The point of Christian faith is not in the efficacy or power of our own faith, but believing in the faith and faithfulness of Jesus himself, who stands in our place. We participate in Jesus’ own faith, fullness and knowledge. The incarnation, when properly understood, means that we have become partaker’s of the Triune life; the fellowship and camaraderie shared between the Father, Son and Spirit. As both wholly man and God, Jesus Christ ascended to be seated at the Father’s right hand. Our inclusion in His finished work connotes that we are where He is, more than that, we are included in the joyful existence of the Trinity. Before the foundation of the world the Father, Son and Spirit decided to share their quality of life with man in and through Jesus Christ.
In the incarnation we have been transferred from have not’s or “I am not” to “Yes, I am”. Our soul enemy was the first I am not. The simple reason is that he is not God. That old serpent thus has no creation power whatsoever, so the deception (Rev 12:7) revolves around convincing every man that he is a have not when the opposite is true. This lie is the sole reason for every tormenting emotion, feeling or thought which fruit is withdrawal and alienation from the very life we already are partakers of in Christ. In like manner as every man was included in the first Adam’s fall every man is included in the last Adam’s victory. This is not universalism. The question asked by the jailer in Acts is still valid: “What must I do to be saved?”
C Baxter Kruger writes: “Paul prays that we would come to comprehend and to know the love of Christ, that we “may be filled up to all the fulness of God.” In Colossians Paul says, “For in Him [Christ] all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made full” (2:9-10). Clearly the fulness belongs to Jesus, and is then shared with us. Jesus himself tells us that he came to give us not simply peace, but his own peace (JN 14:27), and his own joy (15:11). And, of course, in his famous prayer it is abundantly clear that Jesus envisages the very love and glory of the Father and Son themselves dwelling in us personally (17:22-26).”
Owing to the fact that we have received everything which pertains to goodliness and life in Christ, that is, His fullness, it should be evident that He also shares His faith with us. We can fully rely on Christ’s faith. In the context of rest this understanding solidifies our rest. Perhaps needless to say, but in Christ we do not have to whip up a faith of our own, let alone, try to imitate His faith. This further implies that we can trust our faith since it is Christ’s own faith which wells up in us.
It is in this context we acknowledge that it is absolutely vital that we turn our back to the law. The law’s judgment is that we are have not’s. It declares everything we must become. Every instant this subtle sensation that we have to become something finds a crack in our armor our conclusion is that we are have not’s. “Yes, I am” or “I am” is the antidote to every idol about which the Bible gives severe cautions. Why? Because, when our identity is based on “I am not” we begin to erect our own identity. The joy, peace and fellowship shared with us through God’s grace evade us, and as a substitute, because we somehow know something is missing, we attempt to find joy and everything else pertaining to the Triune circle of life in externals.
The externals perpetuate this illusion that we are have not’s and they can never quench that thirst for genuine life which is in every man. This quest for joy, fulfillment and identity outside God creates an ever-increasing contradiction between our true selves in union with God, and the life we are living. Our attempt to create that what is already freely given us becomes our legend, our idol. Why does the Bible warn against this? It has nothing to do with God’s judgment. The warning is a token of love on account of when engrossed in this undertaking we create our own personal hell, the exact same hell from which God sent His son to save us. “For God so loved the world…….” Faith in Jesus Christ saves man and opens his eyes to the astonishing fact that he is included in the Triune circle of joy, love, peace and life. Faith doesn’t create this inclusion. Faith recognizes what is already accomplished.
The aforementioned contradiction is the cause for every bizarre ritual we find in the church or the world as a whole. We carve out, create and furnish rituals to keep the legend alive, the legend in which we have put our trust because the spontaneous genuine life which originates in God has eluded us.
To see ourselves accepted in Christ, embraced by our Father, included in the circle of life is the identity which declares: “Yes, I am!” It is an identity of hope and assurance, not of fear and anxiety. Freed from our self-centeredness we are quickened and refreshed, and instead of takers we become givers, instead of stifling life itself we become fountains of life. Paul says that when we understand that we are dead to the law, that is, that we are not “have not’s” we bear fruit for God.