You would not have to be an ultra-alert person to have noticed that all of what is written in these posts is designed to uphold the Christ of God unadulterated by legalistic add-ons or old covenant regressions.
The alpha and omega of the Kingdom of God is the vicarious humanity of Jesus. Grasp this and you will have grasped, grace, holiness and the Spirit without limit.
NEW MEANS NEW
The importance of ‘Christ our life’ as the super-ordinate fact of post cross existence cannot be exaggerated. Particularly because many Believers have not heard of the new covenant and many others live in a mixture of the old and the new. Old covenant living denies our inheritance while mixture dulls our vision of God and of ourselves. Truth really is important because it liberates us from death in the micro and the macro aspects of living. The most subtle form of ‘death while alive’ is the absence of spirit and life.
A minus quantity of spirit and life is what we have when joined to the law. When Christ is our life we are spirit and life. The infinite life Jesus won for us is there for all. We all belong. But we must embrace it as our own. This is why Jesus extends the invitation, ‘Come!’
YOU ARE INVITED
‘Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest’ Matt 11.28 NIV. But this is not only about the burden of self-salvation. It’s about our need to be fully alive in the spirit while we are here in the body. Jesus described this in two ways. He urged that we embrace our union with God in Him and step into the fact that we have been interwoven into the being of the trinity.
Jesus demonstrated the life that comes to us and flows through us as spirit and life because we and Father are one. Jesus declares and observation reveals that when we live in a version of Christianity that is separationist we lack the spirit and life that distinguishes the Kingdom of God from the Kingdom of religion. Thomas Torrance, one of the greatest theologians of recent times extols the truths of union with God, incarnation and the being of God manifest in God’s sons with resolve. He writes.
“Through identifying himself completely with us on our side of the relation between man and God, in order to act in our place, in our stead and on our behalf, Jesus Christ ministers not only the things of God to man but the things of man to God. The vicarious humanity of Christ thus became integral to the doctrine of the ‘atoning exchange’ effected by him and in him between God and man. Hence the Gospel of the reconciliation of man with God has to be understood not just in terms of God’s mighty act of salvation upon our humanity, but in terms of its actualisation within the depths of our human existence in the perfecting and presenting in and through Jesus of our response in faith and obedience, in love and worship, to God the Father.” (1)
Life in the Spirit is not spiritual gifts and Holy Spirit charisma bolted on to the law and old covenant. Life in the Spirit is Christ’s life as your life.
The strands of Torrance’s thought here are that Jesus is for us, He is in place of us, He by the Spirit becomes us. Jesus is us.
This may appear radical but it is nothing more than the truth that the Spirit of Jesus manifests as you and I. It’s what John called ‘Christ come in our flesh’ to fill us with spirit and life.
There is no such thing as law-based Kingdom life in the post cross age and no lasting life in the Spirit that is rooted in the law and old covenant. Infinite life and infinite rest are not to be found in days and times, places and postures since Jesus cried ‘It is finished.’ Infinite life that is spirit and life is found in you when Christ is your life.
The cross is the cross road of History. But Christ our life is the crux of the new testament age and so necessary for the advance of the new creation that it is the main target of the Enemy whose ploy is hide it or dilute. The prince of lies wants to minimise it so that we are crippled and ineffectual sons rather than sons who are fully human and fully alive. This is why Christ our life is the theme of John’s gospel, Paul’s gospel, Jesus’ gospel and these posts. ‘Christ is our life because Jesus is life.’
Law and religion were meant to lead the way to Christ as us. Christ does not lead to religion and we must ensure that our gospel not lead to the law. If it does it is a lie. When incarnated with Jesus and alive in the Spirit the things we touch are ignited with life: His life in you. Dead things become alive and spirit and life spreads throughout the earth at your touch. This is the kingdom of God.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 4). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.