It isn’t uncommon for people to believe two contradictory things at once. They will say ‘We are saved by grace’ and then add a whole lot of things they think they are supposed to do. We are saved by grace when Christ is our life. Not saved by grace when we are our life.
‘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. This presents the possibility of living a Christianity that is Christless. Which leaves us with an ideology.
MOSES AND JESUS
To attach oneself to one commandment or all of the Ten, to live from moralism or to live from the more generalised culture of religion is to live from the law – or more specifically from the knowledge of good and evil. This places us in the mind of Adam when we could be the possessors of the mind of Christ.
If you have been socialised into legalism because those who taught you are the ones from whom you absorbed your ideas of self and god - you may well think of the law as holy and conformity to it as holiness. Living from a contract between God and yourself in which you ‘do’ in order to ‘get’ grace (which is no grace at all) will seem normal and what you think of as religion. But it is not the Kingdom Jesus began and it is not holiness.
‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NLT. This is the now and the not yet of our inheritance in Christ.
UNION AND COMMUNION
Holiness is the relationship of joy and oneness that exists between the members of the trinity and the trinity and you. Holiness is relationship which is why the aim of Jesus is to bring all things together in Himself. This is the law of the spirit of life that pertained before the fall and it is the fabric of the Kingdom following Jesus resurrection. Stephen Morrison is right when he urges that,
“Holiness is not a legal ledger that gets balanced by good or bad deeds. Holiness is the essence of God’s beauty! This legalization of God’s holiness is at root of the problem behind distorted] Gospel[s]. It makes the greatest problem and solution a legal problem and solution rather than a relational one … It turns the purpose of the atonement away from our adoption and towards an abstractly legal conclusion.” (1)
Law-bound religion dries up our being, defaces God, debilitates our spirit and causes unbelievers to revile God. God commands us to be holy because He is holy. In the law this is an impossibility. When Christ is our life it is our reality because by Christ we have been drawn into the life and companionship of the trinity.
The incarnation – you in Christ and Christ in you is the prime truth of the new testament age. Any teaching that holds the law as the key issue of salvation is sadly mistaken. This idea did not come from God and is really an emanation of the anti-christ spirit. As Jesus says in John,
‘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.
As commandment keepers we are neither whole or holy. We are not Godly because we are the local version of Mother Theresa. We are Godly because we are part of God. Because Christ is our life and He is us.
(1) Morrison, S. D.. We Belong: Trinitarian Good News (pp. 119-120). Beloved Publishing. Kindle Edition.