We can cobble together our impressions of God and the gospel by assembling a bunch of scriptures that we think prove a point. They may do or they may not. More likely they will not if our spiritual formation has been in the letter.
The authentic rendering of the Bible occurs as we read it in Christ.* Properly interpreted Scripture cannot be separated from the being of God and the positioning of our being in Him.
THE WORD IS ALIVE
The word of God - as distinct from the positions of the knowledge of good and evil - is alive and manifest in the personal and communal being of the trinity, rather than in the letter. Both complement each other but the word is rooted in Christ, not Christ in the word. Truth is grounded in the being of God.
Because life and truth are the being of God – the Lord’s Table is the hub of the Kingdom of God. Not sin management, not moralism, not one or two convenient political moralisings. Versions of christianity can be a system of beliefs and behavior management, but the Kingdom of God is Christ as you – Christ as us.
Jesus is the truth and the life as well as the way – the Living Way.
Any statement that is ‘objectively true’ is never spiritually true in separation from God. As a result statement couched in the assumptions of the law and the tree of knowledge can never be life-giving. This is why we can assert that we are part of the body of Christ when as a state of being we are not because we have remained in the separation of the law.#
If we have been raised in the law we were raised in the letter and that which we have as our gospel may be an ideology rather than the apostles teaching.
‘You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me’ John 5.39 NIV.
This is the ‘Me’ in whom we are alive and the ‘Me’ in whom we are a son of God rather than a creature of the letter.
I was once alarmed when a fellow Believer remarked to a group of young Christians that there is an authority higher than Jesus which is the Bible. Of course there isn’t, although significant portions of the Christian faith attempt to forge truth out of Bible Study when the truth of who Christ is and the true nature of the gospel comes from His Being and not from any private interpretation.
TRUTH IS GOD
Truth comes to us in union with God. Never in separation. Truth is ours when we are one with God and one with the Body of Christ. Truth is not our possession when we are out in a limb with some private gospel of our own.
I was taught as a child and a youth that truth came from the Bible and not from tradition. It’s not as simple as that.
Truth is a state of being that is ours in oneness with God. God is truth. We are in the truth when we are in God – which we are if we are living in our new covenant inheritance where Christ is our life.
God’s truth and His Gospel has been developed by the Church Fathers and written down in the Nicaean Creed. God’s truth continues to be revealed by apostolic teachers whose scholarship is the product of oneness with God. That which is revealed as truth today is never an addition to the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. It’s always an uncovering, a clarification and a liberation from subversive amendments to the Gospel of Jesus, Paul and John.
What we think is truth is possibly not truth if we are living in a bible constructed ‘letter-culture’ in the manner of fundamentalism.
Fundamentalisms are a parody of the Kingdom because they are born of the letter. While not identical with kind of law that Moses gave, they belong to the same family of abstractions. Thus contained in the same category of ‘words that kill’ and the religious culture that Paul called ‘this body of death. This death miasma has been replaced by Christ our life - a mode of living in which Jesus is incarnated in us and manifest as us.
THE WORD IS ALIVE
The word is either alive or it is the letter which means it is a child of the knowledge tree that kills.
Kingdom Truth is not found in aberrant interpretations of the Bible and partisan gospels that Paul called ‘No gospel at all.’ The correct interpretation of the Bible is indeed found in the traditional interpretation of Godly people. Particularly those thinkers and teachers who live in God because they have not been content to live from a treadmill of common orthodoxy that leads nowhere except into a cul-de-sac that inhibits the Kingdom of God and suffocates what was meant to be spirit and life.
Those who ‘kept the flame’ have never been those who sustained the law into the new covenant age. The genuine life-igniters are those whose life is one with Jesus and one with our Father. We are talking new covenant as compared to the old.
I TELL YOU A MYSTERY
The Divine Plan has successfully united truth with persons by uniting Jesus with the human race – so that the mystery of Godliness is that we are part of God and part of His being as sons and daughters of the Trinity. Thus gospel truth and truth itself is found in those who practise the union with God that is already ours. This is why law-mongering gospels must be seen as the poison they are. They come under the heading of denying that Christ has come in the flesh and along with it the denial that Christ has become us and His truth is to be found in us as we apply ourselves to the scriptures to rightly interpret the word of truth.
“TO GAIN MORE PERSPECTIVE of the bigger picture, let’s step back to the beginning of humanity on planet earth and observe the results of the first commandment that was given. It wasn’t a piece of good-looking fruit that lured Adam and Eve; the real target with the temptation was to challenge their identity. Essentially, the serpent said, “Do this,” and then they would become like the Most High. They lost sight of the truth that they were already like God, created in his image. It is common for us to assume they were trying to rebel against God and pursue sin, or had some type of evil motive. But the temptation was centered on the desire to be more like God, and they chose to take measures into their own hands. The result was becoming like God in a way that God never desired … knowing good and evil.” (1)
Every distortion of the gospel of the Kingdom has its source in our taking some part of our salvation into our own hands. Whether by the construction of imaginary hoops that Christians are persuaded to jump through or cunning ways of infiltrating the law back into the equation or positing some mode of peace and rest that is not Christ and which overlooks the truth staring us in the face in plain sight. This is the truth that Jesus is our peace and our life.
Rob Bell is soon to publish a book with the title ‘Everything is Spiritual’. I have not read it but you need to know that in the new covenant age of the incarnation all of life can be spiritual. There are no compartments as there are in the artificial segments and dichotomies of life constructed in the knowledge of good and evil. Christ is all and in all and Christ is our life. No holy places or holy days. You are holy because God is in you manifesting as you. This is the new and living way – oneness with God that generates The New Creation.
Our life and our light start in earnest when we have we agree that Christ is all of our life and all of our understanding. Now we are situated to receive wisdom and revelation and read the Bible though God’s eyes instead of our own.
# The law is a province of the knowledge of good and evil
* It makes a big difference to be tutored by the Christ of God, rather than a partisan constructed false christ.
(1) Kapler, Michael C.. Clash Of The Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee. Kindle Edition.