We can choose to live in our security blanket of comforting ideas that we inherited from others. Then again when can live in God and His ideas about Himself and about us. One involves circling our own mulberry bush of partial life and the other is our transformation into a tree of life.
CHRIST YOUR LIFE
Thomas Torrance writes, “The radical significance of Christ's substitutionary Priesthood does not lie in the fact that His perfect Self-offering perfects and completes our imperfect offerings, but that these are displaced by His completed Self-offering. We can only offer what has already been offered on our behalf, and offer it by the only mode appropriate to such a substitutionary offering, by prayer, thanksgiving, and praise.”
In a recent post we spoke about ontology and the fact that our life in God is a state of being – a state of being one with God because God has entered our lives to become one with us. This is about real time, real relationships, real persons and real Godliness - wrought because we have been included in God and made part of God. What else can sonship mean?
Rabid conservativism is about dead trees saying they are alive. Much religion is about externality and never goes beyond it. The Kingdom Jesus began is His life in you, in the deepest part of you, becoming you and making its way to the outside of you and to the world as a stream of living water. With Christ as your life you too are life and as such a person of spirit and life.
If we have been raised in the law – and many have – some in a subtle legalism in which religion is one’s life and others in an overt legalism in which the law is the core of life and the great issue of salvation, we will have a restricted view of God and of ourselves. We will have been marinated in a view in which we are more like a pickle than a fresh vegetable, because law is essentially mean, discriminating, sour and scarcity instead of abundance. We can talk inclusiveness - but if attached to the law we are clouds without rain.
Holiness, wholeness and healing is a life in God. Paul calls this Christ in us and Christ our life while John cites Jesus’ urging us to ‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV. Jesus declared Himself the way, the truth and the life. But He was not advocating Himself as the way to be a Christian. He was declaring Himself as the way to be ourselves as sons instead of slaves and workers.
Some of Christianity has fallen into decay because the incarnation has been replaced by behavior modification and sin management. Ministries can be made out of this. Other parts of Christianity have never existed as the Kingdom of God because the incarnation has never been embraced as what it is: The trinity manifest as us. Some have made much of Holy Spirit and the anointing. And it is a bounty. But even this is robbed of its proper agency when the life we live in the old covenant in separation from God rather than what God has given us: Union with Himself.
Jesus as religion is a damp squib compared to Jesus as you.
AGENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS
We can be a tree of life or the mulberry bush we have been tramping around for the last thirty years.
Spiritually aware theologians and teachers have been drawing us back into the fullness of God and in many cases we are being introduced to a complete inheritance in God in which few Christians have ever lived. Why? Because for a long time what Jesus gave us has been dumbed down into religion instead of our inheritance being what it is: Incarnation: Christ in us. John Crowder writes,
“Theology is not information. It all begins and finds its ultimate consummation in this love relationship of the Trinity. Anything outside this face-to-face intimacy between Father, Son and Spirit - this other-giving love that spilled over to humanity, is not the God of the Bible. Our understanding of the doctrine of election comes into alignment only when we begin to comprehend the relational love of God. God is Family. And we have all been grafted into that family, even if we want to act like prodigal bastards and stand outside the gates of Heaven that are forever open day and night, sulking and burning in the remorse and guilt that He never chose to heap upon us. We have the freedom to reject Him all we want, but we are still included from His end of the relationship.” (1)
You are included which means for some us we are called to repent of mindsets and embedded teaching that negates it.
We are included from His end. But to be complete in our inheritance is to be included from our end – which means agreeing with Jesus that we have been received into His life and living from this position instead of living from separation and making a religion about our achieving union with God – a great darkness, given that we are already one with God in Jesus.
Don’t rob God and people in the name of your perspective.
Paul speaks of competent ministry which implies an incompetent kind. As new covenant ministers our mandate is to introduce all believers to the fullness of their inheritance in Jesus – to take them beyond traditional distortions of the gospel and undo their adherence to diluted gospels and gospels that are no gospel at all but in fact that doctrines of demons. There is no advantage in belonging to the Body of Christ when our gospel is ‘another gospel’ or even an immersion in ‘this body of death’. There is no advantage in this kind of belonging when it is the kind of status that is the ‘kings new clothes’ and we are living in droplets of blessing instead of in rivers of living water.
This is what we mean by Christ our life as a state of being rather than Christ as an abstraction and figment of the letter. In His book Patmos C Baxter Kruger writes, “Those who embrace Him, who believe in His name, find His Light, His I AM setting them free to become their true selves, free to live as children of God in the darkness, discovering their origin beyond their earthly parents in the Word in God. And so the Word became flesh and entered the darkness in person, and found His way within us. And we perceived His true identity, His glory as the only begotten out of the Father, an overflowing fountain of grace and truth.”
With Christ as our life we are a living word and more. We are the self who is a son/daughter of God.
(1) Crowder, John. Chosen for Paradise: Reframing Election in Romans 9-11 . Sons of Thunder Ministries & Publications; Digital versions by Ten10 Ebooks. Kindle Edition.