THE LIVING WAY 2
We can make religion from self-effort. You can make religion entirely from externalities. Religion is an attempt at godliness in externalities. Here we attempt to ‘do,’ in order to create the presence of God or earn His acceptance. This seems entirely normal if we have lived from the law on the grounds that ‘the law’ is the big issue with God and His salvation. Why do people make religion from doing? Because it’s all one can do when we live in imagined separation from God.
If the Enemy can have us living in the abstraction of religion instead of the reality of Christ – the presence of our Father and the Spirit in us and what we create - the Enemy has negated the Christ and His the new creation plan.
The old covenant was the old way of relating to God in separation. The new covenant is union with God - union with our healed self and communion with each other. It is this communion in the spirit of sonship that is the engine of new creation life. Could it be that Islam has an appeal as a religious ‘way’ because so few have embraced the new and living way?
If we are living in and from the law we remain in the knowledge of good and evil and the separation into which Adam was lured. If we live from a matrix of things Christians should do we are living from the law – even if our position is that we are not legalists. If only one element of our religious life is law we have immersed ourselves entirely in the law as a way – a false way of separation that is claiming to be union and salvation. This an impossible way of being like God or even godly. Why? Because union is already yours.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body’ Heb 10.19.20 NIV.
But you have a new and living way – You in Christ, Christ in you and Christ as your life. Not bits of your life but all of your life. There is no sacred and secular in the new covenant age. No God’s time and my time, no God’s money and my money, no God’s realm and a secular realm. All of life is the Kingdom, all time is the Sabbath and all of you lives in wholeness and oneness with heaven – when Christ is your life.
‘For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility’ Eph 2.14 NIV. All belong. The two groups are one because in Christ all are one with God. The old creation was divided but the new creation is one and lives in the union of the One Spirit.
Godliness is never what we do. Godliness is what we are. What we do has life, if and only if, God is one with us by the Spirit. When Jesus is our life He is in us and we are in Him. Not only this but we are in the fellowship of the trinity and they are in us. Thus we are alive in the Spirit of Sonship. Not dead in alienation and separation from God and our true selves. We can be notional sons in the law, but not sons in spirit and truth. In the law we are alienated sons of god, not knowing God or our real selves.
If your core is law that’s the best you can do – you propagate an institution and a structure. What results is a form of godliness without power and lacking in spirit and life. Far from being the body of Christ we have a collection of bones and body parts.
We have not been delivered from Paul’s body of death.
The law is not the issue of salvation or the church. Neither is it the issue for lost mankind, even though much of mankind is lawless. Sinning and not sinning is not the issue either. The Kingdom is not sin abhorrence. Our preoccupation is Christ. In Him we are absorbed in life and He in us.
Superseding this is the matchless goodness of Father and His love and along with it, our inheritance as sons living in present in union with God. If law is our reality we cannot know God or Jesus Christ whom He has sent. God is not an abstraction. But as the trinity He is love, communion and life.
If we think law/morality is the reality, then we have made Christ subservient. We position Him as an also-ran and understudy of the paraphernalia of religion. From this view point it is likely that we will have made a belief-system our reality and knowledge our substitute for spirit and life. When we minister we will talk information but not spirit and life. The reality is Christ. We are real as sons when He is our life. Partial when He is not. He is the vine from which all else has its meaning and life.
Jesus is the new creation in person. He has undone Adam’s dichotomised world and lives to draw the entire creation into Himself. You can receive drops of His life in institutionalism and its matrix of doing this and not doing that. In Christ you are whole. You release rivers of life because you are living in the PERSON WHO IS LIFE to the full.
‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NIV.