A most subtle form of works is the kind of belief in Jesus that has us absorbed in being worthy of Jesus. Grace is ultra-radical because it is ultra-joy. Grace is never an abstraction or something we get because we have made a decent effort. Grace is ours because we are Christ’s. We are in ultra-grace because Christ is our life in every way.
This is annoying to Believers who hope to have worked up some entitlement. It’s annoying for the same reason that the Pharisees were annoyed when Jesus told them that the late-comers get the same pay as the early birds.
FIG LEAVES VERSUS TREE OF LIFE
A list of good works done by the self is never more than a garment of fig-leaves. Christ our life is our kingly garment and our sonship because this is a state of being. Jesus is our state of being and our being part of God is our holiness. We are holy because God is holy. Holy because God has made us part of Himself.
‘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 NIV.
We can be ourselves as rag and bone men if we choose, just as we can be sons of God by believing that Christ is our life. Believing the truth has more merit than adhering to our own gospel because it clothes us in extravagant generosity and security while manifesting the fruit of the tree of life as us as George, Syd, Bob and Mary. If we are humble enough to listen we can avoid the attitude of the Flat Earther.
ALWAYS BETTER THAN WE THINK
“Jesus did not come to establish a covenant between God and humanity where if, and only if, we uphold our end of the bargain He upholds His. Jesus Christ enacted a covenant in Himself without any contribution from us. He is the New Covenant between God and man. He is the closed covenant. Both sides of the covenant are completely upheld in the person of Jesus Christ.” (1)
Upholding our end of the bargain can be expressed in the platitude, ‘Keeping close to Jesus.’ But we are no more capable of this than the Hebrews were in keeping the law – not unless we make our ‘keeping’ so insignificant that it is clouds without rain.
An astute gospel teacher spoke these words: ‘God has received you as you are not as you should be.’ Let’s be clear. Being received into the fellowship of God does change us. But it’s not about God’s obsession with sin. It’s about God’s passion for sons. Your already achieved sonship in Christ is the reason that you are at peace, the reason that you are deeply loved and rejoiced over as you and the reason that in Jesus you are always enough.
You might remember that the original insinuation from the Enemy was that Adam and Eve were not enough along with the lie that Father was less than He appeared. Jesus undoes these lies by both being God and being you. This is the revelation of the Christ who is in you and with you.
VICARIOUS HUMANITY OF JESUS
“It is not our responsibility as a human race to uphold our end of the bargain. The Gospel does not throw us back upon ourselves to complete a work in and of ourselves. The Gospel is good news, not a good opportunity. It is an error to preach the Gospel of what Jesus has done only to turn around and throw the responsibility of responding to this message back upon the unbeliever. If it is up to us to respond properly to God, that begs the question: how much repentance is enough? Or how much faith, trust, prayer, fruit bearing, etc. is enough? Ultimately this makes salvation our doing, something we must earn and manifest in ourselves without God. If the gospel is our responsibility—even .001% up to us!—then the gospel is not good news.”
Because Christ really is our life His response to Father is our response, His life our life, His belonging in the trinity our belonging. The paradox is that we can attach ourselves to perverse gospels and still ‘belong.’ We can deny the doctrine of Jesus, Paul and John in favour of our distinctives. But in doing this we deny ourselves fullness, accept a state of malnutrition as the norm and live as a flickering flame rather than as a beacon of spirit and life.
(1) Morrison, S. D.. We Belong: Trinitarian Good News (pp. 80-81). Beloved Publishing. Kindle Edition. (2) Ibid. Morrison, S. D.. We Belong: Trinitarian Good News. Publishing. Kindle Edition.