Spirituality is simpler than many imagine. It’s God in you and you in God. This was our reality since creation. It is our beckoning reality since the resurrection of Jesus and the Spirit-outpouring. This is to say it is the pearl of great price and the treasure hid in the field.
God has always been incarnated in the creation. Before the cross in Jesus ministry the son of God was incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth. Since the cross the personalisation of this incarnation happens as Jesus, our Father and the Spirit IN YOU. This in you is more than the spirit rattling around in you. It’s the trinity woven into our being.
This is life in the Spirit of sonship: Impossible before the cross The norm after it.
Holy Spirit anointing is not life in the Spirit. There were anointings before Jesus came. But the gaping wound of separation from God had not been undone. Not until Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’ was the separation wrought by the father of lies extinguished.
Before Jesus, people got healed of leprosy and Saul prophesied. But none lived in the Spirit. There had been no at-one-ment. Separation had not finished.
Life in the Spirit is union with God of the kind Jesus referred to when He said, ‘I and my Father are one.’ It is what Jesus bestowed on us with the words, ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.’ It’s The Plan realised, the fall undone and the start of your life in the new Adam - the Christ in you - which is you are an expression of Jesus.
TREE AND CROSS
The tree of knowledge represents religion. It is religion. The cross is the icon of Christ our life. It is the cross that is the means and Jesus who is the door. You have been received into the life of God. You are fully a son/daughter and overflowing with fullness by the hour.
Let’s be clear. Christ in you is your life, the hope of humanity and the life of the world. Anything not in this reality is religion. The difference between those living in religion and those living in spirit and life is the difference between the Kingdom of God and tares. While it is true that we are not entirely lifeless in religion what we have is drops rather than rivers and flesh instead of spirit. Remember that Jesus warned that the flesh means nothing for the Kingdom. Yet the Kingdom is Christ come in the flesh. IT IS JESUS MANIFESTING AS YOU. This is the church Jesus builds without human hands.
The at-one-ment and its corollary, the vicarious humanity of Jesus is not only Jesus Himself. It is grace applied and manifest as you and I. This is why Christ and not the law and religious observance is our life. They suffocate the spirit of sonship and substitute religion for Godliness.
Christian Kettler writes, “The church of Jesus Christ, the body of Christ, is the place where the atonement is realized, where it refuses to be abstract, where it is connected dynamically to the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ.” (1). It’s Christ as you, Christ as us, Christ as the church that both spirit and flesh and blood.
NEVER OF THE LETTER
You were made to live in God. In Jesus this plan is established and certified. But it is realised when we embrace it The spirit-life of God and ourselves is never found in words, definitions and positions. It’s in our union with God. I feel sorry for those, attempting to argue some aspect of fundamentalism. Because once we resort to ‘a definition’ we advertise that we have lost the argument – lost it because our life in God if it is to be a real life and not a tare - is never something of the letter but a state of being. We mean a state of being one with God. What is spirituality in the terms being outlined here? It’s this: ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20.
Spirituality is the realisation of, agreement with and embrace of this John 14.20 relationship as our own. It’s found by us when we have taken up and allowed ourselves to be drawn into the personal companionship of God. But we can bury it in the ground of concrete thinking, pedestrian conformity or legalistic practices. We can claim , ‘You are a hard man’ on account of the fact it seems too radical and too simple to be believable. But it is what it is. This is the Kingdom. It’s Christ come in our flesh. Richard Rohr observes,
“Most people shy away. They are the divine mystery, but unfortunately, they’re not enjoying it. They’re not drawing consciously upon their Source. If I had to give the most simple definition of a Christian, this is it: simply one who is consciously drawing upon their Source. Not which rituals you perform. They’re extraneous; they’re all going to die. Not which commandments you obey. That leaves you taking your own temperature of how worthy you are; it doesn’t get you closer to God at all!” (2)
You are already close to God. This is where He has positioned you. You and our Father are one. This is your inheritance. Unearned by you but earned by Jesus who is your substitute and representative. In Jesus you are one with Him and one with the trinity. Truly a son and a daughter you are a river of spirit and life.
(1) Kettler, Christian D.. The Breadth and Depth of the Atonement: The Vicarious Humanity of Christ in the Church, the World, and the Self: Essays, 1990–2015 . Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.
(2) Rohr, Richard. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your transformation (Kindle Locations 3146-3150). SPCK. Kindle Edition.