One might hope that the un-realised expectations of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the anointing and the gifts to a faith community, might prompt some reflection and self-examination of the foundations of our faith. Should we arrive at a cul-de-sac and the stasis of going nowhere we could examine our basic beliefs and enquire as to their validity. Are they what God believes? Is our gospel the gospel of Jesus and the apostles or is it no gospel at all?
It helps to be rooted in God rather than rooted in abstractions.
Paul writes ‘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. We might have dodgy gospels because of decay or we might have a crooked gospel because it has been subverted by crooked revelation.
It might be imagined if we have had our ideas of God and self, formed in a culture of law, that the main issue for Christianity is the law of God (seen as the law of Moses) and the keeping of it. This is so pronounced in some sectors of Christianity that this law – limited as it is to words - is taken to represent the character, and by extension the nature of God. Where ever it exists in dulls love and life and has a deadening influence in institutions imbued with this culture.
The attempt to define God by laws comes down to a bid to define god and godliness by words – either proof texts or fundamentalist positions. When we resort to a definition to support a belief we may have already lost the argument.
Any degree of legalism has the effect of reducing God to less than God and making God subordinate to abstract rules and therefore not in the real sense God at all.
TRINITY IS BASIC
The trinity assures us that the essence of God is both personal and communal and that life is defined as the life and the light that is God AS A STATE OF BEING. Thus when Jesus came among us as the life and the life of men and women He was the bearer of the nature of the trinity and not of something restricted to Himself as a person and certainly not as the representative of the law. ‘Christ in you’ means the trinity in you and with you.
CROSS NEGATES SEPARATION
Before Jesus and the cross the world lived in separation from God. Adam’s separation. This culture was the fruit of the tree of death. Live in an old covenant culture and we live in this realm of separation, denying to ourselves the reality of the incarnation and casting about for tonics like the Holy Spirit to bring ourselves to life.
But we are alive because we have been given union with God. Incarnation is the basis of spirit and life and the soil of the anointing.
As is emphasised in these posts Godliness is about being. It’s not about words on paper and abstractions. It would be if the knowledge of good and evil was still in place and its culture of sin and death was calling the shots but it is not.
We were made to live in God and now we do – if we choose to live in our inheritance rather than leaving it buried in the ground.
Genuine Godliness is God come in our flesh. First as the Christ in Palestine and then in all who believe; Christ come in your flesh. John warns that dilutions of this come from the anti-christ spirit.
REALITY IS CHRIST
Torrance observes that, “The Greek notion of logos (λόγος) was Christianised by being assimilated into the Old Testament notion of the Word of the Lord and the New Testament notion of the Word, who was with God and was God, become flesh in Jesus Christ. In contrast to the Greek idea of the logos as an abstract cosmological principle, it was distinctive of Christian theology, that the Logos inheres in the very being of God (ἐνούσιος λόγος) and is identical with the Person of the Son.” (1)
Today the logos [the Christ] inheres in the very being of you.
Obtusely legalistic Christian cultures are shaped by a Greek and Roman notion of the righteousness of God. Living communities of faith are shaped by Hebraic and apostolic concepts in which we are in God and God is in us.
It is an obsession with the letter - originating in paganism - that defines the lesser godliness of fundamentalism. Laws on stone and marks on paper are innately anti-life. Law constricted theology is a fruit of the tree of knowledge. But Christ your life flows from the tree of life that is the cross. But it’s source is the life that is the trinity.
The salvation of the world is not found in a moral program but in the person of Jesus Christ.
The bounty of Christ in you and Christ our life is that the life of the universe that emanates from God and is God transfuses you and us. By being part of God we are joined in a proper and life-giving manner to the life of the universe. We are drawn by Jesus into Himself which means to be drawn into God. Jesus draws all things into Himself, which means drawing all parts of the creation into the fellowship of the trinity. (1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 72). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition. CHRISTIANN CHURCHES UNITE TO SING BLESSING OVER AUSTRALIA.