A major misconception among Believers is the notion that Jesus helps us to do good and avoid the bad. We call this the Christian version of the knowledge of good and evil. Our life post cross is a radically new departure. Now Jesus is the good and He is our life. Life in the Spirit is us as a manifestation of Jesus.
In Jesus we are the righteousness of God because we are the life of God manifest as sons and daughters. Life always comes via the Spirit (of Christ). Never through the letter. For example, ‘Staying close to Jesus’ sounds good but it is not the gospel of the Kingdom. This is the gospel of Jesus helping me to do my works. The real gospel is more radical than this. It is Jesus person expressed as you.
‘And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you’ Rom 8.11 NIV.
LIFE FOR YOUR BODY
There is life for your mortal bodies in the continuous present. Life and righteousness are the same thing in the Kingdom of Heaven. We can stop applying this scripture exclusively to the resurrection and start living His resurrection life today!
If our spiritual formation has occurred in a legalistic framework we will find ourselves striving to live righteously under the law. We will fall into the trap of seconding Jesus to help us live the law. But we are done with an existence in the knowledge of good and evil. We do not need to rob ourselves by bending the gospel of Christ to form another gospel which is no gospel at all.
‘I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ’ Gal 1.6,7 NIV.
Our joy and victory is found in the order of Jesus. This order is His life, His presence and His person. It is His life as us. He incarnates us. This is why in the Spirit we live by eating His person.
RIGHT JESUS/WRONG TREE
But should we be labouring to sustain ourselves from the fruits of the tree of knowledge we will imagine that we can live a righteous life by hearing the truth and then setting about to do it – with Jesus’ help of course. But it does not bring victory. It perpetuates frustration and failure. We have befuddled ourselves with a version of the law in which we attempt to do right by ‘staying close to Jesus.’
But ‘staying close to Jesus’ is not the Kingdom of God. It remains the kingdom of you. Christ our life is the Kingdom of God. Christ in you is His Kingdom in you.
Jesus spoke living words because He was alive in His Father. We are alive in the Father and the Holy Spirit when Jesus is our life. Jesus incarnate in us means heaven is incarnate in our being. Now the resurrection life of Jesus flows through all we are and do. The Kingdom of God is not about knowing. It is a state of being. Because of this, serving people up Bible studies and discourses on truth changes no one. We change and conquer death when Jesus’ life becomes our life by the Spirit.
‘I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one--as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me’ John 17.21 NLT.
LET GO YOUR WORKS PULLEY
The Kingdom of God is not ‘staying close to Jesus’ any more than being saved is hauling yourself up to heaven by tugging at a pulley. The Kingdom is the righteous life of Jesus becoming you. The Kingdom of God is not bringing ourselves into alignment with an ideal. It is God living in you bringing you into alignment with Himself.
‘Being close to Jesus’ sound nice. But it’s another gospel. In this age the Spirit of Jesus is in you and with you to manifest as you. Thus you are a daughter, a son.
The Kingdom of God is not knowledge or information. An attachment to law will always stunt you. The Kingdom of Heaven is Spirit and life. Spirit and truth are never found in Adam. Only in Jesus.
‘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.
All life, love, righteousness and light comes from Jesus because it is Jesus. In the Spirit this life is your life.
‘He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it’ John 1.2-5 NIV.