The truth of the new covenant age is as follows. The old testament leads to the new. The law leads to the Spirit, the scriptures lead to Jesus and the Spirit imparts and amplifies Jesus. But Jesus neither leads to or amplifies any of the former. He reveals His Father. All things are under Jesus’ feet and He is the lens through which reality is seen, interpreted and lived.
The scriptures are subordinate to the Son. They point to Him, but He does not point to them. All things are under His feet and were made by Him and for Him. There is a profound difference in the teaching of one who gives a Bible study on the Spirit of Sonship and the teaching of one who is a son. One speaks from abstraction. The other from incarnation. One is the letter and the other is spirit and life. Spirit and life are not ours in the letter, the law or the culture of the old covenant. But all life is ours when He is our life and we are the manifestation of His presence.
‘You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!’ John 5.39 NIV.
Those who live the truth that Christ is their life are the most fertile propagators of the Kingdom of God. The Son is incarnated in them and manifest through them. There is nothing as simple, nothing as profound, nothing as life-multiplying than Christ our life, Christ the person manifest in us and as the church. Recently a woman remarked at a Christian school staff meeting. ‘Anything that is not Christ is a waste of time.’ The dormant shifted in their seats. The religious took offence and continued in their fog. Others rejoiced and leapt further into the adventure of Christ come in them.
BEYOND THE FORBIDDEN TREE
The Kingdom is not all of us trying to live out Bible values and teaching. These are the shadows. The reality is Christ and he expression of Him is you. The power of the Kingdom is Jesus manifest as you. The community of the church is Jesus writ large as His people. The reality of this is found in the grace and transforming dynamic of the incarnation - Christ come in our flesh.
‘This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God’ 1 John 4.2 NIV.
The Kingdom of god’s Son is not a belief system, an industry or a bunch of denominations doing their thing. This Kingdom is the person of Jesus manifest in people. We might give our lives to Christianity and faithfully serve a denomination - without assisting the Kingdom of God more than one or two percent. Which means that 98 percent of the time we may have been impeding it. With what? Religion. Whether religion is sincere or self-serving, it is packing that imparts no life. In being packing it impedes the progress of the kingdom and nullifies the new creation by perpetuating the Adamic old covenant life in the name of Jesus.
Some Believers have a very confused view of the covenants. For them, ‘The New Covenant is not really different from the Old Covenant. Since God never changes [!], all the requirements of the old are eternal. The New Covenant is just another way of expressing the old. We still have to prove to God that we're loyal by keeping the commandments.” There is nothing in common with Christ’s gospel here, or the teaching of the apostles. It robs the a Believer’s life of power over sin, stultifies God, nullifies the cross and suffocates the incarnation. It’s debatable whether such assumptions are genuinely Christian. Fortunately not all Christian myths are as gross as this. But many Believers do live in a mixture of the old and the new covenant because their spiritual landscape is a Christian version of the Knowledge of good and evil. In Jesus God has taken us out of this milieu and drawn us into the fellowship of the trinity.
Christ is not here so that you can do good things. He has come by the Spirit so that His life can be your life. This is the difference between living in scarcity and abundance.
In order to be Jesus multiplied; to be doing what Jesus is doing now, we need to be aligned with what He already did 2000 years ago. He moved us out of Adam into Himself. What’s wrong with the old covenant? It’s not what Jesus is doing now. It’s what God left behind with the death of Jesus and the ripping of the temple curtain. It is what applied before we were reconciled to God. It’s what was made redundant by the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday morning and the beginning of the new creation age.
The new covenant is the reconciliation of all things in the cross of Christ. The new creation is the incarnation of the resurrected Jesus in us. This new creation is ours when we pass through the gate of the cross. It’s the new and living way WHO is writ large and multiplied in the people of God. The new covenant is the incarnation of the trinity in the people of God. The new covenant was not an adjustment to the old and dead way. The new and living way is a distinct and radical departure from the old.
Dr Stephen Crosby writes, “If we do not understand what a radical threat Jesus was in His person to the established social, political, theological and religious structures and values of His day, we will not understand the radical nature of the new covenant established by His death, resurrection, and Spirit outpouring and indwelling. If we do not understand Jesus in His context, we will domesticate Him into ours.
Understanding the New Covenant begins by understanding Him! A bicycle wheel has many spokes, but only one hub or axle into which all the spokes must connect or the structural soundness of the wheel will be undermined. Jesus is Lord is the hub of the New Covenant wheel It is so very easy for believers to become lost in the spokes of Christianity, forgetting Who is the Hub. In so doing, the structural soundness of their lives is lost even while claiming fidelity to Him and passionately absorbed with various spiritual spokes in the wheel.”
‘Absorbed in the spokes of the wheel.’ This is our life in a Christianized version of the knowledge of good and evil. It’s a life where we live in an illusion in which we are certain that the parts are the whole. Here we become absorbed in distributing bits of religion rather than living in God, living in the whole, being whole and multiplying spirit and life.