Jesus explained to Nicodemus that the Kingdom occurs as a result of a change of being – the change from being a son of Adam to the status of being a son of God in Christ. In the Kingdom something is not right because it’s true. It’s right when it is lived in union with God. Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
The cross means we die to Adam. The resurrection means we are born into Jesus.
A STATE OF BEING ONE WITH GOD
“Belonging” in the Kingdom sense is not a matter of reading a scripture and assenting to its truth. We can make a claim to be of the Body of Christ without being so in spirit and in truth. As Thomas Torrance repeatedly emphasises, this ‘belonging’ is an ontological reality - not words on paper. It’s a state of being one with God by the One Spirit. It is our living in the new covenant fact of ‘we and our Father being one.’
Let’s be clear. If we are attached to the law we have negated our inheritance because what God has done for us in securing union with Himself has not been received by the heart (see below). The result is like living in a bottle insulated from the interwoveness with God that is ours. In Galatians, Paul called this the life of the sons of the slave woman – a whole community of people who did not live in their inheritance of belonging and union with God.
Eternal life and union with God is the inheritance of all. Union with God and belonging in the Body is the possession of those who live in the mindset of this truth – which is the mind of Christ. We must apprehend this with our hearts. We can live separated and in the body of death by believing a lie. A lie is any imputation that our heart believes; any imputation that there remains something that you must do to secure union with God.
You and Father are one. Instruct your heart to believe this and you will be a son in spirit and in truth.
Our life in God has always been about a state of being. Before the fall we lived in relationship with God expressing His life in us because we were part of God. During our life in Adam we remained sons and daughters of God – but not sons in spirit and in truth. This alienation remained until the temple curtain was torn in two at the His Cry, ‘It is finished.’ Separation was finished. Christ’s union with God became our union.
BY THE ONE SPIRIT
From henceforth the union of being existing between Christ and His Father becomes the union that exists between ourselves and the Holy Family. Stephen Crosby establishes this well. “Paul was not converted by persuasive argument and presentation of superior facts. Paul was apprehended at the deepest level of his being by the unity between Jesus of Nazareth and His followers: they were identical. This revelation, Paul called it the mystery, consumed him for the rest of his life” (1)
We can live in notional union with the Body or in actual union that is our deep state of being in God and in each other: Incarnation. Incarnation should be consuming us because this mystery is our life as sons and daughters of the Kingdom. Crosby continues, “God and man co-habiting was the revealed mystery and presupposition in all his [Paul’s] writings. He expressed amazement when a church failed to understand it or seemed to depart from it.
YOU IN ME AND I IN THEM
“If justification by faith or any other doctrine is taught separate from this presuppositional revelation, they will all be deficiently understood, regardless of how precisely an individual practices rules of interpretation.” Exactly right. When we talk grace and live the law if only by one commandment, we negate our new covenant union with God and perpetuate the separationism and fragmentation of spirit and community inherent in words written on stone. Jesus is the word written in us. The word that joins us to God, the word that enables us to see truth.
In Rick Joyner’s vision of The Torch and the Sword, there are vast swathes of Believers who stumble about in blindness. Poor discernment is the distinguishing feature of law bound Believers. It renders them blind as bats. In the law we are separated from God and from each other. But mainly we are separated from reality and we cannot see the Kingdom. Living in our inheritance of union with God we know God, know each other and know the truth that sets people free of Satan’s illusions.
Crosby expands the point, “The Lord drove home to the premier apostle of the Church the essence of the gospel and what its expression is to resemble. Genuine Christianity is not a matter of assent to correct doctrine. It is whether or not a revelation and apprehension of God's Son exists in the human heart.
That’s it. Has our union with God taken over our being, gripped our heart and become who we are? Or we still living in our contractual mindset where ‘I do this so that Jesus will do that,’ namely include me in His life and fellowship?
CHRIST IN YOU
Crosby explains, “It is wholly a question as to whether or not God's Son has really been seen by an operation of the Holy Spirit [in the Believer]. It marked Paul forever and should mark us similarly. For Paul the essence of the Gospel, the good tidings, is the indwelling Christ. It is the most vital and fundamental factor in Christianity: Christ liveth in me. Urging others to ‘keep close to Jesus’ indicates that one has not grasped this core of Kingdom communion with God: We are one with God and God is in us and is part of us.
“For Paul this is more than doctrinal. It is experiential. It is not just that Christ lives (the elemental revelation of Evangelicalism) - as glorious as that is - but that He lives in the believer: a real Person, a real Power, a real Intelligence, possessing all the knowledge and attributes of God lives within the believer.” (2)
It's not only that He lives in the Believer. There’s more. Jesus wants us to ‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV. He wants us to live in His reality – the reality that we are interwoven into God and God is interwoven into us.
(1) Crosby, Stephen. The New Testament Prophet: Understanding the Mind, Temperament, and Calling (Kindle Locations 1334-1336). . Kindle Edition.