We can exist in a style of living represented by rotting fruit on the bench and a fridge full of mouldy food. A mode of existence in which we cling to our stuff because it has always been our stuff. Paul warns that ‘other gospels’ curse for the simple reason that they present a distorted christ and a crippled humanity formed by a maladjusted gospel.
PURE IN HEART
A life-giving knowledge of God comes from an undivided heart. ‘The pure in heart see God’, Jesus said. A heart whose loyalty is divided between a church and Jesus is a heart with two husbands. While the pure in heart see God the divided in heart devise their own god and their own christ.
Our best learning about our life in God comes from the truth seeking function of our heart – the seeking of vision, freshness and life. The heart, if it has not been totally anesthetised by religion will seek out that which is fulsome and true about God. Or not.
Hearts can resist false gods and mistaken husbands. Hearts can seek to make their way out of veils and thickets even if they have been subjected to a subtle brain washing and tendentious socialisation for most of their lives. But they have to love Jesus more than they love their received beliefs.
YOU AS AN EMANATION OF CHRIST
Hearts can be beaten up by toxic religion or rendered inert by everyday religion that has been formed in the factory of the knowledge of good and evil instead of in the heart of God. God simply is. The I AM of God is more real than any notion of Him and it is in this I AM that our hearts are invited to come alive, to revive and pump new creation life into our spirits, souls and bodies.
Religion can be toxic when it is all about manipulation and control. There are churches like this and excellent books have been written about escaping from their coils.
There’s a form of abuse that is more subtle and which does not appear overtly as abuse – but it is. It is so because it subtly purveys a gospel that distorts who God is, who Jesus is and who we are in His salvation. The insidious nature of ‘other gospels’ is that they multiply a debilitated spiritual life in the guise of truth. There is nothing so numbing to the human soul as bent views of God.
‘False christs’ are more common than we might imagine. The true view of God is found in the person of Jesus Christ and the apostles teaching. This is the Jesus lens*. Even then our quest must be to know the real Jesus and be liberated from any ‘religious Jesus’ who is a construct of our own minds and religious up-bringing. This is a key point in C Baxster Kruger’s book, Patmos and also found in the writing of Thomas Torrance.
The latter writes, “On the one hand, then, faith is characterised by a certainty of conviction which derives its force from the truth of God himself thrust upon it, but on the other hand, faith is characterised by an open, ever-expanding semantic focus which answers to the unfathomable mystery and inexhaustible nature of God.” (1)
PROOF TEXTING ONESELF SMALLER
God is not contained in definitions and neither are we. We are explained and realised in Him through Jesus Christ. The words of scripture always point to something greater than themselves. They imply ‘being.’ This is why a fundamentalist reading of scripture makes God less than He is and diminishes the person.
God is who He is and at the same time cannot be limited. Similarly with us, when we are in God, which we are when we agree that we have been received into Christ’s life. In Christ we as sons start the journey of becoming a being – a son – who lives without limitation in the spirit of sonship. It’s not only eternal life that is found in knowing God. It’s the authentic, infinite life of sons of God in spirit and in truth.
A characteristic of the knowledge of good and evil style religion is compartments, boxes, divisions, separation of times and sacralisation of places. There is no sacred and secular in the post cross age. There is incarnation. Christ is all and in all.
SPIRIT AND TRUTH IS UNION WITH GOD
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4.19-24 NIV.
What is spirit and truth? It is you in God and God in you. It is your interwoveness with the God who loves you. It is you realizing that ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
YOU ARE INCLUDED
Jesus has opened the door to union with God. He is the Door. Most of the world has not entered in. Our message to these is that ‘they belong’ so that in believing in Jesus they will come home and find life in His Name. Our message to Believers is that we belong. We are already positioned through Christ in fellowship with the trinity. We are not separated and striving with Jesus help to win acceptance. We already are accepted in Jesus and owners of the love Father has for Jesus. We are included in Jesus relationship with our Father, and Holy Spirit.
The cross rendered the entire separated world one with God. Our mission for unbelievers and ourselves is to agree with the truth of the incarnation: Christ in us. Christ by His Spirit as us. We live to receive the reality into our being that Jesus has already achieved. We and our Father are one. We and the world are becoming one by the One Spirit. We are colleagues of Jesus bringing all who will have life into the togetherness of God.
A life in sin-consciousness, legalism, moralism and a watered down version of the knowledge of good and evil is no life at all. It’s un-life promoting itself as what it is not: Life to the full. As such it’s a cloud of abuse. But your inheritance is to live the cloud of glory that is Christ in you and the trinity in us all.
IT’S NOT ABOUT THE FALL “It was not the Fall of Adam, therefore, that set God’s agenda; it was the decision to share the great dance with us through Jesus. Adam’s plunge certainly threatened God’s dreams for us, but that threat had been anticipated and already strategically overcome in the predestination of the incarnation.
Jesus Christ did not become human to fix the fall; he became human to accomplish the eternal purpose of our adoption, and in order to bring our adoption to pass, the Fall had to be called to a halt and undone….Jesus is not a footnote to Adam and his Fall; the Fall, and indeed creation itself, is a footnote to the purpose of God in Jesus Christ.” ― C. Baxter Kruger, Jesus and the Undoing of Adam. * We are in trouble when our Jesus is not the Christ of God but a distorted christ.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 22). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.