There are many Believers who do not know that religion is not Godliness. Knowing this is part of our new birth. Once we know this we are able to transition from someone who was there to a son/daughter of God.
Failure in the Christian life is a good thing. Good when it causes us to change course and move from living in religion to allowing Christ to be us – or as Paul said, ‘Christ our life.’ Joe exclaimed to Jesus, “I just cant do this stuff!” Jesus laughed and replied, ‘At last I can do something we you.’”
MAKES YOU, YOU
If God has made us a ‘doer’, doing is what we are meant to do. That which we ‘do’ can expand the Kingdom of God or have no impact whatsoever if it is bankrupt of spirit and life. We impart spirit and life into every sphere of action when Christ is our life. This is incarnation and this is the life in the Spirit Paul explains in Romans Eight.
‘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.
In essence what are these words? They are that He is our life. The only way that God can be our life is by the Spirit. He does this by coming in our flesh.*
We love others by sharing the life of God both physically and as words of truth. Jesus gave people bread to eat, healed their bodies and spoke the words of spirit and life. What were these words? That those who eat Him will be truly alive in their spirit, soul and body.
‘Eating Him’ is not necessarily talking about Him, churching about Him or adopting Christianity as an ideology. It’s not even being your own version of Mother Theresa. It is His life as your life empowering you to be your own version of you. Incarnated with God you are a manifestation of the trinity – a son/daughter.
LIVING BECAUSE OF HIM
The Lord’s Table is not an occasion to mourn about the cross. It’s about His life as ours. Eating Him is feeding off His person as the Lord’s Table indicates. This is a celebration of the fact that He is our Bread of Life all our life.
The plan of God realised is that He has been incarnated into our being – which is to say interwoven into our person. Graced with His life we are forgiven for our sins and empowered to be persons of love and grace who live according to our design.
We can resist this because we are too obtuse to ‘see’ it. Ignore it because we have never abandoned legalism. Refute it because we see Jesus as a hard man offering a living way that we cannot believe has any effect. Deny it because we look for our identity in our denomination rather than in Christ.
“The solution is never to attempt to love others more so that we can feel better about ourselves. This is doing things back to front. The way forward is to know we are loved by God and appreciated by others and, from this center of security, to seek to be more caring and compassionate. Nouwen notes that "a forgiven person forgives.""' Equally so, a loved person loves. And a nurtured person cares. The challenge is never simply to try to be more loving, but to seek a deeper inner resource from which our love can flow.” (1) You will do better as a representative of Jesus if you live in His grace and within a community of non-legalists. Law-freed persons are free to be themselves and find joy in helping you be free to be the ‘you’ who you are.
Unless Christ is being our life inside us as persons and communities we can do more harm than good with our sub-normal versions of christianity. Under the law we are always ‘earning’ whether conscious of this or not. With Christ as our life we are simply being. Being ourselves as uncontrived spontaneous sons of God who are rivers of spirit and life.
We can exude drops of life from an attached position in the law. We multiply rivers when Christ is our life and the trinity is in us.
* This is not about spirits who peep and mutter. It’s about a spirit of religion that leaves us in Adam and denies our life in Christ.
(1) Charles Ringma. Dare to Journey--with Henri Nouwen (Designed for Influence) (Kindle Locations 189-192). Kindle Edition.