The knowledge of God is ours on the basis of the being of God; of who God is in God’s nature as the trinity. God has become known to us as God’s has reached out and drawn us into communion with the communion that He is in Jesus Christ. The Christ who was incarnated as God with us and is now incarnated in our being as Christ our life.
The oneness that is God in the trinity has become the oneness that is us and God. You are included and we belong.
NO OTHER GOSPELS
There is no legitimate supplement to the Gospel of Jesus and the apostles. No genuine amendment to the Nicaean Creed. The alpha and omega of the Gospel of the Kingdom is Christ in you. Any alteration to the Gospel of Jesus and Paul comes under the heading of Gnosticism – the heresy which posits an eccentric access to special knowledge that claims to provide a ‘special life’ to the recipient. We need to see this as a re-iteration of the seduction that produced the fall.
Christ’s Gospel is far simpler than such incantations. It is expressed as Galatians 2.20-21 and in Paul’s emphasis, ‘Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory’ 1 Tim 3.16 NIV.
In Jesus we have been made one with God in similar pattern to God’s oneness with His trinitarian self. This revelation is far deeper than the ‘knowing’ we may possess when we say ‘high’ to our postman on his rounds. It’s a ‘knowing of being’ that involves Christ’s oneness with Father imparted to us.
THE CENTRAL ISSUE
Thomas Torrance explains, “If the revelation of God presented to us in Jesus Christ is what the Gospel claims about it, the revelation of God himself to us, then it must be anchored in the very Being and Reality of God through a bridge, and indeed a oneness in being, between the incarnate Son and the Father. This was precisely what Irenaeus found to be the central issue of the Gospel, in the incarnation of the very Word, Mind and Truth of God himself in Jesus Christ.” (1)
The knowing of God becomes our knowing in the person of Jesus Christ. ‘No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him’ Matt 11.27. Jesus delights to reveal Himself and our Father. He does this by being embedded in our person and in the lives of those whose oneness with Jesus is their everyday life. His tutoring of ourselves is not restricted to apostolic messengers. Incarnated in our lives and circumstances He can reveal His truth by utilising painful circumstances, common heresies and diluted gospels. He uses them to foster our hunger and thirst for all of His life.
AN INCARNATED LIFE
Torrance continues, “Jesus Christ imparts to us something of the knowledge of God which he has in the intimate and mutual relation between the Father and himself. He does this, Irenaeus argues, in a two-fold movement of his Word who ‘became man and dwells in man in order to accustom man to receive God and God to dwell in man’. God acts from both sides of the relation between himself and man through a movement in which ‘he reveals God to man and presents man to God’ (2)
The central issue is that the oneness Jesus has with Father is the oneness that we have with Father and with Jesus. This is the issue of the ages – the undoing of our separated Adamic life that is replaced by our oneness with God in Jesus Christ.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 77). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.