LIVING OUT OF LIFE AS A PERSON
It’s easy to make religion out of externalities. But the Kingdom of God is Christ in you and Christ as you. This is both mysterious and simple. A frustrating facet of ministry can be the alarming discovery that some of the most active in a religious sense are the most acidly opposed to union with God in spirit and in truth. Sure, they all in for externalities and the sense of entitlement that goes with them, but often affronted at the notion that it’s not something of the ‘head and the hand’ that lands them ‘in favour.’ Not only can they oppose what Paul writes in Romans 8. They can be the most active in opposition to the congregation gaining more of God.
Nourishment comes from Christ in you.
An agitated person wrote on the net after listening to a sermon on ‘being in God’ and God ‘being’ in us, ‘What about sin? Life after death? Jesus being the only way to get to Father God? What about the practicality of getting nourishment from scriptures in the Bible?’ All I hear is spiritual blah blah blah - mysticism.’
Maybe. Or is it that this person has spent a life in that which is not the Kingdom of God and never was; that here is one caught in the cobwebs of religion so that the Spirit and life of being one with Father appears as foolishness?
There are conference speakers who are apostolic in their ministry in that they speak-out some aspect of spirit and life that issues from their union with God. *
There are others who are flogging a strategy or the latest ‘key.’ If you ask them, “Isn’t this supposed to be about Jesus?’ They will reply, ‘That’s a given.’ They are right about that one. He has been ‘given away’ in favour or some modern version of ‘money changing.’ Jesus cast money-changers out. So should you.
Mysticism is simply the experience of God in you and you in God. This is the source of all spiritual life and all life-giving strategy. It’s mystical because it is a mystery. The Christ of God manifest as you by the Spirit is mysterious. As a result Romans 8 cannot be described in mechanical terms. If mystery is a nonsense then the Lord’s Table is a furphy. Of course it’s not. The ingested bread and wine are the symbol of a greater reality: Christ in you. That’s mysticism and it’s not difficult to understand. In fact it’s profoundly simple yet all encompassing. This mystery – Christ come in our flesh – is the basis of the Kingdom of God and the seed bed of spiritual gifts and authority.
REALIZING THE TRUTH
It’s what Jesus urged us to realise when He said, ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
Jesus did not leave us with a new way of living in the knowledge of good and evil – even with His help. Neither did He leave us a ‘Jesus empowered religious discipline’. He did leave us a life in in Him that is not a religious life at all. This mode of existence is what Paul called, CHRIST OUR LIFE. I have to say it, but if you think Jesus left us a religion you have been misguided all your life. Maybe you have. Many of us have been. But growth and maturity and coming into our glory is based in growing in grace and in the Knowledge of who we have been made to be in Christ.
The Kingdom of God is profoundly non-religious. Yet INCARNATION it makes all of life sacred.
This new and living way is called the NEW COVENANT and is mediated by the vicarious humanity of Jesus. It means more than Jesus in you. It means Jesus for you and Jesus AS YOU. This is INCARNATION. This is why life in the Spirit can never be the gifts added to old covenant externalities. Union with God is what we have now. Separation from God in our Adamic, Mosaic religious life is what we are invited to leave behind. Don’t leave your treasure in the ground. Don’t even think ‘you are a hard man’ and live ‘you your life’ instead of Christ your life.
HIS GIFT TO US
There’s no contract. It’s not a contractual relationship. No bargain here. No inherent manipulation of God by doing things. It’s Christ for you and Christ in you expressing Himself as you.
TREASURE IN YOUR FIELD
“In the new covenant, God is not dependent on humanity living correctly to receive His life and blessing. He secures His own interests in humanity by putting His Spirit in us as a free gift of His sovereign and unmerited goodwill. The indwelling Spirit is both the life gift and the power source. Out of the life given, behavior follows. Therefore, in the new covenant our obedience is not our gift to God, which merits His blessing. Our obedience is His gift to us, the fruit of the life we have freely received manifested in our actions.” (1)
But this is not all. We get more than a program and agenda of good deeds as opposed to bad deeds. We get life itself. And not religious life. We get spirit and life that is the flow of the life of God in and through us.
* if we are living from the law we are not living from union with God.
(1) Crosby, Stephen. The New Testament Prophet: Understanding the Mind, Temperament, and Calling (Kindle Locations 929-932). . Kindle Edition.