Sound doctrine is not the assumptions we reach by assembling a line of scriptures. It’s the result of what Christ has done in human history. Right doctrine is important because it determines if what we believe is real or something we made up.
In his book, ‘Everything Belongs,’ Richard Rohr declares the accomplishment of God in Jesus. The result of the divine enterprise of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is ‘Everything Belongs.’ None need earn belonging. ‘Belonging is a given for the non-believer and the Believer. Towards the non-believer our mission is to be apostolic messengers of the life Jesus has gifted all - to invite people to embrace what is theirs. Life is there for all but it must be participated in.
To the Believer, our ministry is to establish and root all in the real Christ and the genuine gospel of Jesus and the apostles. We are no more in Christ with another gospel than Adam was in God after being seduced by Satan’s alternative reality.
It's an impossibility to be one with God through the law. It’s effect is separation because. Separation because the law is a foreign object. An abstraction from the knowledge of good and evil. Anything sourced in Adam’s tree is abstract. It’s never alive because it’s not a tree of life.
We can live in a studious aversion to the truth – the same kind of denial of the climate change denier only more serious because it shrivels spiritual life and consigns it to a perpetual drought. Some dedicate the best years of their life to propping up un-gospels by hiding in self-generated fictions that have no basis in God’s actions and even less in scripture.
The key to ‘belonging realized’ is to personally eat and live from the Bread of Life. This is how we become part of the one loaf and the One Loaf becomes part of us. It’s demonstrated in the Lord’s Table. Jesus gave us this sacrament to demonstrate what is ours in God and because of the possibility of people not living in what is theirs. Thus He says ‘Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you.’ Living from the law is not eating His being. It is a re-visiting of the lie.
Ministry to Believers involves protecting what is already ours and leading people into the fullness of their inheritance - which in most cases is more extravagantly radical than we realize.
Today a lucky man found a nugget of gold near, Ballarat. The gold had been there for thousands of years. But it did not belong to the man until he found and possessed it. What we possess and call our own determines whether we are wheat or tares.
Your fortune in the natural is not effectively yours unless you have possessed it and are utilizing it. An unclaimed million dollar prize is useless until claimed. Christian community - belonging in the Body is ours - when we live in the union with God that is ours. ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. This belonging is ours when we realize it and believe it. But not ours should we invent a gospel and a theology that negates it. You can un-believe your way out of things just as you can believe your way into them! We create our own reality, which is why we need to live in the reality created for us by God in Jesus Christ. There is great advantage in believing what God believes and living from His Gospel rather than one we have made up ourselves.
‘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’ Ephesians 1.10 NLT. Jesus undoes fragmented times, fragmented places and fragmented people and draws them into Himself - into the life of God which is His Kingdom of fellowship, joy and well-being.
Christian belonging results from a lived in belonging in Jesus – lived in from the knowledge that we have been made one with God and that each of us possess the fellowship with each member of the trinity that they enjoy with each other. This is massive. It turns many of us from diligent day-laborers living in scarcity to sons of God equipped with the comfort of infinite fellowship with God and each other. What does Christ come in the flesh really mean? It’s not just miracles and signs. It’s a new creation. Stephen Crosby puts it this way,
COMMUNITY OF THE SAINTS
“Christian community ... is not an extra religious layer on social life. The church is not a club for religious people. The church is a new way of living together before God, a new way of being human together. What Jesus and the apostles proclaimed was not a new ideology or a new religion, in our attenuated modern sense. What they proclaimed was salvation, and that meant a new human world, a new social and political reality ...
Conversion thus means turning from one way of life, one culture to another ... it is the beginning of a re-socialization ... In the New Testament we do not find an essentially private gospel being applied to the public sphere, as if ... it were a second story built on a private ground floor. The gospel IS the announcement of the Father's formation, through His Son and the Spirit, of a new city-the city of God.”
This city of God is the realization of the union with God that is ours in Jesus. It is living in what is - what He had made to be fact - and repenting of self-generated fictions. Christ is not contained in some compartmentalized ‘holy realm.’ He is in you, in us, in society and in the world of plants and animals. Christ is all and in all.