The life that is Christ is limitless. Why restrict ourselves to a thimble of His life when there is a river of infinite life on offer? There is merit in believing what Christ believes. Having the ‘mind of Christ’ aligns us with an authentic Christ and with His accomplishments for us. When we advance from glory to glory, we advance into the fullness of Christ. The True Christ in us is the Christ who reveals Himself in our lives and reveals who we are as daughters and sons.
We are able to live in the Spirit because of Christ. We don’t have Christ because of the Holy Spirit. Not initially. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, but it was the person of Jesus who taught Kingdom Life, who was the Body given for us on the cross; Jesus who rose from the dead and in whom we are joined to God and God is joined to us. Jesus and not Holy Spirit is the Vine. Nevertheless Holy Spirit ministers to us that which has been made complete in Christ.
IT'S CHRIST WHO IS OUR LIFE
In The Mediation of Christ, Thomas Torrance writes “The Spirit seals our adoption in Christ as children of God and unites us to Christ in such a way that we are made by grace to share in his filial relation to the Father. The Holy Spirit is the living and life-giving Spirit of God who actualises the self-giving of God to us in his Son, and resonates and makes fruitful within us the priestly, atoning and intercessory activity of Christ on our behalf.” (p.117), We are one with God by the One Spirit. ‘The person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him’ 1 Cor 6.17 NIV.
FAITH GROUNDED IN REALITY
Faith is good but it is never our faith that saves us. It is our gifted oneness that imparts to us the spirit and life of God. It is Christ who is our life and our faith. But this is our faith. Nevertheless, it is advantageous to have our faith in what is instead of what is not. The distortion of truth leading to the fall is the original witchcraft. ‘Other gospels’ are a continuation of the same.
We are warned off false christs, tares and other gospels* because any gospel that is not the gospel of Jesus and the apostles cripples the soul and spirit of Believers and opens a door to demonic influence. Thus, John is bold in asserting that to ignore the incarnation and the vicarious humanity of Christ for us and in us in favour religion and the law is to become tainted with the distractions of the spirit of anti-christ (2 John 1.7). The anti-christ spirit will attempt to introduce any deviation from the gospel of Jesus and the apostles, no matter how small because such deviations produce major blockages to the flow of spirit and life that flow to us as the spirit of sonship and impede the advance of the Kingdom.
Christ come in the flesh means Christ permeating our being. In the mystery of the incarnation Christ’s faith becomes our faith in a very cool way, in that it is sourced in Him, yet it is our faith – another expression of perichoresis.
Jeff Mc Swain following Barth observes, “Whose faith here is in view? Is it ours? If it is ours, insists Barth, it is only ours to the degree our faith is already included in that of Jesus Christ, “the One elected from eternity to be the Head and Saviour of all men, who in time responded to God’s faithfulness with human faithfulness as the Representative of all men.” Through Christ’s birth, suffering, death and resurrection “the change. . . took place for all. In it the turning of all from unfaithfulness to faithfulness took place. In this history of His, the Christian life became an event as the life of all.” (1)
We see that there is no substitute for an unremitting agreement with Christ that He is indeed our life. Because by the Spirit He becomes part of us as we participate in the reality of who Jesus is – the Way, the truth and the life.
*Any Gospel that makes the law the end-point of Jesus is a false gospel, just as any christ who is subordinate to the law is a false christ.
(1) McSwain, Jeff. Simul Sanctification: Barth’s Hidden Vision for Human Transformation (Princeton Theological Monograph Series Book 232) (p. 72). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.