Unity in the church comes to us from our baptism into and fellowship in the trinity. We do not experience the depth of communion with each other as the church simply because we want to. We enjoy this communion when we live in that which we have been engulfed – the Holy Communion that is the trinity of God.
INCLUSION IN GOD
I am reminded of a person who received an impression from the Lord that we needed to grow community among ourselves. Being obedient he attempted to put this into practice by meeting with other Christian casually and on a regular basis. But it did not come to anything. Externalities are not potent. What we need is the Spirit of Belonging to be present and active in our being - and we have it. It’s the incarnation of the trinity in us.
The ‘gifts’ and ‘hearing from God’ outside our new covenant union are incomplete and sometimes without substance. Reality is Christ in every way – Christ in us and Christ as us. As the trinity God is Fellowship. It is This fellowship active in us that enable us to love each other and be one with each other.
Love, union and communion is not ours in pragmatism or legalism. It eludes us in the separationism of earning what we already have: Union with God. Life is ours when we live in the truth. Not ours when we are subject to cunningly devised fables.
SECOND ADAM OUR LIFE
There is a reason why the emerging church – house church movement is less than is hoped for. The configuration of ‘churching’ is not the core issue. Living in the incarnation that is ours is the real issue.
Don’t expect church plants that are not based on Christ come in our flesh to come to much. Jesus did not come to plant institutions He came to plant and multiply Himself in people. It takes a lived incarnation and the Holy Spirit active among us to create the Kingdom of God and be the new creation. Christians are not one with Christ simply because they are Christians or church-goers. Yet anyone can live in this inheritance of union with God because Christ is in you.
The undoing of Adam - which is our post cross inheritance - is our union with Jesus. This oneness flows from the cross and the resurrection of Jesus, which has become our resurrection. Through the cross and the atonement our separation from God is finished and our new creation union with God has begun. We are one with God by the One Spirit which is our sharing of the communion and joy that is ours as part of the trinitarian family.
Don’t expect more than fragments of the Kingdom when we only live from fragments of the gospel.
Living in our new covenant fullness of union with God we take on God’s qualities of togetherness and joy. This is a Spirit that makes us intuitively what we cannot be in the flesh. We can possess a natural and uncontrived love for others. And we can be alive with eternal life.
MORE THAN CHURCH GROWTH
The leaven that builds the Kingdom of God in new creation agency has to be better than some new formulation of church growth theory. How can the church have a mission that is alive if it never rises above ideology or religion. Christ our life is so simple and so alive. We need to realise that Christianity is not life. Christ in us is life.
Incarnation is the ground of sonship and the ability to love as Jesus loves. John’s passion for us to love each other is grounded in the fact that we are one with God and channels of His love. There is no substitute for incarnation, union with God and Christ come in our flesh. The Gospel of Jesus, Paul and John is Christ come as us. This both life in the Spirit and Christ manifest in the Everyday.
UNION WITH LOVE
Being part of the Body of Christ is premised on our believing that we are one with Jesus and the Holy Family entirely on account of Jesus and not as a result of any work or stance of our own. Thomas Torrance nails it when He writes,
“The holy Church is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the result of his sanctifying activity in mankind, and as such is, as it were, the empirical correlate of the Parousia of the Spirit in our midst. If we believe in the Holy Spirit, we also believe in the existence of one Church in the one Spirit.” (1)
CHRIST COME IN YOU
In the ministry of the Spirit, Christ comes in the flesh of our individual life and our community life. This implies that the beginning of real community starts with Jesus as our life as individuals and multiplies when we are together. Because as the church we are the manifestation of His fullness.
We can live in the fullness of Christ our life or in a mixture of law and spirit. The extent to which Jesus as us is adulterated is the extent to which we remain dead to ourselves and to our potential as the church Jesus builds without human hands.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 252). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.