The Jesus Lens is the best thing that ever happened to the human race. In Jesus we not only see God as He is. We are made one with God as we are. This happened through the cross, the at-one-ment and the out-pouring of Holy Spirit. God is revealed as He is in Jesus and we are known as we are as we see ourselves in Jesus.
You can view yourself through the law or you can look in the Mirror of Jesus.
DOCTRINES OF DEMONS
If we are timid about the truth we will be confronted by the notion of ‘doctrines of demons.’ The Bible assures us that they are real and that this is the source of cunningly devised fables. John goes further and attributes any dilution of the fundamental foundation of Christ in us as anti-christ. Don’t ever leave any ‘other gospel’ uncontested.
The attempt to define god through the law is a gross perversion. The insinuation of the Enemy has always been to portray God as what He is not and to destroy our confidence in who we are as sons. This has not abated since the cross. The basic lies that precipitated our alienation from God have been maintained through the strategy of bad theology. Like extinguishing the knowledge of the new covenant and it privileges, supplanting the reality of the incarnation with a plethora of works and substituting the reality of Christ our life with religion as our life – which leaves us dead men walking and comatose women talking.
TO KNOW GOD A blatant counterfeit of God occurs through the notion that the law is the expression of God’s character – as though the law is somehow God and we are somehow godly if we do good works of various kinds. But Godliness is not about actions so much as about knowing God as He is and being joined with Him in our person. Interwoven with God we are Godly. Separated from God we are not but most certainly religious.
The perichoresis that is the trinity, that oneness of persons that is a union of being while each being fully themselves is the relationship we have with God. We are one with God, part of His being, yet full ourselves as sons and daughters of God. This is incarnation.
If the tares Jesus spoke of could be defined, we could settle on religion as an apt definition. A tare claims the reality but lacks the substance. What presents as sons and daughters of God are in fact sons of the evil one. Not necessarily evil people but adherents of the lies of the father of lies- the lie that we are one with God while in the separation of the law.
Tares are the most vigorous counterfeits of apostolic people.
Legalism, a fellow traveller of Arianism in its wider sense obliterates union with God. The law as a lens makes God as He is not – an abstraction. This version of ‘god’ is the poverty rendition of god; the god we live in when we live from a scarcity culture. This is the god of proof texts and positions, but not the God of substance in whom we are invited to live in the interwoveness that He has already accomplished. Baxter Kruger writes,
“If eternal life is knowing the Father, as Jesus teaches us (John 17:3), then eternal death is not knowing the Father, and sin is the cause of our not knowing. Sin has to do with being blind, with being so profoundly wrong-headed that it is impossible for us to know the Father.
The problem of sin and reconciliation is far larger than the issue of our being lawbreakers …The deepest problem of sin is that it makes us utterly incapable of knowing the Father. It afflicts us with such a dastardly wrong-headedness; we cannot know the Father’s heart. It makes us so blind; it is impossible for us to see the Father’s face. And without knowing the Father’s heart, we have no basis for real assurance or hope in our lives at all.” (1)
Communities of faith can be made out of wrong-headedness. It is this confident wrong-headedness that can fill us with smug determination to make a virtue of our blindness and make a god from our religion rather than enjoy a religion with a real God. In this kind of religion we assume separation from Jesus and our project is to overcome this distance by self-effort. So embedded in our thought is this separatist notion that we apply it to Jesus, talking of the need to ‘keep close to Jesus.’ Here we imply that we need yet another Saviour to assist us with the discipline of living our ‘close to Jesus life.’ Sadly we may do. But our Messiahs for the Messiah are rites and ceremonies, sacraments and observances, stances and attitudes that have no power in themselves, except to blur the face of God and leach from us the resurrection life that could have been ours if Christ had been our life.
(1) Kruger, C. Baxter. Across All Worlds: Jesus Inside Our Darkness (Kindle Locations 384-391). Perichoresis, Inc. Kindle Edition.