We can live our lives as modern peasants when our parents have socialised us into a poverty mentality. We can live the same way in lesser gospels that deny the fullness of God for our living.
God has not separated Himself from those who will not have Him. Neither does He separate Himself from those who have mistaken and just plain wrong gospels. But our beliefs do separate us from Him – not from His side - but in our hearts and minds. All belong but some belong less than others. Like the miser who has convinced himself that he is poor and the mother who defines herself as a peasant when their income is more than adequate.
This is why in Christ ‘veils’ are removed as we press into Him. Quite a deal of the adventure of sons/daughters is the undoing of false christ’s and false gospels and why the fulness of God’s life is in knowing God and Jesus Christ whom God has sent. Knowing a misshapen god is not knowing God and living in distorted christ is not the Christ of God.
WATER OF LIFE
To know God as God is and to know the Gospel as it has been given to us by Jesus, the apostles and church fathers is a great advantage. Truth is life.
God is both truth and life. Jesus as God is the way to this life as well as truth and life Himself. Truth at bottom is not an abstraction. Truth is God who reconciles the world to Himself in Christ.
If we live in a mindset of separation from God, we are separated whether we are separated objectively or not. This is why Paul urged us to flourish in his gospel and not shrink in some ‘other gospel’.
Perverted gospels are some version of the following. “We see ourselves as in a great struggle to keep God on our side – to keep God liking us or loving us by trying to behave better, as though we are carrying the burden of our relationship with God on our shoulders – as though it depends on how well we keep up our end as to whether God will stay benevolently disposed toward us?” (1)
A lot of people believe this – as though intimacy with Jesus is gained by earning it. It is also expressed as ‘Keeping close to Jesus’ which makes it seem like His Gospel when it’s not. Jesus is your relationship to Jesus, to our Father and Holy Spirit.
REPENT OF THAT BAGGAGE
If you have been raised in a gospel of separation you need to leave it behind.
Christ is the basis of the relationship we have with Father, because in Christ we’ve been made one with Christ. One with him, we share in his actual relationship with the Father.
Should we be affected by the Arian taint * we will tend to envisage a lesser Jesus who is not fully God and a legalistic ‘salvation’ that is actually no salvation at all. But one in which our work is to become acceptable to Christ. There are whole denominations based on this supposition and large numbers of Christian Believers so disabled by this distortion.
But the truth is that ‘It is necessary for Jesus to assume humanity and offer the perfect human response to God in our place and on our behalf.’
* Arianism tends naturally to legalism being born of separation and as a result defining our life in God as rules and positions. The Torrances called the judicial/external view of the atonement the "Latin heresy" because this teaching took hold in the Latin (i.e. Western/Roman) church. It also surfaced in Arius' fourth-century heretical teaching that there is only an external relation between the Father and the Son. But as TF often noted, a merely external/forensic salvation does not (for it cannot) "penetrate into our ontological depths" (p. 49) and thus transform our corrupted human nature. This transformation occurs within the human person of Christ our Mediator and High Priest. A strictly forensic view of the atonement overlooks this reality, dividing Jesus' person and work (1) Anderson, Ray; Colyer, Elmer; Dawson, Gerrit; Deddo, Gary; Kettler, Christian; Kruger, Baxter; McKenna, John; McSwain, Jeff; Newell, Roger; Young, Paul. Trinitarian Conversations, Volume 1: Interviews With Ten Theologians (You're Included) (p. 333). Kindle Edition. (2) Ibid,332.