A Believer arrived at the gates of heaven. Seeing Jesus he sidled up and remarked. ‘I have been faithful.’ ‘You have. ‘ replied Jesus. But I recreated you to be a son, not a horse.’
Jesus is in all respects our life personally, the life of the church and the One who precipitates the new creation. The church of Jesus is the manifestation of Himself in people. The new creation is the incarnation of God in people and the manifestation of this indwelling in the society of cities and nations.
‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation’ Gal 6.15 NIV.
NEW CREATION ENGINE
Jesus lives in us today, first to multiply Himself and in us to multiply what He began. Jesus was not about sitting on the board of elders and perpetuating institutions. He came to be the new man, THE NEW MANKIND expressed in us all as the new creation. When we cut to the bottom line in this way - Jesus all and in all - the vanity of attempting to progress the Kingdom through religion is stark. Or it is if we are not so stuck like limpets to the rock of religion because religion is our identity, our false self and our substitute for life.
Paul writes, ‘I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him’ 2 Cor 11.2 NIV. Pure here means married to Christ without dilution - not even with the things of Christ. Purity means Christ our life. Not our religious habits and identity as our life.
A relationship with Jesus is real, personal and involves bearing sons and daughters to the Bridegroom. Fruit is the kingdom that grows from the new covenant soil that is YOU PLANTED with the ‘Jesus seed.’ Here is a Kingdom that Paul assured us is more than a form of godliness. It is the power of God! What is the nature of this power? Primarily two kinds. Firstly SPIRIT AND LIFE which is the trinity in us. Secondly AUTHORITY that contrasts with the scribes and the purveyors of religion. We are talking the gifts of the Spirit and multiplying what Jesus began in every way. The Kingdom, when it is real makes an impact.
NEW CREATION REALITY
Jesus did not establish a whole lot of new testament things that we should do. Nor are His teachings the law for today as I heard one pastor announce. The law of the spirit of life is Jesus - Jesus manifest as you and as us all. Jesus established Himself and incarnated Himself, Father and Holy Spirit in us so that God would be us and become the expression of all we do. Thus as the creation came forth from within the heart of God, so the new creation comes forth from the presence of God in us. We are sons and agents of new creation life. This is the Kingdom in spirit and in truth.
JESUS BECOMES YOU Yesterday for lunch I had a chicken schnitzel with salad and chips in a café that serves excellent cheap food. I don’t know at exactly what stage these goodies became me but I know they did and that this is the assumption inherent in THE LORD’S SUPPER. Jesus said, those who eat me will live because of me. He did not say those who eat the law will live - because they will actually die. They always do. And become communities of dead men talking and worse still dead men walking. Neither did Jesus say church will live because of ‘church.’ The Lord’s Supper is the sign pointing to the reality of how the Believer becomes the church - in Christ our life by the Spirit of Sonship.
WEEDS AND WHEAT
There’s church planting in the Jesus Mode and the planting of institutions. One is the effect of the incarnation and the Spirit of Sonship and the other is the multiplication of empty boxes. Plant Jesus and you will harvest sons of God. Plant church and you will harvest more church. The church is fruitful when we have planted Jesus, harvested sons of God and seen them going about doing in detail the things Jesus did on any normal Jesus day - healing sick folks, raising dead folks, ridding people of demons and demonstrating that there is a real King with authority to bring healing, hope and a genuinely new life. I have witnessed this kind of planting in India and seen these kinds of miracles.
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV.
Spirit and life is the presence of our Father, the wind of heaven, the breath of God and essence of infinite life. It is eternal life because it never dies. It is in you. This is Christ in you and Christ as you. The kingdom is the effect of the spirit and life of Father manifesting in the sons and daughters of God. This life cannot come from entities like the law, abstractions like religion, the institutionalism that many know as church or anything that is not Christ. But Christ lives in you and you are rivers of His spirit and life. When Christ is our life what we call church is the expression of Jesus. It is Jesus manifest as Bob, George and Mabel.