Some believers appear to have great difficulty in understanding life in the Spirit, which is a pity. Why? Because this is what Father has offered us in the new covenant when we live out of His Son. Our acculturation in western thought forms does not help because we have been conditioned to believe that only the material is real.
Life in the Spirit is always life in Jesus, never life in Moses or the shrouds of religion.
So called ‘primitive’ peoples have no trouble in perceiving this realm of the spirit, even if they do not appreciate what it means for a disciple of Jesus to live in God. ‘In the Spirit’ is the only way we can live in God, to be one with Him. To be joined to the realm of the spirit is like being in an unseen atmosphere of life that is as real as the oxygen that surrounds us. Berger and Luckmann illustrated that to a large extent, what we perceive as reality is socially constructed which means we see, largely what we expect to see and we learn what we expect to see from the people we are brought up with. Particularly is this so in religious sub-cultures.
This is why the teaching of Joseph Prince is so important. His book, The Power of Right Believing’ is about the liberation to grow and flourish that comes when we live in what Father has done for us in Jesus rather than in distortions or negations of the meaning of the cross. Perversions of the gospel take place because Satan is a robber and because Believers can be too casual about their inheritance in Christ. Or because they trusted those who lied to them.
‘He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit’ Titus 3.5 NIV.
The notion that one can be of the Body of Christ and believe what you like makes a joke of grace and truth and Jesus setting the captives free of spiritual bondage. Jesus lives not to validate spiritual cripples but to grow us all in the spirit of sonship. What kind of son do you want to be? A son of the slave woman or a son of the free woman. We are competent to minister the Kingdom in the second category.
‘But what does Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son.’ Gal 4.30 NIV. What is our inheritance as sons of the free woman. It is that we are part of Christ and in fellowship with the trinity.
Right belief is Jesus from start to finish. That the Bible must be understood through Jesus rather than Jesus through the Bible is a basic principle of Biblical interpretation as well as an implication of living in the Spirit of Christ. Right belief in terms of life in the Spirit comes from the revelation that Jesus is not with us to help us live our life. He is here and in us TO BE OUR LIFE.
Christ is our life.
Life in the Spirit cannot be explained in writing. This can only hope to point people in the right direction. The reason for this is that life in the Spirit is lived rather than defined. It is a state of being rather than something one writes up by way of explanation. Life in the Spirit can be experienced only when we are brave enough to risk the liquidation of all we know and the elimination of all we are accustomed to rely on. In other words we come to perceive life in the Spirit when we are willing to suffer the death of self in order to rise to a new state of being. Paul wrote of this death that results in life as ..
‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ Gal 2.20 NIV.
Life in the Spirit and being a son of the slave woman do not fit. This is because they are a contradiction in terms. One is a son of Adam and the other is a son of God in Jesus. So we need to get over attempting to bolt the anointing onto a life in Adam and Moses. The new covenant is a new state of being: The cutting off of our life in Adam and our union with God in Jesus.
LIVE IN YOUR INHERITANCE
The inability to live genuinely in the Spirit because we are tied to our Adamic flesh disqualifies us from being our authentic self in our body. Out of the Spirit we are always less than we really are. We propose plans that are more flesh than spirit and are personally considerably less than what belongs to us from our inheritance as the new man in Christ. Why be a sparrow when you are really an eagle?
The difference between a new covenant and an old covenant Believer is that one is fully human and fully alive and one is not. The gifts of the Spirit will function accurately and boldly in the former and will be still-born and fragmented in the latter. Spiritual discernment will be sharp and certain in the former and dull and abysmal in the latter.
THE NATURE OF SONS
Those who live in the Spirit are free and somewhat wild. They are the ‘violent ones’ who break through convention, humbug and all the obfuscation that poses as a safe but false Kingdom of God. Unless we live in the Spirit we are always what John Eldredge calls, a distorted self which blinds us to the light and the truth of our emptiness and hollowness. Unless we live in the Spirit we might ‘ooh and ah’ about being wild at heart. But we will never have the courage to do it. Christ must be our life to do that!
This life in the Spirit and the life of the Spirit is Christ your life. It is you as a son. This enables you to perceive and build the Kingdom of God. We can't build the Kingdom from the split reality of Adam. No law-keeper can live in the Spirit. None rooted in law can grow the Kingdom of God. We build it in Christ and become one with God and the creation. None can participate in the law and be joined to the tree of life. We can’t live from constructs and identities that are not Christ and hope to live in the Spirit. They are mutually exclusive. To be a genuine shepherd we must be rooted in the Father; be a branch of the tree of life and have a staff cut from its timbers. Only as part of this tree and by eating its fruit and being this fruit can we distribute the water of life and the bread of life freely.
‘Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them’ John 7.38 NIV.