Someone wrote at the start of this year, “Standing as we areat the dawn of a new decade, I can’t help but detect a shared sense of doom. Perhaps it’s what seems an increasingly degraded, incapable politics facing the possible collapse of our economic system and an impending climate crisis unlike anything our species has known, while our societies are more polarised, angry and less cohesive than they were.” Given what 2020 has been how ironic.
But there is a Living Way.
WISDOM IS KNOWN BY ITSELF
There is the spirit of wisdom and revelation about and it is easily accessible and available to all who are willing to believe. It has seldom been utilised, except by mystics who as a result became fountains of life. Most decided for religion with the result that the world received droplets of life rather than the rivers of infinite life that belong to all as a result of the incarnation.
FOUNDATION OF THE NEW CREATION
C.S. Lewis wrote, ‘The central miracle asserted by Christians is the incarnation. They say that God became man.’ Athanasius wrote, ‘Christ was made man that we might be made God.’ Of course we do not become deities. But we do become sons in spirit and in truth. Without the incarnation our sonship is a shell and our sonship has no substance other than a spiritual notion. Should we live in the incarnation we become the manifestation of God – the sons/daughters of God in spirit and in truth. We have entered a state of being known as ‘oneness.’
HOW THE WORLD KNOWS
We may talk of ‘sonship’ from a position in religion and the law but only attain a paper mache version of it. Sonship in spirit and truth is Christ our life. It is incarnation, Jesus said, ‘I in them and you in me--so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me’ John 17.3. Without the incarnation; without God manifesting as us, we have no ability to love God, ourselves or anyone else. The life of God as our life is the solution to the degraded and demented foolishness of these times.
Proverbs says that ‘there is nothing more lamentable than a fool becoming king’. I don’t know exactly where this scripture is found but it had a special meaning to me when once I returned from mission trip led by a person of very little brain. God-talk is never a substitute of intelligence and ability.
‘Words’ and ‘gifts’ are no substitute for our being full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit. Neither are the gifts added to the old covenant capable of delivering the Kingdom of God. In fact Holy Spirit is no help to anyone who is an expert at misinterpreting what Holy Spirit is saying in order to spin it into some affirmation of themselves and their misguided imprisonment in the law.
I have known educated teachers who lived from the misunderstanding of a legalised gospel. Some teachers pass away having spent their lives trying to straighten out parts of ‘their gospel’ that are fundamentally bent. Intelligent people can be the bearers of whacky ideas. Which is why we need the mind of Christ rather than our own mind. We jeopardise our spiritual quality of life if we live to pump up our long held beliefs simply because they are ours and we have become dependent on them for a sense of identity.
By sidelining the incarnation and the union with God that is ours, we will not burst into flame. Quite the opposite. Our flame will die, we will be devoid of spirit and life and become reduced to circling the mulberry bush of our received beliefs while sinking further into dormancy and inertia.
Thomas Torrance held scientific, sound, legitimate theology in high esteem. If our theology is not sound, we will not be of sound mind and our missionary work will create spiritual cripples rather than robust sons of God. Paul called the so deprived slaves and workers: The unfortunate cripples of the Christian Church.
Torrance believed that, “If theology is to be truly scientific [valid] in its knowledge of God, then theology cannot seek to know God primarily through philosophical speculation, apologetical proofs, or even by stringing together a series of out-of-context Bible verses [or supposedly prophetic insights].
“No, if theology is to be faithful in its pursuit of the knowledge of God, then theology must come to know God in accordance with God’s very being and nature. This means taking up the “mind of Christ,” and undergoing a “renewal of the mind” by the Holy Spirit and in union with Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 2:16, Rom. 12:2). This means giving God absolute sovereignty in our knowledge of God, thinking not with a center in ourselves but with a center in God’s self-revelation.” (1) A god is nor God who is a figment of the law.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
If our Godliness is not based on God’s view of Himself and His accomplishment for us (incarnation), spiritual gifts, words of knowledge and healed limbs have no root and become no more than a passing excitement and manifestations that go nowhere. Let’s be clear. The main manifestation of the trinity in the world today is you.
(1) Morrison, Stephen D.. T. F. Torrance in Plain English (Plain English Series Book 2) (p. 35). Beloved Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.