“Jesus calls men, not to a new religion, but to life.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer. (1)
It’s not difficult to live from religion. I spent much of my early life doing it. With many Believers that’s all they know. Living from religion was a natural response to the lie that prompted the fall – a culture of the knowledge of good and evil that presumed to manufacture human godliness. Some would find this proposition disconcerting – especially if it’s all they have.
We may be repelled by heathen forms of religion with their mindless or gross practices. Yet they are no less debilitating to the spirit and soul than any version of Christianity that overlooks the foundational truth that Christ has come in the flesh by living from law and religion ( a more diffuse version of the law) instead of living in the spirit of Christ our life.*
The Bible teaches that life and love go together. God is love and also our life.
SEEKERS OF LIFE
Should we hunger for life and have a passion and a curiosity about truth we will eventually come to the same conclusion as Bonhoeffer. God’s truth is universal no matter what religion we have been raised in. If we are followers of life we will be followers of Jesus and not content ourselves with half-lives and diluted gospels just because this is our idea or our faith.
DEAD FOLK WALKING
To be careless of life is to not care enough about love.
If we live from routine and passivism, we will content ourselves with life with mould on it and generate fictions to justify our treadmill. Like old fruit in a fridge we will gradually decay without realising it even as we extol the Spirit and the gifts.
‘To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory’ Col 1.27 NIV.
Human history did not start in the Garden with the fall. It started in heaven in the vision of the trinity.
The solution to the worlds woes is not the law as some hold#. The salvation and recreation of the world is the life of the trinity as our life.
Humans were born in original glory. Birthed by God out of the vision and womb of the trinity our genealogy is the sons of God. Our hope of glory to be realised every day is to live in the glory of Christ’s life as ours until the end of our days. We are speaking incarnation, a major purpose of the cross.
THE GRAND FURPHY OF THE AGES
“It may be difficult for some to think of sin as getting life from our knowledge of good and evil. It is like becoming aware of the air that you've breathed all your life. It is much easier and initially more self-rewarding to view sin in terms of evil that is "out there." Yet our failure to become aware of the root of our separation from God keeps us from living in the place of outrageous love and joy that God wants us to live in. This failure is what keeps us from experiencing the life of Christ fully and is largely responsible for our inability to bear the kind of witness to which God calls us.” (2)
The knowledge of good and evil and the law separates us from God, ourselves and others. We can manufacture a passable veneer of concern for others while adhering to the core of something that is fundamentally judgmental.
We can regard ‘our truth’ as superior and our legalism as ‘practical godliness’ and be blind to the fact that Jesus offers us a life, not a religion and sonship not a special identity in some religious community.
In Christ we not only belong. We are part of God in our sonship.
THE DAY WE ARE REBORN
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV. This is not religion. This is the state of being that is you joined by God’s choice to the Family of God. Because God is love and incarnated in you, you will be able love yourself and others with a deep and genuine love. You will love life and seek it out.
You will become love because Christ is your life. You will discern evil and home in on the Good. No longer will you need to pretend that your family lack of spiritual discernment is grace when it is actually the dullness of eye sight resulting from the separation from God caused by the law.
You will be life rather than a peg-board of religion.
Unless Christ is our life as per the new covenant, we are left with the teaching of principles of good living and mores of behavior management. We can fill a conference with information or we can fill it with spirit and life like Jesus. Because like Jesus, we and our Father are one.
* To live from religion is to live from the knowledge of good and evil.
# Versions of law-keeping range from Judaism, Islam, Christian fundamentalism and Adventism.
(1) Gregory A. Boyd. Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God (Kindle Location 10). Kindle Edition.
(2) Gregory A. Boyd. Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God (Kindle Locations 130-134). Kindle Edition.