Paul asserts that The Reality is Christ. This means that it is His person that is the reality and not the religious artefacts that surround Him and which are often adored as though they are Him.
When Paul asserts that Christ is our life He is meaning that Jesus is our life collectively and individually. John’s theology is that this life of Christ must be understood as the new Genesis and the new creation that resurrects the person, the family, society and the nations. I believe a full understanding of new creation Jesus involves His power to heal and establish the biosphere and physical earth.
Christ is our life because we are persons and so is He. As people we are drawn into the community of God called the trinity and more. The persons of the God-head come and make their home in us. It is the dynamic of trinitarian life - the fact that they are one for all and all for one; that they are distinctly themselves, yet live to empower each other to be who they are. They live without suffocating each other but enhance one another enabling each to fulfil their vacation and their mission. In Trinitarian Conversations we find,
‘The Bible is like a love letter you can read, but until you actually encounter the One that it’s talking about, you really don’t understand the letter. It’s only when you participate in the love of God and Christ that Scripture makes sense. Theology needs to be rooted deeper than simply in the text of Scripture. We need to go through the text of Scripture till we come to know the reality. And that happens in the worshipping life of the church.’
It happens in the worshiping life of the church when the church is enfolded in the Spirit of Sonship - or to express the same thing in another way, when the church is the Bride of Christ because it is part of Jesus and has, so to speak, come out of His side. It may be seen that to be alive with heaven’s life we need more than church activism or religious motions. A personal Jesus must indeed be our life.
Our participation must be rooted in something better than the text of scripture and something superior to the law. Our participation, if it is genuine, is rooted in something better than inanimate objects or abstract structures. Firstly we are in Christ and He in us. Secondly Jesus is in us by the agency of Holy Spirit. Thirdly the trinity is resident in us - incarnated in our being by the One Spirit, the Spirit of God who has unilaterally declared and made it so. It is plain that our life in God is made real by the fact that Jesus Himself is our life and the ministry of Holy Spirit.
It is a simple thing to receive Jesus as our life. It is as simple as saying, ‘Jesus I ask you to be all I am and all I hope to be. I agree that you have made me one with yourself and with God. I choose to rest in your achievement and the position in you that you have given me to be who I am and do all that planned for me to to as your daughter or son.’
Jesus assures us that when we believe and trust Him, the heavenly family takes up residence in our being. This indicates that our union with God and their habitation in us - this togetherness - is the essence of a life in God. We participate in each others lives as the trinity participates in itself. This family of God is not only the prototype of human community but the regretting power that imparts itself to our human relationships.