GOD HAS A REAL NATURE AND SO DO WE. It should not surprise us that the Father of identity, Mr Identity Himself, the I AM, is particular about our knowing Him AS HE IS and maturing us into the real sons that we are. He is not satisfied with us worshiping a distortion of Himself or defining ourselves as less than we are.
‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it’ JOHN 1.5 NLT.
Idols are things we create ourselves, then worship as "gods." This worship can be overt or implied. In the former we erect some object or belief and objectively dedicate ourselves to it with various forms of obeisance like wearing funny hats or eating peculiar food. In the latter mode we can become absorbed in some value or belief as a way of life. Religion can justify any silly behaviour as legitimate. But not so the Kingdom Jesus began. These two modes of worship overlap and merge under the heading of idolatry. People can worship the framework of religion as if it is God. Similarly folks can dedicate their lives to materialism as the way to happiness. Grace provides the opportunity to get to know God as He is. It is never an excuse for persisting in private interpretations of god or divergent gospels.
An idol is anything that is worshiped that is not God. Then again an idol can be a distortion of God. Our ideas of god can be our imagined god projected into our mental god-space. Someone pointed out recently that in the latter case we are actually worshiping ourselves. This is not difficult to when our daily experience is the absence of God and the an immersion in religion. In this case its us and not God. But this is about as close to god as many people ever get. This is why the Holy Spirit and His ability to manifest Father and represent Jesus to us is an improvement over the perpetuation of that form of godliness we know as institutionalism.
God is real. His Son is among us by the Holy Spirit and this is the normal experience of significant sectors of the church. But I digress. An idol is any behaviour, usage or entity that takes precedence over Jesus Christ. A common idol is the ‘worship’ of His stuff as though it is Him.
In past ages people attached divine attributes to things like rivers and lions. Or they projected qualities of themselves onto 'the gods.' There have been variations like the notion of God as the Unmoved Mover, or the Masonic concept of the Great Architect. A common variation is the notion that the law is God or the expression of His character. You can believe this if you are willing to believe that God has a problem with coveting and stealing.
Religious folks can invest a lot in a gospel made in their the own image. The notion that the Ten Commandments are a description of God's character is common in the literature and in fundamentalist communities. But it’s not god and does not make us Godly. Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus is the exact expression of the fullness of God. God is not the law or a system of rules because He is not that small! He is not that small! To know Jesus is to know God and receive His character.
God is not less than Himself. He is not an abstraction, much less the sum total of an infinite collection of rules. ‘I AM’ is self contained, subject to no externality and entirely interleaved in the spirit in our personal being by The One Spirit. There never was a law that is separate to God and there is none now. The idea that the law is the key issue of salvation history is a fiction. The key issue is the infinite trustworthiness of our loving Father and the inclusion of ourselves in His Family as sons.
The Law School Master has been annulled by Christ and the new and living way has been established – Jesus and our life in Him. Jesus is our life. He is God. He manifests His Spirit as us. All of us living, moving and having our being in God is the Kingdom of God manifest where we are. In Jesus, we and Father are one. In Jesus By His Spirit we participate in His nature. By the Spirit the life of the son of man is our life. Because Christ is in you, you are growing into the You of your original design. In Jesus you are in the love of God because He is that love in person. Jesus is fully God and the exact representation of Gods character. To know Jesus is to know God and to know God is to know Jesus. But as well as this, to know Jesus is to know yourself! To be enveloped in Father is to BE YOURSELF! PASSED FROM DEATH TO LIFE
The point is this. God cannot be known through the law because that is not what He is. The law is dead and He is not. The letter is dead but you are alive when Jesus is your life by the Spirit. Father is not subject to the law. Neither is He some kind of cosmic ‘walking law.’ God is totally Himself, totally PERSON and totally one with Himself. He is I AM and as such defined by Himself. Not by anything external to His person. And neither should you be. You are defined by Father and made who you are in Jesus.
This may come as a surprise to those accustomed to deifying the law. This is one of the most demeaning forms of idolatry, distorting Father into something He is not and shrivelling the Believer into a cardboard cut-out of herself. This notion of God originates from the tree of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is continuation of the lie that Father is less than He appears and that humans need to separate themselves from Him to be like Him. It’s gobbtly-gook of course, but this is what comes from the Father of Lies.
‘Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture [or gospel] came about by the prophet's own interpretation of things’ 2 Peter 1.20 NIV.
When presented with a revelation of the truth some sulk. Other consider it all joy because a new panorama of their life in Christ has opened to them.
‘Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy’ James 1.2 NIV.
Adherence to law and legalism today leaves us in Adamic separation in our minds and outside of where He has placed us. Law mongering distorts our view of Father and suffocates our relationship with Jesus. We can be religious under law - but never Godly. Nor can we be sons in spirit and in truth. We cannot know God as He is from a position in the law, much less know ourselves. Law distorts God, perverts the gospel and an undoes the cross. Don’t tout an un-gospel as though you have something to be proud of because you will be marketing deception in the name of life. One with Father by the One Spirit, unsprayed by any extrinsic entity that is superfluous to Jesus Himself a stream of life flows from the trinity into us and all we do.