WHEN OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE IS A SERIES OF LEGALITIES WE HAVE MISSED LIFE
The Bible needs to be read holistically or not at all. There’s a reason why Christians can be officious, legalistic and ungracious and this is because the Kingdom is about persons. Not about precepts. This is why the non-religious person can at times unwittingly give a better witness to Christ that the person who is a manifestation of religion.
It’s not what is in us. It’s ‘who’. If we are contained in the law and old covenant we will think it’s all about precepts because our touchstone will be the Ten Commandments. This is not the touchstone in this age. Jesus is. He is our life as regards grace and our life as regards His life as ours: The vicarious humanity of Jesus.
Your life does not consist of an ongoing attempt to ‘be Christ-like.’ Grasping your ‘salvation with fear and trembling’ in Paul’s terms is the discipline of living in Christ instead of living in you.
THE I AM OF YOU
We can live an intellectualized Christianity from a belief system. Here teaching will often take the form of sharing bits of knowledge or a piece of ‘understanding.’ If we are tied to law this holily will be in the vein of the knowledge of good and evil. When Christ is our life and we are sons in spirit and in truth, we will be sharing ourselves – the embodiment of spirit and life.
Agreeing that you have been received into Christ’s fellowship with Holy Spirit and our Father liberates you to be who you are: A son/daughter in spirit and in truth. This means we are sons not according to the ticking of a box or the citing of a text. We are sons by ‘being.’ We are sons holistically.
The mystery of the incarnation is that Jesus becomes you and more. The chief effect of the life in the Spirit is that you are a manifestation of the trinity. The law no more effects holism than a packet of hundreds and thousands is a soccer ball. Thomas Torrance, after Jesus and Paul, promotes a holistic gospel - a gospel that is about ‘being’ and not about words on paper or ‘the letter that kills’. The insidious nature of living in the letter is that one does not know that one is dead.
PERSONS MANIFEST AS YOU AND AS US
“Torrance’s holism is part of the reason for the difficulty of his theology, and yet it’s one of the crucial elements of his thought. It’s extraordinarily important when we talk about the Trinitarian character of Christian faith because the doctrine of the Trinity arises holistically as we indwell all of Scripture. That’s one of the reasons why we often haven’t seen historical-critical biblical studies generating a robust doctrine of the Trinity, because they tend to focus on the individual texts rather than how the texts bear in relation to one another.” (1)
God did not come among us as words. The divine word is the person of Jesus Christ. Similarly the Bible cannot achieve its real meaning as a compendium of scriptures. It must be read in Jesus so that it is Jesus reading the Bible in you for the truth to out and the doctrines of demons to be discerned and undone. The result is that Jesus becomes in you what you are reading in the Bible. You don’t become ‘loving’ because Jesus says ‘Love one another,’ so you try to do it. You become love because Jesus becomes love in you.