FORMED AND REDEEMED IN LOVE
When a husband and wife make love, the actuality of their union makes a new person. This love is actualised in a baby boy or baby girl. This is a shadow of the reality of our own making. The love of God expressed in trinitarian togetherness and joy birthed the human race as Adam and Eve. The loving enterprise of the trinity in the plan of salvation formed before the foundation of the world is actualised in you and I as saved and established sons and daughters of God.
To be made in the image of God is to be conceived to ‘be’ in the image of ourselves, unconditioned by fear, envy, malice and hatred and free to be ourselves without any infringement and pollutions of our being. In this respect we are like God being formed in His image. We are unlike God in that the fullness of our being and the glory of our person comes from our sonship in His Fatherhood and our fellowship in the community of believers who are the church Jesus builds without hands.
It will at once be clear why we need to step into the union with God that has been gifted us and be careful to associate with those for whom Christ and the Father are life – rather than those who have made a false self and a false life from the externalities of religion and the world. This is not to negate our sharing of Christ’s life with others. But it is to say that we will find true communion and nurture with those whose souls and spirits are the expression of Christ as Himself and His fellowship in the trinity.
A NON-INSULATED ONENESS
Religion insulates us from God, from ourselves and from others. This is why Christ is your real life and the law and law-religion is not.
“God is who he is in himself, entirely unconditioned by any reality other than himself, and thus totally independent of his creation and infinitely exalted over all time and space. As Hilary expressed it: ‘The Father to whom all existence owes its origin… in contrast to all else is self-existent. He does not draw his being from without, but possesses it from himself and in himself. He is infinite, for nothing contains him and he contains all things; he is eternally unconditioned.” (1)
THE I AM OF YOU IN GOD
We were created to be us and not to be an amalgam of others. We were made to be like God in the uniqueness of God. We were designed as a true self to contribute our unique form of life and loving to the whole. We have been redeemed for the same reason. We are and we express a variety of God’s life that is distinctly us. There are people who take their lead from others. Inveterate conformists they blend to any situation to such an extent that their self is never known except that which appears in the world as a semi-self.
Jesus will not make you a clone of others or a conformist. He will give you an innate affinity with those who are ‘sons’ and with those whose genuine uniqueness make up the body of Christ. But such uniqueness is never the uniqueness of those who are ‘wrong.’ It’s the individuality and defined identity of those living from Christ’s gospel of the Kingdom or some derivation.
You can have the singularity of being that comes from being a son of Father. You can enjoy the fellowship of those whose oneness with God is that which is shared in them by the indwelling of the trinity. We express to the world who we are as grace and truth when we are in Grace and Truth. The sharpness of identity and discernment name by Paul is ours when we and the Father are one and we not living from some artefact that insulates us from our inheritance of union with God.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (pp. 89-90). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.