Jesus is the lens through which life must be understood and in whom the Bible finds its meaning. Jesus is the meaning of you and of the church. But how do we know what we know? Paul presents the answer to this question when he quotes the words, ‘In Him we live and move and have our being. To have our being in God is to possess the keys of interpreting reality as it is.
Epistemology is knowledge about knowledge - or the rules by which we attempt to know what we know. Epistemology in the Spirit is quite different to an epistemology of the letter. Knowledge in the letter is dead knowledge. The living word contrasts with the dead letter. “Knowing truth” is the product of our new covenant relationship with God. Wisdom in Christ is a flow of spirit and life.
‘The letter’ occurs within the paradigm of the knowledge of good and evil, which is to say in separation from God. Paul explains that ‘the letter’ is the law and its assumptions the result of the law. Knowledge in the Spirit occurs in God - in His fellowship and His flow of wisdom and revelation. Why? Because we and Father are one and we enjoy the fellowship of the trinity. Contained in the old covenant, which means to be contained in Adam, our access to revelation is dimmed. Dimmed because not keeping in step with the Spirit, we have diluted the rays that emit from the light of the world. Nevertheless the light will overcome the darkness.
The One in whom the entire Bible must be read to be understood in spirit and in truth is the person of Jesus. This has been called the Jesus Lens. This lens is Jesus our life through whom the Kingdom of God and the sons of God are known and realized in the present season. The notion of sons of God and the Spirit of Sonship belongs to this frame.
SEE CLEARLY NOW
John Zens writes in the Introduction to Dr Stephen Crosby’s, The New Testament Prophet, ‘Steve's unfolding of various key dimensions of the "newness" of the New Covenant is beautiful and amazing. This book may be about the prophet and his/her temperament but trust me, the path he takes to get to the prophetic will open up new vistas concerning the body of Christ for you to ponder. After reading this book, I felt like I had just climbed up to a vantage point where the Swiss Alps were spread out panoramically before my eyes.’ In the new covenant we see clearly. Everything fits. When we live the old covenant in the new covenant age we present a convoluted theology. This can impress blind folks but and has the appearance of wisdom. But it is in fact a great darkness that produces confusion and stymies the Kingdom of God.
The cross divides history. It does not modify it. The new covenant is not a new way of doing the old testament with the help of Jesus. It is not a means whereby an abstract righteousness is given impetus and discipline by Jesus to help us work up enough self-effort and discipline to do what we aught. That’s the old wineskin with patches. The new covenant is different to any try-harder mentality. It is the person of Jesus manifest as you and as the church.
Christ our life is more than we might conceive with a law mind-set. Vicariously Christ is everything for us towards God, towards ourselves and towards each other. As we eat Jesus in the Spirit He becomes the church expressed as His people. The triumph of the church comes not so much by the adoption of the new covenant as a belief - but by the expression of Jesus as each of us as the church.
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV. We can be competent to minister the Kingdom. Or not. We are competent not by talking the Spirit and the gifts but by living in union with God in the One Spirit. “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit” 1 Cor 6.17 NIV.