As a boy my mind had become full of the idea that we are naturally evil - probably from the books that were current in our culture - although notions of original sin and its hold on the person were certainly not restricted to our denomination.
Christians and others had been relieved when Oliver Cromwell's’ Commonwealth came to an end. Dourness had been a virtue at least on the surface. There’s a certain joylessness and tendency to ‘trivial pursuit’ in puritanical modes of thought. You can see it in Islam too. Historian Manning Clark wrote of the ‘life-denying’ nature of puritan influenced religion.
Let’s be clear. If we love life we will not be afraid of the truth.
Much later in life I was to read an enlightened book by a catholic author entitled “Original Blessing.” It emphasised the original goodness of humans and the creation. As well as this I observed that many people who were not religious at all, seemed blessed with joyful lives. They were good people and did not have the hang-ups that some of the religious mendicants had. Why? I suspect because God is incarnated in all, whether or not the human bearer of the presence recognises it.
When we recognise Jesus and agree with the Him; agree that we have been received into His life we do have an advantage. We have entered a realm where life is increasing, where our spirit and soul are increasingly alive and living in a flow of life that is personal and spirited. Life well-lived in the body is always lived in the Spirit! The Spirit of Christ in us and of our Father and Holy Spirit makes us an expression of life that ignites all we touch with spirit and life.
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV.
This is the wonder of the incarnation and why we must live in it rather than in externalities, pragmatism and the law. The things we do and make become ignited with the spirit and life of God. Unless we live from this mindset, even with the anointing and the gifts we have not done anything more than given a new coat of paint to an old covenant truck.
WOMB OF LIFE
The notion of original sin is misguided because our life comes from the womb of the trinity. Life did not start from the bowels of original sin. We emerged from original life and had our being in this LIFE THAT WE CALL THE TRINITY. In Adam we became separated from this life that was ours. We attempted to ‘make our way’ in independence and antipathy to God. Deluded to think we must add something, seduced into thinking we were ‘not enough’ we fell into the delusion of the separated life: The very nature of the fall.
But God drew us back into Himself and into the Family that is our home: The trinity.
Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV.
Loving Jesus is obeying Him by living in the teaching of Jesus and the apostles.
In Jesus the fall has been undone and we are once again encompassed in our roots: The Family of God. We have been placed where we belong and can enjoy the reality of this belonging if we agree that we belong. Repentance in this guise takes place as we renounce separation and the use of religion to undo the separation that no longer exists - and opt for the union with God that is ours as a result of the cross and the incarnation.
Religion based on separation already annulled is the effect of another lie from the father of lies. A lie derived from the initial lie – that God has not done enough and that you are not enough – so you manufacture ‘godliness’ by taking an initiative yourself. But you have oneness with God. This is hour inheritance.
Clinging to the law, denying the incarnation, ignoring the old covenant, living in the lie of separation is to live in the great darkness when you could be choosing Light.
We can live in separation because we harbour resentment against God or because we have been taught separation through bad theology. Or because we know that if we live in the new covenant our denomination would dissolve like a snow flake on a summer’s day. Some assume separation because they have never grasped the meaning of the cross.
SEIZE YOUR TREASURE
‘Everyone belongs’ in principle. We just need to believe it. We have been forgiven, washed and made holy as God is holy. The Hebrew temple with its rooms, compartments and separation is no more because today there is no separation, no compartmentalised time or space: Just union with God.
ONENESS IS YOURS
In saying that He was ‘the way, the truth and the life’ Jesus was telling us that in Him we are drawn into personal fellowship with each member of the trinity. He is telling is that separation from God is finished. His cry on the cross, ‘It is finished!’ is the declaration that Adam and Moses are undone and we are included not only in the fellowship of the triune God but in the fellowship of creation. There is a theory of everything and it has a name: Jesus Christ the living word and logos.
‘For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together’ Col 1.16,17 NIV.
The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. They are in Jesus. Not in anything else. Neither in the knowledge of good and evil or in Moses stop-gap version of the law are we in THE WHOLE. We are in the parts, living in confusion trying to make sense of that which God clarified at the cross and the resurrection of Jesus – which was the resurrection of you.
WHOLENESS AND HOLINESS
In Jesus you belong. In Him you are whole and being drawn relentlessly into the belonging that is yours as a son and as one who is an agent of God’s life in the new realm of togetherness that is called the New Creation.
‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NLT. In Jesus this togetherness is a fact. It becomes real as you embrace the belonging that is already yours in the your new covenant life. You are surrounded by God. God is in you. You live in a divine fellowship. Richard Rohr writes,
“What the mystics helped me understand became key for me: let go of starting with the One and then by some impossible sleight-of-hand, some legerdemain, trying to make God into Three. No. Start with the Three and know that this is the only nature of the One. Start with the mystery of relationship and relatedness; this is where the power is! It’s exactly what the atomic scientists and astrophysicists are telling us today.” (1)
The mystery of God and relatedness is the essence of God and the nature of you in Christ. Step into what you have and your life will be a dance rather than a duty.
(1) Rohr, Richard. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your transformation (Kindle Locations 1129-1134). SPCK. Kindle Edition.