THIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM
“The old-self dies and God’s glory shines though us as we embrace the miracle of the incarnation. As Irenaeus wrote in Against Heresies, “the glory of God is a living man.” (1)
God is glorified by you being a manifestation of Him. You are the direct expression of Him – direct when not insulated from Him by layers of law, religion and others. Christ is your mediator.
Separatist thinking is an effect of the Fall. It’s common for Believers to think that virtue is something separate to us. Not so. With God, goodness is who God is: God. It’s the same with sons and daughters of God. Sons and daughters are who we are. We are one with God and we are the expression of Him. No dualism here. He has made the two one. We call this incarnation.
With many of us as Christians, ‘things we do,’ are the essence of our claim to be Godly. While this is not irrelevant, this is not God’s version of godliness even if it is the religious man’s. We are pointed to God’s version of Godliness in Jesus’ words, ‘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 NIV. Here it is seen that we are Godly because we are part of God and a God is part of us.
The day that is ‘that day’ is the day you will become Godly. This is the day you choose to lay down your old ‘you of attempted godliness’ and the day you Christ becomes you.
Godliness is more than a transaction. It is inclusion. It is our inclusion in the Family of God as a result of the completed plan of God.
It’s an unfortunate fact. Many post cross Believers, possibly most, are not born again. This does not mean they are slack about their morals. It means they are stuck in the old testament with Adam. The new birth is not about morality. It’s about the new covenant – which is our new life with JESUS AS OUR LIFE. We call this incarnation.
This is it in a nutshell. The Adam me is dead. The Jesus me is alive and reigning in my sphere.**
Sadly many Believers are practising a post cross version of the knowledge of good and evil. New covenant life is not you trying ‘to be a worthy you; with Jesus help. It’s old you being a dead you in Jesus. Then it is Jesus being you - which is the reason for your worthiness as a daughter of son.
I once heard a pastor describe the covenant in terms of mutual obligation. This is what it was in the old testament days, he said. ‘Do this and live.’ He went on to describe the covenant in terms of what was essentially the nature of the feudal system that lasted until the days of the ‘nation state’. But even then it persisted and eventually surfaced in the structure of capitalism and the hierarchy of corporations and Christian institutions.
If the old covenant was ‘obey and live,’ the new covenant is ‘I have re-birthed you to be alive.’
In the new testament age all who believe are the manifestation of God. This is what it means to be sons and daughters of God. Our expression as sons occurs because we are incarnated with the trinity. This is the new creation. We can aid and abet this by agreeing with it, stepping into it and aggressively denying the revisionist law mongering that suffocates life in the Spirit and denies the kingdom of God for the sake of religion.
In the new covenant we do not earn favours. We are given our inheritance as sons/daughters as a free gift. We are actually given what we are – sons of the Family of God. But through the cross and the Spirit we are guaranteed our origins and destiny as sons in God. And we are empowered to be sons by the incarnation and the ministry of Holy Spirit in and through us. Christ lives in us. The trinity lives in us. We have become more than temples of God. As daughters and sons we are the living manifestation of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christ has come and is coming continually in our flesh.
CHRIST YOUR LIFE
Because Christ has become you, you can go about being yourself, bearing much fruit, blessing others and being glorious as you. This is why you must let nothing and no one insulate you from your union with God. Francois Du Toit writes,
“Under the law of obligation, doing remains a duty and not a spontaneous lifestyle. So much of religious zeal and energy involves man’s endeavour and effort to do things that will hopefully qualify him to be accepted by God. But sadly, within the day-to-day experience of most, the sense of distance between the Creator and the creature seems to prevail. Ultimately, man remains isolated through feelings of guilt, inferiority and disappointment, and is left with a vague hope that God will feel sorry enough for his pathetic and miserable creatures to eventually excuse them and still slip them into his heaven one day in the sweet by and by.” (2)
You are not separated from God. You and Father are one. Live from this reality and you will create heaven on earth where you are.
** Christ as you and as us all is life in the Spirit. You in the old covenant and the law – even with a smattering of Holy Spirit gifts is not life in the Spirit or the Kingdom of God. The parable of The Sower is about those who have not rooted out the law and old covenant and those who live in the deep soil of their union with God.
(1) Leanne Payne.
(2) Du Toit, Francois. God Believes in You (Kindle Locations 420-424). Mirror Word Publishing. Kindle Edition.