The Christian life has been described as jumping through hoops. In many instances it is looked on as a contract in which we do our part to get God to do His.
“It is an error to preach the Gospel of what Jesus has done only to turn around and throw the responsibility of responding to this message back upon the unbeliever. If it is up to us to respond properly to God, that begs the question: how much repentance is enough? Or how much faith, trust, prayer, fruit bearing, etc. is enough? Ultimately this makes salvation our doing, something we must earn and manifest in ourselves without God. If the gospel is our responsibility—even .001% up to us!—then the gospel is not good news.” (1)
A leader came back from a conference on education with the ‘revelation’ that each of our students was a ‘christ’ so we need to get busy and treat them like one. I heard this sentiment expressed at a teacher’s conference I attended. They need to be seen as what they are. A bid to blackmail ourselves into shaping up in order to be worthy of Christ. Such efforts are sincere but they are the effect of living from a legalistic culture. The law no matter what form it surfaces is detrimental to the truth of who Jesus is and who we are. We are the expression of Christ when Christ is our life. When the law is our life we are the expression of the law.
It's easy to live in a measure of grace with a heart that believes it’s up to us to access that grace. But its drops rather than rivers of grace which is our inheritance. Some ‘gospels’ are more miserly than others but those that bring the law in by the back door are the most limiting. Stunted gospels produce stunted limbs in the Body.
There are those ‘happy’ enough to live from a large dose of ‘our doing.’ They have made a life from this. They carry it in their back-packs and their being. It’s seen as their entitled passport to the Kingdom – only they are never sure that they have done ‘enough.’ They live in a gospel of yes and no. But they are sticking with it because that’s all they have.
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW
Living from religion we are the same as those whose religion is no religion – devoid of joy and real life. The truth is that when we are done with wearing ourselves out in the attempt to ‘be the us’ we think we should be, we are ripe to make the transition to Jesus being who we are and are becoming. Richard Rohr talks of the first half of life and the second half that we enter when we have understood that we must stop attempting to be our best self and let Jesus be us. This is the most peaceful and fruitful section of our living. Not only do we enter our design. We minister from this authenticity with rivers of spirit and life. Sin loses its hold on us because we are living from ‘Christ our life’ instead of us our life.
VICARIOUS HUMANITY OF JESUS
“We have here stated the ‘living word’ of God to us. “In his “vicarious humanity,” Jesus Christ is not only “the real text” of God’s Word addressed to us; he is also “the real text” of our address to God. As Torrance argues: ‘We have no speech or language with which to address God but the speech and language called Jesus Christ. In him our humanity, our human understanding, our human word are taken up, purified and sanctified, and addressed to God the Father for us as our very own ‒ and that is the word of man with which God is pleased.’”
Succinctly put the vicarious humanity of Christ is grace realised as us: ‘Vicarious humanity – [Christ] being human for us in our place and on our behalf.’ There is excellent teaching on the vicarious humanity of Jesus that is far superior to the perverted ‘try harder’ gospels od degenerate christianity. It’s there for all who are more enthralled with the tree of life than the dance about the mulberry bush of their own assumptions. There is much to be said for drawing people into God’s life rather than pumping up support for our own version of the Christian life. In the former we are competent as minister of the new covenant.
(1) Morrison, S. D.. We Belong: Trinitarian Good News (p. 81). Beloved Publishing. Kindle Edition.