BELONGING IN THE ONE LOAF
Good theology is based on the holy scriptures. But the truth we gain from these scriptures must be gained from what God actually did in Christ. You will either live to enter more into God or live to keep Him out or at least in the limitation that He is already.
There are many deserving issues that capture the attention of activists. And many values and behaviour modifications that might be ours as Believers. But the Kingdom of God is not issues driven and nor is the core about behavior modification. It's a way of life that is Christ from first to last. Christ in us, us in Christ and all of us in relationship with God as sons being the expression of God's nature. The first Christians called this The Way. The writer of Hebrews infers that Christ our life is the new and living way - the way in which the life of God becomes the life of all.
"Paul Tournier described the real essence of Christianity as: ". . . the building of a new civilization in which the spirit of Christ will be in the inner source of personal, family, social, and individual conduct." Jesus said: By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another, not by how well the Bible is preached and "hot" the worship team might be. This is to be the outcome of our commitment to Scripture: We are the One Loaf the unbelieving world is permitted to "bite into" to taste and see if God is good, or not. If our commitment to Scripture does not result in an appropriate taste, our ship has sailed without us." (1)
‘Sailed without us’.. what if it has sailed because it was never His Gospel?
Of course, our commitment to Jesus takes priority over our commitment to scripture. The use of scripture is great when the word is rightly interpreted. ‘Rightly’ means Jesus is the lens - the hermeneutic - by which the Bible is read and understood for what it means in spirit and in truth. We need to be clear. Those raised in legalism should know that the law leads to Christ. But Christ does not lead to the law. Christ leads always to more of Himself, more of God, more of you and more of life. You will flourish as your real self, absorbed into Christ. You will shrink as a person confined to the law.
GIFTS, WORDS AND REVELATION
While we may hear from God in our spirit or in the gifts, there is and has been no genuine addition to the gospel of Jesus and the apostles. The gospel of Jesus is that He is our life, our grace and the expression of our real self. Any addition to the apostle’s doctrine is specious and a product of the anti-christ spirit.
‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV. Should we say that Jesus has come to promote the law, we are saying that He has not come in our flesh – the law has.
THE ONE LOAF
Belonging is a state of being rather than a ticking of boxes. Belonging is being one with what God has actually done in Christ. What He has not done is provide a novel way of doing the knowledge of good and evil and the law by the empowerment of Himself. The law is misguided hermeneutic.
We are the one loaf when Christ is us and we are Christ. Not just in Christ but Christ expressed as Sam and Mavis. Union with Christ is existential union – achieved because Jesus is human and fully God and because Jesus infuses our being with His Spirit. In the spirit of Christ you are, so to speak one flesh.
There is now no separation between us and Jesus. So, let's be done with 'Keeping close to Jesus' which is the 'Jesus' version of legalism. We can no more ‘keep close to Jesus than Peter and the Jews could keep the law.
Let's live in what we have been given: Union with Jesus which means union with God. We are the one loaf when alive in Jesus' version of what He has done for us and not the one loaf when we are living in a mindset that denies our union with God because we have affirmed our separation by remaining tied to the umbilicus of the law.
ALIVE OR HALF-DEAD?
‘What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!’ Rom 7.24,25 NIV.
So, are we tied to a corpse or are we one with the resurrected Jesus?
Paul elucidates the difference between bondage to the body of death and the union of the self with the Body of Christ as follows: ‘We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body’ 2 Cor 4.10 NIV. This is to say that we live in Jesus because of the cross, the resurrection and Pentecost. We are alive in Christ because of the incarnation with Christ in us.
Let’s be clear. Sons of God are not people in the Body of Death who have added to themselves the anointing and the gifts.
We are what we believe. This is why Satan in the garden suggested and alternative reality which becomes the mystery of iniquity. Iniquity is not always overtly evil. But it is evil because it proffers a reality that separates us from God and denies who we are as sons and daughters of God. That which is real is what Father, Son, Holy Spirit and scripture say is real. The reality is that you belong in God and better still, that He has already placed you in Himself.
IN YOU AND WITH YOU
God is never somewhere else. He is in you as you read this and in you when you are not in some 'holy spot' or not even thinking of Him. You can live in God and He longs to fellowship with you by invitation. Father desires everyone and forces Himself on no one. Joseph Prince writes, "It is the truth of grace and not of the law that brings you true freedom. The truth of the law only binds you. In fact, religious bondage is one of the most crippling bondages with which a person can be encumbered. Religious bondage keeps one in constant fear, guilt, and anxiety." Or in delusion.
SEDUCED OUT OF THE NEW COVENANT
Of course, there is a religious bondage that is more subtle than overt legalism. It's living in Adam's knowledge of good and evil and thinking this is God’s will. This bondage reduces the life of God to religion, the truth of God to a belief system and the incarnation to a forgotten doctrine. You don't have to live like this. None of us do. We have this treasure in jars of clay - which is the trinity alive and active in our being.
The light that shines in any darkness is the personal manifestation of Father God in His Son. Jesus of Nazareth is the word that is sharper and more cogent than any two-edged sword. Just as Jesus was the manifestation of His Father, so you are the manifestation of Jesus. Truth has never been seen in 'the law expressed' and never will be.
Jesus was not the law expressed and made manifest. He did not manifest something less than Himself. He was the manifestation of His Father. By allowing ourselves to be adopted we become the manifestation of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Truth and life is the trinity expressed as you! This is the real meaning of the One Loaf. All other meanings are phantoms of the truth and faint religious replicas of what could have been Christ come in you.
HIS LIFE AS YOU
Jesus said, 'Those who eat me will live because of Me, ' and 'I am the bread that came down from heaven.' He also said, 'Unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man you have no life in you.' So, Jesus was not talking of propositional adherence to scriptural data when he spoke of The One Loaf. Jesus was talking about our being part of His being - which we are in the new covenant but not in the old, at least not in the fullness that we are in the new.
This is what it means to be of the One Loaf: "You will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you" John 14. 20
(1) Crosby, Stephen. How New is the New Covenant?: Discovering the Implications of: Jesus is Lord (Kindle Locations 1202-1208). Stephanos Ministries. Kindle Edition.