THE RICHES OF CHRIST
One can live in in a dysfunctional family and not know that this is abnormal because it is our normal. One can live miserly when we are not poor because this was the normal our parents gave us. Many people are fortunate enough to outgrow the bonsai attitudes in which they were raised because they have a passion for life and they become exposed to a normality of openness, generosity and progress. They become people of vision.s
LIFE IN A THIMBLE
Some do carry clinging to the past and small-mindedness into adult life like a poverty mentality even though they are far from poor and not un-intelligent. But they live like a man who is a peasant or a person with a g-clamp on their mind.
FALSE FACT/FALSE REALITY
We can be like this spiritually if we have been raised in ‘another gospel’ that strands us in the sparse existence of the law and the knowledge of good and evil - even as many other Christians live in the grace of life in the Spirit. We might even imagine that the aberration that cripples us has merit and gives us an advantage over other Christians, without ever it occurring to us that they have done exceptionally well without our particular perspective. Jesus warned, ‘Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me’ Matt 10.37 NIV. This is to say that in such a mindset, we are not worth of life to the full.
But the fact that all are worthy of life to the full even though they have been travelling on a crooked road, is why we preach and Gospel of the Kingdom, which is the Gospel of Jesus and the apostles and not some self-concocted gospel that results from a decay into legalism and misguided prophecy. The result of such is always a false christ and a false us. This is why we are ministers of the new covenant and not the old.
A stubborn person may be glued to her own ideas out of ego and ignorance. I spent my early years in proximity to some whose stubbornness surprised even as an eight year old. No one forced them to be ignorant. But they became that way because they did not read, despised knowledge that was not their own and had armour plated egos. Not particularly intelligent they could have been more so. The mind feeds on ideas and informed knowledge. It can grow and mature. The spirit can be ignited and the soul can be come healthy and positive. If one is open to life. Not if one is obsessed with hanging onto their stuff. In these formative years I encountered only one in this family who was open to ideas. There are cultures of limitation and ignorance. But she was not one of them.
CULTS AND FELLOW TRAVELLERS
A characteristic of a cult is that its inmates have an answer for everything. The lens by which they interpret reality is formed by their key ideas. The result of this leathery coating that surrounds their minds is that they become immune to truth and automatically generate fictions that insulate the truth from their hearts.
Such people are by no means ignoramus’s and boof-heads. They can be well educated intelligent people who from childhood have been brain-washed in an alternative religious reality. They can unconsciously and skilfully invent reasons to persuade themselves that they belong to the Body of Christ when the corpus of belief that is theirs contrary to the Gospel of Jesus and the teaching of the apostles. Any gospel that makes the law the key issue of salvation and kingdom is a perverted gospel.
What is the issue of life? The issue is that Father is completely trustworthy and that in Jesus Christ we are the sons and daughters of God. This implies the undoing of the lie that Father is holding something back, that we are not enough in God and that we remain separated from God so that the Christian project is the overcoming of separation from God and Christ.
The reality that Christ has come in our flesh and that as a result He could not be any closer than He is – woven into 0ur being. As the church we are the expression of Christ and the Representation of the trinity as the sons and daughters of God.
MADE ONE WITH GOD
Thomas Torrance observes that, “In the incarnation the eternal Son assumed human nature into oneness with himself but in that assumption Jesus Christ is not only real man but a man.
He is at once the One and the Many, for in Jesus the Creator become man, all human nature has been assumed.
The point for our consideration here is the fact that it is in this union of the human.. and the divine.. that Jesus Christ is the personalising Person whose saving power is brought to bear directly upon us.
In him the incarnate Son and Word of God, Creator and creature, divine and human nature, are united in one Person, so that in Jesus our human being is radically personalised and indeed humanised, and as such is brought into intimate union with God and into the Communion of the Holy Trinity.” (1)
In Christ we become one with God.* This is the truth of the Lord’s Table and the instruction inherent in this scripture, ‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. This and not observance of the law is obedience in the post cross age.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 161). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.
* But we do not become God. We are sons of God but never deities.