These self-entitled men wanted to stone the woman for adultery. Jesus wrote in the sand and they all went away sheepishly. I wonder what Jesus would write today. Jesus blessed the woman with the words, ‘Neither do I condemn you.’ Christ’s message to the sinner – and that’s all of us is
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (See this declaration).
‘The Spirit’ is not Jesus helping us live a moral life. ‘The Spirit’ is Jesus being our life. The Spirit is our life in Christ or as Paul said, ‘Christ our life’. Law-mongering and sin shaming is not the Kingdom of God and not what Jesus represents.
JESUS THE LIVING WAY
It’s unfortunate if we are still living in the law of sin and death. The core of the lie, of the knowledge of good and evil and the theology of the fall is that we become godly as a result of ‘entitlement.’ That is to say we earn it. This was the suggestion behind the statement ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’
The insinuation is that we become ‘entitled; to a higher state of being by mastering the culture of good and evil and conforming ourselves to its principles and values. This of course is the culture of the world, of humanism and of subverted christianity.
Jesus Christ has joined us to God. Christ in us is the cure and the ‘undo-er’ of sin. Christ in us can cure and heal us of these malformations with His creative power.
The message that is Jesus is that He is our life and our salvation. He is the solution to moral degradation, greed and the stupidity that is spreading across the world. Jesus’ message was ‘I am your life’. Never that God was sending people to hell. Israel Folau is the tip of a culture that is not the Kingdom of God even if it is a version of ‘christianity.’ Moralism is not the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom is not the knowledge of good and evil with a Christian slant. The Kingdom flows from Christ our life as Paul put it.
‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ COL 3.4 NIV. As we live in His embrace we become fully human and fully alive.
In the Kingdom that Jesus began, life, love and righteousness is a function of relationship, namely union with God. Sin – the result of separation from God – is the myriad attempts to be ourselves independently of God. We can attempt this in open rebellion or by way of a version of Christianity that is an adaptation of the tenets of he knowledge of good and evil – the old covenant in Christian clothes. We call this ‘works.’ This can show itself in the attempt to conform to specific behaviors or in the production of one’s own gospel that confers on us a special but bogus, identity, status and sense of entitlement.
But the gift of God is eternal life. This is the contrast between religion and raw life in God. The ‘gift’ appeared in Jesus Christ and who God is, was revealed in Jesus, His cross, His teaching and His resurrection.
If decayed christianity is typified in an obsession to ‘save ourselves’ along with the illusion of separation from God, the Kingdom in its spirit and truth is revealed in the peace that flows from the knowledge that we have been saved, are saved and are living in renewed union with God because of God. Genuine Kingdom life is one of peace, rest and fruitfulness. Here we are the seed who lives in the soil of God’s being to produce much fruit.
Baxter Kruger contrasts the gracious nature of God and our belonging as follows. “To believe in the Trinity means that we believe that God is a relational being, and always has been, and always will be. The doctrine of the Trinity means that relationship, that fellowship, that togetherness and sharing, that self-giving and other-centeredness are not afterthoughts with God, but the deepest truth about the being of God. The Father is not consumed with Himself; He loves the Son and the Spirit. And the Son is not riddled with narcissism; he loves his Father and the Spirit. And the Spirit is not preoccupied with himself and his own glory; the Spirit loves the Father and the Son. Giving, not taking; other-centeredness, not self-centeredness; sharing, not hoarding are what fire the rockets of God.” (1)
Miser is as miser does. The knowledge of good and evil/law culture is scarcity in action. The lived experience of a poverty mentality is the sense of never having enough, with the result that one must hoard what one has, even though it is rubbish and keep an eye on others to check that they are not getting more than we have. This explains the spirit of judgment and antipathy to grace that dogs cultures of Christian entitlement. It’s the reason why the King of unlimited life was crucified and why evangelists of radical grace are persecuted by the religious.
Our inheritance of Christ our life means that the trinity comes to live in us when we obey Jesus’ teaching to seek life in Him alone. The fullness of trinitarian life will be our life in fullness. No law here. Just incarnation and Christ come in our flesh. This is the key to transformation and the driving out of greed, materialism and false entitlement.
(1) Kruger, C. Baxter. Jesus and the Undoing of Adam. Perichoresis Press. Kindle Edition.