Living by the Law is Separation

The law presupposes the separate self to obey it. The fact that we see the law outside us as something we have to attain to, something which we are not now but should or ought to be, is our perpetual admission that we are lawbreakers and in separation from God. In this separation, we can only hear the law as if it is coming from outside us and therefore we are apart from it, so that we are bound to both the demands of the law and to the separateness in which to do them.

This separate outer law demands that we live up to the reality that we are the image of God. That is an impossibility, because we are only an image, and not God Himself. Only God can be God. An image does not create or sustain itself, but is dependent on the object of which it is an image. We are images that have come out of the breath of God, and so we have some measure of life and will in ourselves – for we are persons in His image! As persons, we have all been tempted to try to become God ourselves by trying to be like Him, whether knowingly or unknowingly. It is the most absurd thought that ever came into the temporal universe. Still, we have all tried it.[1]

Nevertheless, the very attempt to emulate God, even if out of a supposed good motive – to do “good” – is the point of separation from God, because no separate will can work in Him. A will that says, “I will be like Him,” is already separated unto itself and not to God, because no created being can be like Him. He is Himself and there is no other. However, He has created us that through Christ in us we would be the visible expression of which He is the invisible reality, so that our lives are what they are supposed to be when we are one with God. Something that is one with something has no need to become or change into something else – to “be like” something, because it already IS a perfect expression of that with which it is “one.” It just is itself, and thinks and wills as one with its source. As a branch of a vine lives only from the sap from the vine, and therefore bears the fruit of the vine through its organic oneness with the vine, in the same exact way we bear the fruit of Christ since we are one with Him and are living branches on His vine.

By Fred Pruitt

Jim’s Blog Note:

[1] Some churches teach that Christians must try to be “Christ-like” a doctrine that has likely passed down through the centuries from the writings of Thomas à Kempis’, ‘The Imitation of Christ’. Throughout history only the Bible has been read more than this work.

Is 14:13,14 For you have said in your heart: ’I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’

Five ‘I wills’ in an attempt to aspire to God’s Word of Grace by using a formula.

 

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