A disappointing thing is to find an articulate minister preaching a lesser gospel. It’s like promoting the flu as though it is health. Paul called practice ‘other gospels’ and Jesus described the people created by them as paddocks of tares. Tares are not usually bad people. They are short-changed people who could have been sons but who have been betrayed into being workers. Bread made out of tares is not bread and is not alive.
There are degree of life because there are degrees of death. Portions of our being that exhibit dysfunction are a degree of death. We call this disease. Jesus healed folks because He loved them and because this was a sign of the Greater Healing – the healing of separation from unlimited life: A life in oneness with God that Jesus called life to the full.
A passion to join Jesus in imparting life without limit comes from oneness with Jesus. His mission is to impart unlimited life. A passion to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent comes from God – from God who is incarnated into the fabric of our being. As a friend assured me once, ‘God’s truth is universal. Any seeker after life and after God will find it. He will be drawn to it and the truth to her by a mysterious spiritual attraction – God in Himself seeks to be God in you.
If you desire to know God as God is – you will. Should you be careless enough to coast along in religion you may not – at least not for a long time and probably not until you have suffered a severe enough calamity as to seek rebirth and embrace a re-invention of yourself in Jesus. C. S. Lewis observed.
“What I call my 'self' now is hardly a person at all. It's mainly a meeting place for various natural forces, desires, and fears, etcetera, some of which come from my ancestors, and some from my education, some perhaps from devils. The self you were really intended to be is something that lives not from nature but from God.” Your real self, rises from this kind of ‘grave’ when Christ becomes your life and you are reborn in the spirit of sonship. But be assured of this. The spirit of sonship does not inhabit those who are born of the law.
If we have never emerged from religion, one thing is certain: We have never been birthed into life. Religion is religion no matter what kind. Should we be in it we may have glimpsed life and felt some droplets on our face. But when we agree that Christ has dawn us into Himself we have become one with LIFE. Life is God and life is us. Oneness with Christ is oneness with life. It’s fathers, sons and daughters jubilantly enjoying the raw colour of existence that is alive because we are.
To remain in the law is to remain affixed to externalities. In a religion of externalities, which is what legalism is our spirit remains dormant and our soul remains confused and sick. To chose Christ as our life is to live with a robust spirit and a healthy soul.
In the law we can neither ‘know’ or ‘be’ a true self. We remain a kind of eunuch. With Christ as your life you are alive in your spirit and one with God’s Spirit. You are potently yourself. In Jesus you know your face and people see it. In the law your face is forever hidden, you nether know yourself and are never revealed as you are to other – always clouded and always shrouded you are an un-you stifled by an un-gospel.
Richard Rohr observes, “In the human mind of Christ, every part of creation knows itself as (1) divinely conceived, (2) beloved of God, (3) crucified, and (4) finally reborn. He carries us across with him, assures us it is okay, and thus models the full journey and final direction of consciousness.” (1) Rohr is talking of the logos and of the pattern of the life lived out by Him in fellowship with us. This is the life of His that is ours. ‘In Him is life and that life if the life of you.’
Because Christ is in you and with you - you will come to know what He knows. It will come into your mind. You will hear it in conversation with God-seekers, it will appear like gold in enlightened sermons and you will discover it in apostolic books. There is a ‘voice’ that is within you and in the creation. It is deeply personal, woven into your being, yet as much of a person as you are an more. As I AM Jesus is the Real Self and the spirit by which you become your real self in all its colour and subtlety. Thus Rohr adds, “God is never an object to be found or possessed as we find other objects, but the One who shares your own deepest subjectivity—or your “self.” (2).
This why God is not an abstraction or a law but a life-giving spirit who imbues you with Himself.
(1) Rohr, Richard. Immortal Diamond: The search for our true self. SPCK. Kindle Edition.