Athanasius wrote, “Christ was made man that we might be made God.” He did not mean that we became deities. He meant that we became sons/daughters of God in spirit and in truth. The words spirit and in truth mean in actuality and in substance. Quite the opposite to wishful thinking, fantasy and false piety.
How do we get to be sons/daughters of God. We do by agreeing with Christ that He is our life. What is the sign and the commemoration that Christ is our life. This is the Lord’s Table. Holiness is ours not via externalities. Holiness is ours as Christ becomes us.
A sincere person, anxious to have more of God perceived that there was something about the Lord’s Table, the bread and the wine that was life-giving. So he began eating the symbols twice daily. But the eating of Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood is a sign of what is – of the reality in which we live in the new testament age. Christ and not only Jesus but the trinity have been woven into our being. The difference between putting faith in a rite and the simple living of its reality – the incarnation of God in us – is the difference between living in religion and living in God. God is in you. You and Father are one. Rejoice and step into it.
If you liked you could make a religion or a piece of it out of the celebration of the Lord’s Table. Or you could make bit of religion out the rest and piece that is yours in Christ by re-inventing Sabbath keeping. But this is to miss the point. Christ Himself is our reconciliation, our rest, peace and the transformation of our person. Jesus is our Sabbath and Jesus is the sustenance that is our life. We are the expression of His person.
Religion tells us that we gain intimacy with Christ by performing a piece of religion. Jesus tells us that we have oneness with Himself by eating Him as a way of life – which is to say living in the incarnation that He has provided.
A racist cartoon of Serena Williams appeared in the Herald-Sun. The ugly and exaggerated depiction was unmistakably her – a parody meant to strip her of humanity and load her with condemnation.
PARODIES BENIGN AND UGLY
The Enemy succeeded in seeding a parody of God into human hearts. Such parodies appeared in the grotesque idols and in the generally austere impression of our Father that still claims a place as ‘good religion’ in some quarters to this day. One of these parodies is that God is represented by the law – which some see as the Ten Commandments and others see as ‘Christian Behaviours.’ A conference leader told us once that the law in the new testament is the teachings of Jesus in the NT scriptures. He was wrong about that.
HE BECOMES YOU
The law in the new testament has nothing to do with words on stone and little to do with an agenda. Incarnation is the trinity in you in the post cross age. The law of the Spirit of life which is not an abstraction or a list but the communion of the trinity manifest in you in the post cross age as life in the Spirit. The righteousness that is the wholeness of life in Christ is infinite. This infinite grace is Christ expressed as you.
The Enemy has continually sought by false narrative and subtle distortions to warp our conception of God. This has continued into the new testament age with the law, performance and religion being suggested as the lens through which God is known – rather than the lens of Jesus Christ revealing our Father to humanity. To see Jesus is to see our Father declared Jesus. Jesus is known directly from encounter with Himself as are Holy Spirit and our Father. They live in us and are accessible to all who would know the truth that sets them free.
Unsurprisingly the ploy of the Enemy has been to seed distorted christs and perverted gospels into our imagination as a ploy to inveigle sincere but misguided people into spending their lives as proponents of un-gospels and crippled lives.
Nevertheless God insists on penetrating our confusion and our darkness to draw us into Himself. He always has. Paul writes,
‘For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant’ Col 1.19-23 NIV.
Continuing in the faith of Jesus, of Paul and John is the key to escaping the prison of an alienated mind – a mindset that is distorted by the denial of what is accomplished by Christ and who we are since the cross. This is the gospel of our reconciliation and belonging in God.
“Reconciliation began when the Father saw that His children could not see His heart, and when the Son realized that we could not receive his Father’s love, and when the Spirit saw the joy of fellowship with the Father vanish from our lives. Reconciliation is about the Father sending His own Son into our darkness. It is about the Son identifying with us, seeing our god, feeling our fear, experiencing our brokenness.” (1) And achieving our reconciliation with God.
LIVE THE INCARNATION
There are times when what is required for the rejuvenation of the church is not Holy Spirit or the gifts but the relinquishing of our gospel in favour of the gospel of Jesus and the apostles.
You don’t have to keep close to Jesus. He is in you and with you. It’s less about receiving Jesus into your life and more about you agreeing that you have been received into His. You are not separated from God and not forced to earn intimacy through sinlessness and victory. You are one with God. You and Father are one. You have intimacy with the trinity and always will. Real faith is living in this fact despite pitfalls, rebellions, folly and relapse. The bottom line is that Jesus is your grace, your life, your faith and your relationship with God.
(1) Kruger, C. Baxter. Across All Worlds: Jesus Inside Our Darkness (Kindle Locations 772-775). Perichoresis, Inc. Kindle Edition.