YOU ARE A RIVER OF LIVING WATER
Christ our life is more than a slogan. It is the reality that God has given us to live in as a result of the cross. He delivers us from mere existence to life to the full. Life by its nature is unlimited, infinite, ever fresh and self-renewing. But the difference between life and un-life is belonging and spirit.
When Jesus came among us, He spoke of delivering a prize – life to the full. This prize is togetherness with God and the spirit and life of God as our life. This is the incarnation.
As ministers of the gospel, we can observe elements of success in other areas of the Body. We can make them our own and share in the degree of fruitfulness that is liberated by that strategy. An example of this is the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the authority that goes with this. This is not the atonement and is no substitute for it. Our already achieved oneness with Christ gives rise to the incarnation – Christ in us and more. The trinity in us. This is the engine of the new creation and the ground of the Holy Spirit anointing. Unless our tree is planted in this soil it will not grow and all our efforts will end in ennui.
Holy Spirit and the gifts are not a full gospel if we are not living in our new covenant inheritance of oneness with God. The victory of the cross is the undoing of Adamic separation from God and the doing of our union with the Holy Family.
NOT THE OLD TESTAMENT ANOINTED
Our new testament inheritance is no mere abstract union. Neither is it a continuation of old testament mode with Jesus added. Our legacy is not to live in the law or in religion. But for us to be the manifestation of Jesus. This is life in the Spirit. It’s what is meant by the new wineskin. Jesus does not patch the old testament up. He begins a new creation.
‘Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV.
This is the fellowship that Jesus has with Father and Holy Spirit. Jesus has drawn us into this ongoing enterprise that is their passion for life and its multiplication among their daughters and sons. Togetherness and life without limit is it!
We are legalists if we are attached to one law or all of them or if we are living from Christian values. We are sons of God when we and Father are one – which we are by believing. Christ our life is the one holistic gospel and the only whole person perspective on living Godly. It’s ‘whole’ because Jesus becomes us.
Our prize is to live out of persons and not out of the knowledge of good and evil generally or the law of Moses specifically. They are dead letters. So let’s be done with a life of ‘sin-consciousness’ and dive into the river of life consciousness that is life itself – a river of life that is Father, Son and Holy Spirit in person. Legalism is inferior and short-selling of Jesus and of you and those unfortunate enough to be blighted by this un-gospel.
“Part of the issue is that, with legalism, we are talking about absolution from sins committed, and we only think that far. Whereas with Trinitarian theology, we are talking about a relationship, in which not just forgiveness of sins committed, but a restoration of relationship, a healing of ourselves, our minds, so that sinfulness itself is healed, not just a “on-paper forgiving…” (1) You get a new kind of being. Now you are a son and not a worker or slave.
As a young man I roomed with a person who claimed to have a romantic relationship with a girl from the other side of the campus. Yet he never spoke to her, sat with her, went out with her or had any interaction with her. Naturally he never married her because the relationship had no substance. This is like the ‘law defined person’ who asserts he is of the Body of Christ but has no genuine union with God in terms of a life interwoven with the trinity and is one who spends his days working at being worthy of union or attempting to ‘keep close to Jesus.’ But Jesus is already in Him and has drawn him into His God-Communion.
As in any marriage there are degrees of intimacy or alienation. Some marriages are indeed one flesh and one spirit and others are just a word without substance. As such any claim to be of the Body of Christ must meet the same criteria. Either we and Father are one or we are not. Of course we all are by inheritance. But to be sons in spirit and in truth we must embrace what is ours and not leave our inheritance in the ground with the words, ‘You are a hard man’ because we would sooner trust our own works than Christ’s ‘reaping where He did not sow’.
** Enterprising pastors can utilise modern approaches yet indicate that they are living from old covenant cages by urging believers to give up and resist sin with an application of the Parable of the Sower. But this is not the intent of this parable at all. It’s about people who cling to the rocks and stone of the law and old covenant while neglecting the deep soil in which we have been rooted in God.
(1) Anderson, Ray; Colyer, Elmer; Dawson, Gerrit; Deddo, Gary; Kettler, Christian; Kruger, Baxter; McKenna, John; McSwain, Jeff; Newell, Roger; Young, Paul. Trinitarian Conversations, Volume 1: Interviews With Ten Theologians (You're Included) (p. 15). Grace Communion International. Kindle Edition.