Religion is a more abstruse version of the law. This is because the law itself is a function of the knowledge of good and evil. With the Jews it was meant to lead the way to the Messiah. And be replaced by Him – in all of us. Christ in us is the new and living way in which humans are made one with God become filled with the Spirit of Sonship. The notion of sons of God in the law is nonsense. Now we are the sons of God because we are in Christ and He is in us. As sons of God we have become the expression of God. This is life in the Spirit.
Bolting the ‘gifts’ and Holy Spirit onto the law and old covenant religion is the same as Scott Morrison bolting a tax package onto structural inequality. It looks as if you are doing something grand when you are actually doing nothing.
ALL OR NOTHING
Any negative thing Paul says against the law, he is saying against religion. Jesus did not replace some law with Himself. He replaced all of it – every jot and tittle. All was fulfilled in Jesus’ cross, His resurrection, installation at the right hand of power and descent by the Spirit into the hearts of Believers. THE INCARNATION IS THE FULFILMENT OF GOD’S PLAN FOR US – the embodiment of the trinity in all who believe. Our responsibility to live out God’s plan in obedience and joy – the plan that is Christ come in our flesh and of Jesus manifesting as us. We are entitled to this perspective, this gospel and none other.
RIGHT RELATIONSHIP IS WHOLENESS
Adam and Eve were created ‘whole.’ They were not mature but they were whole and complete as sons and daughters of God. There was nothing in them that was lacking. God was the I AM of Himself and they were complete in themselves. Complete because they were in Him. There was no ‘law’ as such before the fall. Life and righteousness occurred because Adam and Eve were in relationship with God. Union with God which was what Paul was later to call ‘the law of the spirit of life.’ This is where we came from. It is our inheritance that is restored when we agree with God that Christ is our life.
Satan’s attack came in the suggestion that God was less than He was and that they were incomplete in God’s subterfuge. The lie was that they must do something more to measure-up, to be godly and to be as Gods.
A LIE PERPETUATED
This lie is often perpetuated as doctrine today when people are taught that Jesus is here to administer religion and the law. He is not. In Him we are joined to the Godhead and He lives in us to replicate the life of the trinity in us. This is life in the Spirit. Life in the Spirit is not law and old covenant with ‘gifts’ added. Such religion may more appropriately be described as witchcraft.
Today you and Father have been made one in Jesus. Yet the slander and the insinuation remains the same. The inference in some quarters is that the at-one-ment remains incomplete and that we must ‘add something’ in order to avail ourselves of what Christ has done. The core of religion is this ‘adding something.’ Ministries and churches have arisen out of ‘adding something.’ The truth is that you have been added in spirit and truth to the Holy Family and that the Holy Family lives in you.
Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV. His teaching is that He is our life.
Religion will always leave us restless and unsatisfied. The essence of religion is the ‘doing’ of things’ that we hope will make us acceptable to God. Religion can be an attempt to buy grace; an attempt to manufacture God’s presence out of our presence; a bid to undo the separation that we believe exists [erroneously] between God and ourselves. We are not joined to God by sacraments, observances of holy times and reverence for holy places. We are one with God in Jesus. That is – one with God by a living person. We are one with God in Jesus Christ because God has made it so. Jesus is your union with God. Jesus is your divine rest for human restlessness. In Jesus you have a Sabbath Life. Paul wrote,
SOURCE OF THE SPIRIT
‘You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?’ Gal 3.1,2 NIV. Paul could just as easily have said, ‘Christians. Why are you so stupid?!’
In Jesus you have a robust life. Not always a charmed life but a life of fullness and great contentment, even in the midst of sorrow. In Jesus you are all that it means to be a human being – dignified, fun-loving and filled with His life – a life not your own, yet a life that is you. And you are not just a human being. You are a son/daughter of God. Then again one can live a religious life that might vary between being an earnest plodder and a pious dill living in self-delusion. Some have made a religion out of the stupidity that Paul speaks of. But this will never be your lot when Christ is your life.
“Religion can mean many different things when it comes to how people are bound to a particular belief system, and how they relate to their god or supreme power. The practice of some sort of religious, outward ritual or expression can originate from many sources, whether good, bad or ugly. Being “religious” can apply to anyone, and this isn’t necessarily a title that we should want to be identified with, nor should it define who we are in Christ.” (1)
If Christ is our life we honour and ennoble ourselves. If law or religion is our life we dishonour Christ and degrade ourselves. We can walk in the light or we can hobble along looking through a glass darkly. Christ your life is not a religion or a moral program. It’s an incarnation: The Spirit of God expressed as you.
(1) Kapler, Michael C.. Clash Of The Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee (Kindle Locations 282-286). Kindle Edition.