GOSPELS OF SUBSTANCE AND LIFE
The Gospel of the Kingdom is both narrow and wide. It is simple and universal, yet few there are that find it – because it is as simple as Christ our life, meaning Christ come in our flesh. We may receive droplets of life from ‘nearly gospels’ or ‘almost gospels’* but we get rivers of life from this gospel of the Kingdom that is Christ our life.
CHRIST IS THE GOSPEL
Christ helping us be a moral person is not His Gospel. Neither is Christ helping us be a ‘good Christian.’ Our Gospel which is Paul’s John and Jesus’ Gospel is Christ come in our flesh.
NOT QUITE RIGHT
Christianity whose aim is only to help us be a better moral person is not the Gospel of the Kingdom. Christ our life is this Gospel.
We can present each week a piece of good morality as the basis of a sermon or present a slice of the knowledge of good and evil pizza. A slice of religion is not spirit and life.
CHRIST THE DOOR
‘Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber’ John 10.1 NIV.
Robbers can be persons of gospels that are no gospel at all.
‘I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ’ Gal 1.6,7 NIV.
Good intentions and selected fruits from the tree of knowledge are not igniters of the Kingdom of God – which is why Jesus said, ‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV. Jesus spoke spirit and life because He was one with His Father. There was a flow of divine life that was the effect of His Oneness with Father.
The Lord’s Table is not servings of the knowledge of good and evil. It’s a celebration of the truth that CHRIST HIMSELF BECOMES US. It’s not about mourning Christ’s cross. Eating bread and drinking wine - What better illustration of new testament living – Christ our life.
We can minister life when we are this oneness with God. No matter in what way we minister, whether it be teaching or feeding the poor our efforts will be a stream of spirit and life when Christ is our life. Seldom if the law and the letter is our life.
PIECES OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL
We can do better than dish up pieces of religious culture or a fiery dissertation on moralism. We can be life as we speak Christ our life into people and situations.
Religion creates the illusion of godliness. The Dunning-Kruger effect describes a condition where people of low ability over-estimate their skill. You may have observed this well before you ever heard it described as the Dunning-Kruger effect. Such people can be encountered on church boards, as principals of schools or at the annual Christmas party with relatives. Ever talking and seldom listening they can be heard holding forth whenever one enters the building. They must keep the thoughts of others at bay to protect the illusion of their own intelligence and competence.
These people imagine themselves able when they are not up to scratch. In the spiritual sphere this may be seen in institutions who dare not employ able and intelligent people who would see through the lie of the prevailing culture. Or it can be seen when the Holy Spirit has left the building, and no one notices. Or in teaching that is something and nothing because it is a piece of religion. Religious it may be but as Jesus said, ‘The flesh counts for nothing.’ Because it does not exude spirit and life. When Christ is not our life, and law and religion is - it never will be alive. But it can be the means f dead folks talking.
*Careers and a life work can be made out of ‘almost gospels.’