Separationism gives rise to the heresies of Arianism and legalism. This should not surprise us because separateness and alienation is the result of the lie that precipitated the fall. The lie was and is that we can be godly by distrusting Father and taking things into our own hands. Taking things into our own hands in not as obvious as rebellion.
It’s the more subtle practice of remaining in the law and old covenant when God has given us His life as our life. We are talking incarnation.
The result of embedded legalism is separation from God and the substitution of union with God with a designated godliness defined as adherence to Moses law or the more diffuse culture of living from a version of the knowledge of good and evil. The Fall is the fall not only because of disobedience but because the fall results in separation from God.
The fact is we are not separated from God having been made one with God in Jesus Christ.
Celebrating the Lord’s Table as though it is mainly about the cross indicates that many Believers are unaware of what the cross opens a door to – the incarnated life in us of Jesus Christ. This is life in the Spirit and the engine of the New Creation. ‘This My Body’ in the new covenant is defined as Christ come in our flesh. It’s the new and living way into the presence of God and the presence of God manifest as us.
It’s a mistake to think that life in the Spirit is holy spirit oil massaged into the law and old covenant. That’s hybrid born in the pit. Your inheritance is oneness with God – not a new way of doing religion with Jesus help. Christ come in our flesh is the trinity manifesting in us, our marriages, families, the church and society.
Legalism denudes God of God and strips you of you leaving husks and constructs. God is not an unmoved-mover. He is not an abstraction. The three in one nature of God is amazing and encouraging because the three as one are the exemplars of love, community and belonging. If God were just a unity the words ‘God is love’ would be nonsense.
The nature of God is diversity in union. God really is three persons, and one God and in a way that the three are part of each other yet uniquely themselves: perichoresis. This one substance yet three is both the nature of God and the nature of the salvation achieved for us by the enterprise of God in making at-one-ment through Jesus cross and the subsequent incarnation.
SONS IN TRUTH AND SPIRIT
God has made us part of Himself and in doing so has made us truly ourselves.
The nature and the action of the trinity is very relevant to our salvation and extremely pertinent to our sonship. We are sons not because we did something but because a super-something was done to us. Adamic separation has been undone. We have been made one substance with God. The incarnation is real. God came among us in Jesus and God lives in us through Jesus and the indwelling trinity. Thus, as with Jesus, ‘In us dwells the entire fullness of the God-head bodily.
Compared to incarnation every attempted union with God by way of the law, good works and religious postures has to be seen for the parody it is.
“For Torrance the fact that God is one being, three persons means, as Athanasius stressed, that in God there are three co-equal persons existing within the ‘simple, uncompounded and undivided nature of the Being of God, in sharp opposition to the Arian separation of the Son from the Father, and to the Semi-Arian separation of the Spirit from the Godhead’. (1)
Much of the church still lives in this separation, jumping through hoops in order to be accepted by Christ. Engaging in praise and worship to engage His Presence (that is already here) and defining certain days and certain times as holy (you live in the age of incarnation) with a view to attracting the approval of God or worse – trying to recommend ourselves to our Saviour who has already saved us by drawing us into fellowship with God.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons (T&T Clark Cornerstones) . Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.