ONE HUSBAND PEOPLE
If there is a lesson in recent times it is not that the key issue is ‘the emerging church,’ the appearance of house churches, Holy Spirit and the gifts or the advance of moralism. The issue is will we live in the incarnation in which Christ is our life or will we continue in the assorted lies in which we are our life with degrees of Jesus’ help.
Oneness with Christ is on offer and union with God is our inheritance when we see ourselves as sons of God and Kingdom people. People as the expression of Jesus Christ is the one living way of church rejuvenation and social transformation.
There are many solutions to the ‘fixing’ of society. The humanistic ones often proposed in lectures are so complex and so detailed that no one could ever do them – which is not surprising because they are a secular form of legalism and an expression of ‘salvation’ by means of the knowledge of good and evil. When Christianity is a variation of this with a Jesus garnish, it has no more chance of being good news for society than any other of the micro and macro legalisms of the academic crowd.
If the incarnation is the key blessing of the new testament era, identity is the key issue for us and for all. It always has been. Initially Satan attacked the identity of our Father and of Adam and Eve implying that there was some dissimulation in God and some lack in their sonship.
Satan did the same with Jesus, homing in with, ‘Are you really the son of God?’ This was the attack Satan mounted throughout Jesus’ ministry through religionists and even through His friends. It’s the attack that he uses against all of us in a bid to shift the locus of who we are from the self, located in God, to the self that is constructed from anything that is not Jesus Christ.
We may continue as an unrealised self – a false self when our Christianity is no more than a belief system or we may allow ourselves to be born again by dying to this false self in Christ and rising to our true self in Christ. But this is to live Christ our life instead of religion our life.
As a perceptive person with a modicum of spiritual discernment, you can see that to place the self within layers of religion, with Christ on the edges is to insulate oneself from oneself and from Christ. Observation reveals that such people do not know themselves because they do not know Christ – who can only be known as He is when He is our life. As ministers of the old covenant such ministers do not minister life without limit but they are adept at ministering religion.
A common quest of the legalist is to construct a self, made from additions to Christ. This is as subtle but just as effective in building a false self. It makes a ‘you’ that is not the ‘real you,’ but a you made from externalities that seem to be a supplement the self. But they actually detract from the ‘I AM’ that could have been us, if we had made our ‘I AM’ from Christ our life.
In the law we are separated from God in our minds. The compartmentalised, separated life of the law and the temple compartments finished at the cross with the ripping of the curtain and easy access to the Most Holy Place of oneness with very God achieved by Jesus’ atonement and the resulting incarnation of the trinity in us.
If you have a Christianity that is based on the law, you did not get it from God.
Jack was not a religious man. He had a vision of Jesus while on the operating table. Jesus asked Jack what he had accomplished in life. Jack began to reiterate his educational achievements, he cited his position in the company and mentioned the books he had written and the charitable enterprises he had promoted. Jesus smiled and them laughed outright. ‘No, no’ He said. ‘How have you been going at being you.’ Jack recovered and began a new life. Because in company with Jesus he saw clearly what really matters. What happened to Jack was that he got born again and began to grow out of his false self into his real self – a self that was hidden in Christ, yet revealed in the glory of who Jack was born to be and redeemed to become.
A writer in The Age was exploring the pressure on young men to establish an identity through sexual conquests. She cited the more secure kind of man whose identity arose from a decent appreciation of who he was as a person. She writes, “He told me that he had noticed how important it seemed for other men to define themselves through their sexual conquests, to talk about "banging chicks" and to relentlessly pursue sex as a means of asserting their masculinity. He had largely managed to avoid this because he had “been raised to have really strong self-esteem”. I thought this was a fascinating insight, because his definition of self-esteem was different from the normal ways such a thing appears to be coded. Self-esteem, to him, seemed more to do with having a strong moral code and a sense of identity as a human rather than anything we generally associate with masculine stereotypes of strength.”
OTHER IDENTITY ADD-ONS
I knew some folks who had an addiction to the right clothes from the right shops, the right prestige cars, the right professions, the right hobnobbing with people from whom they imagined they could siphon off some identity. We will seek to build an identity if we don’t have one.
They saw these additions as ‘adding to their self-worth.’ But the paradox of the quest was that the quest was pursued because they had little natural and embedded identity that was their own. They had not entered the liberty of being themselves.
MAKING OUR OWN POT
John called this quest to be the self-made person, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. He was not meaning wicked people. Just people whose real self never came into its glory because it was suffocated by an addiction to externalities.
The pure in heart not only see God. They see and know themselves. The water of life is the undiluted Jesus. The Lord once showed me a series of faucets on a raised platform. Out of one flowed pure and living water. From another flowed beer and water. Out of another flowed hydrochloric acid mixed with water. Only one liquid brought health and well-being. Only the pure water provides people with their real identity. The other not only robs the drinkers of their real identity but cripples their bodies and souls.
Absorbed, hidden and undone in Christ, we will become who we are as daughters and sons. Jesus asks for our hearts, our entire self and an undiluted, totally committed following of His person. But some hold back from this because they have a divided loyalty. Their identity is an alloy made from their sense of belonging located in ‘father, mother and significant other.’ Their identity comes from their ‘other gospel and Jesus and their allegiance to ‘another husband.’
The tragedy is that they ‘not only not worthy of me’ but they are not worthy of themselves. Not worthy of their real identity because they will not become who they are: A son of God in spirit and in truth. We are all sons of God notionally. We are sons of God in spirit and in truth when Christ is our life and we and Father are one.