The accomplishment of God for us is belonging and sonship in God’s Communion. We have been joined to God by the enfolding of ourselves in God in Jesus Christ. Godliness is a state of being – of being one with God, which we are in Christ. The Lord’s Table is the reminder and sign of that which is ours in everyday Life – an interwoven being.
This sonship is ours because Christ is our life in every way. He is us.
Sonship is found in Christ our life. Slavery is found in the law and every manifestation of the knowledge of good and evil.
Law obsession ‘tends to severs our connection with God.’ It’s essence is separation, which means that it makes us ‘autonomous or semi-autonomous.’ The result is that our relations with God cease to be direct and become indirect, submerged and suffocated in a Christian expression of the knowledge of good and evil. This is what Paul means when he states that a law-culture makes slaves and denies people their inheritance – Genuine sonship.
‘But what does Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son’ Gal 4.30 NIV.
Sonship is never found in burying the treasure of the gospel in the ground and adopting a gospel of our own. It is found in the willingness to leave all that is dead behind and advance resolutely to the fresh revelation that Christ is our life. You can live in the Body of life in Christ your life or live as the body of death in the law and religion.
Dick Eugenio asserts that “It is not just that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity must be accorded primacy over ALL THE OTHER DOCTRINES, but that properly understood, it is the nerve and centre of them all, configures them all, and is so deeply integrated with them that when they are held apart from the doctrine of the Trinity they are seriously defective in truth and become malformed.” (1)
He's saying that doctrines posited in separation from the trinity are warped and misleading. Indeed in the light of the holistic nature of our being in God’s being and the perichoretic archetype of the trinitarian relationship as our relationship with God, we must regard theologies of the law as the chief issue of the kingdom as bizarre and a nonsense.
The mystery and practicality of our new covenant inheritance is that Christ is us, meaning that the trinity is you. No, you are not deity but you are a son of God by incarnation in a way that you will never be through the law or the miasma of religion
Sons of the law are sons of the slave woman and outside their inheritance in Christ – by their own choice. Like people who have first class tickets on the train they travel with the turkeys and the cows in the animal van at the end of the train.
Our personhood is stymied if we have chosen to be sons of the slave woman. Our membership in the Body has little agency if our sonship is dwarfed because we remain workers and slaves rather than sons.
Paul Tournier who wrote The Meaning of Persons observes, ‘Life can become once more a grand adventure if we will surrender it to God. He brings one adventure to an end, only to open another to us. With him we must be ready for anything.’
We can live lives in the safety of non-adventure where we never really become persons – not fully. Like a man hiding from reality in bed with a crash helmet on, we miss the colour and adventure of life. We remain ciphers of other people’s ideas and the notions of our parents - prisoners of the fictions we use to hide from the truth and sons of God in name only – because we have elected to be sons of the slave woman rather than venture into the raw of life our adventure in the Free Woman.
SPIRIT AND LIFE FLOW
The incarnation – our union with God is the most powerful reality of the new testament age. This is the soil of life in the Spirit, the gifts and the Kingdom of God. Living in separation we may have drops of spirit and life. Living in the reality of the trinity in us, we are living agents of living water; true sons of God who live from the fact that they and our Father are one.
In Jesus And The Undoing of Adam (1), J Baxter Kruger writes, “The doctrine of the Trinity means that relationship, that fellowship, that togetherness and sharing, that self-giving and other-centeredness are not afterthoughts with God, but the deepest truth about the being of God. The Father is not consumed with Himself; He loves the Son and the Spirit. And the Son is not riddled with narcissism; he loves his Father and the Spirit. And the Spirit is not preoccupied with himself and his own glory; the Spirit loves the Father and the Son. Giving, not taking; other-centeredness, not self-centeredness; sharing, not hoarding are what fire the rockets of God and lie at the very center of God’s existence as Father, Son and Spirit.” Here is an entirely relational picture that is in great contrast to the notion of God as the Unmoved Mover or a god who is the defined by the Ten Commandments.
MEANING OF SONS
A Christian notion of the person should take its definition of the personal from the persons of the trinity. Here each person is unique and distinct, yet receiving their identity from the fact of their relationship with the others. Who and what each member of the trinity is – is the function of their relationship. When Adam and Eve were created individuality and nature partook of this relationship. Interwoven with God they were whole, holy and fully alive. In their sonship they were what God was.
Much of human society, especially of the Western variety exhibits fragmentation and separation, or an oppressive kind of union that breeds suffocation, because it majors in conformity and authoritarianism.
GLORY OF YOU
As people our flowering and flourishing in individuality and community is found not only in the model of the trinity but in the incarnation. This is the lived incarnation where Christ Himself is our life and the trinity is our life as individuals and as marriages, families and the church. When we agree that we are received into Trinitarian life we are positioned to experience their joy of individuality in community in spirit and in truth.
DEATH TO LIFE
Union with God is ours in the person of Jesus. Separation from God is ours in the mindset of Adam and Moses. ‘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. The day we realize this is the day we are born again. This is the day we have departed the body of death and joined the body of Christ.
When we conceive and act on the reality of our interwoveness with God instead of attempting to relate through the stilted planks of the law, we will have what they have and we are who they are. We are sons and daughters of God. We can be sons of God notionally in the letter. In a belief system we can be positionally one with God but separated in the Spirit. We are sons in spirit and in truth when Christ is our life when we are living out of the new covenant.
In Jesus we possess the relationship that the trinity enjoy with each other. This togetherness and uniqueness will be enjoyed in marriages and families as well as in the church and in society when we deny the separation of Adam and claim the union that is Jesus. So not only is Christ in you as Paul stated. The trinity is in you and you are in the trinity. You participate in the nature of God. You fellowship with God, you relate to and know yourself and you are one with others. In the new covenant we have genuine togetherness. Living from a mixture of the old and the new we have notional togetherness but are contained in the body of death.
Richard Rohr writes,
“Most Christians still have retained a more “pagan” understanding of the human person, almost totally reversing the original Trinitarian use of the word person—as one who is a dynamic sounding-through—to an autonomous self that, at the end of the day, is kin to nothing.” (2)
SELF CONTAINED SELF IN THE VICINITY OF A LAW ABSTRACTION
So we have made ourselves in the image of god as conceived and distorted by ourselves – making God into a unity where He is not and making ourselves into an image of this, which we are not.
We have made god into a legalistic pedant when he is not and wrought ourselves in this image when we are not. But in Jesus, we are reborn into Christ our life. Not only Jesus becomes us but we become the manifestation of the trinity. This is us as sons in spirit and in truth as opposed to notional sons who remain tied to the body of death.
FORMED IN A DISTORTED VISION
C Baxter Kruger writes, “When you start with legal holiness, you have eyes only for the cross, and you never see that in Jesus Christ, nothing less than the eternal Trinitarian life of Father, Son and Spirit is being lived out inside human existence. You never really get the staggering meaning of the incarnation.” This is union with God. It’s much more than a notional body of Christ. It’s your interwoveness with the three-personed God.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons (T&T Clark Cornerstones) . Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition
(1) Given that many Believers have a hazy idea of what the cross accomplished and that all that began in Adam has been undone, this is a most informative book to read.
(2) Rohr, Richard. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your transformation (Kindle Locations 1236-1238). SPCK. Kindle Edition.