BEYOND THE MUFFLED SELF
Jesus spoke of life without measure. This is life in God that comes from living in God without dilution. You can live a life in the Spirit that it is impossible to live in the letter. You can be alive because When Christ is your life you are life as Bill or Sam or Sarah.
With Christ as your life, you are a person who is life itself - because Christ the Son of God is manifesting as you. You are a participant not only in the person of God but as part of Him you have a natural and spiritual place in the creation because in Christ you are included in the communion of the trinity as a son/daughter of God.
BRAINWASHED IN RELIGION
Not a few people have trouble with the living of ‘Christ their life’ because they think Christ came to us so that we could live religion. Most of us have been socialised into thinking that Jesus is here to help is have certain qualities, characteristics, moral virtues and habits of worship. But no. Jesus is in you so that you are the expression of Him. When Christ our life is the source of our being these afore mentioned things are ignited with His life.
In Him we live and move and have our being. You are part of who and what God is: Life itself. How does one live in God unconditionally? By agreeing with Jesus that He is exclusively our life.
‘He is before all things, and in him all things hold together’ Col 1.17 NIV.
A HISTORY OF US
In the beginning God looked at what He had made and declared it all good. Following the fall God generated a new creation. The parallel to the Genesis Account is found in John 1.1-18 where the dawn of the New Light comes into the world. The similarities are both subtle and stark. Hebrews tells us that the creation came forth from the Son. John says the same. But here He is describing the light, life and new creation that arrived in the Son of Man.
NEW CREATION IS A PERSON AND US
A new creation, a new earth, the Kingdom of God and God’s sons emerges from the Son of Man. The new creation presented itself when Jesus was born, made itself known in Jesus’ teaching and burst forth from the tomb on Sunday morning when Jesus rose from the dead. New creation Life descended in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and now lives in you. This is the incarnation: Your new covenant life. It’s the new creation manifest as you.
Reality is Christ and the substance of this reality is the incarnation – Christ come in our flesh, meaning that Christ is expressed in the people and in the church of the incarnated Christ.
Just as Jesus of Nazareth was God manifest as the son of man, so you when you live in the Spirit are the manifestation of our Father in heaven.
FALSE CHRISTS IN SHEEPS CLOTHES
We need to believe the Christ of God and the gospel of His Kingdom. ‘Christ’s have been adulterated and the gospel has been distorted as Jesus foretold. Lesser Christ’s and crippled gospels have become theologies and in some cases denominations. To every person and in every season, Jesus offers the fullness of Himself. He continually offers His new creation life to every Believer and every Christian community. His challenge to us is to choose Him, even if it means abandoning our comforting fables, hallowed veils and pseudo identities.
ASK FOR RE-DIRECTION
Christ our life is fundamentally different to Christ our religion. The first is the Kingdom Jesus began. The second is its negation. We cannot grasp the Kingdom of God unless we are born again having entered the state of being that is our oneness with Christ. The union with God we gain in Jesus does not rob us of ourselves. We become who we are when hidden in Christ. New birth is not becoming a new moral person. New birth is Christ your life.
Charles Ringma writes, “One of our persistent difficulties is that while we want help, we do not want to change. We are quite willing to go to God to ask for strength, but not so willing to ask for redirection. We are happy to be encouraged, but not to be converted. In doing this we are making the fatal assumption that we are okay in what we are doing and in our priorities; all we lack is adequate resources. And so we turn to God in prayer asking for more grace, more of His Spirit, and more of His power. Even in our search for solitude and inner peace, we are frequently motivated by the idea that we are simply looking to find greater inner energies in order to carry on with our own agendas. Nouwen, however, reminds us that the place of solitude "is not a private therapeutic place... it is the place of conversion.” (1)
We are converted with Christ is our life and the law is not.
If we are alert and intent on following Jesus rather than hoping to get Him to follow us, we will embrace the opportunity to ask Him how we can join what He has done for us, rather than assuming that He will ignite with life, that which He never started in the first place. Jesus does not offer some new-fangled, Christ- empowered repetition of the law. He draws us into Himself and implants Himself in us.
PARTICIPATION A STATE OF BEING
“Many of the fathers of the church believed in an actual ontological, metaphysical, objective union between humanity and God, which alone would allow Jesus to take us “back with him” into the life of the Trinity (John 17:23–24, 14:3, 12:26). This was how real “participation” was for many in the early church. It changed people and offered them their deepest identity and form (“trans-formation”). We had thought our form was merely human, but Jesus came to tell us that our actual form is human-divine, just as he is. He was not much interested in proclaiming himself the exclusive or exclusionary son of God, but he went out of his way to communicate an inclusive sonship and daughterhood to the crowds.” (2)
We are free to live in the routine that we call ‘our faith’ and plod along the treadmill that passes for a relationship with God. Except this is a dim relationship with God and possibly no relationship with the self. In this state of torpor, the landscape of us is largely unknown and unexplored. What we may have is our cliched self that is the effect of our cliched beliefs and hand-me-down ideas of God and ourselves that never were His Gospel let alone a door to Kingdom life.
(1) Charles Ringma. Dare to Journey--with Henri Nouwen (Designed for Influence) (Kindle Locations 152-157). Kindle Edition.
(2) Rohr, Richard. Immortal Diamond: The search for our true self. SPCK. Kindle Edition.