It is why many of the Church Father’s expended much effort countering distortions of the gospel and why we need to pay attention today to apostolic leaders who reveal the Christ, uphold Father as He is and remove the veils that obscure who we are in Jesus.
‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV.
This scripture is targeted at revisionist gospels - at the extension of the law into the new testament age and the denial of the power of the incarnation as life in the Spirit of Jesus. This is a far more subtle spirit of anti-christ than a bunch of spirits who peep and mutter.
CUNNINGLY ENTERTAINED FOIBLES
It is simply not true that we can have any kind of gospel or any version of Jesus and live in His fullness. By living in false christs and varieties of Jesus patched together by false doctrines and distorted impressions we become distorted ourselves. We can get to be a false self because we have attached to a false christ and a false gospel. It is ‘this gospel of the Kingdom,’ - the one preached by Jesus, Paul and John that advances Jesus’ Kingdom on earth today and prepares the way for His Second Coming.
WE ARE WHAT WE EAT
We are not our real selves when we eat junk food. But we are sons of God in spirit and in truth when we eat the Christ of God.
Jesus said, ‘Those who eat me will live because of Me.’ This is to say that by eating Jesus – the Christ of God * - we live life to the full and participate in the unlimited life that is Jesus as a son of God and Son of Man.
The gospel of His Kingdom is articulated in the new testament – but the gospel itself, the truth of the fact that JESUS IS OUR LIFE enters us directly by His Spirit so that we live in relation to God, not in religion but in the Spirit of Sonship. Because of the incarnation God’s life becomes us and our identity as daughters and sons is real and manifest in daily life.
CHRIST AS YOU
The gospel and the Kingdom that is part of it is not a doctrinal position or an intellectual construct. It is Christ in you and more. It is the trinity manifesting in you.
“As the most devout believers of any faith tradition mature, they find themselves quietly and undramatically allowing the fruit of their lives to speak for itself more than relying on conversionist tactics. That’s truly the fruit of real conversion, when our lives (not our words) validate authentic transformation.” (1)
Lives as validation of faith are not the effect of super-spiritual effort. They the effect of Christ’s life as yours.
* The Christ of God implies that there are false christs. (1) Heuertz, Christopher L.. The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth (p. 30). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.