GRACE IS RADICAL AND GRACE IS GOD
Gregory Boyd observes that “The three manifestations of the realm of death and judgment in the Genesis narrative were that
1. Adam and Eve fell into a life of performing and hiding,
2. They deflected responsibility by blaming others, and
3. They were banished from the garden… These “Three manifestations of death are in the process of being reversed in the collective body of those who receive and walk in this mercy.”
The post-cross age is not a continuation of the law with Jesus’ help. It’s Christ our life. We are talking Christ come in our flesh and we means INCARNATION of the trinity in us.
REALIZE – SEE – KNOW – COMPREHEND – BE SONS
Jesus declared that we need to realise that a change had taken place in the realm of our relationship to God as a result of His achieved at-one-ment. This change was not only that we had been forgiven. The change that was that we had been made one with God because God has become incarnated into our being and that we have been placed in the Communion that is God in the person of Jesus Christ. ‘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 is the day that we realise that our incarnated life is our life in oneness with God. It’s a life of meta-rest in which our being, commonly called our heart, knows that it need not do anything to prove allegiance to God or strain itself to earn acceptance with God. It’s human rest for human restlessness.
PERFORMING AND HIDING
The law naturally enough produces legalism – a coping strategy designed to convince ourselves that we measure up. It’s a slight of hand however as it is never consistent, mostly contradictory and produces the kind of threadbare covering that if it were clothes, people would think you were semi-nude. It’s also self-serving and biased towards denominationally defined holiness and often legalities that require little holiness of substance and much ‘holiness’ of demarcation and identity.
DEFLECTING RESPONSIBILITY AND BLAMING OTHERS
If we are obsessed with making ourselves look good, the easy way out is to make others look bad or defective in some way. Blame shifting is a well-used strategy to hide mistakes or incompetence. ‘Gaslighting’ is embedded in some legalistic Christian cultures. Particularly where one is not as capable as one needs to be because the latent reason for being chosen to lead is that one is not perceptive and intelligent enough to see through the falsehoods on which the corporate culture is based. There are church cultures that know nothing of knowing truth in the Spirit which means they must operate entirely on pragmatism and gossip.
BANISHED FROM THE GARDEN
Should we distort the gospel of Christ to lead to the law instead of lead people out of the law, we separate ourselves from the spirit and life that is Christ, dull our spiritual eye-sight and remove ourselves from the garden in which Jesus is the Vine and we are the expression of His life as us. Spiritual people do not live in the law. Christ is their life and because of this they are an expression of the triune God. This spirituality. The other stuff is religion.
GOSPEL OF JESUS AND THE APOSTLES
By adopting a non-subverted gospel – a full gospel in which Christ is our life, we enter the realm of peace, contentment and creativity that belongs to those who are creative because they are the new creation and they are alive. It’s no trouble at all as an old covenant minister to present a gospel with almost no substance – drops of water instead or rivers and we unaware that we are minsters of something and nothing.
Boyd concludes, “The church is the body of those who have said yes to this mercy and are thus called to live in the light of God’s mercy within the curse. As with Adam and Eve, whom God tenderly clothed to conceal their nakedness, we too are called to proclaim that God’s love “covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
“God tenderly clothes us in our nakedness, our vulnerability to judgment, and our shameful depravity. In his mercy, the all-holy God works with us. When we fail in his plan A, he tenderly works with us on a plan B, and then a plan C, and then a plan D. For most of us, he’s gone through the entire alphabet many times! “The steadfast love of the L ORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end” (Lam. 3:22).
When Christ is our life, His life is our life and we are seen as Him. At the same time we are moved from the stress of under-performance and imbued with His freedom to be a multiplier of life to the full.