OUT OF THE BOTTLE AND INTO LIFE
We can, so to speak, live our lives in a bottle – like a model ship that is a piece of art but never gets to be a real ship in the ocean of life. We surround ourselves with an invisible wall that excludes growth and life because we are addicted to our own ideas. Because of this we live in a kind of coma, never fully human or fully alive. Often this is because we cling to an identity that is more precious to us than life – I mean the life of God.
Yet because of our ‘trance’ we think it is life. The best thing that could happen to us would be for this ‘bottle’ to be dropped on the concrete and shattered into a thousand pieces. Then in Christ we can build a new world view and a new us. Jesus called this being born again.
If we are actually living in the total security that is ours in Jesus; if we know that we and Father are one; if we know that we are the delight of heaven and that we belong – and that we cannot lose that belonging because in Jesus there is no link in the chain of acceptance with God that we must forge ourselves - we are free.
A NON-SABBATH LIFE
We are free from an obsession to prove that we belong in God or are included in the earthly Family of God or that we have some special corner on revelation that makes us special and gives us some identity. The way to this peace is not to possess ‘our theology’ but God’s theology of Himself and us.
TAKE THEOLOGY TO THE CROSS
“C. S. Lewis had an amazing statement: “In his mercy God must destroy all our finest concepts of him.” Our theology is a set of concepts that must be redeemed. Torrance said the atonement is as much the redeeming of our theology and concepts of God as it is of our sin.” (1)
Maybe he could have added that when our theology is our idol it is our sin.
Theology as a belief system has a place. Beliefs are objectively right or wrong and the effect of wrong beliefs about God and ourselves is TARES. This is the kind of kingdom where the kings have no clothes even though they speak of their distinctive riches.
PURE IN HEART SEE GOD
So the ground of our believing is truth and relationship. Relationship so we can advance into truth. Kingdom belief is never a construct. It’s not the result of the law or the letter that kills. It is union with God of the kind that is ‘knowing’ God in the manner of ‘knowing’ one’s husband or wife. It’s ontological which means it’s about a state of being. Such interwoveness is the stuff of real love and the cause of fruitfulness. It’s the kind of love that is derived from our union with God and comes from the fact that we and our Father are one.
KNOW GOD/KNOW YOU
“Matthew 11: 27 is the key verse, which says, “Only the Father knows the Son, and only the Son knows the Father, and those to whom it is given.” That’s a Trinitarian statement. Knowledge of God is self-knowledge. It’s knowledge of God that begins with the Father knows the Son, the Son knows the Father. How do you gain entry into that? You say, If only the Father knows the Son, then if I go to the Father, I’ll know the Son. You can’t do that, because only the Son knows the Father. So, uh, ok, I’ll go to the Son to know the Father. You can’t do that, either, because only the Father knows the Son. OK, then I’ll have to be brought into that. So the Holy Spirit brings me into that inter-relationship between the Son and the Father. Torrance said, that’s where atonement takes place. Atonement didn’t just take place on the cross. Atonement takes place within the inner being of God.” (2)
ATONEMENT IS AT-ONE-MENT
Trinity is the inner being of God and Jesus has drawn us into this relationship to enjoy what He enjoys and participate in this womb of life. Whether we participate in this relationship depends on our embracing it and ‘seizing’ what is ours. It’s not a matter of assent to a belief or a touting of a definition.
‘Being part of the one loaf’ means our living in this relationship.
It means nothing if we are living in separation because separation is legalists is what we believe in. It means even less if we belong to a mindset where the atonement is incomplete and cannot be ours until we have earned it. But if we believe Jesus has earned our union with God apart from our activity, we are alive in the reality that we have been interwoven into the trinity and its companionship by God.
(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. 8). Grace Communion International. Kindle Edition.
(2) Anderson, Ray; Ibid. (p. 8). Grace Communion International. Kindle Edition. (2)