The present call for unity, tolerance and inclusiveness in society is commendable. But the solution is not some externality, a harangue or a march. Apart from Christ we have no 'better self.' The solution is Christ in you, Christ in us, Christ multiplied in us all. This is the Message of the Kingdom – the one real message of wholeness and love.
Jesus is the Living Word. He existed well before the Bible. In another place Paul calls Him The Law of the Spirit of Life. Jesus graces us with His life, which is to say He forgives our sins and indwells us TO BE OUR LIFE. There is no life or rightness of being apart from God. He is the ‘I AM’ of everything.
Since the cross and Pentecost God lives in humans as He never did with the holy men and women of God of the old testament. David was a forunner of the coming Christ. Yet He was not one with Father as was Jesus. Moses gained glimpses of God and talked to God. But God did not dwell in Him as God does in the Believer. This had to wait for the coming Messiah who came from God as a man uniting in spirit and truth Father and the Sons of Adam. At Pentecost Jesus returned to earth in the Holy Spirit and the trinity made their home in all who would receive them. You have already been received into God. It makes good sense to embrace their presence in us.
GOD NOT IN COMPARTMENTS
God is not in us in a discrete capsule. God pervades our being. The life of God that always was and always is flows into our being and we are alive with divine life. This is life in the Spirit. All scripture is inspired by God. The written word is sourced in the living word. Jesus said, ‘These words testify of Me.’ It is the ‘Me’ of the word in which the life of God is found in abundance. Life is not found in Bible reading and Bible study per se. There’s no life in paper, ink or words. Or objects or special times and places. Spirit and life is found solely in the persons of Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit– unless you want to define yourself as an idolater. We need to get one thing straight. Michael Kapler puts it clearly,
“On many occasions, we have elevated the "good book" above the person to whom the writings bear witness. We can be filled with all kinds of Bible information, but our origin of life is found only in the person of Jesus Christ and no other religious source or activity is able to provide it. Hearing truth may trigger faith, but the source of faith is found in Christ, who is the Word.”
What does this mean for Godliness and the righteous life? It means that reading the Bible, finding a truth and attempting to will it into existence in our life will bring us no more success in ‘being like Jesus’ than keeping the law made people Godly in the old testament. The difference is ours when we invite Jesus to BE OUR LIFE. This is the effect of Christ in you and the living of CHRIST OUR LIFE.
CHRIST IS THE MEANING
Jesus is the meaning of life, of you and of us all. He is the logos of the earth. It is this Christ who becomes us in the post cross age – when we seek Him and when we embrace the inheritance that is ours. Other we circle our mulberry bush in the mode of Hagar, the result of Abraham’s self help. ‘Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children’ Gal 4.25. Abraham’s mistake was the result of a repeat of the fallacious tenets of the fall. Belief in a christ who helps us keep the law is the same thing. Jesus is not the means to life. Jesus is our life.
CAREFUL HOW YOU SEE
The Bible cannot be understood for what it is, should we be wearing old covenant glasses. Neither can God be known as He is and neither can you wearing pre-cross goggles. The old covenant and particularly the law as lenses scramble the meaning of the Bible and open it up to interpretations that subvert life in the Spirit and the Kingdom of God.
Michael Kapler writes, “Once we gain a better understanding of the gospel under the New Covenant, we’ll be able to look at the Scriptures for the enjoyment of it. As we begin to see the big picture of what God did on our behalf, those pages will become nothing but good news. It is profitable for us, and will teach by correcting our wrong thinking about the gospel. It will train us in God’s righteousness, not our own.”
Kapler, Michael C.. Clash Of The Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee (Kindle Locations 228-231). Kindle Edition.