The important thing in spirituality is not belonging to the Body of Christ. It’s belonging in the Gospel of Jesus and the apostles. The latter is oneness with God and the experience of belonging to life without limit. A Believer stuck on Christ because of their passion for life is a different person to one who advocates a particular version of Christianity because they have a vested interest in that version. One is alive and sighted. The other is half alive and confused. Spiritual discernment is the ability to distinguish between life and not life.
Belonging in God is not a box-ticking exercise. It’s a state of being.
LIVING YOUR INHERITANCE
Belonging in a family is good. But belonging as someone who is not a delinquent is better. When I was a youth, a juvenile delinquent was a thought of as young person who dishonoured his parents and dishonoured himself. Captive to a non-gospel we can disfigure our christ and distort our gospel with the result that we live a delinquent Christianity despite our best intentions. A life that retains us in Adam/Moses and the culture of knowledge of good and evil thwarts the cross and shrinks our sonship to the likeness of a slave and a worker. Paul named this as the curse of ‘other gospels.’
HOW ARE WE TRAVELLING?
Theology is not everything. But bad theology can have us flying cattle class when Christ has bought us first class seats.
FIRST CLASS SEAT
‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.4 NIV. Much of this glory is now. We enter and grow in our glory as we begin to live in Christ our life rather than ‘other things our life’. Everything that is not Christ sells us short, but the most debilitating counterfeit to life is religion. In Christ you are directly woven into the being of God.
Paul discovered a First Class Way of living, that he called ‘Christ our life’. Gregory Boyd writes, “Life in the flesh is characterized by striving to get something you don’t already have. It is living out of an empty center, eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, perpetually trying to fill the void in one’s soul. In its religious form, living in the flesh includes trying to feel right with God on the basis of the rightness of one’s beliefs and behaviors. [Our religion can be our idol] It is epitomized by living under the law. By contrast, life in Christ is living out of a fullness of life and love you have for free, for in Christ we are filled with God’s own Spirit and are made a participant in God’s own triune fellowship.
Boyd continues, “Life in Christ is a life that is free from condemnation from God and therefore free from any condemnation of ourselves or others. It is life that empowers us to do the right thing because it frees us to do the loving thing, precisely because we are no longer trying to get life from doing the right thing. In Christ, we die to the law as a way of getting life and thereby come alive to God as the only source of life. In Christ, we are freed from our religious pathology because we are filled with the love that is God himself.” (1)
God is in us reconciling us to ourselves and ourselves and to others.
Jesus is not just an example. He is our life in that He is woven into our being so that His life becomes our life. He is in us as a person – never as an abstraction. We become who we are in Jesus. But our life is more than eschewing the bad and doing the God. It is participating in the spirit and life that is God. In religion we are striving to be something. With Christ as our life, we are being His life and we are alive.
(1) Gregory Boyd, Repenting of Religion and Turning from Judgement to the Love of God.*
* As much as we may try to disguise it, we are innately judgmental when positioned in the law. Here our judgment is directed at those who are far less religious than we, but inexplicably far more spiritual and attuned to God’s Heart.