Salvation is not achieved by our being a good person. It is ours because a good person is our life. This is the difference between religion and a life in God, which we call ‘Kingdom Life.’
Trying to be religious is frustrating and meant to be that way. In the first half of life we are meant to find what works and what does not. Should we come to a stage of life where we say, “Lord, I can’t do this anymore” we are well placed to become a son instead of a ‘worker.’ Jesus then replies, ‘Good. Now you are at a place where I can do something with you.’ What will He do? He will express Himself through you and Bob and Joy.
Eternal life which is the life of ourselves with God in the present and the future is a state of being in which we and Father are one. It’s not earned. It’s been gifted to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is not just a good man. Jesus is the son of God, fully God, fully human and the one who joins us to the heavenly family in Himself.
In the true gospel we are joined to God by God.
If I could, I would like to tell as many disillusioned churchists this: Your life in God does not depend on your doing the ‘religious stuff’ or a routine of churchism. All life that makes you alive flows from the union with God that you already possess. Sure a community of Believers is great but this need not be the institutionalised version of the community of the saints. The church of God is the communion of those for whom Jesus is life. The starting point is not so much you receiving Jesus into your life. The point of growth – the mustard seed of Kingdom life growing in you - is the belief that you have been included in His life.
Jeff Turner nails it when He writes, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. -JOHN 17:3 Notice that Jesus does not say “eternal life” is an endless existence that we step into after death. No, He speaks of “eternal life” as though it were a certain quality of life that hinges upon our understanding of God’s nature. This life, however, can be experienced only through a knowledge of Jesus Christ, since He is the Father’s exact representation.”
Christ your life can be yours now if you are willing to die to religion and allow Christ’s person to be you. Christ lives in you and manifests as you. This is your life in the Spirit. It gives you agency as a multiplier of His life and denotes you as a son/daughter of God in spirit and in truth rather than just notionally.
‘This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God’ 1 John 4.2 NLT. Yet this truth is more than Christ coming as a real body among the people of Palestine. It’s about Christ coming to manifest Himself by the Spirit as your life.
This incarnation is double barrelled. The second barrel is that the One who was full God and part of the Father as the Son has now come in you. This happened because of the at-one-ment of the cross and outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost. Christ lives in your being. He is the reason for your sonship and the Spirit who manifests in your person as the real-life of God so that you are the expression of spirit and life. *
‘If someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. 1 John 4.3 NIV.
* When the law has come in our flesh we are merely the expression of religious woodenness.