must not do this as it creates a false christ who ministers something smaller than Himself – a Christian version of the knowledge of good and evil. This is as false a christ as we can get, given that Jesus is one substance with God and is the mediator of the trinity into our everyday lives.
We emphasise this because the law leads to Christ and not Christ to the law. Whenever this happens, we have a false christ and a false gospel.
The fullness of God and the archetype of you is revealed in Jesus Christ who is the way of us becoming ourselves as sons and daughters of God. In short, the essence of God is not the law but the trinity. If we can live from this truth, we will be liberated from every idol that makes God less than God and ourselves less than ourselves.
We perceived God accurately in the Christ of God – not in some law-mongering false christ. Paul Molnar observes that, “Two key points.. were to be of long-lasting influence in Torrance’s own thought. First, “No one knoweth the Son, save the Father; neither doth anyone know the Father save the son, and he to whomsoever the Son willleth to reveal him” (Matthew 11:27).
“This classic text indicated for Torrance that our knowledge of God comes only in and through christ himself and that “What Jesus was on earth God is for ever”. As we shall see, Torrance would later develop this into his important position that what God is toward us in Jesus christ, he is eternally in himself.” (1) God is not revealed in Jesus Christ yet something different such as the abstraction of the law.
DOCTRINES OF DEMONS
This should protect the discerning Believer from distorted gospels that have their source in the demonic and steer us away from gospels that have decayed into latter-day renderings of the knowledge of good and evil and a pre-cross bondage to the law, minus the hindrances that stifle out sonship and quench our joy.
One of the most succinct and comprehensive quotes of Athanasius asserts that “He [Christ] became what we are so that he might make us what he is.” The Great Exchange is Christ’s life for our life and Christ’s life as our life. Jesus’ mediation of Himself into our being enables us to know God and know ourselves as persons who are advancing into our freedom to be the sons and daughters of God.
(1) Paul Molnar, Thomas F Torrance, Theologian of the Trinity. P.4