‘For if, while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!’ Rom 5.10 NIV.
We are made one with God and made alive with Christ in Christ our life.
We cannot believe anything we like and live in the fullness of Christ and the extravagance of our inheritance in God. We can live in a variety of universalism should we cite our belonging in the Body of Christ, yet attach ourselves to a christ and a gospel that is not His Gospel or the Gospel of the Apostles or the Christian Church.
JUST MAKE IT UP
I say ‘universalism’ because we are assuming that we can possess just any gospel and claim our gospel as Christ’s Gospel. Paul warns that this attracts a curse which we need to understand is a stunted spiritual life. A universalist taint exists when we say we belong, while claiming the right to believe as we choose. Understand that our belonging lacks content when it is the belonging of Adam rather than the belonging of Jesus Christ.
Any gospel that diminishes our reconciliation with God by retaining us in the law and the knowledge of good and evil is revisionist and a perversion of the apostles doctrine. It’s what Paul called ‘No gospel at all.’
We belong because the trinity has reached out in Jesus Christ drawing us into the Communion that is God. This is the deeper meaning of Holy Communion. It’s not just bread and wine and it’s not mourning about the cross. It is however, the living way in which God reminds us that God became one with us and we became one with God.
CHRIST DID IT
Paul Molnar following Torrance writes, “The New Testament stresses that the Holy Spirit is mediated to us only through Christ’s atoning death on the cross so that through the Spirit we are united to Christ in his ‘vicarious humanity’ and we participate in his saving work. That means that it is only through Jesus himself, and thus through the Spirit uniting us to him, that we are given access ‘to knowledge of him as he is in himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. (1)
There was a time when it was acknowledged that the Full Gospel expressed the gifts of the Spirit and the activity of the Acts of the Apostles. This was a Kingdom advance. However today we need to understand that we do not present a full gospel when promote the gifts and the anointing bolted on to the old covenant and its innate separation from God.
We are not united to Christ through the gifts or the anointing of the Spirit. We are united to Christ by the at-one-ment that is the cross and more. The cross enables the enfolding of our lives in the communion of the trinity that has become ours in the finished work of Christ. Thus when Paul talks of Christ our life, he is not saying the law is our life or that Christ is the means of our keeping the law so that we earn belonging. Paul is saying that Christ is our union with the fullness of God and God’s union with us. Christ is our grace and Christ is the truth in whom we see God and know ourselves as daughters and sons of God.
Even if we have the gifts we are not in the Spirit if we are in the law. Even if we talk in the tongues of men and of angels if we are not in the incarnation we are not sons/daughters in spirit and in truth. Unless we are minister of the new covenant we are not ministers of the kingdom of God and its unlimited life. When Christ is our life - because we have agreed with Him that He is our life- we are all of the above and more, because we have become participants in the divine nature that is infinite life.
Christianity that is formed by the system and culture of the fall maintains that we participate in the divine nature via the mediation of the law. Kingdom Culture, which is the Christianity of our inheritance, declares that we participate in the divine nature by the mediation of Christ, in what Paul calls, ‘Christ our life.’ We do ourselves a good service if we choose to live from the harvest of the cross, rather than the harvest of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
(1) Paul D. Molnar (2015). Thomas F. Torrance and the problem of universalism. Scottish Journal of Theology, p.172