There are gospels in which Jesus is the Center-piece and gospels in which He is not. In these He serves as a backstop to a particular theology or Someone we must please in order to get passage through the first door of Salvation. The notion of steps to Christ is misguided because the reality is that Christ has taken steps to us. The invitation is never to earn His life but to agree with Jesus that He is our life.
Ministry that is totally committed to Jesus as He is and the Gospel we inherit is quite different to a gospel that commits itself to the maintenance of a tradition or a constructed identity.
ABSTRACTIONS ARE SUBSUMED IN JESUS
“What are often considered as “topics” for discussion or sermon material in the religious realm, are actually things found and contained in the person of Jesus. Whether it be righteousness, grace, peace, life, forgiveness, the Word, the covenant, the kingdom... Jesus is the personification of these and much more. Any gospel discussion without the center-piece of Christ and the finished work of the cross is just meaningless bloviating.” (1)
THE LIFE IS A PERSON
Jesus calls Himself the Way, the Truth and the Life because He is. He Himself is our life. A religion about him may not be our life to any real extent because it is a shadow of the real. Jesus is incarnated directly into out being. He mediates Himself into our spirit, soul and body. Oneness with Jesus is the guaranteed key to life to the full. We can live are religious life in a mixture of law and grace and never realise that we are not truly alive, not really ourselves and only a glass half full rather than running over. Your life in the post cross age is not rubbing Holy Spirit Oil onto law and religion. It’s the Spirit of Christ in you so as to become you as a son/daughter of God.
We are not born again because we have adopted a better and holier morality. We are born again by passing in Christ from Adam to Christ our life. Irenaeus writes, “New birth, becoming, communion, adoption, union, immortality. These are the poetry of Christmas and salvation. The purpose of the incarnation, revealed in the nativity of Jesus, is to establish full communion between God and humanity. This union does not, however, abolish the distinct identities of God and humanity. It makes us real, authentic, fully human. For only in God are we truly ourselves.”
We eventually pass into eternal life because in Jesus we have begun to participate in His life as one with Him now. We have agreed with the Son that we have been adopted as sons. This body may suffer disease and grow old, but in spite of this we can be alive in our spirit and robust in our soul because Jesus is incarnated in our being.
(1) Michael C Kapler, Clash of the Covenants. P 19.