Archive for October 2016

Knowing God; Knowing Myself

The Father’s Son united himself with us by becoming human. The Spirit of the Father’s Son unites us personally to the Father’s Son so that we share in all that he is with his Father.  Without becoming divine ourselves we now share in the very life of the Triune God in the Son and by the Spirit.

The same Spirit who unites us to the Father’s Son now indwells us as the Son’s own presence deep within us.  That means we do not observe God from afar as those isolated from him.  By the Spirit we are in the Son and the Son is in us just as he is in his Father and his Father in him.  Both Father and Son make their home with us by the Spirit.

Within this living union and communion we know Who God is.  And in knowing Who God is we know who we are.  Or should I rather say we know whose we are?  For in union with Christ I come to know God as the One to whom I now belong.   I am His home; He is my home. Finding my true home in him I find myself for I now know whose I am.  And I  rest in Him as one who belongs. This is true peace and happiness

True Image

Adam was created in the image of God, but he was only a type of the one who is the image of God – Jesus. He is the true image of the invisible God. The Father’s Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.  In him the invisible God is made visible.  In Jesus, we can now see what God is actually like.

Jesus is also the true human image.  There are all sorts of ways that we may define humanity.  But true humanity is defined in just one way-Jesus.  He is the human. So Jesus is the true divine image as the true human image.  For he is the One who is both authentically divine and authentically human

We are called to imitate Jesus so that we become like him and image him in the world.  Does that mean we simply observe and imitate isolated from him through our own efforts?  That would be anything but good news!  It would simply throw us back on ourselves and our own powers of accurate observation and perfect imitation.  We would know nothing at all of the  life-giving communion with God that enables us to image Him as we are transformed into Jesus’ likeness.

We are in union with Jesus for he lives in us as we live in him. And within this living union he encounters us personally in the Spirit so that we gaze on his glory.  In this living encounter we are transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory.  Only in this way do we imitate him so that we image him to the glory of His Father.

 

Living Encounter

The Son of God came into the world, as one of us, to achieve His Father’s saving purpose in the power of the Spirit.  Having laid down his life, he was raised by His Father as the new man who is head of God’s new humanity in communion with His Father in the Spirit.

This living Lord exalted at the right hand of His Father encounters us personally in the SpiritHe gave himself to us and for us to achieve all on our behalf and now he gives himself to us again in the Spirit in a living and personal way.

Faith is born as the Living Lord encounters us by His Spirit enabling us to share in             His love relationship with the Father as dearly loved children.

Faith grows in understanding as the Living Lord encounters us again and again so             that we come to know our Father more deeply through His Son and by His Spirit

Faith expresses itself in lived experience as the Living Lord encounters us in all the           realities of daily life so that we are transformed into His likeness to the glory of                   His Father in the Spirit.

And so, Trinitarian thinking is not a  detached and rational formulation of perplexing ideas about three-in-one. Rather, Trinitarian thinking is sheer wonder in fellowship with our Triune God as our Living Lord encounters us again and again and again by His Spirit.

Mastery or Mystery

We do not approach the knowledge of God in Christ with mere rational thinking defining, debating and disputing.  Rather, in lowliness of mind we open ourselves in wonder before the mystery of Christ.  We do not strive for mastery in our knowledge of God in Christ.

We tend to speak of knowing in terms of “grasping”. We grasp a thing when “we’ve got it.” And if we have grasped something, we take it into our possession so that we can do with it what we want.  We have gained mastery over the object of our knowing.

But we know God, not as we “grasp” him mentally, but as He encounters us personally drawing us into His own Triune life in Christ by the Spirit.   We know God, not as we make Him our property, but rather as we are transformed through love as participators in His Triune life in the Son by the Spirit. In fellowship with Father and Son in the Spirit we know not through gaining mastery over the mystery of God.  We simply gaze into the mystery as God makes Himself known though Jesus in the Spirit.

As we do so, we may articulate something of who He is, but we are always aware that we are expressing the inexpressible.  For He is more to be worshipped in sheer wonder than rationally defined and debated and disputed.  Jurgen Moltmann reminds us that we know the Triune God in wonder only as far as love and participation reach.