THE WORD OF GOD IS MORE THAN WORDS
We are fortunate that the Word of God is not just information about God but is a being who is fully God and part of the trinity as well as a human being. Law and legalism distorts God and sells us short for just this reason. Words about God are not God and not by nature ‘Godly’ in the same way that religion in itself is not Godly even though the Christ of the Christian religion is. The homoousion* means Jesus is not just like God but that He is God.
We can, if we choose live in a cultural bubble of shared meanings that support a view of reality that is misguided and distorted. An imagined cosmos has been created that has no need of God because many people choose a reality in which He is not because it suit them. Others drift in this soup of belief because they follow the crowd. The sociology of knowledge explains how people create their own reality and why there are subculture of belief. Those who do best in coping with life are the ones who value evidence-based knowledge and the opinions of the informed. The fact that we live in a faith community that believes a misguided gospel does not make us agents of Christ’s life.
The Word of God is not just words or scriptural assertions, because Christ the Word of God is the Reality in whom all things have their purpose and meaning. We enter this reality by the Door who is Christ and in doing so we begin fellowship with the triune God and become privy to increasing degrees of light and life. We enter Being itself.
Thomas Torrance illustrates this in his observation that, “A deeper appreciation of the fact that God himself is the content of his revelation, and that the Word of God is not just a Word about God but God addressing us in person and communicating himself to us… there is no way of really knowing God without being reconciled to him.” (1)
Consequently, we know God better in the post cross age than Godly people knew God in the pre-cross age. Which is why Jesus announced that any person who lives by faith in Him is greater than John the Baptist. Not greater in character but greater in privilege because, God lives in us in Christ and in Christ we are in God.
God has been revealed to us in Christ’s person. The identity, nature and wonder of Christ is revealed to us directly to our hearts and spirits by the indwelling Jesus. This occurs less from ‘words’ from God and more by the truth that is God residing personally in our being and revealed into our soul. To read the scriptures ‘In Christ’ is to read them in the spirit of this revelation. To contemplate in Christ is to absorb the spirit of wisdom and revelation into our being. This does not negate the ‘gifts’ but it is the ‘ground’ of the gifts and the life.
Torrance continues, “So far as belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour is concerned it is clear that unless there is an unbroken continuity of divine presence and activity between Christ and God, then in the last analysis, Jesus Christ, with all he stands for, is irrelevant for the ultimate destiny of men and women.” Christ is one substance with God, which means that you are one with God by atonement and incarnation. The mediation of Christ to you is also the mediation of you into the communion of the trinity.
There’s a reason why correct theology has a bearing on our salvation and our infusion with God’s presence.
“Unless Jesus Christ is God himself, God the Son incarnate, then the God proclaimed to us in the Gospel is not a God who loves us to the uttermost, but a God whose love falls short of identifying himself with us in Jesus Christ to the extent of actually becoming one with us in and through him. Only God can forgive sins, so that unless Christ is God, his word of forgiveness is empty of any divine substance. Unless Christ is of one and the same being as God, as well as of one and the same being as ourselves, then the atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross for us and our salvation is in fact without divine validity or saving power.” (2)
‘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.
But the atoning sacrifice is with validity and agency because Christ is one with us and one with God. Thus, we are joined to ultimate life, to infinity in Jesus Christ. This joining to God in Christ, this unbroken communion that is now yours has been achieved by Christ in the nature of God being Godself, so that your continual acceptance and fellowship in God is as real as God is real and has the same substance as the I AM of God. You are because God is. There is no separation in Christ Jesus.
(1) Thomas Torrance, The Mediation of Christ. P.123
(2) Ibid. P.124
*The Son is of the same substance of the Father.