Some time back I made a mental note of the manner in which people I knew joined a community of faith. The common factor was ‘Bible studies.’ The trouble was that ‘the gospel’ they became part of was not the gospel of the Kingdom. It was a different gospel; a gospel that prolonged the fall – supported by an unconnected jumble of scriptures. Any legitimate gospel must agree with the ‘apostles teaching.’
The lens in which truth is seen and understood is firstly Jesus and secondly Jesus of the new covenant.
The lens we use to interpret the Bible makes a big difference to how we define the Kingdom of God. The Jesus lens is the accurate lens that enables us to know the Kingdom as it is without distortion.* Yet it is also something more than the Jesus Lens. We must put Jesus in the frame of the new covenant if we are to see Him as He is, know His gospel for what that is and see ourselves as we are as a result of the work of God on our behalf.
THE UNDOING OF ADAM
If we see salvation history an uninterrupted path with the addition 0f Jesus following the cross we will have missed the significance of what happened at the cross and how history has been radically different following the cross. The cross is the sign and the reality of the change from the Adam induced regime of the knowledge of good and evil to the Jesus instigated Kingdom of God. This Kingdom began at His death and was executed at His resurrection. The Kingdom of God has been unfolding ever since the Sunday morning that Jesus rose from the dead.
THE RECREATION OF YOU
The resurrection of Jesus marks the birth of the new you, the new Adam and the new creation. The new creation is the developing Kingdom of God in the incarnated sons and daughters of God.
So the era of the knowledge of good and evil is dead and the era of the Kingdom of God is up and running. We call this era the age of the new covenant. The challenge in this age is to live in the Kingdom of Christ and abandon the kingdom began by Adam. This is our deep repentance and a repentance that is ours in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
UNION WITH GOD
Not only is there no condemnation in Christ Jesus. There is no separation from God in Christ Jesus. We have union with God. This is your reality and the reality of the church built without human hands. In this age we are not trying to be Godly by doing good and avoiding the bad, with Jesus help – although many think we are. This is the age when Jesus is our life by the Spirit. No dualism here. He is in us and with us and has become us. In this age we are the manifestation of the trinity. As such we are the sons of God. This is the real meaning of life in the Spirit.
GOD ALIGNED MINDSET
We are now in God. An awareness of this determines our epistemology - how we define and organise knowledge. Living from our position in God and in the oneness that is ours in the new covenant aligns us with God’s way of seeing and OUR NEW WAY OF BEING.
Being one with God there is no dualism. No sacred and secular. There is no dichotomy between the real and the ideal. God lives in us and we become the manifestation and the expression of the person of Jesus and the trinity. A split reality died at the cross. +
This has a name. Now we are THE SONS OF GOD. The big deal of this present age is that we and God are INTERWOVEN.
‘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 In the new covenant framework, life, love righteousness and joy become the expression of the fact that we have been placed in God. We are there in Spirit if not in our personal mindsets. Yet Jesus is drawing us and all things into Himself so that all that exists participates in Him and is ignited by His life. ‘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. This scripture indicates that Jesus wants us to know, understand and be what we are: One with God.
SPIRIT AND TRUTH
This why Jesus said, ‘It matters not where you worship. The time has now come and is coming – following His resurrection – when people will worship in spirit and in truth. Why? They are one with God. God is in them and they are in Him. There is no separation between humans and God; no compartmentalised spaces and fragmented time. We and the Father are one. So monasteries are a piety but not a necessity. A holy time is an option but not a requirement. The temple is no more and the church that Jesus builds without human hands is our life – where we are working and living. People are the temple of God. The holy land is neither in Israel or in Mecca. The Kingdom of God is where God’s people are living in oneness with God.
‘Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within’ Zech 2.4,5 NIV.
GOD IS NOT RELIGIOUS
Jesus did not establish a religion where people do observances and all the things commonly understood to be religious. He liberated people from that. So it’s not a burden we have to bear or wear as a badge to signal piety. He established the kingdom of God, which is none other than the manifestation of Himself in people. We are kings and priests because we are sons.
When are we are kings and priests? We already are. When are we kings, priests and sons in spirit and in truth? When we believe we are.
Spirituality and the new creation is not defined by people doing church. The new creation is people who are alive in the spirit and life of Jesus re-creating the earth. This creative power was not meant to be captured by a religious class. It was meant to be led by people for whom Christ is life and in whom Jesus lives. They are competent ministers of the new covenant. The Kingdom of God is not a religion. It is Jesus manifest as people. Wean yourself off it. By planting religion we are planting tares. By planting Jesus and planting people in Him we are growing sons and daughters of God.
Reading: Jesus and the Undoing of Adam. * A false gospel will produce a false christ and vice versa. + This is not just about Jews and Gentiles. It’s about ontology and being and the achievement of deep union between God and the sons of God.