The Kingdom of God is the manifestation of Jesus, the new creation. John’s citing of Jesus as the logos in his gospel reveals Jesus as the life, meaning and purpose imbuing and defining all of existence. The book of Hebrews indicates that Jesus initiated the first creation. He also initiated the new creation – which is not an afterthought or a fix to deal with an the disaster of the fall. The new creation is the original plan made before the foundation of the world and now realised as Christ in us.
‘To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory’ Col 1.27 NIV.
A STATE OF BEING – A SON
Some would like “Christianity” not to be a religion. But it is. By definition. The Kingdom Jesus began is not a religion however. This Kingdom – this regime of life to the full – is Jesus expressed firstly as you and I. And following this, His person manifest as the communities of being and purpose we develop in every sphere. As a result society itself becomes the manifestation of Jesus. This is the new creation that is generated because Christ is in us and manifests as us. The manifestation of Jesus in people is the Kingdom of God.
We can see from this what the Kingdom is not. It is not a matrix of moral actions, behaviours and beliefs. It is not positions, stances and routines. Although involving beliefs it is not a belief system. It is Christ our life on the personal and communal plane. It is Christ our life by the Spirit; God our life due to the incarnation which is the indwelling presence of the trinity in our being. This indwelling is Christ come in our flesh. It results in the material culture of the sons and daughters of God – the Kingdom of God.
‘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. The subtle effect of anti-christ is the substation of religion and institutionalism for the reality of Christ our life.
Despite the chaos and paralysis of the unbelieving world, aptly called Babylon, the earth can be healed and society can be recreated through the person of Jesus. But this necessitates Believers leading the way by living from the indwelling Jesus rather than from the externalities of religion. When communities of belief become the manifestation of Jesus rather than the inmates of institutions that are temples of religion we will be the new creation Kingdom of God.
NEW CREATION REALITY
Gordon Moyes once said, ‘Christianity is not a religion. It is a person.’ It is the person of Jesus. It is His Spirit and life manifest as a new you and a new society. This is the new and living way that is the Kingdom of God’s Son. So lets stop bleating about how wonderful it will be when we get to heaven or being as irresponsible as to long to be raptured out of the chaos in which we are called to be salt and light and multiply what Jesus began instead of institutions and forms of godliness with out power.
We need to get over thinking that a moral rant against sin is doing God a favour. Our message to the nonbeliever and the sinner is not, ‘You are gross and unfit to be with your Father.’ Our message is ‘You belong.’ Our message today is, ‘You and Father are one.’
We show our love for God by allowing Him to love us. We are graced with His unconditional love. Even more radical is the fact that we are graced with His life as ours. He, in all ways represents us and stands for us. Jesus is our relationship with God and the means of our sonship. It is because of Jesus that we and Father are one. We need to live in this reality instead of making a religion our of separation and the effort to gain the oneness with God that is already ours.
The gospel of the Kingdom is not refraining from bad and doing good. That’s the result of it. But it’s not the core. The gospel is that Christ is our life and that in Him we have life without limit. His Kingdom is about life – not about sin and the lack of morality. The good news is that our life in God is good news. Not boredom dressed up in piety. Father is not obsessed with your performance. He is obsessed with you. God so loved the world that He gave His son to be your life that you might be His Son/daughter and live with Him forever.