In Galatians Paul warned, ‘I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" Gal 2.21 NIV. It’s pretty clear. No glass half empty or half full here. It’s all or nothing. Nevertheless Believers do make religion out of the law and they are convinced that the Bible supports their self-made distortion. The Bible does not disagree with itself, with Jesus, with John or Paul.
‘He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit’ Titus 3.5 NIV.
‘Renewal by the Holy Spirit is more than the anointing. It is Christ’s life as our life – the forgiveness of our sins and the incarnation of Himself into our being. What is the result? It’s as Paul says, Christ our life – which means Christ manifest as you.
What is the constellation of treasures assumed by this scripture? It’s the inheritance that is ours in Christ our life. What is the theological term for the total sufficiency of Jesus for us? It is the vicarious humanity of Jesus.
In the 19th century a number of ‘other gospels’ arose in the United States that were ‘other,’ not because they were a variation - but ‘other’ because they were an alteration of the gospel of Jesus and the apostles. All of them may loosely come under the heading of ‘Christian’ but it is a mistake to call them Christian in the sense that they are an expression of the gospel of Jesus and the apostles.
It’s surprising that people adhere to them given that these teaching diverge so clearly from the scriptures. But as the climate change debate reveals - people do not believe things because they are true. They believe things because they want to, because those who are naïve trusted leaders who wrangled a bizarre construction of scriptures, that made the Bible fit their ideology, and claimed their constructions as a revelation of God. This claim is an advantage in one respect because it is a hint and a clue. It tells us that such distortions of the gospel are not God’s doing. They are the doctrines of demons.
‘The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons’ 1 Tim 4.1 NIV.
Gina lived not from the Bible but from the Holy Bottle. The bottle was a pseudo-Christian ideology; a cunning and subtle negation of the vicarious humanity of Jesus in favour of a hybrid version of the knowledge of good and evil from which Jesus has already delivered us. The bottle comprised a religion with a false grace and false christ in the form of a denominationally constructed icon - the Sabbath - that ties adherents to the old covenant, the law, Adam's regime of the knowledge of good and evil and the authority stolen from Adam by Satan. Whereas Jesus came to set the captives free this system comes to bind them.
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
The bottle while claiming to be special and confer religious status is an example of a gospel that contains believers in separation - separation from God, from themselves and from other Believers. This is the kind of un-gospel that Isaiah and Jesus spoke of with their intention to set the captives free. How strange that a religion could be concocted out of re-binding believers in captivity.
Gina’s bottle was an example of eyes blinded by cunningly devised fables, adherence to a different christ to the Christ of God and baptism into another gospel that is not just a different Christian perspective. It is a distortion of the apostle’s teaching. Gina got her identity from this bottle. That’s why she clung to it like an oyster on a wharf pylon. But it was an identity that negated her identity as daughter and defined her as a daughter of the slave woman.
This identity offered an imagined status in life - but unfortunately an identity that ran counter to Christ, an identity which separates from the Body and results in erecting walls of denial in order to keep out the inconvenient truth: The truth that Christ alone is our life, that the law is dead and that we are alive as the manifestation of the trinity in us. Don’t leave your inheritance in the ground in favour of bottles’ claiming that Jesus is a hard man and that you will do it your way. Your way is a dead end. His way is the new and living way that is infinite in spirit and life.
‘But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!’ Gal 1.8 NIV.
Today you have a spirit-life in you, the person of Jesus who manifests as you and accompanies you wherever you are. You are continually graced by His life as yours and infused by the Spirit with His nature as your persona and humanity.
“In the new covenant, the spirit of the resurrected God-Man in glory has come into time and space, not only to be among and upon members of the believing community, but also to inhabit them, to be in union with their human spirit. This never happened in the history of humanity until the first time at Pentecost. It has been the order of the day ever since.” (1)
This is the inheritance you have. You are a manifestation of Jesus. You are always in life and surrounded by His life. There is no time where He is not and no place where he does not dwell. Most important of all He dwells in you!
(1) Crosby, Stephen. The New Testament Prophet: Understanding the Mind, Temperament, and Calling (Kindle Locations 1219-1222). . Kindle Edition.