THE FALL UNDONE
The essence of the fall was that human beings moved from union with God to separation and independence. They moved from sons in spirit and in truth to divorced sons who attempted to gain legitimacy from their own version of the knowledge of good and evil.
C. S. Lewis wrote a book entitled The Great Divorce about our divorce from God. Significantly the community known as the ‘saved church’ is the Bride of Christ. The Bride who comes from the side of Christ, the Last Adam in the same way that the First Eve came from the side of the first Adam.
In the law, which is a sub-section of the knowledge of good and evil culture, we attempt to gain credibility and legitimacy by doing good and avoiding evil. In the inheritance Jesus has given us, such deeds are the result of our union with God and never the means of achieving it. Righteousness is God in us, which is Christ our life. This is the difference between sons and workers.
It’s possible to invert the plan of salvation with aberrant gospels. A Christian I knew some years ago had a vision in which the members of a church community were shown standing under an inverted cross – a sign that they had undone the achievements of God in Christ and reverted to a pre-cross mentality, namely the law with Jesus’ help. So close and yet so far.
DEGREES OF BONDAGE
Some believers are overt adherents of the law in the same way that Jews live their lives from the Torah. Many Believers live from an agenda of morality that on the face of it, differs from the law but is in reality a new testament version of the same thing. Jesus’ declaration that He is both life and righteousness and Paul’s exposition as Christ our life superseding the law, is the starting point of our life in God. Incarnation is our life in God.
CHURCH OF THE REBORN
Our beginning to live as sons instead of slaves of doing is the start of our new birth. Our new birth is out of our false self in Adam, into our true self in Christ and in Father.
This does not mean that we do not do righteous things. We do. Because we are alive and graced to do them in the Spirit of Jesus who lives in us. Our life-giving life is the ‘branches’ that are the effect of our being one with His Vine. In Jesus we are rooted in the trinity. We are rooted in infinite life.
As far as life, righteousness and sonship are concerned the law is a furphy and an irrelevance. Sure one can make religion out of the law but not spirituality and never the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the community and culture of the sons/daughters of God. Keep in mind Paul’s statement, ‘If righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" It alerts us to the fact that a theology, a gospel and a life focussed on law/sin is futile and a vanity dressed up as religion. Sonship is ours in spirit and in truth when Christ is our life.
“Working from sin towards Christ is bad theology. Working from Christ towards sin, however more difficult it may be, is fundamentally the point. We don’t know how, but we know Who. Jesus Christ is the lamb slain from the foundations of the world, and if that’s true then sin is not, nor has it ever been, a problem for God. Sin, then, is the great non-problem problem.” (1)
OFFENCE OF THE CROSS
This may be difficult for the many who have been socialised in Christianity as a moral agenda. Christianity may be familiar to many as a religion. But Jesus did not leave us Christianity as a legacy. He did not leave us religion. He left us Himself incarnated as us. When Paul spoke of Christ our life he did so out of the truth that had been already expressed by Jesus, ‘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.
What is the how of this life? It is the who of Christ in you. ‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
(1) Morrison, S. D.. We Belong: Trinitarian Good News (p. 40). Beloved Publishing. Kindle Edition.