GET THE CORRECT BODY TO BE ALIVE
Revelatory teaching comes from the anointing under our new covenant union with God. Richard Rohr in his recent book writes.
LIE OF EXTERNALITIES
“Were trained to be joiners, believers, and loyalists more than servants of the mystery of God. Churchmen more than Gospel men. Conformity is not the same as love; joining does not imply an actual change of heart and mind. Few taught us how to be the Sympathy of God or Compassion for the World, and this experience has seemed true in varying degrees in every denomination I have worked with.”
A friend of mine accurately but perhaps ungenerously described his community as a denomination of ‘meeting goers.’ However all have access to a rich and personalised source of love, joy and community. Life in Father’s terms is known in terms of love - and love following the life of the trinity is about togetherness, communion, wholeness and joy. Baxster Kruger describes the quality of this life as follows.
“The doctrine of the Trinity means that relationship, that fellowship, that togetherness and sharing, that self-giving and other-centeredness are not afterthoughts with God, but the deepest truth about the being of God. The Father is not consumed with Himself; He loves the Son and the Spirit. And the Son is not riddled with narcissism; he loves his Father and the Spirit. And the Spirit is not preoccupied with himself and his own glory; the Spirit loves the Father and the Son. Giving, not taking; other-centeredness, not self-centeredness; sharing, not hoarding are what fire the rockets of God and lie at the very center of God’s existence as Father, Son and Spirit.”
In the post cross age, all of the above lives in you.
So we are not just talking righteousness, morality or conformity to precepts here. Our theme is the kind of union that is ours in the person of Jesus. Paul describes the body of death in His conflicted, dichotomised, law-based frustration that is our un-life in the knowledge of good and evil. Paul declares we are delivered from this dichotomy into oneness with God in Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ the oneness that is God enfolds us in His oneness.
‘What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!’ Rom 7.24,25 NIV.
There is no dualism in our life in God, no split life, no sacred and secular, no place where God is not. Not when Christ is your life and the knowledge of good and evil is not your life.
The risen Christ named religiosity as being neither hot nor cold, Jude called it ‘clouds without rain’ and Paul referred to it as a ‘form of godliness without power.’ They are talking about the scandal of life without life -the disease of religion whose other name is ‘this body of death’ – a corpse from which we have been delivered.
ARE YOU STILL IN THE FALL?
Paul’s statement about ‘forms’ is usually applied to the effects of cessationism’ as a belief, when clearly it is relevant to a life lived from the superficialities of the law as compared to Christ come in our flesh. In the Kingdom as in anywhere else we can reign with our clothes on or be an example of those taken down by swindlers as in the ‘kings new clothes’. Don’t be robbed of your inheritance.
All belong in God since the cross. We have been received and secured into His fellowship. We are invited to lay down our religiosities and ‘come’. In the Old Testament Isaiah prophesied this grace in the words, ‘Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost’ Isa 55.11.
So there is no quid pro quo. No contract. No ‘do this and live’. The deal is I have made you alive in my life so you can ‘be.’ Be what? Be alive to God, yourself and the world in Christ’s life. This is not about Adam or Moses reinvented. Or a Jesus sanctified way of doing religion. It’s Christ as us. This is His Gospel. Not some invention of ours. Not some ‘other gospel’ that is the fall re-visited.
Christ come in us is the means of restoring individuals, society and the earth. Incarnation is Christ come in our flesh. So it is not righteousness as an abstraction. Oneness with Christ results in the actions of sonship. As the manifestation of Christ in our flesh we become agents of the new creation. Or not. And just do church.
Paul writes to the Colossians, “And he is your life—you too will be revealed in all your glory with him” (3:4). Unless and until we can enjoy this, so much of what passes for Christianity will amount to little more than well-disguised narcissism and self-referential politics.” There are versions of Christianity that are about us, our supposed specialness, our identity and self-importance. Reject them because Jesus says of them ‘You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked Rev 3.17 NIV. If you are hindered by them repent of them. An astute person has written, ‘The prodigal son was never less than a son. He just missed out on the benefits of the sonship that had always been his.’
(1) Rohr, Richard. The Universal Christ (pp. 165-166). SPCK. Kindle Edition.
(2) Ibid (p. 167). SPCK. Kindle Edition.A