Paul urges Timothy to put his faith in Jesus who has been raised from the dead. He states in the second letter that he has been persecuted and imprisoned for preaching the resurrection of the dead. Indeed Paul who became the apostle of the free spirit once chained up those who believed in Jesus. With zeal he encouraged others to put to death those who presumed to believe in the Jesus who was raised from the dead.
‘There’s something about the gospel of the Kingdom that provokes antipathy from the forces of religion. It’s life! Un-restricted life provokes insecurity and hostility among the dead folks walking - both in the world and in the church.’ Live in this limitless life and distribute it to others and you will be taking up your cross and following Jesus.
The war between Christ and Satan is a war between death and life.
THE LIGHT OF MEN AND WOMEN
An astute preacher once declared that there is a war against fullness in Christ; an unmitigated antipathy against freedom, light and fullness of life. Jesus was crucified for being life itself. Darkness hates the light. The faces of death marshal themselves against the relentless advances of new life that are forever springing forth in Jesus. Make sure you are not one of the forces of iniquity. Darkness clothes itself in light while religion fosters death in the name of God.
Jesus is life. He is life without limit. This life is in Him. It is Him. Jesus represents the life that always has been; the life that came from the Father and the life that now lives in you. Don’t settle for substitutes. Don’t seek this life in objects, usages, days, times or places. Jesus is life itself and He lives in you. Received as Lord of Light Jesus is your life.
THE FORM OF GODLINESS
Religion is opposed to life. It is a form of death. It is a version of non-life because it attempts to replace the presence of Jesus with the presence of ourselves – some action here, a performance there, a regimen of rules on this side, a rite like circumcision or Sabbath-keeping on that side. Not to mention the veneration of religious objects and practices or the attachment to leaders and mediators who are not God.
Before the cross Father put in place various agencies to lead people to God. But once He sent His son, He became our life. In Jesus all can live, move and have their being because He is life to the full. To know this is to know life and to have embraced what we have been given. When Jesus shouted ‘IT IS FINISHED!’ it was the human race saying goodbye to dulled sensibilities and religious humbug.
DISCERNING BETWEEN LIFE AND LIE
An attempted life in anything else than Jesus Himself is life degraded, life annulled, life abused and life dismissed. Christ your life means Christ your life. Attach yourself to the law and this is what you represent. Insist on an identity rooted in anything that is not Jesus and you cannot help but represent religion and death. Let’s be specific. I mean living from an identity shaped from your theology, denomination or ‘what I have always believed’ while rationalising your position in the old covenant and the law.
Timothy was Paul’s son in the Spirit because Paul was his Father. Yet Paul was a son who lived from his heavenly Father. You can’t live in religion and be a father. You can’t live in the old covenant and father sons of the Kingdom. The old covenant cannot birth daughters and sons and hence it cannot propagate the Kingdom of Heaven.
Remaining in the letter we remain impotent. We emit droplets not rivers of living water. We see poorly. We limit the unlimited life of Jesus from flowing freely among those who need it most. Our mind is befuddled from the fruits of the knowledge of good and evil. Don’t offer bowls of withered fruit in the name of God. Don’t advance decay in the name of life. Don’t advance a lie in the name of light. In Jesus you are life itself.
‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it’ John 1.5.5 NLT.