EGG AND EAGLE
People can get edgy when told they can have God without the stuff. Because many sense that the stuff and not much of God is all they have. Living from the knowledge of good and evil makes us a religious construct. Legalism is innately related to dualism. Dualism captures us in externalities and woodenness and suffocates the spirit of Christ and our human spirit.
WRONG WAY – GO BACK
Law based Christianity is a fellow-traveller with Arianism. Had Arianism been allowed to gain a foothold it would have leeched life from Believers with a Jesus who is not God and who does not join us to God. Legalism separates us from God in an abstract gospel of an abstract god.
Truth is life and error is captivity. Since the world we create from our minds is the world we live in, its best to start with the mind of Christ rather than some deviant mind.
A law formed gospel leaves us in Adam’s separation, in the knowledge of good and evil. This leaves us in a mindset of separation from God, when in fact we are not separated. Not separated because in Christ we have His relationship with the triune God.
Legalism stultifies spirit and life in the Believers with a false gospel of separation in which the Believer is left to complete the atonement by works of the law. These works are not always defined as the Ten Commandments. They are often disguised as ‘church lore.’
The incarnation is more basic, more simple, more radical and consequently more truthful than doctrine seeded by the father of lies. Incarnation is the foundation of the Kingdom of God. It is the means by which God becomes you and which God becomes the new creation society by us. Incarnation is what the mystics call oneness with God. Except that this is not the province of hermits. It’s the inheritance of every Believer.
WHAT INCARNATION IS NOT
Incarnation is not the gifts of the Spirit or the anointing. Incarnation is Reconciliation lived. It precedes the gifts as the foundation of Godliness. Spiritual gifts are not God’s means of making us holy. God becoming us makes us holy.
‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. This is the one way that we get to be holy because God is holy.
Incarnation is the new creation flowing from the trinity and manifesting in people. Leanne Payne writes, “It is only by remembering that 'Another lives in me' that we can die daily to that old, false, usurping self, and that we can continue to be drawn further in and higher up into the life of God. To 'practice the presence' is to continually call to mind this great reality.” You become another self. When Christ is our life we become our real self.
REMINDER OF THE REAL
The sacrament of the Lord’s Table does not join us to this reality. We are already joined. It reminds us to live in this reality; that Christ is our life. Jesus’ words. This is my body given for you is about incarnation. His real person (body) given in real time on the cross, becomes our being by the Spirit. The mystery and miracle of the incarnation is that the person of Jesus, along with our Father and Holy Spirit are woven into our being. And we are woven into God.
We can live a version of the Christian faith that does not heal or restore our soul. Law based, old covenant Christianity - if not negating the incarnation, certainly diminishes it, leaving the Believer a cardboard cut-out of her real self and almost absent of spirit and life. Legalism stifles the real self and suffocated genuine Christian Community.
Arianism was a lie and the notion that Jesus lives to aid our keeping of the law is a lie. Jesus lives so that He comes in our flesh and we become Him as persons and as the real Body of Christ.
Leanne Payne observes, “When one lives in the midst of a lie long enough, it becomes a part of you whether you want to rationally accept it or not.” Something like becoming a raisin when you are actually a wonderful purple grape or remaining as an egg when you are actually an eagle. This is the one way to become the new wine that is better than the first.