LIVING IN THE REAL KINGDOM
Gregory Boyd writes, “Jesus came to establish the kingdom of God as a radical alternative to all versions of the kingdom of the world, whether they declare themselves to be "under God" or not.” Jesus’ Kingdom is a radical alternative to religious kingdoms too. His Kingdom is real. It is real because it incorporates us as sons of God into ultimate reality – interwoveness with the trinity.
Jesus warned of tares – the body that is not The Body. We can notionally belong to the body of Christ while adhering to a gospel that is not His Gospel - such is His grace. But we need not persuade ourselves that we can live like this in anything like fullness of life.
ONE GOSEPL/ONE INCARNATION/ONE SPIRIT AND LIFE
The Kingdom of God flourishes where we are His life and we are the expression of His PERSON and no other.
Julia had committed herself to pumping up the fortunes of her denomination. This was commendable, except that her community of belief was locked into an interpretation of the scriptures and with it a version of the gospel that Paul would call, ‘No gospel at all.’
All of us can exist in a thicket of crooked gospels that veil our spiritual eyes and benumb our spiritual hearts. Sure we can make it to heaven but only as people in wheel chairs and on crutches. But if we have purposed to follow Jesus wherever he should lead, our lives become an adventure in which we discover new vistas of truth hidden in the gospel delivered to us by Jesus and the apostles. Such revelations are never abstractions. They are new realms of spirit and life.
‘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. This is not the anointing. It’s our new covenant union with God called life in the Spirit.
If we are attached to the law we are not in the Spirit. Martha had imagined that her way of being ‘godly’ was Godly – but Jesus told her that Mary’s way was better. Mary we hungry for life and was not about to let social convention stand in her way. When we get past the idea that social convention is God’s way; when we step beyond what we have always believed is God’s Fence; when we come alive to a God who is always moving, we are positioned to eat from the tree of life. No longer endlessly circling our mulberry bush we have become a burning bush that is alive with spirit and life.
Julia’s reflex was to automatically go into rationalisation mode when inconvenient truth assaulted her ‘mental box’. It wasn’t that she did not hear it. It was that her mind immediately REDUCED the revelation she was hearing in terms of her prior and embedded beliefs. The result was that Julia lived inside briars of fictions that effectively ‘protected’ her from seeing truth. The truth that would have made her alive with spirit and life. Richard Rohr observes,
“I am afraid many of us have failed to honour God’s always unfolding future and the process of getting there, which usually includes some form of dying to the old. In practical effect, we end up resisting and opposing the very thing we want. The great irony is that we have often done this in the name of praying to God, as though God would protect us from the very process that refines us!” (1)
(1) Rohr, Richard. The Universal Christ (p. 93). SPCK. Kindle Edition.