THE WHOLENESS AND HOLINESS OF TRUTH
Your inheritance is a non-dualistic life.
Relating to Christ as our life is liberating and exciting. It decouples us from dualism and makes us one with God. What could be better than being filled with the Spirit of infinite life or being a ‘life’ who is filled with the infinite? His life makes you ‘you’ and empowers you to relate to others with grace and enjoyment. Christ our life makes us alive rathe rather than un-dead in religion. The greatest effect of Christ our life is the change in our being. We become spirit and life. This is to experience the healing of our soul and grow into the reality of being un-dead while alive.
Christ’s call to the church in Laodicia is not a call to zeal. It’s a call to accept Him as our life.
The movie ‘Awakenings’ was about people who awoke from a ‘coma’ of unlife into real life. If we are in religion instead of Christ our life this is a parable about us. Jesus did not leave us ‘Christianity’ in which to live. He left Himself to be us.
The pharisees and others, rejected Jesus as their life because they had made an investment in that which was partly death. A learned adherence to the law as a Christian centres us on ourselves, even in our relationship to Jesus. We can find ourselves conditioned to view Jesus as our Saviour while believing ourselves responsible for our own ‘saving.’ This is a gross distortion of the gospel that occurs even as we claim to be living Christianity.
THE LETTER OF NON-LIFE
A reliance on words such as ‘Keeping close to Jesus’ as a way of Christian living is an example. Many Christians look wistfully towards Jesus while living in the impression that they are not worthy of Him and hence cannot be received into His fellowship and transformation. Well, the truth is you are already in His Fellowship.
IN HIM AND WITH HIM
You Have already been received into His life. Your fellowship with Jesus does not depend on your repenting enough. Neither does it depend on your success in conquering sin. It’s the sinner’s intimacy with Jesus that propels us into overcoming.
But the degree of our overcoming is not a prerequisite to the degree of intimacy we may have with Jesus.
His life as yours is the door to fellowship with Himself and with the Holy Family. Your life in God is wholly dependent on God’s achievement in Christ. You have been made by God a participant in God’s life by God. Adam’s separation has been undone and in Christ the two have been made one.
GRASPING AT STRAWS
A piece of self-effort reserved for the self may give an imaginary boost to our dignity but is contrary to the offence of the cross. Karl Barth’s observation on ‘natural theology’ are relevant to a post-cross clinging to the law or some aspect of it in a bid to gain an edge in the Christian life.
“Natural theology assumes that we have some sort of independent and autonomous leverage with respect to grace. […] It allows us to transform revelation from an unnerving if liberating question into an answer that we ourselves can control. — George Hunsinger: How to Read Karl Barth, 96-7.” (1)
Adherence to the law in any way is always about maintaining control. It’s about controlling others, attempting to control ourselves and controlling God – as in ‘Look God, I’ve done this stuff, so you are obliged to come through for me.’ By controlling God we can work up some fake security. On the other hand by compartmentalising God in time and space we can have most of our living for ourselves – which is why religion can be more popular that Christ our life.
‘Us centered godliness’ which is the cause and the result of the fall, belittles God and disfigures us. Putting itself forward as the way to life it is in essence life-denying and dulling of spirit and life.
(1) Morrison, Stephen D.. Karl Barth in Plain English (Plain English Series Book 1) (p. 12). Beloved Publishing. Kindle Edition.