In the Spirit I have observed earnest people minister surrounded by a cloud of death as real as any nimbus cloud. The difference between the old and the new covenant is flesh as opposed to spirit and life. Spirit and life is the nature of Jesus’ Kingdom among us. Always relevant because it is always alive.
Relevant: I take that word to mean something that is real because it is related to the furtherance of life as defined as ignited and alive. I did not know about the Spirit of Sonship and its connotation of union with Father when first I heard the word RELEVANT being dropped in sermons meant to inspire the youth. Neither did I know that that union with Father was the source of spirit and life that flowed from Jesus to disturb the trance of death containing, persons and entire nations. Jesus’ words were spirit and life. I noticed yesterday that Paul wrote of spirit and life as a law - nothing like the laws of Moses on stone - but the life that flows from the womb of our being - from Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I was at a youth meeting near Melbourne. A young minister was speaking of the need to be relevant, which struck a chord with me. Over my then 25 years I had observed that quite a lot of religion seemed to be irrelevant in that it had no real bearing on a fruitful and stimulating life; that it remained in place, not because it was life-giving but because it was there. Some of it was actually anti-life. It was what people always did and they did it because it was old and thought it pleased God. To my mind anything is not useful because it is old or new but because it is fruitful. Then it is relevant to the multiplication of life to the full.
GOSPELS OF LIMITED LIFE
I have always been attracted to maximum life and repelled by customs, patterns and teaching that excuse and maintain beliefs or practice that maintain bondage and non-life in the name of religion or ‘our perspectives.’ Jesus came to set captives free - to set free captives debilitated by even the slightest degree of death or any disease of soul and spirit. We presume to be disciples of Jesus if we are not with Him in drawing people into life with out limits.
Religion is an insidious form of death because it disguises itself as life. It is a major weapon of the anti-christ spirit.
If we are not living in fullness of life then we are participating in death. As distinct from this kind of accommodation Jesus came to give everyone life to the full. Particularly the religious. Jesus who had the Spirit without limit also had life without limit by definition. So let’s not make excuses about a degrees of un-life to which we have made ourselves comfortable because this is the soporific we are used to. After all who wants to be irrelevant?
I am writing about ‘relevant’ because I have seen ‘Relevant’ magazines left in foyers of churches where people can pick them up and be inspired. I saw the magazine quoted by a friend on Facebook and took a look at it by following a link. I wish it well. No one wants to be irrelevant. And yes, Jesus always was relevant. But not for no other reason than He was one with His Father and only did what His Father saw as relevant in that moment and season.
But writing as I do on the necessity of Christ our life and new covenant living, I am aware that little relevance will be ours if the foundation is not right. That foundation is the new covenant which is our life in Christ and more. It is Christ our life and the incarnation of the trinity in us in spirit and truth. This is not a religious feat or the possession of a spiritual elite. It’s the possession of all who believe and follow Jesus’ teaching and gospel.
Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. John 14.23 NIV.
Being busy, aware of issues, concerned and active is not necessarily relevant in a Kingdom sense. It’s an advantage. But the Kingdom is not primarily about the issues of the world as pressing as these may be. The Kingdom is about the union with our Father that heals the issues of the world. Jesus came to reveal the Father and restore life to the world. He is resurrection and life in person and the restoration of life to the world. He is the end of our life in Adam with all the chaos that this entails and the beginning of the life that had always been envisaged for man in the heart of the trinity - that humans should enjoy what they rejoiced in.
Jesus is the life and the light of the world. He is RELEVANCE in person. All that is useful, fruitful and regenerative flows from His being. This is why we must take Christ come in our flesh seriously; why we must absorb the reality of Christ our life and why we must live the reality of Christ in us personally and as the church.
Jesus was who and what He was because He was one with His Father. (You will be as well). This is how Jesus was relevant to the world in general and to His tasks in particular. He exactly accomplished His mission doing all that Father had set for Him to do. In addition He only did what He saw His Father doing. The Spirit that was on Him flowed out of this spirit of sonship and Jesus imparted the Father’s plans and life into all He touched. He was relevant in terms of His Father and relevant in terms of His mission. Even more so is He relevant in terms of imparting His new creation life to all who live in Him.
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing [ Not relevant and not alive]. The words I have spoken to you - they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV.
We are relevant in the new covenant because we are living in the inheritance that is ours since the cross. We no longer live in what is irrelevant because God has made us sons, joined to Himself and always being who He means us to be in any situation.
There is little relevance from us if we still live in the old covenant mind-set. We are left with a scatter-gun approach. Here our relationship with Father is obscured and our sonship is dimmed. In the new covenant, Christ is our life and we and Father are one in Jesus. We are identical to Christ in relevance and mission. Because Jesus is personally our life we do only what Father is doing and by implication only what we as daughters and sons are meant to be doing. As a result living water flows from our being. Dead water is never relevant. Living water wells up in infinite life.