In recent posts I have been emphasising the need to live from Jesus - with Him as our life - and sought to show that it is not His Gospel to attempt to rely on Him as the Empowerer of an agenda no matter how righteous that agenda may seem to be. I’m referring here to the law of Moses, a Christian life-style, a belief system or the teachings of the new testament. Our inheritance is not a religion. It’s Christ’s life as our life.
‘The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Fathers’ 8.15 NIV.
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
Life in the Spirit is not an old testament life with a dob of Holy Spirit anointing. It’s not a clever way to live the law. It justifies the law not at all, and does not legitimate any of the commandments whatsoever. Neither is life in the spirit a new way to live a quasi-law of Christian behaviors. Life in the Spirit means life in the Spirit of Jesus. In this new and living way, His life is ours. This is a mystery. But the Spirit of His life permeates our life. This is what is meant by Christ come in our flesh.
If we remain tied to any law we are not living in the Spirit.
EVERY DAY ADAM UNDONE
‘Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed’ 1 Cor 15.51 NIV. This scripture’s main referent is our life in the new earth. But it’s premise is the reality that this life of ours has already passed from death to life in this season. OK. That’s now. Because we have passed from life in Adam to life in Jesus His life in us is our resurrection and life every day. THIS IS SPIRIT AND LIFE AS US.
Let’s make this clear. Living in the flesh is different to ‘Christ come in our flesh.’ If we live from the law we live from the flesh in separation from God. We live in what Paul called this body of death. When Christ is our life, He by the Spirit becomes us and we being one with God exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit. These fruits are not something we do to please God. They are characteristics of who we have become in our new status as daughters and sons in spirit and in truth. Fruits grow from our sonship. They are not a means of gaining sonship.
SAVED BUT STILL SLAVES
Should we maintain our life in the law “Our moral principles are connected to the wrong tree, and they also become relative, based on our human perceptions, personal perspectives, or the surrounding culture.” (1) He’s saying that we develop partisan versions of the law and that we wangle the law to make ourselves look good.
We choose the laws we will ‘make a thing’ arbitrarily. We choose those that are likely to involve little real sacrifice and which make little material difference to our lives – other than a pedantic show of holiness. Sure we can ascribe all manner of blessing and magical powers to this law icon - to this throw-back to old testament strictures. But regard them as what they are: nonsense and illegitimate intrusions on your life in the Spirit of Sonship. Want to see what a crippled son looks like? Go and see a person who is tied in any way to any item of the law.
We can distinguish ourselves as purveyors of a crippled body of Christ.
“The fruit from the tree of thou shall not may look good to the eye, but it is not to be confused with the fruit of the Spirit found in a better covenant where law doesn’t get in the way. Although we’re told to avoid the “law” tree that bears fruit for death instead of fruit for God, people who lack understanding of the gospel and the finished work of Christ will be drawn to it with good intentions and miserable results.” (1)
With Jesus as our life and the trinity woven into our being we are holistically filled with God as a state of being. In the old testament God’s presence filled the temple. In the post cross age God’s presence fills you and becomes you. Thus as daughters and sons we are made fit bearers of Holy Spirit and the anointing. We are sons because the spirit of sonship has pervaded our being.
THE WORKERS CONTRACT
Recently I wrote that for many of us our Christian life is a kind of contract – a quid -pro-quo - where we do certain behaviours in the expectation that God will reciprocate with blessing behaviors of His own. This is innately legalistic and typically old covenant ‘obey and live’ style religiosity. The blessing of the post cross age is that you can bless yourself and others by being the authentic you who is being revealed because Christ is your life.
Paul taught that since the cross Christ is our life. So did John. Paul was able to say
‘By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me’ 1 Cor 15.10 NIV. Not only where Paul’s sins covered. He was graced to be Himself in Jesus.
MYSTERY OF GODLINESS
Many of us constantly wonder if we measure up. Because we are tempted to measure ourselves by the ‘generalised other.’ Sure we can learn from other’s experiences but our reason for being alive is to be ourselves and to minister life from who we authentically are as daughters and sons. Tied to the law the spirit of sonship in us is almost entirely suffocated. One with our Father in Jesus we are sons in spirit and in truth. These are the humans who advance the Kingdom. The others just keep religion in play.
Jesus has made you alive in Himself and joined you to the fellowship of the Holy Family. He has drawn you into this life so that His life can be lived in you. With Jesus as you, you are entirely yourself. This is the mystery of Godliness.
(1) Kapler, Michael C.. Clash Of The Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee . Kindle Edition.