Some people are so glued to the polity and economy that they are more an economic construct than a human being. Others are so welded to religion and the law that as Paul said they are more a worker or a slave than a son of God.
Jesus is more than a Teacher. He came to tell folks how to be. His invitation to us is to agree with Him that He has made us part of His life to such an extent that we are woven into the Holy Family and the trinity is woven into us.
‘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.
CHRIST OUR LIFE
Jesus does not mediate life through something less than Himself, like the law. He mediates His life directly into our life from His person. Jesus presented His Kingdom and taught its principles by presenting Himself as the life of the world. He revealed the truth about God and the truth of who we are as human beings in God. By imparting Himself into our being He makes us His life. A gospel that assumes that we are incarnated with Christ in order to keep the law is like assuming that you purchase wine in a cardboard wine-cask to that you can eat the cardboard.
Something is not true just because we inherited certain beliefs. There are false conceptions of God’s being and our being and true conceptions of who God is and who we are. The, latter are revealed to us by Holy Spirit, the scriptures, the teaching of Jesus and the apostles, the Church Fathers and apostolic teachers who live from the new covenant. They are revealed to the pure in heart but not to the double-minded. Shun any gospel that ignores the new covenant.
WHERE TO START
The starting point of truth in the post cross age is captured by Paul in his declaration that, ‘I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!’ Gal 2.21 NIV. Paul knew and taught by experience and revelation what Jeremiah could not have known – that ‘the law written on human hearts’ in its realisation is better than words on stone. It is Christ come in our flesh: Incarnation. Jeremiah had unwittingly prophesied of the incarnation. Jesus reinforced this truth when He urged, ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
CORE OF KINGDOM LIFE
The foundation of Christ’s Gospel and that of the apostles is the incarnation – which is ours by the atonement – 0ur status of oneness with God that has been achieved in the achievements of Jesus cross. He began a totally new and living way of being human by birthing us as sons and daughters of God who are manifestations of His Presence.
Jesus came to impart God to our being. Church Father Athanasius put it this way. “He insists that the Word of God actually came to exist in a human manner and did not simply come to dwell in a human being as the Word of God came upon and dwelt in previous holy people.
In these former manifestations of the Word, the Word merely inspired people who lived holy lives and spoke his word. For Athanasius, the terminus of the incarnational “becoming” was his actual existence in the flesh, and it is precisely because he existed humanly that all that pertained to his humanity can be attributed to him, such as human suffering. Thus, the incarnational “becoming” expresses an ontological “becoming,” that is, that the Word, in “becoming” flesh, “comes to exist” as a human being.” (1)
Our life in Christ is not the old testament with a Jesus Boost.
But more than this, Christ come in our flesh means that Jesus the Word of God comes in the flesh of Believers. The result is that the church becomes the effect of the incarnated Christ as the Body of Christ in spirit and truth. This is the Body, in a way that the church founded on a legalistic gospel and law promoting Christ will never be. This latter kind of Christ is a false christ in spirit and in truth and the kind of christ who is portrayed by blind leaders and blind communities of faith.
CHRIST IN YOU
Jesus imparts neither the law or religion. He imparts Himself. This is the true meaning of the Body of Christ: The community of faith that is Christ come in their flesh.
Trans-substantiation is almost correct – but not quite. The divine presence of Christ does not become the bread and the wine. He becomes you and I.
GOD IMPARTED BY CHRIST IN YOU
It is because God in Christ came to exist as a human being that He imparts Himself to you and your humanity specifically. Because Christ is in you God is woven into your being and you are woven into God. Christ has come in your flesh, which means that you become the manifestation of Christ in your person and vocation.
Our life in Christ is not moralism because it’s not the law and not law based. It’s Christ as us. So, our post cross life is not reading the Bible and trying to do what we read. It’s not a moral compendium. But it is a witness to Christ our life.
The new testament does not consist of ‘things to do.’ It tells us how to be. It tells us that Jesus Christ is The One Door into the Kingdom of Life and warns us about other ‘doors’ and to watch out for Hierlings and their aberrant gospels that invert the cross and place people back in the mindset of separated Adam.
Jesus declared our life in oneness with Him in the words, ‘When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NLT. Sadly there are distracted and misguided people who do not realise this.
THIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM
IS NOT SOME PARTISAN GOSPEL THAT HAS BEEN MONETISED
The Gospels, Paul and John present Jesus as the life of you and the life of the world. Paul puts it succinctly as ‘Christ our life’. Jesus has already presented Himself as the Way, the truth and the Life. His invitation is to come to Him to have infinite and eternal life by participating in His union with the trinitarian God. To treat the new testament as a moral compendium or as a better way of keeping the law is to have either misread it, or not read it at all.
FRUIT IS CHRIST YOUR LIFE
Gregory Boyd observes that, “It is crucial we remember that the New Testament’s behavioural injunctions are predicated on the new life and identity believers have in Jesus Christ. When this point is forgotten, the New Testament’s behavioural injunctions are mistaken to be ethical mandates after which people are encouraged to strive. In this case, we are adhering to the letter of the New Testament but not to its spirit, and our thinking is bringing about death rather than life (2 Cor. 3:6)…” (2) Similarly when we read of the fruit of the Spirit “Paul was not telling us to try to act loving, joyful, peaceful, and so on. If we could simply will these things into existence, they would hardly be the fruit of the Spirit. Paul was rather encouraging us to live by the Spirit, not the flesh (Gal. 5:16)”. This is to say he was being consistent with the words Christ our life, in which when Christ has come in our flesh we become what Jesus is.
(1) Thomas G. Weinandy (Author), Daniel A. Keating (Author)
Athanasius and His Legacy: Trinitarian-Incarnational Soteriology and Its Reception (Mapping the Tradition) Paperback – November 1, 2017. P39-40.