Most people know that we are saved by grace. It’s not so well known that grace is as radical and as comprehensive as it really is. For reasons like poor teaching, the living in ‘mythical veils’ as though these are the normal Christian life and the penchant for a Christian version of performance/entitlement mentality – the truth that is the vicarious humanity of Christ has been subverted by religion. Religion creates dependency in people turning them into consumers. It also creates a Christian Industry that manufactures careers and career paths. The church that is the manifestation of Jesus is a different church to the one that is institutionalism multiplied.
God, it turns out, is way better than most of us have been led to believe. He is not mean, not the Producer of a Christian austerity package and not the initiator of a try-harder culture that grazes as a sacred cow in the paddock of the Christian Industry.
VICARIOUS HUMANITY OF JESUS
What is the vicarious humanity of Jesus? If you want to enjoy the resources of grace that are ours and a more pleasurable fellowship with God, you will do yourself a service by making a study of the topic. It’s not some religious ‘key.’ It’s what God has done for us. It’s our inheritance in Christ. Briefly it is this: ‘Jesus Christis Himself both the Word of God as spoken by God to man and that same Word as heard and received by man, Himself both the Truth of God given to man and that very Truth understood and actualized in man. He is that divine and human Truth in His one Person.’ To put it even more basically, Jesus Christ (as well as other things) is you responding to God. Just to be clear on this, here is another brief description.
“Jesus lived as a human united to His Father, reconciling our humanity to God through His vicarious life of perfect faith, obedience, and prayer. The Christian life in all its aspects has been taken up in His life lived in our name and on our behalf. Our faith is understood rightly as an echo within His faith, sustained and made perfect in Him. We are set free from the burden of looking over our shoulders and worrying if we have "enough" faith, what little faith we have has been taken up and perfected in Christ.”
THANK GOD FOR JESUS
This exposes a greater meaning in the words, ‘Christ is all and in all.’ The consequence is that there is no link that we must forge ourselves to relate to and be accepted by God. It’s done and is constantly ‘doing’ in Jesus Christ. So ‘Working at our salvation with fear and trembling’ has a different meaning to that which is commonly received. It means being diligent in living from radical grace and industrious in rejecting diluted, ‘worksy’ gospels that are no gospel at all.
There is good reason not to accept the typical religious teaching on many things. Because some of them are wrong or distorted enough to produce ‘another gospel.’ If you adhere to ‘another gospel’ it is a stretch to maintain you are ‘part of the one loaf’. Paradoxically you are – but it’s of no use to you if its narrative tells a different story and is actually a different gospel to that of Jesus and the apostles.
Context is important in gaining the correct meaning. We need to know if Jesus is speaking in terms of the new covenant or reiterating things relevant to the old covenant. The sermon on the mounts is about who we are in Christ. Not a pep-talk about how to be a Godly person. Michael Kapler writes,
BEATING THE WRONG DRUM
“Due to typical teachings on the beatitudes from the wrong context, once again we’ve tried to make this all about us. The traditional religious point of view puts the focus on our doing and our lifestyle. We need to begin approaching the beatitudes with a new attitude and become aware that it was Jesus who would be the fulfillment of every one of these on the list. It is because of what Jesus did that we are now in the kingdom. He has become our comfort, our inheritance, our righteousness and our peace. It is only through him we have obtained mercy and a pure heart that allows us to see God and to be called his children. This is all ABOUT BEING, not doing.” (1) The entire new testament life is about being not doing. As a human doing we can be bereft of spirit and life and barren of our real self. We need to be who we are n the Person who is Reality.
It is through Jesus that we are in relationship to God – this relationship is the kind of joyous fellowship that the trinity enjoy in being themselves and in sharing their community with us.
(1) Kapler, Michael C.. Clash Of The Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee . Kindle Edition.