Who we are depends on our stance in relation to Jesus. One who uses Jesus to prop up their religion and legitimate their ideas is a different person to one for whom Jesus is Lord. There’s a difference between a person who believes in a generic god and a person who believes in Jesus Christ. There is also a key difference between one who acknowledges Jesus and one for whom Jesus is Lord. There is always a reason why some ministry produces church and religion and other ministry produces sons and the Kingdom of God.
THE WHO OF JESUS IS THE WHO OF US
Jesus is both son of God and son of man. In the former He is the Christ of God and in the latter He is the son of man – totally Himself and the I AM of humanity and the I AM of God.
“Across the thirty thousand or so varieties of Christianity, believers love Jesus and (at least in theory) seem to have no trouble accepting his full humanity and his full divinity. Many express a personal relationship with Jesus—perhaps a flash of inspiration of his intimate presence in their lives, perhaps a fear of his judgment or wrath. Others trust in his compassion, and often see him as a justification for their worldviews and politics.” (1)
Who we believe Jesus to be and what we believe His gospel makes us is distinct from our belonging in Him. We all belong. But we can belong as invalids in a wheelchair and belong as people who run a robust race.
Much of church history has seen the rebuttal of distortions and heresies that undo the the achievements of God of severely limit their effectiveness. Among these are Gnosticism, Arianism and Unitarianism.
Other distortions that are not so much heresies but common misunderstandings are ignorance of the new covenant and the foundational importance of the incarnation for Kingdom life and the more pervasive, subtle and pernicious rendering of our post-cross life as a modified version of the Knowledge of good and evil.
Jesus justifies us but does not justify our beliefs. Jesus warned about false christs and tares. Paul urged us to discern other gospels and hinted that such distortions could come with the seeming imprimatur of God. Our beliefs about Him, about the Gospel and about ourselves must be placed at Jesus feet. As ministers of the new covenant we have a part in enlarging, resurrecting the truth that is Christ our life.
There will be nothing new and in what we have to say. But there will be the rolling back of error, the uncovering of truth and the clearing away of blockages that impede the flow of the river of life. Christ is all and in all. He is our life. The vicarious humanity of Jesus is our reality and our comfort.