CHRIST COMES IN OUR FLESH OR NOT AT ALL
‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.’ The Bible is all of this, but life comes from Jesus. Born again people know this. Religious people may not. The core of the Kingdom is not knowledge acquisition. Neither is it behavior modification. The essence of the Kingdom is our belongingness in the trinity and Jesus’ life as our life. Genuine grace is the trinity enfolding you and Jesus becoming you by incarnation. Genuine ‘from glory to glory’ is you becoming who you are as a son/daughter of God.
Writing of the mediation of Christ Thomas Torrance observes, “We are united to Christ who is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, and participate in the risen Humanity of Christ so that we are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.” This is his way of emphasising that you become a representative of Christ and an expression of Christ because by the incarnation you become a manifestation of Christ – yet remain fully you and, more you than you would have been by any other means. We are not the Body of Christ by definition (a legalism). We are of the Body by union.
IT’S JESUS LIFE AS OUR LIFE
Michael Kapler writes, “Our source of life is not found in the pages of the Bible, but through the person of Jesus Christ.” (1) This reminds me of the time a woman on the team urged others to use lots of scripture references in their talks and so they did. But the talks – as well informed as they were – were devoid of spirit and life. Law-based teaching is devoid of life. The law leads to Christ, but Christ does not lead to the law.
We can illuminate our talks with nifty illustrations and attention- grabbing stories. But unless we are irrigating hearts with spirit and life we have not advanced people at all. Spirit and life comes from union with God. It comes from you as a son in spirit and in truth. Jesus was spirit and life because He was one with Father. You are spirit and life because you and Jesus are one. The incarnation is grace realised as you.
John wrote of oneness with God in John chapter 17. Paul is speaking of the same thing when he writes, ‘ I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ Gal 2.20 NIV. Paul is not living in Christ’s religion. Paul is living in Christ His life.
Spirit and life comes from Christ in us. Jesus is the Living Word and was operating in people’s lives long before there were printing presses. He still is and it is His agency that brings peace, grace and genuine life to our being. We are alive and alight when Jesus is our life. Less so when this life is stifled by the law and deviant doctrine.
‘I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!’ Gal 2.21 NIV.
Bible reading provides the frame of sound doctrine. The Living Word makes you a human being and more – a human who is a son/daughter of God. Jesus shares His Sonship with you. As sons of the law, we will be no more successful in living out Bible principles than Peter and the Jews were in living out the law. But CHRIST IN YOU BECOMES YOU. This is your inheritance and what we all need to be cultivating. Using the law as a lens renders perverse interpretations of Jesus’ teaching and results in ‘other gospels.’ Jesus as our lens shows us that the command of God is to believe His Son. And that Christ is our life.
“Once we gain a better understanding of the gospel under the New Covenant, we’ll be able to look at the Scriptures for the enjoyment of it. As we begin to see the big picture of what God did on our behalf, those pages will become nothing but good news. It is profitable for us, and will teach by correcting our wrong thinking about the gospel. It will train us in God’s righteousness, not our own.” (2)
If you are looking for law in the new testament, you will not find it. This is because Christ has become our life. In Him we are one with God, which means we are joined to the law of the spirit of life – which is not words on stone, but your incorporation into the Communion of the triune God.
(1) Kapler, Michael C.. Clash Of The Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee (Kindle Locations 207-208). Kindle Edition
(2) Kapler, Michael C. Ibid. (Kindle Locations 228-231). Kindle Edition.