BETTER THAN A BUBBLE
You may have noticed. Not a few Believers construct for themselves and others a religious life – a bubble of pious observances – separate from everyday life, as though holiness is somehow unworldly and ordinariness is not holy. An irritating feature of such dualism may occur when a new church fellowship arises and leaders in the group grab at the opportunity to foist their version of performance orientation onto the other unfortunates with perspective on ‘mission’.
So, on top of their daily jobs, which are usually taxing and time-consuming, the unfortunates drawn into the orbit of the mission-mongers are persuaded to take on another task, another work of religion, a task additional to their vocation and of which is a task that they have neither the time or the inclination to become involved.
Athanasius refuted the Arian contention that Jesus Christ was separated from and less than God. The oneness of Jesus in the fullness of God with His Father - the homoousion - declares that the Christ of God is one with us and incarnated in our being and through us in the world.
If our sharing of Christ’s life in us is not an expression of our union with Him and of ourselves and un-related to our daily labour, it did probably did not originate with God. It possibly came from a religious person with an agenda. Let’s be clear. As religious and active as we may be - we are not born again if Christ is not our life.
FATHER HIS LIFE/CHRIST OUR LIFE
Does it occur to the ‘missionizers’ that that Jesus did His Mission by being Himself in Everyday Life?
Godliness is not separated from ordinary life. Godliness is lived robustly when God is incarnated intentionally in our being in Every Day Life. When we are one with God, as distinct from ‘one with religion’ we are a different person to the Weekend Worshiper. Oneness people are not pious. Not trying to prove anything to themselves, their pastor, the leadership team or to God. They are just being themselves in God and in doing so they are giving out rivers of spirit and life.
To live a dualistic life is to live in the illusion that there is a divided reality. One which is holy, pious and fraught with moralism and the other that is the so called ‘secular’ world.
There has been no holy/unholy dichotomy since the cross. Adam’s bisected ‘knowledge of good and evil’ world has been undone and Christ’s union with God and the Cosmos world has become ours. Dualistic religion has more to do with Platonism than Jesus.
Christ is all and in all. Christ is drawing all people and things into Himself. Christ is our life and He has come in our flesh which means that living in this reality we are AGENTS OF THE NEW CREATION.
When Christ is our life we are life. We are a person who is life. When sons in spirit and truth we are the expression of the way, the truth and the life. What distinguishes real Godliness from religion is being ALIVE IN LIFE.
BE THE SONG
Watching a superb violinist or flautist play is experiencing more than just playing an instrument. A virtuoso is not just playing the music. They are the music. We are being treated to a kind of incarnation. In order to play like this, the virtuoso is not just musical. When they play THEY ARE MUSIC. Unless the spirit of music is in us we are unlikely to appreciate the nature of what we are witnessing in this fashion.
Similarly we can give a Bible study complete with a series of scriptures and reasonable insights and do it as a dead man talking because we have delivered a piece of religion. Then again we can release a discourse that is spirit and life. One is religion. One is the bread of life because it is God in us.
We can live in union with God with the result that the speaker becomes the vehicle of spirit and life. We are not talking an anointing exclusively. We are talking incarnation. Jesus spoke words of spirit and life because He was spirit and life. He did so because He was God among us and because He and His Father were one. It is personal oneness with God, called by Paul, Christ our life that is the difference between a ministry of words (the letter) and our being a ‘Living Word’ in a ministry situation.
You can minister in religion and be animated. You cam minister with Christ as your life and be spirit and life.
THE REAL TEXT
In his book, The Mediation of Christ, Thomas Torrance observes, “As we read the Old Testament and read the New Testament and listen to the Word of God, the real text is not documents of the Pentateuch, the Psalms or the Prophets or the documents of the Gospels and the Epistles. But in and through them all the Word of God struggling with rebellious human existence in Israel on the way to becoming incarnate. And then that Word translated into the flesh and blood and mind and life of a human being in Jesus, in whom we have both the Word of God become man and the perfect response of man to God offered on our behalf. As the real text of God's Word addressed to us, Jesus is also the real text of our address to God. We have no speech or language with which to address God but the speech and language called Jesus.”
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV.
Paul expressed the same truth when urging all to be messengers of the new covenant. New because it is not of the letter but alive and fresh because it God’s life imparting His life through your life.
John asserted the same truth when he wrote, ‘Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist 2 John 1.7 NIV. When Christ is your life the text and the message is your imparting His spirit and life. You become the text. As such you are an agent of Kingdom advance.