The glorious liberty of the gospel comes from believing what Jesus believes - about Himself, about us, what He has done for us and who we are as a result.
We are not entitled to make up our own version of the gospel. Don’t ‘bible study’ your way into some aberration that you call ‘your perspective.’
People who have their own gospels are not bad. They have just side-lined themselves from the river of life. Paul warned of ‘other gospels’ that he defined as any alteration to the Gospel of Jesus and the apostles. Paul warns that no ‘other gospels’ are allowed without attracting a curse by coming under the heading of a ‘tare’ or under the remit of a false christ. We are stretching it if we have concocted our own gospel and claim to belong to the Body of Christ, when what we have done is to retain ourselves in our version of what Paul called, ‘This body of death,’ which is as far from the Body of Christ as one can get.
BODY OF DEATH
Paul using this statement, was specifically referring to the old covenant and the law and more generally to the regime of separation that was the norm for human life in Adam - where all die.
JOIN YOUR RESURRECTION
Now all have been made alive - if we live in the new testament and not the old testament or one of our own testaments made out of a mixture of the old and the new. Or because our idol is our denomination and the supposed identity, we think it affords. But who really wants an identity of the kind that is ‘the kings new clothes? No one who is not completely bewitched.
‘You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?’ Gal 3.1-3 NIV.
As noted, any gospel that starts with Christ and ends with the law is not Christ’s Gospel. The testimony of scripture and the acts of God is that Christ has taken steps to you. You don’t have to ‘earn Christ’ because He has earned you.
It’s not about our ‘receiving Christ.’ It’s about the truth that we have been received into His life.
Living under the law and old covenant today is a re-acceptance of the illusion that we can be as gods, independent of God and earn our way to God. This deception is a Christian version of the knowledge of good and evil, which is no gospel at all but a form of deep witchcraft. We are either followers of Jesus and disciples of His life or we are not - not disciples of His life but disciples of a lie.
JESUS IS LORD MEANS CHRIST IS MY LIFE
Stephen Crosby urges us to examine our claim that Jesus is Lord. Is it He or is it we? “Jesus is Lord is not merely a theological principle I leverage to try to assure myself of the “good life” if I just “obey what the Bible says.” Jesus is Lord is a declaration of voluntary perpetual servitude to another Man’s purposes and interests for me in this life. I am not my own. I have been bought with a price.” (1) But you have been bought into liberty, healing, wholeness and sonship. You belong in His life, which is a state of being in which you are in fellowship with the triune God and this God is woven into your being.
Gregory Boyd observes that, “Many of us .. try to get life from the rightness of our beliefs and goodness of our behavior. We continue to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which the law, leading us to Christ, was meant to abolish.” Christ does not lead to the law or revert us back into Adam and his tree. In Christ we are in God and in God we are one with life itself. With Christ as our life we are alive in the truest sense. Alive with God’s spirit and life.
(1) Crosby, Stephen. How New is the New Covenant?: Discovering the Implications of: Jesus is Lord (Kindle Locations 186-189). Stephanos Ministries. Kindle Edition.