THIS IS THE WAY
Don’t be put off by ambiguity and mystery in the things of God. If the portion of Godliness we are examining can be defined too easily it is probably not God. Spirituality is objective in that it is Jesus Christ come by the Spirit in our flesh, yet spirituality is also non-dualistic because it simply is – a state of being in which we are one with God.
THE WHO OF GOD
This is why we must not try to define God too much and in doing so emasculate God but also eagerly investigate what God has revealed to us about Himself in the person of Jesus Christ.
THE LIVING WAY
The trinity is a mysterious entity, yet we need to pay attention to the nature of God because the trinity is the paradigm of our salvation, the way of our reconciliation to God and the ‘who’ of who we are as persons and as the church.
The way, the truth and the life is the door to union with God, the truth about God and about us and the life of God shared with us. The Word of God is not just words but a state of being who is The Christ. The identity of Christ is who He is, because He is a member of the trinity. The trinity who is the who and the what of God because it is the being of God. This can sound like nonsense to the rationalist/fundamentalist but ‘being’ has a way of being much bigger and more wonderful than words.
An astute theologian has written, “The Holy Scriptures do not give us dogmatic propositions about the Trinity, but they do present us with definite witness to the oneness and differentiation between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, under the constraint of which the early Church allowed the pattern and order of God’s Triune Life to impose themselves upon its mind.”
Gospel truth is grace but a grace that is not only forensic and sin oriented but a grace by which Jesus is revealed to us and becomes us by the Spirit. Torrance writes, “There took shape within the ecumenical thinking of the Church a specifically apostolic frame of understanding the truth of the Gospel which soon came to be revered as the distinctive mind or ϕρόνημα of the Catholic Church. It was to this mind that the great fathers and theologians of the Church intuitively appealed in forming theological judgments.” (1)
In the person of Jesus the separation of the fall is completely undone. The alienation of heart and mind that became our spiritual disease (sin) has been healed and the oneness that Jesus enjoyed with His Father has become our oneness. We know holiness and become holy because the Holy one is in us, woven into our being.
“It is only through Christ and in the Spirit that we are given access to the Father, and thereby may know God in his one yet three-fold self-revelation as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While this knowledge of God is actualised in us through the Communion of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, its content is determined and informed by what has once for all taken place in Jesus Christ.” (2)
While many Christians read the Bible and try to put what they read into practice by dint of self-effort and discipline, Jesus did not teach this and it is not His living way. Neither did Paul and John and neither does the new testament. What The Message does teach is that Jesus stands in for you, Jesus becomes you and you grow to maturity as a daughter/son of God.
In the Kingdom the ultimate definition of God is never words. The Living Word – the who of God is Jesus Christ. With you and I, the definition holiness is never a bunch of law qualities. It’s you as a son of God.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons (T&T Clark Cornerstones) . Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.
(2) Ibid p 17.