THE FATHER OF LIES CAUSES ALLERGIES TO TRUTH
We hear today that many people reject truth because they have made up their own reality. My daughter and I were talking today. We agreed that we had noticed that good people often object to truth. I mean the truth of the Gospel of Jesus, Paul and John. People who have served Jesus all their lives can get quite upset when the Gospel of Jesus is described in terms as simple and as radical as it is.
There are reasons for this. Many Believers operate out of a degree of entitlement. Some live from an implicit contract that comes from their old covenant mindset of ‘Obey and Live.’ They do not realise that this covenant finished when Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’ and that a new covenant began which Paul described as Christ our life’ and which others have described in the words, ‘The vicarious humanity of Christ.’
Some Believers live from a less explicit contract that is a more subtle form of entitlement that they call ‘service.’ Human beings find it hard to let go of the idea that there is nothing we can do to validate our credentials to purchase oneness with God. God has purchased oneness with God for us with Himself. Paul expresses this in Galatians 2.20-21 and warns against any reliance on criteria that we might imagine would entitle us to grace. The Bible calls this the law.
Other believers have never followed Christ by leaving behind the law. Contrary to some theologies and in agreement with the Bible, Jesus did not keep the law or live from it because it was irrelevant to Him. Jesus was one with His Father and lived from His Father. Jesus was completely Himself yet the expression of His Father in nature and righteousness.
LIFE NOT FOUND IN A MIASMA
Contrary to common Christian opinion Christ’s life is not mediated to us by religion, by the law, by any list of good works, by witnessing or by martyrdom. Christ’s life is mediated to us personally by Christ. Paul talks of Christ in you and goes further by talking of Christ our life. Theologians call this the incarnation. Paul speaks of Christ come in our flesh, which refers to the Christ and the trinity woven into our being.
Christ our life is a graced life. Jesus urged, ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. When we as Christians get a grip on this, it is the day we are born again from religion into union with God.
Jesus did not leave you a list of ten criteria. Nor did He leave you a more amorphous set of ‘Christian Values.’ Jesus left you Himself to be you. This is why unless we eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man we have no life in us. No spirit and life that is. We may have oodles of religious life topped off by a couple of our denomination’s icons. All the same we remain a dead person talking.
John Crowder observes, “If the gospel you’ve heard is not too good to be true, it probably isn’t. The frequency of the gospel always inspires, always brings life and hope. The flavour and sound of the true gospel never puts rule and regulation and heavy trips on you. Never makes you feel you have to live up to any systematic expectations for acceptance. It always encourages, always hopes, always trusts, and always loves.”