NO LIMITATION IN CHRIST OUR LIFE
The Kingdom of God does not happen in a religious cocoon. Neither is the Kingdom of God an entity in which the religious cocoon expands into the world. The new creation kingdom of God is God incarnated in you and through you into Every Day Life. The Kingdom of God is the life of God expressed by you in you, in marriage, family and the world.
The Kingdom of God is holistic wholeness as Christ our life.
Religion is an attempt to promote ourselves in the eyes of self and God by creating compartments of ‘god and not god.’ This is the culture and epistemology of the knowledge of good and evil, the lore of Adam and the old covenant regime of Moses. But these manoeuvres separate us theoretically and practically from God by using the law which was given by God. God steps into us and our realm in Jesus Christ, joining us to God, to ourselves, other people and the creation.
A BITTY LIFE
As Christians we can live a dichotomised life, thinking to ourselves that Christianity is about church and worship and holding the line against bad morality. We may have embraced the notion of sacred and secular even though this demarcation ceased at the cross when Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’ and the curtain that that enclosed the Most Holy Place was ripped down the middle.
There is no sacred and secular in the Kingdom of God. If there is the kingdom is not a kingdom and Christ is not sovereign. But He is. All things are under His Feet and Christ is all and in all. The resurrection marked the end of a reality split in two by the knowledge of good and evil – an interpretive frame that was a function of Adamic separation from God.
When we clutch this frame to ourselves we immunise ourselves from oneness with Christ. Law-mongering not only inflames our propensity to sin. It nurtures us in promoting self-made versions of righteousness that suffocate the real righteousness we could have had in Christ. Of course we get more than righteousness in Christ. We get unlimited life welling up into a liberated us.
CHRIST BASED GRACE
Molnar quoting Torrance observes that ‘The cross of Christ’ is an ‘interruption of the ethical order of the fallen world’ and sets ‘our life on the wholly new basis of grace’. This is why all forms of self-justiﬁcation are so horrible.” It’s horrible and threadbare. This is why Christ our life is a holistic garment and the law is a parody of holiness and wholeness.(1) Law keeping is an attempt at self-made grace.
ENFOLDED IN GOD BY GOD
We are not separated from God now. We are included because the triune God has reached out in Jesus Christ to include us in the Holy. Family. God’s presence in the world is mediated through the Christ by the Spirit and the result is the Spirit of Sonship indwelling the Believer. When Christ is our life it is we who mediated the regenerative life of Jesus to our surroundings.
PUGNY LAW-BASED LIFE
Baxter Kruger observes, “I had a carpenter working on my house not long ago. He was a Christian, and I asked him if he ever thought about how Jesus Christ relates to his carpentry. He said, “No, not really. I guess Jesus makes me an honest carpenter.”
The minute he said that, I thought to myself, Is that it? Is that all we have to say to the carpenters of the world, the engineers, the designers, the artists? Is that all we have to say to the doctors and nurses and teachers of the world, the cooks and fishermen and janitors? Jesus will make you honest? He can save you and get you into heaven when you die, and in the meantime he will make you honest? Is honesty the extent of the relationship between Jesus Christ and human beings? Is the influence of Jesus Christ upon human beings and what they do, day in and day out with their lives, reducible to mere morality? Is that all that we have to say?
LIFE TO THE FULL
Grace described in terms of the law is a parody of your inheritance of Christ your life.
‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ John 10.10 NIV.
Righteousness and morality are a very narrow view of the kingdom of God. So are the rites of religious observance. Jesus never announced Himself as the purveyor of morality or religion. He presented Himself as the Multiplier of life without limit. When Jesus is our life we receive His life, His righteousness, His belonging in the trinity and His love of life. Every form of robbed life starts to be restored and we are progressively set free from religion and every variety of unlife that presents itself as a substitute for Jesus.
We may not be life-givers simply because we have a ministry or do a mission program. Our agency is dulled in any aspect of the law.
We can join Jesus in His passion for life and irrigate dried people and barren institutions with the living presence that is ours as a result of the incarnation. Then again we can make idols from religious substitutes and continue in a disguised form of the knowledge of good and evil in the law. And as a result exist as minsters of limited life and scarcely disguised death – when as new covenant Believers we could be ministers of life without limit.
(1) Paul D. Molnar (2015). Thomas F. Torrance and the problem of universalism. Scottish Journal of Theology, 68, pp 164-186 doi: 10.1017/S0036930615000034