People who spurn the law are often viewed with suspicion – as though they have developed a cute way of rationalising sin in their lives. This illusion is easy to address among those who discern the difference between life and religion. Not so much with those who have not been born again.
People aren’t neutral absorbers of information. Instead, we tend to hunt for information that supports our view, and ignore information that does not. Confirmation bias. We see this among Believers. People can be exposed for much of their life to the truth that their ‘truth’ is not the truth. But it’s water off a duck’s back. They develop a life behind fictions and denial – which is why Jesus says, ‘Unless you are born again it is impossible to see the kingdom of God ( John 3.3). If we contain ourselves in the law, we are not born again.
Sin is the result of separation from God. Fortunately we are not separated but if we are living from the law we will be living from a separation mindset – a mindset in which even mature Believers will talk of ‘keeping close to Jesus.’ Thus implying that we have not been made one with Jesus, with the implication that the cross has done nothing for our lives. And that separation is our normal state so that we must discipline ourselves through devotions, religious services, ‘holy days’ and religious effort to ‘be with Jesus.’ This heresy is called Arminianism and it is part of the culture of many denominations. It involves the habit of earning Christ before we get to Christ as our Saviour which is a nonsense and a contradiction. It delusional because it make us our own saviour.
Many people assume separation. I’ve often heard folks in public prayer ask Jesus to ‘Be with Maud and Syd’ as they travel to Newcastle, Thailand or Coober Pedy – as though Jesus is somewhere else and must be summoned to unite Himself with His separated disciples. He is always in us and with us. Jesus stated this when He said we will never be orphans. Agree with the fact that Christ has come in your flesh and enjoy His companionship. Better to ask Jesus to do something specific rather than repeat religious prayers that require no faith and hardly any relationship. This takes us to living in the actuality of Christ instead of in a mental construct. There’s a state of being in which you and God are one. This is your inheritance.
GUFF AND GODLINESS
Religion speaks a lot of guff in the name of itself. Jesus promised that we would never be orphans and that by His Spirit He would be with us and in us. He is, if He is actually our Friend and companions in spirit and in truth. Not so much if He lives where we have put Him on the side-lines of our lives – theoretically Lord, but really a peripheral figure in our personal firmament.
Jesus is actually with us and in us. But we create our own reality. He is effectively with us if we believe He is. Living incarnated is the best help in this. Leanne Payne observes, “The truly imaginative experience is defined therefore as an intuition of the real. It is an acknowledgment of objective realities (those outside the self) in their transcendent, unseen dimension (perhaps we could say, in their essence). It is that which, when received, enlarges and completes us, for it speaks to and unites with some lonely facet of our own being. All true worship, knowledge, and art come out of this. At its highest level, the truly imaginative experience (intuition of the real) is the experience of receiving from God, whether by word, vision, or (greatest of all) an infilling of Himself. In philosophical terms, this would be an intuition of the real from the realm of absolute reality.” Payne is talking of possessing the mind of Christ – which is what we have if we live in Him rather than in the law and the abstractions of religion. A relationship with religion is not a relationship with God and at best is a false christ rather than oneness with Christ. In the law we are actually insulated from the fullness of Christ.
Infinite life in the present is knowing Jesus as He is. We can divest ourselves of a false Christ by asking Jesus to reveal Himself into our spirit. But we must be willing to follow His lead rather than multiply fictions in which to hide from the truth.
THE I AM OF JESUS
We have the best personal relationship with Jesus when He is the Jesus who is Himself and not a construct of our minds or of pedestrian religion. Eternal life lived in the present is knowing Jesus as He is. It usually takes a painful jolt to move us from a religious routine into a real relationship with Jesus. But it is a jolt well sustained and we can make the most of it and reap a huge harvest of spirit and life.
Personal disaster can reveal that we have spent our lives in the periphery of spirituality and that we really do not know Jesus much at all. In hindsight we will see that our present jolt has placed us in a wonderful position because this is the start of our real life with the one who is the life of the cosmos and the life of us.
THE LIVING AND THE LIVING DEAD
There are people who are alive and people who are not. That is not alive with spirit and life. Such life is not activism or a laugh a minute. Neither is it piety or a belief system. It is Christ as you. Not Christianity as you. It is Jesus manifesting as you. It helps to know the real Jesus and not the caricature of Jesus that we may have been socialised into.
THE I AM OF JESUS
What I am leading to is this: Once we commit to knowing and following Jesus the Person, He will reveal Himself to us as He is, undoing what religion, myth, legalism and institutionalised lies have made Him out to be. Don’t expect to be a ‘knower of Christ in any deep sense if your perspective and denomination is your idol.
Spiritual people have a good handle on who Jesus is. But only because they have passed through the valley of the shadow of death where they have had to die to their own version of the Christ, to their false identity and inherited notions of the Kingdom that are often the effect of doctrines of demons.
MATURATION OF SONS
Growing in the Spirit of Sonship is passing through a series of deaths and rebirths with Jesus in continuous resurrection and renewed life that enables us to know Jesus as He is and emerge into the self that we really are.
We can live in a state of perpetual re-creation or we can stagnate in that which we have. The former entails our agreement with the Christ of God and His gospel rather than a self-made gospel and a false christ. Growth into intimacy with Jesus comes not from the gifts but from living in hour inheritance – atonement, incarnation and oneness with God that is a state of being – not a fleeting manifestation of the Spirit.
Spirit and life is never packaged, never stagnant and never some proprietary gospel. There is one gospel of the Kingdom that negates all ‘other gospels’ and religious fables. This is the Gospel of Christ our life.
WOVEN INTO YOU
This spirit and life that is the inheritance of all, comes from ‘osmosis’ in our presence with the trinity where we now live, in fellowship and contentment. They too live in us. We absorb their nature. It becomes ours because Jesus is actually our life. Not just an example but a living Spirit who inhabits our being and weaves Himself into our person.
Of course, there is no separation here. You are in continual communion with God, which means the niceties of religion are largely irrelevant and what matters is that you are constantly being recreated and included in a conversation with the trinity that fills you with spirit and life. Adam’s separation is undone. You are living in Christ’s union with God.
UPSIDE DOWN SPIRITUALITY
“Religion has wrongly assumed that the law was given to squelch the desire to sin, but the opposite is true. For those today who attempt to try to live by some form of the Mosaic law in order to attain righteousness or even maintain acceptable behavior, it is not going to result in a success story. Christians have been on a works treadmill for centuries by mistakenly trying to abide in the works of that law, or a modernized version of it. Since the law was against us, the result was bearing fruit for death instead of fruit for God. But Paul’s good news for his Jewish friends who had been bound to the law is they were now released or freed from it. To some extent, this can also apply for the believers of today who have been bound by various forms of legalism.” (1) We are bound in the law whether or not we have sanctified one law, ten or the culture of Christianity. The law either multiplies sin, or smothers our spirit so that we are insulated from the naked presence of Christ in our being.
You have union with God. This is your inheritance. You can make it your possession. ‘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 NIV.
Paul declared that Christ is our life because He is. Or not. We may choose to live in religion because we are attracted to it despite its numbing of our soul and killing of our spirit. This puzzling choice is the mystery of iniquity. We may choose religion like the rich young ruler because we fear losing what we know as ourselves – or from convenience. Or like the supporters of political parties with no policies other than the same old stuff – because we are selfish and stupid. But what does it profit a person if they gain most of their life and lose who they are?
(1) Kapler, Michael C.. Clash Of The Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee . Kindle Edition.