‘Spiritual ‘ means that we are one spirit with God. Spirituality is always relational, the product of union with God and the inter-weaving of ourselves with a personal God. The essence of spirituality is captured perfectly in this scripture: ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. Apostolic ministry enables people to realize this and live this state of being as their normal Christian life.
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV.
Legalism is the disease we might imagine others have - but not ourselves. True, there are folks rid of legalism in their lives but they are rid of this bad rubbish, not because they read a treatise on legalism or observed that the battle between Jesus and the Pharisees was recorded to tell us something about the real nature of religion. They are rid of legalism because they take Paul seriously when he says anything not Jesus is rubbish - dung in fact and because Jesus Christ is actually their life. No. Not the means to a Christian life, which is itself a more subtle reinvention of legalism for the Christian age. Jesus Himself is who they are and all they are. This - not a work of the flesh - but the reality of Christ come in their flesh is their life. As a person these Believers are the manifestation of Jesus, and our Father and Holy Spirit. Due to the incarnation they have become life itself.
The difference between Christ our life and Christianity as our life is the difference between life as a son in spirit and in truth and life as notional sons and daughters.
WHAT WE SEE
What we see is what we expect to see. If the law and a performance regime is our lens we will read the new testament with a mindset that supports the notion that what we read is about religion. Religious spokespersons are the most bitter enemies of a life lived purely in the Spirit. A carnal Adamic mind cannot cope with God becoming flesh - which is what Christ our life is when He is our life. What emerges as ‘truth’ from reading the Bible depends on the hermeneutic we employ. Read it in the law and law is what we will see. Read it in Jesus as the Christ of God and we will see the new and living way that is Jesus from first to last. If Jesus is not our life then something else is. We become that in which we are rooted. Planted in abstractions we live naturally as religious people. Rooted in the trinity we are spiritual people. We are sons and daughters of God in spirit and in truth because we are joined by the One Spirit.
Many Believers live outside their inheritance in Christ. They have this extravagant treasure, but they live from religion in a bid to please God and be good people. There is virtue in this but not truth and very little of the spirit of sonship. They are this way because they have never been taught the truth. The culturally embedded assumption of separation in much of the church is the great darkness.
Others deny themselves fullness through ignorance. Ignorance differs from innocent misunderstanding because it involves a choice - the choice to ignore that which is unpalatable to the ego and to one’s concept of self and identity. When we choose to dilute our identity in Christ with that of men, we choose to ignore the truth that could set us free. We persist in rationalisations and excuses that leave our talent buried in the ground.
Salvation is bigger than being saved from extinction. It more than a judicial statement. It’s a life. A life that is not ours lived as though this life is ours. This is Christ our life - the absolute grace and the light of the world. J Baxter Kruger writes, “When you start with legal holiness, you have eyes only for the cross, and you never see that in Jesus Christ, nothing less than the eternal trinitarian life of Father, Son and Spirit is being lived out inside human existence. You never really get the staggering meaning of the incarnation.” He is speaking of the blindness that afflicts our eyes in the law and the knowledge of good and evil. As the risen Jesus says, ‘You do not realise you are blind.’
Should we maintain the efficacy of even one commandment or live from even one Christian rule, or several of them with have re-done Adam and side-lined Christ. Law places us in the separated realm of Adam, in the outside court of Moses’ temple; law joins us to the law of sin and death and its words on stone; law situates us in the realm were Satan is not defeated and where he has usurped authority over those who are eating from the tree of seduction. Law creates a law culture, a law mentality and a law epistemology where things of the Spirit are inevitably reduced to rules. Even the gifts of the spirit can get reduced to formulae. Law undoes all that Jesus achieved and reduces all who could have been sons to bones bleaching in the wilderness.
In the say we realise this we will have become a spiritual person: ‘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