Several years ago now I was attracted to the Emerging Church movement. I liked the idea that Church had more to do with people together than it did with an institution known as church. It wasn’t all that long however before the House Style Church became a another kind of institution.
CHRIST IN US
Since then I have come to see that Jesus changing the way we do church is not the supreme priority for the Lord. His priority is that we live in the inheritance that is Himself in us – in what Paul called ‘Christ in you’ and ‘Christ your life.’ This means living in the foundation of the Kingdom of God – the incarnation - which is the trinity in us and God manifesting as His Sons/daughters in our daily lives. Christ in us is not Christianity in us. The ignition is more direct than that. It’s Christ in us and as us. This is a life of incarnated worship.
EXTERNALITIES NOT IT
Incarnation dispenses with the illusion that religion and church are the centrality. No way. Christ incarnated in the people is the foundation and the agency that realises the new creation Kingdom of God in society and the Earth. Worship compartmentalised in churches is not the Kingdom of God. It’s truncated worship. Christ in all is the Kingdom of God realised in ecology, economy and polity. Jesus is interested in healing limbs but God is more interested in healing the earth. Raping the Earth is never a Kingdom project.
I watched the science fiction movie Prometheus some time back. The assumption was that the underlying power of the universe was malevolent. How wrong.
God is the hub and the Source of all life. God’s life is personal and communal. God is love and love is the heart of Trinitarian relationship. God is for us. Our blessed position in Reality is that we are in God and God is in us. Reality is Christ and infinite life and True Light is the trinity.
NOT ABOUT YOU
I still remember the shocked look on Joel’s face when I said to him, ‘It’s not about us finding a church that meets our needs. It’s about us finding a church that meets Jesus’ needs.
While God loves to enjoy us and grow us into who we are as daughters and sons our life is not actually about us. It’s about us in subordinate relationship to Him. In this relationship we rise to become who we are and are liberated from our self-centeredness. We are never degraded when Christ is our life but always nurtured into our glory as sons of God.
Before the son of God appeared on earth God had incarnated His nature into the fabric of the universe. Before the cross His Presence could be discerned in the Earth and had manifested in the life of the Hebrews. This is the meaning of logos. The law of the spirit of life is love manifest. But God is not a generality and is very much personal.
When the Son (who was God) became God with us, this was the incarnation of the son as a human being. It was also the revelation of our Father. To see Jesus is to see Father and to know God. But it is also to see and know ourselves. The cross made us one with God. It undid our alienation, not God’s. The at-one-ment made us one with God. Pentecost incarnated Jesus into our being. Those who are alive, live in the experience of Christ come in our flesh.
‘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.
Jesus joins us to the Holy Family that we call the trinity. The third person of the trinity is a human being. Humans were birthed out of the trinity to share their life and joy. They were redeemed at the hand of the trinity so that their vision of humans, of you and yours as the companions of God would triumph. Thus Jesus came not only to forgive sins. His focus has never been on sin as such. Jesus came that we may have life to the full.
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20.
The law has never been an obsession of God.
Our enjoyment of Trinitarian life is the obsession of God. The passion of God is that we have what Jesus had: We and our Father are one. The life of Jesus washes away sin and crowds out death. Because of the incarnation, Christ’s life is our life. ‘In Jesus is life and that life is the life of all.’ We are each the manifestation of Jesus. J Baxter Kruger writes,
“It was not the Fall of Adam, therefore, that set God’s agenda; it was the decision to share the great dance with us through Jesus. Adam’s plunge certainly threatened God’s dreams for us, but that threat had been anticipated and already strategically overcome in the predestination of the incarnation. Jesus Christ did not become human to fix the fall; he became human to accomplish the eternal purpose of our adoption, and in order to bring our adoption to pass, the Fall had to be called to a halt and undone … Jesus is not a footnote to Adam and his Fall; the Fall, and indeed creation itself, is a footnote to the purpose of God in Jesus Christ.” J. Baxter Kruger, Jesus and the Undoing of Adam.
The new covenant is the undoing of Adam and the re-creation of you. Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’ meaning the effect of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was finished for good.
ADAM’S DEATH AS YOU OR CHRIST YOUR LIFE AS YOU
If we remain in Adam we are dead even if we appear to be alive and juggling ‘our truth.’ We are in Adam if we are still tied to the law. There is a law today. But not the laws of Moses or the rules of Christian performance orientation. We have the law of the spirit of life. The powerful dynamic of this law is Christ as you. Our Jesus life is life in the Spirit. As the expression of His person we become fully human and fully alive.
We mature as the sons and daughters God. We become practitioners of the new covenant as we live in the Spirit of Christ. Reject this and we remain in the law’s separation as dead men walking – even if we have come into the Spirit – which is an illusion, because life in the Spirit is our interwoveness with God where we take on His nature. Rationalise this away and we become multipliers of dry bones – political purveyors of a political gospel – our version of the knowledge of good and evil and our perpetuation of the fall.