The gift of eternal life is not just life. It is the knowledge of God, the knowledge of self and the knowledge of the possibility of genuine community in the person of Jesus Christ. It’s the knowledge of this quality of life that is being a son.
The Gift of the life of God is our being in the realm of unlimited potential.
This oneness, gained at the cross and made real for all via the incarnation, is the hope of the world and the engine of the new creation.
Religion on the other hand is a cup without water.
I have seen a few movies in which the problem of death is attempted to be solved by time travel – by technologies that arrest time whenever we or our friends are extinguished or about to be so.
This is not the new and living way of Christ our life. His way is that we are made one with the infinite and eternal life of God. This ‘way’ is ours and is our inheritance. We have been made one with God’s Person and God’s Life.
THE ONENESS OF BEING
But more than this we are drawn in to participate in the oneness of God that is the trinity.
Thus in John 17 in Jesus pre-atonement prayer we find, ‘That all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one. I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me’ John 17.21, 23.
Real community is not something we do at least that’s not how it start. It’s something we are. One with God we are both our true selves and part of the trinitarian family of God.
I have seen people try and ‘do community’ with parsimonious results. They were not insincere folks but they were not living in the reality of the incarnation. They were living in ‘Christianity’ and a spattering of the gifts.* The qualities of sons are not something 0utside us. They are the who of ourselves because Christ is us.
NATURE OF GOD. NATURE OF US
It’s clear that this ‘oneness’ of John 17 is the oneness denoted by the trinity and clear also that this kind of togetherness is love in its essence. Thus ‘God is love’ is not just a saying but a state of being that is the trinity and state of being that is us in Christ – the church built without human hands.
Life in the knowledge of good and evil is a non-life of words. Life with Christ as our life is a state of being. It’s union with God. It’s sonship.
COMMUNION WITH COMMUNION
Thomas Torrance puts it this way, “For St Paul.. an immense change has now come about, which is decisive for Jews as well as Christians. Through Christ and in one Spirit we are both given access to the Father and know him, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Moses and Isaiah and Jesus, the one Lord God of the Old Testament Scriptures, in an altogether profounder way, within the inner relations of his one Being, only of course as ‘clothed’ with his self-revelation to us.
He is not undifferentiated in himself, but is a Triunity, indivisible in his Unity and inseparable in his Trinity, who has identified and designated himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” (1)
This is not just an interesting fact of theology. It is the living way in which we have been made one with God, the way in which we live in oneness with God and in oneness and genuine community with each other.
Watering a lettuce seedling that has been removed from the soil will not help. Watering people with more truth about God when they are rooted in God makes a big difference.
Thus it is unlikely that anyone who does not live in the new covenant can live in a genuine Kingdom Community but will instead be trying to sustain themselves on theories of church growth or anointings of the Spirit that have a minimal effect because the anointing only works when we are living in our inheritance of union with God.
* There are Believers who cannot abide straight talk and it exposure of the lies and veils that are the culture of the father of lies. They try to reproach Truth Tellers and life-givers as if they are ungracious and unkind. Sadly they are captive to the political spirit. There discernment is so poor they have immunised themselves against life without limit which means that live in their self-made limited life to function as blind leaders of the blind.
1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 70). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.