Jesus once said to ‘A Constant Searcher For the Right Fellowship,’ ‘Why don’t you just let me be your life so that you are fit to be in community.’ To Mrs Everingham Jesus said, ‘Now you’ve stopped trying so hard, I’ll be able to do something with you!’ To Toby Withers He exclaimed, ‘Why don’t you just let me love you? You can stop attempting to be worthy of my love – you’re not going to improve anyway!’
Jesus tells it like it is. The remark to Toby is both humorous and true. Our record of improvement is mostly spotty and filled with false starts. We often find ourselves doing things we hoped we had overcome years ago. Let’s be clear. Jesus loves you because He loves you. He loves you for you – not for your performance. Some urge that our spiritual growth depends on ‘keeping close to Jesus.’ If only. We are no more adept at ‘keeping close to Jesus’ than we are at keeping any aspect of the law.
Our life in God is not a more ingenious arrangement of ‘doing’ with Jesus’ help. It’s not a subtle form of legalism supervised by Jesus. Our life of spirit and life is essentially CHRIST OUR LIFE. Jesus is all things life in relation to Himself, our self and to God. It’s called the vicarious humanity of Jesus.
Similar to a fitful ‘keeping close to Jesus’ is the attempt to repent properly, to repent fully and to repent hard enough. As if this earns some merit and is some penance for the many times we are not really sorry for what we did and actually enjoyed our sin! Rather than these religious postures we would be better off to rest in what Jesus has done, embrace His achievements as our own and agree with Father and Holy Spirit that Jesus is our life.
In this new and living way, you will have a joyful life and you actually will change - somewhat. Why? You will increasingly identify with God’s real thoughts about you. Father does not endure you with many frowns and sighs. He loves you. Father sees you in the same light that He sees His Son.
Francois Du Toit writes, ‘[There is] no such word as repentance! It was manufactured by a massive religious lie to squeeze guilt money out of people. [It comes from] the Latin, penance. Then they added the 're' to get even more mileage out of sin consciousness! Re-penance! The word, ‘repentance’ does not belong in the Bible! The original Greek text uses the word metanoia, from metanous, meta, together with, and nous, mind. From Is 55:8-11, it is clear that this word suggests to co-know with God! It is my mind intertwined with my Maker! So every time you read the word repentance, scratch it out and write, CO- KNOW WITH GOD (think what God thinks about me! Jesus is God's mind made up about me!)