We grow in our ability to embrace the truth that is life. We can make many faltering steps to belief in God, to believe in Christ and live according to our beliefs. Yet our believing and doing may be intermittent and feeble at best and only just above failures at worst. How come then, that there are people who live Godly lives? They do so because Jesus is their life in all respects – even in their efforts to believe in Him.
If you have never studied the topic of the vicarious humanity of Jesus, brought into the light by T. F. Torence, you might avail yourself of its insights and be blessed. Father and the inheritance that is ours is far better than most of us have been taught. There are excellent studies of it on the web, this being one of them.
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” John 8.31 NIV. He sets us free to be sons. There’s everything to be said for holding to Jesus’ teaching and ignoring aberrations.
SET FREE TO BE SONS
Believing that the earth is flat when it is round or that smoking has no ill effect on health will disadvantage us in life. There is freedom and power in right believing - a truth ably taught by Joseph Prince. There is a huge spiritual advantage in living in all of our Christ inheritance and not just bits of it. Why rejoice over one thousand dollars when your inheritance is infinite?
Believing in a Jesus who is less than He is and a Christ who is actually a false christ is debilitating to the self and crippling to the church.
CHRIST OF GOD
Who is Jesus Christ? Baxter Kruger writes, “To speak the name of Jesus Christ biblically, and in the tradition of the apostles, is to say, ‘Father’s eternal Son incarnate, crucified, resurrected, and ascended,’ and it is to say, ‘Holy Spirit anointed One,’ and it is to say, ‘Creator and Sustainer of all things.’ Thus, to speak the name of Jesus Christ is to say, ‘the blessed Trinity, and fallen humanity, and broken creation are not separated, but together in relationship. Jesus is himself the relationship.
This is the Christ of whom Paul wrote, ‘To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory’ Col 1.27 NIV.
Why live out the Christian version of a poverty mentality when you have access to abundance? Why live your entire life with only one leg when Christ as your life has given you two?
THE FULL MONTY
Apprehend and grip hold of the full scope of your inheritance in Christ. In most cases it is far better than what we have believed. What counts is Christ’s belief, Father’s belief about Himself, about you, and Holy Spirit’s belief about igniting us with the fullness of God. Many folks will find themselves in heaven whose beliefs were no more than handcuffs that kept them bound in this life. They spent their lives rationalising ideas in which they thought they had an identity and got to heaven and found they had been prisoners of a delusion.
We owe it to Jesus and to ourselves, to journey to heaven in first class rather than in a cattle carriage at the back of the train. Why give out drops of life when you have rivers at your disposal?
Jesus described Himself as all that is true and real about life here and with God. Paul urged us to leave behind the shadows to live in the reality that is Christ. Christian Kettler speaks of the reality that is Christ and the rewards that flow from this reality as a result of Christ’s complete representation of our humanity before God.
“Christ is the Word of God indeed, but he is the Word who was heard, seen, and touched according to 1 John (1:1), and whose “glory” was beheld, according to John’s Gospel (1:14). He is the Word, the expression of God, the Word that comes from outside, from above. This is the movement from God to humanity. But he [Jesus] is also the response in his faithful humanity, a response that is beautiful because of his harmony with the Father.” (1) Jesus’ response is our response and Jesus’ life is our life.
JESUS OUR BELIEVING
Kettler is asserting that Christ’s response to God, to His truth is our response. Jesus is our believing. Nevertheless, what Jesus believes about Himself will be made known to us if we choose to know it. He lives in us and His truth seeps into our hearts – if we have a heart to follower wherever He leads. This is why the pure in heart see and know God and their inheritance in Him in revealed in fullness.
We will live a stilted and faltering spiritual life if we are only prepared to follow Jesus as far as the perimeter of our personal or denominational beliefs. The treasure hid in the field is more stupendous than is generally realised and far more extensive than partisan versions allow. It is Christ in you. Both the hope and actuality of glory – the glory of Jesus and the glory of Jesus manifesting as you and as the church. Because Christ has come in our flesh, we have the potential to be the sons and daughters of God in spirit and in truth. We are sons. Whether we live as sons and daughters is our choice.
We are inhabited by and are fellow travellers with Father, Holy Spirit and Jesus the Son of God. Tied to Adamic separation we can manage some phantom like representations of sonship. Attached to Mosaic usages we can be a shadow of our real life as sons, but because of our dim vision we think ourselves whole. In this mode it’s easy to have a following yet not be a spiritual leader.
With Christ as our life we are always bigger than we are – like the TARDIS of The Doctor we are bigger in the Spirit than we can ever be in the law. In the latter we are always smaller than we are – the weak saying I am strong when they are crippled in spirit and dim in vision. When Christ is our life, we are new creation beings – one with God, one with ourselves and one with the new creation that is regenerating under our influence.
(1) Kettler, Christian D. The Breadth and Depth of the Atonement: The Vicarious Humanity of Christ in the Church, the World, and the Self: Essays, 1990–2015 (p. 36). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.