A theologian announced to his class, ‘This statement of faith, is the contribution of our denomination, to the theology of the Christian Church.’ Unfortunately it was this piece of theology that defined his church as outside and not belonging to Reformed Theology.
Grace enables us to cope. Grace and truth empower us to live spirit and life. Today I received news of an excellent new book on the new covenant. I write about the new covenant - because many Believers do not live in it - and because we need to. Christ our life is the key to the kingdom of God realized through us. The new covenant is simply grace in action because Christ is our life.
MORE THAN ACCEPTANCE
Christ our life is reconciliation with God. But not just reconciliation. It’s more than us being allowed to be near Him. Christ our life is God interwoven in us.
I’m talking about Jesus the Person as my life. Not only as my grace but as the expression of my true self through me. All of us came forth from the Son. We all have been redeemed by the Son, liberated from death to be alive in the sense that heaven is alive. This life is expressed by the person of Jesus in us. How cool! How cool to be the expression of life itself rather than the expression of inhibition and religiosity. I worked with a person once – one who made much of things that were jots and tittles. Yet he remained a shrimp instead of a person. Don’t be among those whose lives say that being a follower of Jesus is to be a crustacean. True disciples are sons and daughters of God.
A true life in Christ reveals you as a son/daughter of God. We don’t have this stature embedded in a religion of sentimentality.
AUTHORITY AS A SELF – NOT AS THE SCRIBES
‘For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed--a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith’ Rom 1.17 NIV. This is not a jot and tittles ‘righteousness.’ It’s the kind that makes us sons and daughters of God – so that the whole takes care of the parts.
YOU ARE SAVED. JUST PARTICIPATE
Just to be clear, we are not saved by our amount of faith, by the degree of our repentance or by our efforts in maintaining the salvation that is ours. We are more than saved. We have union with God because Christ is our life. Jesus is our union with God, our continuity with God and even our relationship with Himself. There is no link that us up to you. You are complete in Christ. Your part is to agree that this is so. This is your obedience.
‘So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ’ Col 1.28 NLT. IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST. Ensure that you have a relationship to Christ rather than a relationship to religion.
The presence of God is with us and in us. This is the ministry of Holy Spirit. I am sad when Christian workaholics expend themselves under the impression that this is somehow God and that their efforts are as close as they can expect to get to God.
Work is not God.
When Paul talks of Christ our life he means that Jesus in us is the expression of our true self and that His life flowing through us is the spirit-life that ignites ordinary things with the life of heaven. The presence of God is never us busy. This presence is the spirit and life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit alive in you.
‘For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God’ Col 3.3 NIV.
COMPETENT AS LIFE MINISTERS
We are competent to minister the Kingdom as new covenant agents of our Father. The torpor and ineffectual witness of much of the church results from ignorance of the new covenant. The water of life that flows from some of His disciples flows because Jesus and not ‘his stuff’ is their life and because they live not from performance but as sons of our Father. There are people who are apostolic and people who are just flat people without dimension or agency. The former are one with our Father. The latter are in try harder mode.
The light and life of the world is found in the simple fact of Jesus Christ manifest in you and through you. You are not God. But you are the next best thing. You are His daughter or His Son! This is a simple fact. It is the reality and not the shadow. No need for a new regime of effort and worksy discipline. Just agree and step into Him where you are already.
See ‘How New is the New Covenant?: Discovering the Implications of: Jesus is Lord.’