Bible study is good for instruction in righteousness – namely in that it tells us where life and righteousness are to be found: That would be in Jesus. This wholeness/holiness is found not in the attempt to copy what we reading but by the Jesus who is these truths becoming us by His Spirit.
The truth is that God has incarnated Himself in us so that His Spirit manifests as us. This is the vine and the branch, the root and the fruit and the Christ come in our flesh to ‘be us.’ Jesus called it the core and defined it as the difference between religion and our inheritance: Christ come in our flesh. John is blunt when he writes,
‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV. Why don’t they acknowledge that Jesus has come in our flesh? Because they promote the notion that Jesus has come in the law.
NO PROPRIETARY TRUTH
The incarnation of God in our being is not a belief that we are at liberty to adopt or dispose of. It is the harvest of the Plan established before creation and the result of the cross and Pentecost. Incarnation is the difference between Christ’s gospel and ‘another gospel’.
The parable of the Sower is about clinging to non-gospels, half-gospels and other gospels.
SOWING FRUIT-FULLNESS OR NOT
The Parable of the Sower is not about rooting out our much loved and despised sins but about throwing out entirely the attempt to cling to our old covenant rocks and stones rather than burying our being in the rootedness of our union with God.
There was a time in my life when much of it fell to pieces. I began to mend when I saw that I had largely made a life out of religion instead of a life from a personal knowing of and union with Jesus. If you persist and seek Him out as your bread and living water, you will find that what you thought was godliness may just be religion – and that real Godliness is Jesus as us and more.
YOU AND FATHER ONE
Godliness is the trinity with us and woven into our being. In the first stages of my personal revival I read the scriptures and tried to be what they upheld. Over time I learned that we are no more successful in applying the scriptures to ourselves than the Jews were in keeping their law. But what we can learn is what Jesus, Paul and John emphasise – that God lives in us to conform us to Himself in an on-growing advance into sonship. His life becomes our life. This is life in the Spirit. The effect of a union with God whose result is Christ expressed as you.
The fruits of the Spirit are not some new testament variety of law-keeping. They are the effect of Christ your life.
Incarnation is a form of grace. It’s radical grace. It is the persons of the trinity graced into our being and fellowshipping with us. David was the prototype of this in His passion and enjoyment of intimacy with God. Any Christian today has more of God than did Moses or David because God is incarnated into our being. This is life in the Spirit correctly understood and not the anointing and gifts as is often imagined. These are however a function of our new covenant union with God.
SONS REAL AND IMAGINED
Keep this in mind. In the law we are notional sons. We are not sons in spirit and in truth. In Christ our life we are sons in spirit and in truth and part of Christ’s Body.
“The good news of an incarnational religion, a Spirit-based morality, is that you are not motivated by outside reward or punishment but actually by looking out from inside the Mystery yourself. So carrots are neither needed nor helpful. “It is God, who for his own loving purpose, puts both the will and the action into you” (Philippians 2:13).
It is not our rule-following behavior but our actual identity that needs to be radically changed.
This is a major change of position and vantage point. You do things because they are true, not because you have to or you are afraid of punishment. Henceforth you are not so much driven from without (the False Self method) as you are drawn from within (the True Self method). The generating motor is inside you now instead of a whip or a threat outside.” (1)
The identity highlighted here is exposed in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. In the law we retain our pre-cross identity as workers and slaves in the garden of the knowledge of good and evil. This is our Adamic identity. In the Spirit – which is our state of being with Christ as our life, we are the sons of God, living in our inheritance.
Referred to here is our change from a worker to a son. Such a change might be described as our always being smaller than we want in God to a TARDIS likeness in which we are larger than we know because we are sons of God. The way to sonship is not through the law or religion. The new and living way is Christ your life.
(1) Rohr, Richard. Immortal Diamond: The search for our true self . SPCK. Kindle Edition.