Christ our life is more mystical, practical and all-encompassing than many of us know. Jesus is everything for us and to us. Francois Du Toit with The Mirror Bible and his uncovering of the real meaning of the text (1) encourages us to LIVE JESUS rather than attempt the things of Jesus. The first is the Kingdom. The other is the knowledge of good and evil modified with a Jesus gloss. In the new covenant, which is the new wineskin, also called the new and living way, Jesus is not the means to life. He is our life. He is not the means to righteousness. He is our righteousness. He is both the door to union with God and that union itself. There is nothing undone in Jesus!
‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.4 NIV.
Christ our life is the glory of God because His life manifest as us individually and collectively as the new creation. Incarnated in people Jesus becomes society and the overcoming of all decay, chaos, degeneration and the exhaustion of the planet. If ‘glory’ is who God is and who we really are, then glory for the planet is the emergence of what the earth is meant to be in Christ. Jesus rose again for a new you and a new earth.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.’ John 3.16 NIV.
OUR BEING IN HIM
Jesus did not harangue people about their sins, many and degrading as these sins were. He undid sin by presenting Himself as forgiveness and life. It seems that a fair portion of Christianity is focussed on morality and sin. But this is not the main issue. The key is life in Jesus who is our life. If there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, you might not know it from the obsessions of some Believers. Sin – a form of death - dissipates from the presence of Jesus. He is both our life and our righteousness.
ALPHA AND OMEGA
Jesus is who we came from and where we are going. Jesus is who we are and who we are becoming. If to see Jesus is to see our Father, it is also to see ourselves as we are. We are in Christ rather than in Christianity when we are Kingdom sons. We are washed in His life and changed by His life. But know this: The extent of our change is not what commends us to Father. Jesus does. And Father’s arm was not twisted to achieve this. The trinity was in Jesus bringing the sons of God into their real fellowship. Our progress in well-doing is not who we are. Jesus is. A moral crusade is not the Kingdom of God. Jesus is – His life for you and in you.
Does homosexuality degrade humanity? Yes. Will marriage equality degrade society? Definitely. Is the condemnation of homosexuals the Kingdom of Jesus Christ? Certainly not. Jesus as the life of the world is the Kingdom of God.
To be in Christianity is not necessarily to be in the Kingdom of God. To be in Christ is. Always. Yet as Paul says, ‘Christ is our life.’ Jesus is our life as individuals. All of us are His life as the church.
In Jesus, we are the sons of God, not in theory or notionally but in spirit and in truth. Because the resurrected Jesus is us multiplied as the church, we are the Kingdom of God. But not when we are a community of institutionalism. But with Christ as our life, we are the new creation personified. In this way – the new and living way – Jesus becomes new societies, new nations and the new kingdoms of the Christ. Jesus multiplied is the kingdom of heaven manifest on earth. He is the new earth.
‘The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever’ Rev 11.15 NIV.
It’s as simple as this: In the age of the Spirit you are the manifestation of Jesus. It takes intention to live this rather than to live institutionalism, religion and what is called Christian disciplines. In the simplicity of Christ your life, you will have more life, more spirit, more discernment and more holiness than anyone can have in ‘Christianity.’ The Kingdom is not religion. It is Jesus as you.
‘This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God’ 1 John 4.2 NIV. Many Believers read this and continue on living the flesh come in the flesh. The Kingdom is never institutionalism manifest as you. Not religion manifest as you or disciplines and routines manifest as you. The Kingdom is Christ manifest as you. The new creation is Christ manifest as us all.
TO SEE JESUS IS TO SEE YOU
The Paul who wrote of Christ our life also wrote ‘working for your salvation with fear and trembling.’ They are not opposites. Paul was not speaking in favour of religion. He did not mean working hard at Christianity and Christian disciplines. He meant being in agreement that Jesus and nothing less is your life is your life’s work. Resolve to allow the spirit of Christ to manifest as your flesh, your persona, your you! Discipline yourself to lay down your striving to ‘keep close to Jesus’ or ‘be like Jesus.’ Just rest and ‘be.’ Let Him be you! ‘For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience’ Heb 4.8-11 NIV.
With His rest comes holiness, wholeness and life. Resolve to rest in who Christ is and who you are in Him. He is entirely your life. Discipline yourself to live beyond religiosity, naturalism and striving. Get yourself a Sabbath life. Simply rest in Him and allow Him to be who He is for you – all of your life and all you would ever hope to be. This is the larger meaning of grace and the only hope of real transformation.