GETTING RID OF THE STUFF
One might not expect to do better than spiritual malnutrition in a law based community. This carnal fast can only be the case where religion is seen as protecting the brand and sin management is he goal rather than life itself. Spirituality is union with God – a possession that is ours if we are astute to be living in it rather than some common externality.
Thomas Torrance declares, “We are united to Christ who is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, and participate in the risen Humanity of Christ so that we are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.” In the incarnation you are a manifestation of Christ – which is the real meaning of the Body of Christ.
JUMPING THROUGH HOOPS
Not a few believers work in a double jeopardy. They are working to be saved and working to be accepted by Christ. The notion of steps to Christ is an unfortunate delusion. God has taken steps to us in Christ. We are included and positioned as sons of God and heirs of the Kingdom.
Bradley Jersak writes, “Fear-based faith (a paradox) is the ultimate deception. We need to examine closely whether the devil has been hiding in plain sight - squatting within the very message that we’ve preached. Parasite and deceiver that he is, he found the ultimate host to help disseminate his terror campaign..”
A DISTORTED CHRISTIANITY
Being among the Body of Christ is not much help if what we have is a perversion of Christ’s gospel.
The ultimate deception is not always disguised in fear. It can present itself as ‘duty’ or as the common Christian ‘contract’ in which ‘I do this so that Jesus will do that’ or as obedience to the law. Or as a moral program or as the seemingly benign but more self-destroying, earning of self-worth through one’s work. Overwork can be the result of the heart’s plea, ‘Will not God and the generalised Other please love me?
God does love you and you already belong.
By agreeing with Father than Christ is our life we gain His (Christ’s) relationship with Father, His forgiveness and His life as our own. This is quite different to attempting a good life because we love Jesus. The difference in His Gospel is that He becomes our life.
Legalised religion operates from scarcity. A poor man’s gospel is one in which we think that our [god-life] is about controlling sin. Not quite. Godliness is about life and being fully alive. His life in you forgives your sin and imparts His righteousness. Nevertheless the hub of your God-Life is not sinning versus not sinning. It’s your already accomplished union with God.
‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ John 10.10 NIV. The abundant life is a life lived in the communion of God’s Trinitarian self. This life has reached out and drawn you into the fellowship of God. We can live in this or we can continue the fall and bumble on in partial life and degrees of death. Or Christ can be our life.
WHO IS YOUR LIFE?
Concentrate on sin and the overcoming of it and you will not overcome it. Neither will you grow into a well-balanced person who is a vessel of grace* and truth. Focus on Christ. Agree that He is your life and that you have been drawn already into His belonging and His life and you will take on the characteristics of a son/daughter of God and live as a source of spirit and life.
“The great Athanasius (298–373) put it this way: “God [in Christ] became the bearer of flesh [for a time] so that humanity could become the bearer of Spirit forever.” This was the Great Exchange. Jesus was meant to be the guarantee that divinity can indeed reside within humanity, which is always our great doubt and denial. And once that is possible, then most of our problems are already solved” (1)
Denial of this truth is the cancer that afflicts many – even though they assert belonging in the Body of Christ. The fact is they do belong. But they live from the lie that they are earning belonging.
The very person of Jesus Christ is expressed as you because in Jesus you have become a son of the Spirit instead of a son of the flesh (Adam). The nurturing and protecting of this inheritance consists of living in this truth, resisting all variations of the lie of the fall and flourishing in the fact that the trinity is woven into your being and that you are woven into the trinity.
* There’s a kind of ‘grace’ that pretends to be grace but which is really poor discernment presented as spirituality.
(1) Rohr, Richard. The Universal Christ (p. 179). SPCK. Kindle Edition.