“If we master the content of the Scripture and have no savor or aroma of Christ, we are like a man holding a legitimate ticket, but who has missed his boat. It doesn’t matter how factual your ticket is, how everything on that ticket is true, how well you can explain the ticket, and defend its veracity. It exists to serve a purpose and you have missed it.” (1) Why? Why might we have missed it? Because God has moved us from the knowledge of good and evil to a life in Himself. The boat is that we are being carried along in God. We have been positioned in God. We are in fellowship with the trinity.
But having the savor of Christ is not necessarily doing ‘Christian things.’ The aroma of Christ comes from our being the living expression of Jesus. In Him we grow into our original design and head relentlessly towards the realisation of our sonship. We are an alpha and omega in Christ because He is our life. This is not beyond us. Not a new ‘work.’ It occurs because we say to Jesus, ‘Lord, be my life.’
Life in the Spirit is not life in the gifts. Life in the Spirit means that as a result of the cross and in the mediating power of the Spirit, Christ’s life is your life. This union with God – now ours - is the soil of the gifts. The gifts grow out of this union as do we. Life in the Spirit is shorthand for life in the new covenant. But even then, the new covenant life is not the delineation of a doctrine. It is Christ’s life as yours and your life in fellowship with the trinity.
EASTER EVERY DAY
You can have an Easter life every day. While Easter affords us a reminder of the truth that we have been reborn in Jesus - rebirth lives in you because the resurrected Jesus is in you. Because the presence of God is interwoven with your person, you yourself become an Easter life. You live in constant renewal. Your influence is one of freshness. You are not tied to that which is old or new. You are one with EVERYTHING THAT IS ALIVE.
The new covenant is Adam undone. It is our Adamic separation undone. All that flowed from him is abolished and all things are made new in Christ. The new covenant is also Moses and His laws surpassed. The new covenant is an exchange of the letter that brought death for the Spirit Life that is the person of Christ in you.
In the new covenant we are not an expression of the law or even the law exemplified. Jesus as Jesus was the expression of His Father in the flesh. So, by the Spirit are we the expression of Jesus. We are Jesus Christ come in our flesh. The new covenant is relationship. It is incarnation realised in you and the church. This is life in the Spirit. Now we are one with the vine. We are the branches and fruit. Our works are alive with spirit and life and our gifts are rooted where they belong - in the trinity that is God.
Stephen Crosby writes, “I have .. heard some evangelicals say that we are saved by grace, but that we need the law to keep us walking in obedience. There is so much confusion and mixture on this topic. Paul said it plainly. The old covenant, and everything about it, is annulled, abolished.” (2)
The revisionist gospel of the law is a puerile, yet effectively an attempt to undo the cross, deny the incarnation and have people living from words and positions – the letter – instead of in God.
When we live in what God has done, we are living in the Spirit of Christ and we are spirit and life in person. We are alive in the Spirit not because we have done a contract or carried out a transaction but because Christ is in us and has infused us with His being.
Obedience is better than sacrifice - especially when our sacrifice is our misguided attachment to the law and performance. Obedience to what God did in the cross and the Spirit means you have become the expression of Christ. All of us have. This is the church Jesus builds and the true expression of His Body.