CHRIST COME IN YOUR FLESH
Much religious morality is based on an artificial dichotomy of body and spirit, or some variation of the same. In both catholic and protestant puritanism the body was often categorised as impure because it was the body and not the soul or the mind.
In Christianity it is customary to talk negatively of the flesh as opposed to the spirit. But flesh in this sense is not about the body being bad, below par and suspect. It’s about living in Adam instead of living in Jesus. We can be ‘spirit-filled’ and still live an Adamic life instead of a Jesus life. One is old covenant. The other is new. One is externalities. The other is Christ our life.
There’s no dichotomy in you or in the world in the Kingdom of God.
THE OLD HAS GONE
Such dichotomies and distinctions are a feature of the knowledge of good and evil and its dividing of experience into good and evil. The fact is - God said it was all good. Nothing God created is by nature evil. The Son of God – the Christ’s – appearance in the body sanctified bodies for all time. Significantly the core of genuine Kingdom Life is Christ come in our flesh. Attempts to diminish this originate in the spirit of anti-christ.
God in Christ reconciled us and the created world into Himself. The pre-fall creation is self-validating in the same way God is. God is I am and the creation simply is itself. God said it was all good. Not only the human race but the creation is validated and affirmed in the at-one-ment. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son to redeem it to what it is meant to be and to redeem us to into our intended role as sons and daughters and companions of God. When Christ rather than religion becomes our life the creation will fall into line and obey the sons of man just as it did in the storm of Galilee.
DELIVER US FROM EVIL
Evil is a perversion of the good, often manifesting in religious form as an anti-life stance promoting itself as Godliness. There are supposedly prophetic works whose fabric owes more to the interweaving of the dichotomised assumptions of Platonism than to any revelation from God. This is so with Islam and with some of the denominations that arose in the 19th century.
Jesus is the new creation. Jesus lives to draw all that exists into Himself. This is our home and the authentic mode of the new creation: Union with God. The new creation is not an afterthought. It was envisioned before the fall as ‘the plan’ that Paul called ‘Christ in you.’ The new creation is the manifestation of Christ as the your life, the social structure and the biosphere. It’s the undoing of Adam and the Doing of Christ.
There is no dualism in Christ, in the informed believer, in the creation and the realm of everyday living. CHRIST IS ALL AND IN ALL. There are no days holier than any other because you have been incarnated with a holy life. YOU ARE HOLY. Church is no more holy than your kitchen because God is with you and in you. Praise and worship is good but what is better is WORSHIP AS A LIFE where you are the expression of Jesus. Worship is not a thing siloed in a segment of institutional life. Worship is CHRIST AS YOU.
Thomas Torrance highlight the delusion of this divided religious reality as he explains,
“When the Christian Church spread out from its centre in Judaea into the Mediterranean world its preaching and teaching of the Gospel came up against a radical dualism of body and mind that pervaded every aspect of Graeco-Roman civilisation, bifurcating human experience and affecting fundamental habits of mind in religion, philosophy and science alike. The Platonic separation (χωρισμός) between the sensible world (κόσμος αἰσθητός) and the intelligible world (κόσμος νοητός), hardened by Aristotle, governed the disjunction between action and reflection, event and idea, becoming and being, the material and the spiritual, the visible and the invisible, the temporal and the eternal.” (1)
You are one with God in Christ. One with you. One with others and one with the creation.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 47). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.