Ghan at Marla SA



‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’2 Cor 3.6 NIV. Some gospels are alive while ‘other gospels’ birth people into the letter that kills.

It’s not so hard to be raised in a church that is barely alive. When moralism and an intellectual version of the knowledge of good and evil is the ‘gospel’ the unfettered life that is Christ come in us, is threatening and annoying to those who have made religion from ‘the letter that kills’.

There are churches where the un-amended Gospel is preached. Here the people participate in the eucharist with reverence and joy as they receive the life of Christ for them to be realised as them. When we regard this sacrament as the essence of our life rather than a mere rite, we begin to be the expression of Christ as Jill, Dave, Mary and Hector.

If what we have as a gospel is an ideology and this ideology is steeped in religion and the law, then we are setting ourselves up to resist life and even be anti-life. I have seen fear on the face of church officials when I spoke the life of Christ as a guest speaker at a Christian staff worship.

The idol of religion makes us instinctively fear undiluted life, especially when we have made our so-called life out of restrictions and inhibitions. We may argue that people resist Christ to preserve their vested interests, and they do. But the bottom line is that the religionists of Christ’s day murdered Jesus because
He was life itself. Today life is avidly pursued outside of Christ, yet resisted and despised when life is presented to them in the form of Jesus Christ. Unbelief is humbug, but so is Christ-sidelining religion that comes in the form of ‘earning Christ’.

If our religion is a Christian ideology rather than the genuine gospel of Jesus we will live as a dry creek and preach rivers of sand. It was not unusual in the church to which I once belonged for a church administrator to preach on occasion, as a matter of courtesy and protocol. These disciples of ideology preached sermons that were uncommonly dry. Some conference presidents preached the ‘deadest’ sermons I have ever heard. Instead of presenting words of spirit and life to listeners they offered the  dry cardboard of their non-gospel on which to chew. Their gospel was a perversion of the Gospel of Jesus and an example of ‘the letter that kills’. You can’t multiply life for Christ if you have made a friend of non-life in the law.

Evangelist Reinhardt Bonnke writes, “
I listened to his sermon, waiting for some sign of life. It never came. I knew I would not last long with this man”… We dishonour Christ and decay ourselves when we accommodate ourselves to a culture of death dressed up as life.
I told Anni that I was not going to invest myself in those dead churches. I did concede to preach at the local church on Sunday, but the rest of the week I began to seek out new converts on the streets and in the villages of Lesotho. I am happy to report that my approach of going to the people with the gospel eventually brought revival to those dead churches as well. But that happened many years after this small and very discouraging beginning.” (1)

We cannot impart life if we are not alive, and we will not be alive if we are eating the law when we can be eating Christ. Christ has made us one with Himself by atonement and infuses Himself into our being by the incarnation of Himself in our person. This is life in the Spirit and must be distinguished from the gifts and healings. Sadly, there are Believers who have some expertise in the gifts who are not alive in their spirit and more or less dead folks walking. Jesus Himself is the Bread of Life. Eat Him and not the wrapper.

In our time at least it must be clear that we have to find our faith in a living encounter with Jesus the Christ— an encounter which is of course sustained by the Spirit.” (2)

Reinhardt Bonnke, Living a Life of Fire. An Autobiography. 187,198.
(2) Karl Rahner, in Habets, Myk. The Anointed Son: A Trinitarian Spirit Christology (Princeton Theological Monograph Series Book 129) (p. 10). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition.
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