What are we offering when we enter the pulpit or put pen to paper? Good advice? A helpful piece of religion? A warning against something bad? A recommendation to do something good. A serving of ‘Try-Harder Gospel?’ A piece of thoughtful religion? A Bible study? Then again, we might be speaking words of spirit and life.
Spirit and life comes from union with God. It’s the difference between religion and the Kingdom Jesus began. Spirit and life is a new covenant quality of the sons and daughters of God.
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV. It was His union with Father than produced this flow of spirit and life.
Spirit and life has a Source. It is a stream of spirit manifesting as living words that flow from the heart of the trinity through your heart and your lips into the hearts of the Believers and those who do not know Jesus.
Spirit and life has the power to penetrate unbelief and clichéd attitudes. It can break down strongholds that we have adopted with the connivance of the Enemy. Spirit and life can demolish stagnant ideas and paralysed actions. Spirit and life is never pedestrian and always the manifestation of ordinary sons and daughters of God. Spirit and life is not knowledge of information, nor the expression of a belief system. It is the living word manifest in new covenant Believers.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit – God – has conspired to ensure that in us, their plan to have sons to share their extravagantly joyful life is realised in fullness. Their plan is Jesus. Through Jesus the estranged sons of God have been made one with God. God has entered humanity and humanity has entered God. This is not theory. It is Spirit and in truth. In Jesus we participate in the life of the Holy Family. In us they live their spirit and life as they do together as the trinity. They share themselves, yet make us who we are without stint or suffocating our uniqueness and personality. The chief characteristics of spirt and life are personality, ultra-life, the abhorrence of all things dead and the resurrection spirit of Jesus in you.
In the old covenant which has passed away, we are one with God by origin. Yet we live in the separation of Adam. We are near God but not in Him, loved by God but not in union with Him. In the new covenant where Christ is our life, the trinity live in our being and we participate in their fellowship. We are received as ourselves to be nurtured as sons and daughters in spirit and in truth: In spirit because we are alive in God and in truth because we are becoming who we were made to be.
Union with God is a relationship. This is the union of Father and Sons. To experience this union it is not enough that it has been accomplished. We need to have embraced it and allowed ourselves to have been adopted as His sons. Sons who have been taken from the orphanage of the knowledge of good and evil and the law and made one with God through Jesus. This is at-one-ment in spirit and in truth. We received this adoption by receiving Christ as our life. We reject it by remaining in the law.
In this union you will speak spirit and life because you and Father are one. In this relationship you will speak spirit and life because you are speaking as God ordained you to speak as yourself and not as a clone of some other person. Here you speak words of spirit and life because being one with Father you only do what Father means for you to do in the moment and the season. This is not available to us if we are living out of Christianity or as a religious functionary. This is the ministry of the sons of God.
Religion not only delivers humbug. It smothers the freshness of life and dulls the glistening of living water. There is such a thing as dead water. This is the liquid of religion. In religion we take offence at this because we think religion is sacred. There is something that is sacred. This is your union with God. Don’t let religion or cunningly devised fables take it from you.
We are sons of the slave woman when living in religion. In new covenant union we are sons of God.
As a son you will impart words spirit and life. You will expose the people to a stream of revelation that comes from the heart of God. This is because Father’s life has become your life and you have become yourself. Words of spirit and life come from sonship that is authentic and real because we have embraced our union with Father. We are not living in separation or in any kind of substitute. Not only are we cavorting in the river of life. The river of life is in us and flowing from us.
‘Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise’ Gal 4.21-23 NIV.