LIFE IN THE SPIRIT IS CHRIST OUR LIFE
It’s not true that signs, wonders and healings ended at the end of the apostolic age. It’s more true to suggest that these things ended with the burocratisation of the church. They happen today and I have witnessed them. Nevertheless, Jesus did not bequeath us a gospel of magic. Healings and gifts of the Spirit point to Jesus and work best when our message is Jesus and the reconciliation that is ours, since we have been drawn into His life by the atonement and incarnation.
The basic healing of the world occurred at the cross. In this event the ‘two were made one’ and the separation made by Adam was undone. The union with God enjoyed by Christ became ours. Any gospel of gifts and signs that is not built on this accomplished healing, is no gospel at all.
‘By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames’ 1 Cor 3.10-15 NIV.
Martin Davis invites us to notice that, “When the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, Peter preached about Jesus! Peter’s message was Jesus. Peter did not speak about the gifts of tongues, prophesy or healing; he spoke about Jesus. Jesus said that when the Spirit comes, he will “testify about me.” This is exactly what happened on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit inspired Peter to preach about Jesus! The Church has one message: Jesus! In the first verse of his “Gospel,” Mark writes: This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.―Mark 1:1. From the beginning of his “Gospel,” Mark makes it clear that his message is Jesus.” (1)
Some might say, ‘Don’t we already know this?’ If we are living in the law, we do not and have never experienced this union with God even though it is ours. This is why there is more to our life in God than being in the Body. And more than the healings and the gifts. A gospel of law leaves us in the separation of Adam and the compartmentalisation of Moses – both situations that have been negated in the inclusion and wholeness of being that is Christ our life.
“By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are “awakened” to faith in Jesus. The Spirit makes “real” in us what Jesus has done for us in his sacrificial life and death. In other words, the Spirit “illumines” (“brings light to”) our minds, so that we may believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. By the “awakening” power of the Spirit, we know that we belong to Jesus.” (2)
Life in the Spirit is infinitely more than life in the gifts. There were miracles before the cross. But God lived in no one. After the cross God became incarnated in ordinary folks, people who were not kings or prophets; people who believe that Christ is their life. A gift or two may come as a grace. The incarnation comes as a healing and a life.
(1) Davis, Martin M.. The Christian Doctrine of God. AsiAfrica Ministries, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
(2) (2) Ibid.