The Pharisees were not priests as we have often imagined. They were a sect who specialised in the law. Theoretically they represented God. In actual fact their only legitimacy was that they made themselves up. You will find many references to them in the literature. We mention them here as an example of the kind of ‘godliness’ that resists life – which it did in regard to Jesus and numbers of the apostles.
There were, so to speak, ‘other gospels’ before the gospel of Jesus and the apostles.
Legalism, an agenda of abstractions and the more amorphous entity of religion cannot produce life. Only Jesus gives life as the living Conduit of life from the Life-Hub of the trinity.
The only Whole Person approach to Christian life is found in Christ our life. The simplicity of this state of being is that Jesus becomes us by the Spirit. This is incarnation in its nuts and bolts, ultra-humanity. Here we become manifest as sons and daughters of God and as human beings of wholeness and holiness.
As persons and sons of God we live in a state of becoming – if we are astute enough to be living in God and not some substitute like the law or religion or virtue signalling good works.
Jesus’ desire for us is not a self-monitoring stance to see how we are measuring up. He wants us to look at Him and live from Him. Living from Jesus is not religion. It’s Christ come in the flesh which means Jesus expressed as Joy and Bob.
This non-dualistic state of being comes from God and is demonstrated in God incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was one substance with God and fully a man. That Jesus was both fully human and fully divine knocks dualism on the head. This is what Paul means by Christ our life and what Jesus means by I am the life. God is not separated to humanity. It is the cross, the atonement and the incarnation that establishes God’s oneness with humanity and through people like us as the new creation.
Holiness is not religiosity. It is living an everyday life as a son/daughter who are who they are and who celebrate being themselves because they do not live in guilt or striving. They live joyfully as themselves in Christ allowing Jesus to be their life. You don’t get suffocated in Jesus. You do in religions of the law.
If you have pious relatives, you will know how irritating such religiosity is. Legalistic piety varies between self-righteousness to no righteousness at all. If you are a Jesus person (as in Christ your life) in a Christian institution your persecution will not come from the non-believer but from the legalistic persons you work with, whose humanity has been negated by the law.
Real holiness is being you. There is nothing pious, nothing contrived about Godliness. It is being alive in the fullness of Christ as you, loving self and others and being a person of grace and truth. But it’s difficult to live an authentic life if you are fixated on an identity or ideology that sucks the life out of life. This why old covenant modalities are passé and the new covenant in which Christ is you is spirit and truth.
Christ is all and in all. We have our being in Him. Time to drop A Christian dualism and live Christ in you, the hope of glory. God as the man Jesus Christ is a living refutation of dualism and Christ our life establishes the Kingdom of God in us and the world. Jesus lives to draw all things into Himself. He does this when He is incarnated in you so that life is God in you and you multiply this life.
Don’t worry that much of Christianity does not live non-dualistically. Jesus warned that the narrow way was alive, and the way crowded with people was dead.
YOU THE MANIFESATION OF GOD
“Beyond the tablet of stone, the papyrus scroll or parchment roll, human life has become the articulate voice of God. Jesus is the crescendo of God’s conversation with humankind; he gives context and content to the authentic thought. Everything that God had in mind for man is voiced in him. Jesus is God’s language.” Francois Du Toit of The Mirror Bible.
Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons and did so because He lived to make people whole. We are whole when in fellowship with God. Defined as whole in Jesus Christ and growing daily into wholeness, we grow in our potential as sons and daughters of God.
Jesus could come in an heal an entire church of their physical maladies. But unless each person received from Jesus that ultimate healing – a meta healing we might call it - that involves the undoing of our separation from God, our spirit and souls remain ill, unhealed and solitary.
DON’T DUMB IT
When Jesus said, ‘This is my body given for you’ it was His life given for us and His life of fellowship with Father and Spirit gifted to us. Being grafted into the trinity is the meaning of Christ our life. This is life in the Spirit. Don’t dumb this down to life in the letter, life in religion or life in the old covenant separation from God.
There’s a lot of religion made from attempting to overcome the separation that has already been undone.
JOY AND BOB LIVING WORDS
If we could describe paths to holiness, we could say that the law can make us into a faint representation of ourselves – like a prune instead of a plum or an Egyptian mummy rather than a glorious woman. It takes Christ our life to make us who we are and He lives within to manifest in our being so that Joy and Bob become sons of God not poetically but in spirit and truth.
WOVEN INTO GOD
“One of the most subtle ways to avoid imitating someone is to put them on a pedestal, above and apart from us. When you accept that Jesus was not merely divine but human as well, you can begin to see how you are not separate from Jesus. [ HE’S NOT ON A PEDESTAL] Open yourself to recognizing the great paradoxes within Jesus. Then you can begin to hold those same opposites together within yourself.” (The Naked Now, p 155.) Jesus is in you and He becomes you.
SPIRIT MANIFEST AS YOUR FLESH
With Jesus as our life rather than some attempted externality as our life, contradictions are negated and paradoxes undone and made one. This is why with Jesus as our life we do not walk in confusion or the contradictions of the law. We walk in the light of life. Here are not labouring in emulation or striving to live up to criteria. We have a life within that is not us but who is ours and who becomes us. Not only Christ our righteousness but Christ is our life.