I have just returned from an Easter Sunday celebration of the resurrected Jesus. The cool thing about this is that this Christ lives in us so that in Him we are always headed into our better self. The service finished with communion as is proper, because the Lord’s Table is the reminder and celebration of Christ our life.
ALL THINGS SUMMED-UP IN CHRIST
Blake Wright pens the lines, “The story of the Bible is not the story of the covenant of grace; nor is it the story of Israel. The Bible is the story of God’s work in history to sum up all things in Christ. New Covenant Theology strives to keep this one plan of God—centered in Jesus Christ—primary.”
You have direct access to God in Jesus Christ who is in you and with you. An incarnated life means that by the Spirit of Christ, His person is expressed as you and all who believe.
The plan is that Christ becomes you and that Christ becomes us. The plan is that the logos – the Christ of God becomes the fabric of the new creation.
‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation’ Gal 6.15 NIV.
KINGDOM OF GOD
Most of the Kingdom of God is outside of church. The new creation is the Christ incarnated and manifest as society and the earth. The result of this plan is that you become an agent of the new creation. The climax of this plan is the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
Some of us have a mechanical view of the self because we have made ourselves in the image of the political - economic system. Other’s mechanical self is caused by being raised in the law. We begin becoming our true self when we are born again – when we begin a life in Christ as Christ our life.
The Nicene Creed demonstrate the truth of Christ our life and is the foundation of the authentic Gospel of Jesus, Paul the genuine Church.
We believe in one God, the Father, the almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is,
seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the father. He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
There are Believers who find this foreign and can make no sense of it – which is an indication of how much their gospel differs from the Gospel of Jesus.
MISTAKING THE PARTS FOR THE WHOLE
Should we have been raised in fundamentalism it is likely that we will have a very mechanical view of ourselves, of God and of righteousness. Take for instance, ‘Sin is the transgression of the law’ and ‘the ten commandments are a description of God’s character.’
The first has enclosed us in definitions. ‘The letter’ with its prescriptions and compartmentalised attitudes leads to contradictions and absurdities. For example in some circles it has led to the notion that one can engage in sex without penetration and still be a virgin.
The second has led to a pedantic view of God almost denuded of human (and God) qualities. Not to mention the obsession with personal and usually sexual sin and a convenient blindness to civic and ecological morality.
HEALING AND RESTORATION
Sin is caused by separation from God. The only description of God’s character is Jesus Christ. It is in Jesus that we are united with God and interwoven with God’s being. We are intermingled with the trinity in Jesus. Here we are woven into relationship, mystery and ultra-life that is personal and communal. This is what it means to ‘know God.’
KNOWING AND BEING
The astute person will see that such knowing is similar to knowing your wife or husband. Not only do we live together but we are united in being. It is this union that both makes ourselves and begets the sons and daughters of God.
Richard Rohr writes, “Really, it’s only God in us that understands the things of God. We must take this very seriously and know how it operates in us, with us, for us, and as us.” Notice the ‘as us part.’ This is the mind of Christ which is the result of the incarnation and the ministry of Holy Spirit. (1)
We can remain captive and stultified all our lives in our pre-conceived ideas. Like a solidified Lot’s Wife we become stranded in arrested development because we have sacralised our past and are unwilling to get into the adventure of our Omega. Rohr observes, “Most things that we call experience are actually just additions or passing stimulation. To make matters worse, we imprison them inside of the experiences we already have; that’s why most people don’t grow very much.” (2).
A major difference between Christians is the new covenant/old covenant divide. We are born again when we claim the new covenant as our own – Christ our life.
Phlegmatism and inertia can become a way of life. David Watson wrote of ‘Clubs of Conformity’ in describing some kinds of Christian institutionalism. Have we grown in the last twenty years or did we just lock onto something and go round and round in circles since we discovered something new like the Holy Spirit?
( 1,2,3) Rohr, Richard. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your transformation (Kindle Locations 2327-2338). SPCK. Kindle Edition.