Thomas Merton wrote, “The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds.” Much of this rubbish is the ‘packing’ that is religion – content that occupies the space that could be filled with the simple reality of Christ our life.
Christ’s church is the expression of Himself in those for whom He is received as life. Such people can be anywhere – as part of traditional gatherings in the church on the corner, in house churches, groups meeting in cafes and among those who have chosen not to go to such renditions of ‘church.’ We belong to Christ’s church whether or not we set foot in what is called ‘church’ - when we have agreed that He is our life.
The rock on which Christ’s Church is built is the affirmation that He is the Christ and Saviour of the World.
The crux of the Kingdom is that Jesus the person is our life. His incarnation in us, from which flows spirit and life, becomes the culture of the Kingdom. Christ as us is revealed as the new creation.
WITH HIS HANDS
To live from the law or some version of it, like the more diluted but omnipresent culture of the knowledge of good and evil is to dull our spirit and cripple our soul. To minister from this frame is to become a dead man talking and not know it. We minister spirit and life when we are spirit and life because Christ is our life and we are the expression of Him.
Gregory Boyd observes that, “Our central job is not to solve the world’s problems. Our job is to draw our entire life from Christ and manifest that life to others. Nothing could be simpler—and nothing could be more challenging.” It is simple because it is the incarnation and challenging because much received Christianity is legalism, moralism and religion.
EXTERNALITIES ARE NOT ALIVE
The church Jesus builds is people who are the expression of Himself. They are not ‘trying to be like Jesus.’ Jesus is expressing Himself as them though His Spirit. Christ come in our flesh results in Christ expressed as the Kingdom of God where we are. Live from your union with Christ and the good works and fruits will be the result. Live from the reverse and we produce a parody of the Kingdom.
Christ come in people is more agile, more alive and more poignant than any structure of the letter. It is in itself spirit and life to water those who have sought other gods and the god of religion.
The kingdom of God needs community, purpose and direction. Be careful of those who assure you this is ‘them.’ People have a way of endorsing their own value in the name of God. New creation Kingdom life is not institutionalism. It is the community of people for whom Jesus is manifest in the flesh. This life and this community cannot be contained. It will be found among those for whom Jesus is their life.
‘Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth’ 2 Tim 2.15 NIV.
WORKERS AND SONS
Paul explains about the sons of the free woman and the sons of the slave woman. When Christ is our life, we are slaves to no one, much less ourselves. Jesus is divine rest for human restlessness. Some of the busiest believers are workers, not sons. Workers because they have not entered the inheritance that is already theirs; workers because they are the children of the first Eve and have not entered their rest. They are driven to earn their acceptance with God (which they already have). But in doing this they are themselves the separation - even though union with God and the smile of His favour is already theirs.
WHERE HE PUT YOU
Sons of God live in their union with God - not because they are superior to other believers but because they believe. They rest in the fact that they have been drawn into fellowship with the trinity by God. Accordingly, they live in rest and flourish in God-inspired works of spirit and life. They do what Father is doing because they and Father are one. This is effortless. It flows from the inheritance that is the possession of sons - it flows from the true self that has been liberated from the false self. It’s the effect of revelation that is your life.
NOW IS SEE
All are sons of God by definition. Kingdom builders are sons of God in spirit and in truth. The distinguishing feature of sons and daughters of God is spiritual discernment and ministry that conveys spirit and life. It’s a realm of fruitfulness and enlightenment.’ Richard Rohr observes, “Enlightenment is precisely not like the layers of an onion. It’s one great truth that you know in a moment, when the false self gets out of the way. You don’t work up to it, it’s not cumulative. It’s an epiphany. All of a sudden, walking from here to there you see it. You know it is given and not created. We can’t hold on to it, but we must return to it through daily prayer. Once we’ve known who we are in God, nothing less will satisfy us.
… Do I know who I am apart from my role? Do I take my role too seriously? That becomes the trap. We over identify with image, with what we think we are, what we would like to be; or with our reputation, with whom others tell us we should be. Both of them are the world of perception. We need to get back to substance and essence. God is there.” (1)
‘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. On the day we receive this revelation we will become multipliers of new creation life. God is with you and in you - never somewhere else. You and Father are one, positioned as daughters and sons in the fellowship of the trinity you are being nurtured into the fullness of who you are - not a worker or a notional son. But sons and daughters in spirit and in truth. As such we are agents of the new creation. We release rivers of life because we are rivers of spirit and life.
(1) Rohr, Richard. Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (p. 82). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.