You won’t often find quotes from great minds here. And this is not because they are not wise, true or insightful. And its not because they are idealistic or impractical. I don’t make a thing out of such sayings because they have no power in themselves to be realized in us - no matter how much we may laud their compassion or insight.
Will power will not make these values become part of us. We have no power to make them part of our lives in ourselves. Not unless Christ is our life. Such sayings are in fact an expression of the wisdom of Christ; an expression of the living word and a declaration of the life that is Him. But only when in Him and He in us, do they have the power to make themselves part of the lives. Independently of Him they are an expression of the knowledge of good and evil. There is the Kingdom of God and there is people creating Ishmael’s.
‘Jesus is the living word. He is the manifestation of every good value and aspect of wisdom. He is our life. He has empowered us to be doing what He is doing.’
The life of Christ does not come from things we should do. Empowered and alive things we do come from Christ incarnated in our being. I read an article this morning about the need of the church to be missional. It does. But mission does not come from discipleship as the article suggested. Focus on discipleship all you want. This will not make you a disciple. But the Son of Man in you will.
Neither does good church life come from community. This is because community comes from life - the trinity in you and in us. Mission, discipleship and community come to us from the person of Jesus in us. The key agent of transformation in this age of the new covenant is not ‘try harder,’ adopt this wisdom, institute this formula, insert this key. It is Christ in you.
Christ in us, Christ manifest in people as the multiplication of Himself as the way, the truth and the life is the Kingdom expanding. The authority and power of transformation in the new testament is the incarnate life of the trinity active in our being and disseminated in the community of those for whom Christ - rather than extraneous religiosities and well meaning values - is life.
3. WISDOM AND REVELATION
Wisdom is not a substitute for His person as us. Wisdom is not an abstraction. The old testament implies that wisdom is the person of Jesus - the one who is the fullness of God. Wisdom is the way, truth and life. It is logos and word. It is the triumph of life over death and the victory of truth over rites and rusted on ideas. Paul’s statement below is not just about Judaism. It refers to anything that is not Christ.
‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation’ Gal 6.15 NIV.
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ 2 Cor 5.17 NIV.
How important then to be in Christ rather than just in Christianity!
4. SIMPLE AND TRANSFORMING
Christ in you is very simple. Too simple for some, yet it is the power of God for salvation and the transformed world known as the new creation. Each person has a meaning. Each person has a mission distinctly their own. Each person has Christ come in their flesh so they their life, their person is ignited with the Spirit of Christ alive in them to make them real. People are real when they are who they are; who they are because they are hidden in Christ; hidden in Christ yet revealed in their true identity; made alive in Christ and delivered from the dead works, false identities and missions forced on them by missional people who know nothing of the new covenant, life in the Spirit or the church Jesus builds without human hands.
Jesus is both the alpha and omega of the new creation.
5. SONS ARE DISTINCTIVE
Imagine a church where the roles people occupy are not institutionalized pigeon holes or structured cages - but the manifestation of a persons actual identity and purpose in Jesus. Your real purpose comes not from a purpose driven church, ‘30 days of purpose’ or institutional requirements. It comeS to you in the spirit of Sonship, from our Father, through Jesus and Holy Spirit into you. Make sure you are mentored by Jesus and not those who would make a career or a church out of Him or you! There is the kind of church planting that needs to be to attached to a mill stone and cast into the lake of no influence.
CHRIST PLANTING NOT CHURCH PLANTING
Father did not plant a church. Father planted His Son in the earth and in people’s hearts. It was these people - the first apostles who had made Jesus their life. They were the sons who became and propagated the first churches. Church for them was not some institution with structured roles. It was people gathered together in Jesus name - people in whom Jesus lived; people in whom dwelt the fullness of the God-head bodily.
NOT A BODY OF DEATH
The body of Christ is not a lifeless, Biblical/ institutional construct. The body of Christ is the person of Jesus manifest as His people. The fullness of Christ is seen as the Kingdom of God when people are simply the manifestation of Jesus through them. Christ in all His fullness is revealed when people are themselves in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So let’s get over this ‘missional thing.’ We will have mission when people are in Father and being themselves by living in their real identity. Being themselves without the humbug of those who would make them someone they are not - a fixture of an institution that is a figment of the letter. Plant church and you will get more church. Plant Jesus and you will have sons for God. That’s mission.
VINE AND BRANCHES
Mission is not a whole lot of people striving to be like Christ or to do His work. Mission happens when we allow Jesus to be Himself in us. Mission is linked to incarnation as surely as the branches are a function of the vine. Plant Jesus and you will harvest sons and daughters for God and propagate the church Jesus builds without humans hands. This is the gospel of the Kingdom and mission realized as the manifestation of Jesus in His people. This is new creation life.
We do well when mission is the effect of Christ our life rather than some new version of institutionalism.
‘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.