His Kingdom in you and the world

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A relational curiosity emerges when we consider that all who take the name of Christ, looking to Him for salvation , belong to the Body of Christ. The curious part is that we can belong to the Body of Christ, yet own a gospel that is not Christ’s Gospel or Paul’s or John’s, but ours. Reminds us of one of the first major heresies – the distorted doctrine of Arianism that denied that Jesus was fully God rather than one substance with God.
Complementary to this this was the heresy of Docetism that denied that Jesus was really a human being. Both heresies if believed would hollow out the efficacy of Christ’s life for ours as all heresies do. Paul implies that we can have a faith, yet live
as a dead man walking.
Particularly debilitating is the continuing heresy of legalism that establishes the law as an adjunct of Christ – a christ whose job under this pygmy gospel is to help people keep the law in ‘his strength.’
We hear a lot about ‘His strength’ in this aberration because holiness in this version of the gospel is a work of the flesh. It is a ‘work’ that is contra to the real holiness that is Christ as us – that would have been ours had we lived in the incarnation instead of the law. Our post cross life should not be some of law and some of Christ because our life since the cross is none of Adam and all of Christ.
It is fruitful to live out of the Gospel of Jesus, Paul and John rather than from some cultish variation.
‘Christ come in our flesh’ is the expression of Christ as John and Mary as well as Peter and Gretel. It may be argued with some justification that those beholden to the legalist heresy belong to the Body of Christ – even though Paul asserted that maintaining oneself in the law was to enclose oneself in this Body of Death.
Jesus alluded to the effect of distorted gospels within the body as Tares – weeds that look like wheat and weeds because they are the effect of uniting with a distorted gospel rather than a complete gospel. A tare does not have the same status in the Body as the Wheat.
Explaining the parable of the tares to the disciples, Jesus described those who were tares as sons of the evil one as compared to those who flourished in His Gospel as sons of God. The kind of sons we are is conditioned on our version of truth.
It is a grave ignorance to imagine that we are free to invent our own gospel and imagine that we are full members of the Body of Christ.
Thomas Torrance writes, “
I referred to the problem that results from the analytical tradition of thought when dichotomous ways of thinking arise which disrupt and distort the very things we seek to understand and explain in any field of human inquiry.
We isolate things from the matrix of natural relations to which they belong, abstracting their external pattern from the ground in which it is embedded and tearing their phenomenal surface from the objective frame which holds it together, thereby disintegrating them in the very way we handle them .. I pointed out the damaging effects of these ways of thinking upon our understanding of Christ and his Gospel
Grounded in the law this kind of epistemology is the fruit of the tree of knowledge that is innately contradictory and dichotomised – which is why Paul asserts that the ‘law is for sinners’ while Christ is for life.
Belonging to the Body and crafting our own gospel is a contradiction in terms – which Paul resolves by rightly describing an immersion in the culture of the law as ‘this body of death.’ All who believe in Jesus are included in His belonging. But not all believe His Gospel. They don’t believe it because they have not been taught and in some case have not been taught the true gospel because they have been immersed in the propaganda of a false gospel or because they have not been diligent enough about life to pursue life with the passion it deserves.