Jesus does not make us do things, even things that are best for us. But He did give counsel that would stand for all time when he spoke out the parable of the talents. Here fruitfulness occurred not on account of native ability as we might think. The multiplication of life happened as a result of living in the inheritance that is ours. The raw authority of this is that as sons/daughters we are the manifestation of Christ and more. We are the effectual presence of the trinity where we are.
‘Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed’ Matt 25.24.
EMBRACE YOUR FREEDOM
The man who buried His talent (inheritance) in the ground on account of His defining the master as a ‘hard man’ represents the ‘law-addicted’ Christian. When we insist on living in the old covenant and the law because we have an interest in pumping up our self-worth, we undo the freedom Jesus gave us and re-enter our self-made prison.
Here we capture ourselves in contractual earning and trying harder and achieve a little. The ‘hard man’ talk is descriptive of many Believers who expect the gospel to be hard. The real gospel, according to Jesus, Paul and John – with its simplicity and profound abundance of spirit and life flowing freely from the incarnation of God in us – is easy - yet is undiscovered by the ‘hard man’ crowd.
DROPS AND RIVERS
In this mode, drops of water is what we manage. We go down to our graves having never lived in the fullness of God. Yet at out funerals we may attract the praises of men for living a devout and religious life. Sure our life has not been worthless but it has been the salt and pepper when it could have been a Christmas feast. Or a dripping tap rather than a river of living water.
The new covenant is synonymous with the new creation. It happens because Christ our life is our personal spirit and life and because Christ’s ‘all and in all’ becomes the culture of the Kingdom manifest in the world. The new creation is the manifestation of the trinity as the people of the world.
The new covenant is fundamentally different from the old. We must understand the difference if we are to live the Kingdom rather than ‘religion’. The Kingdom is Jesus writ large in us from the incarnation. Religion is the attempt to undo our separation from God by measures couched in the externalities of the knowledge of good and evil.
Michael Kapler writes, “Knowing the first covenant is not like the second will bring this clear distinction between the two covenants: The old way depended upon the people to dedicate and commit their lives towards fulfilling the commands. The new way depends upon the One who already fulfilled the commands and has committed his life to us.” (1)
To put it more bluntly the old way was ‘obey and live.’ The new way is ‘I have made you alive and you will release the fruits of life.’
CHRIST OUR LIFE
In an old covenant mindset, our acceptance in God and our continued companionship with Him depends on the amount of fruitage in our life. The facts are different. Our union with God is entirely based on the truth that Jesus is our life - our life in every possible way. There is no link you must forge with heaven yourself. This is your union with God: Christ your life. This is the soil of your healing and your growth as a daughter or son. But you are always a son, always a daughter whether there is a lot of growth or no growth. Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
VICARIOUS HUMANITY OF JESUS
The deeply embedded assumption that we are responsible for the quality of our relationship with Jesus can be heard in statements like ‘keeping close to Jesus.’ Jesus is in you and with you and just as much in you when you fall into sin as when you are on a high because of a victory.
In any case we are no more able to make a good job of keeping close to Jesus than the Jews were in keeping the laws of Moses. Your life in God depends not on the quality of your holiness but on the quality of Jesus’ holiness. Godliness is not strictly about ‘doing’ and doings. It’s about being part of God. It’s due to the fact that you belong to God and are part of God’s being that you are sons/daughters in spirit and in truth.
‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
(1) Kapler, Michael C.. Clash Of The Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee (Kindle Locations 509-511). Kindle Edition.