Paul made every effort to explain what the cross and resurrection of Jesus meant for Jews and Gentiles. He learned things from fellow Believers but particularly was he enlightened by direct revelation from Jesus.
It’s significant for the church in the ages that followed that a confirmed legalist, Inmate of the Law and Persecutor of Christians should become a great advocate of our sonship and an evangelist of our new covenant life in the Spirit.
Significant also that one who had been so bound should become the liberator of millions who live captive to the law, the knowledge of good and evil and religion.
Superbly significant too, that Paul, along with John, became a Chief Explainer and Un-wrapper of THE FREEDOM for which Christ had come to set all free ( Isa 61.1-4 and Luke 4.18).
Important then, is our need to look askance at attempts to bring back the law and insinuate that it is part of the everlasting gospel. Particularly when Paul asserted that ‘If righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!’ This should be sufficient to bring the bone fide’s of such beliefs into question and suggest queries about what kind of ‘belonging’ to the Body of Christ is implied by alternate gospels.
Our freedom in Christ is very much the freedom to be who we are as unique sons and daughters of God and to receive His life in the individuality of ourselves. As we do this together we, are the Church Jesus builds and we advance the new creation that is the expression of Christ our life.
VARIETIES OF SONS
In Romans 8 we see what it means to live in the Spirit. We also see that to live in the law means to annul our life in the Spirit. In the Spirit Christ is totally our life. Tied to the umbilicus of the law we are not in the spirit, no matter how much we want to believe we are. It’s either one or the other. Neither are we in the fullness of sonship as Paul explains in Galatians. We have the power to choose our identity - with a crippled identity as children of the slave woman or with a robust and healthy identity as children of the Free Woman.
DEPRIVED FAMILY MEMBERS
‘But what does Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son’ Gal 4.30 NIV. It’s clear from this passage that we can be part of the Body of Christ yet not be participants in the inheritance of the sons of God.
Life in Christ means good riddance to a life in the penitentiary of the knowledge of good and evil.
SONS IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
Towering over every aspect of religion, convoluted theology and partisan humbug is the fact that when Christ is our life we grow every day into the authenticity of who we are, who Jesus means us to be and who we desire to be as ourselves flourishing in the world. The issue is identity. It always is. Thus John says, ‘Now we are the sons of God!’ We always were generically, always were notionally - but since the cross we are at one with our Father so that now we are the sons of God. WHAT NOW IS THIS? We are now sons in spirit and in truth.
‘Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is’ 1 John 3.2 NIV.
PADDOCKS OF TARES
Any ‘gospel’ that smothers the identity of Believers by insulating them from the accomplishments of Jesus in the law and old covenant separation must be called out and revealed for what it is: A tare. Jesus came for fullness. Never for limitation. None of us have any right to present a lesser gospel simply because it is our gospel. Paul spoke directly into the issue of our identity when he used the words Christ your life. Paul was declaring the Jesus is who we are as regards our reconciled life with God; who we are as our unique and authentic selves and who we are in our noble estate as sons and daughters of God.
Jesus is you in relation to God.
Francois Du Toit has asserted - and he is correct - that to see Jesus is to see yourself. Jesus, and not the law is The Mirror in which you are known and in which we can see who we can become. Christ is your life because Jesus is who you really are.