JOY, UNION WITH GOD AND A HEALED SOUL
Many years ago I read a small book entitled ‘Living God’s Joy’. It was truth to my soul as I was surrounded by many whose Christianity was not joyful and which verged on being anti-life. Sure it was big on duty but so is a treadmill. Some years after that I read a biography by Australian historian, Manning Clark in which he cited the life-denying demeanour of many Christians he knew. To Clark this was a curiosity since God is life.
SPIRIT AND LIFE
Jesus went further than that. He said that no matter how active we might be in our presentation and good works – unless we were one with God, as He was with His Father we could not be the bearers of spirit and life.*
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe’ John 6.63 NIV.
Should we be living in the incarnation we will know God in the ordinary and find excitement in the adventure of life with Him. The great thing about Jesus, about Father and Holy Spirit is that the more we discover about God, the better God appears and the better we know ourselves to be as sons instead of slaves and workers. To walk in the light is to journey in the undoing of lies.
The Basic Illusion is that we can ‘be as gods’ independently of God. This was the initial lie and it is the lie that is still perpetuated by aberrant gospels – those in which humans acquire purchase with God, and hope to gain acceptance with Him by keeping the law, adopting a religious agenda and the touting of selective Christian values. This delusion is extinguished when Christ is our life. His life-righteousness and His person become us through incarnation. This is non-dualistic, one oneness with God, entirely holistic and is life in the Spirit because it is Christ come in our flesh.
In his Commentary on The Book of Romans, Karl Barth observes that, “Men have imprisoned and encased the truth—the righteousness of God; they have trimmed it to their own measure, and thereby robbed it both of its earnestness and of its significance. They have made it ordinary, harmless, and useless; and thereby transformed it into untruth. This has all been brought to light by their ungodliness, and this ungodliness will not fail to thrust them into ever new forms of unrighteousness. If mankind be itself God, the appearance of the idol is then inevitable.” (1)
IDOL IN PLAIN SIGHT
The inevitable idol is always ‘my ideas’ or ‘our perspective’ or ‘our denomination.’ Whether it is sectarian or non-sectarian, it imprisons its adherents in non-truth and reduced life. As such it is a subtle form of abuse. It’s degrading because the harvest of the cross, the at-one-ment and incarnation is life without limit – not an apportioned fraction of the infinite life that is we deny people on account of ‘our perspective’.
SPIRIT AND LOGOS
Jesus as the Christ of God is the Way, the Truth and the Life. The entrance to union with God is Jesus. Jesus is the truth of our salvation and the meaning of life. Jesus is life itself, being the Representative of the trinity, which is the life-hub of the universe and the Communion that is the law of the spirit of life.
JOINED TO LOVE, JOY AND LIFE
Baxter Kruger puts it accurately when he writes, “Jesus is the light of the world. He is the secret, the key which unlocks the mystery of babies and baseball, of fishing and barbecues, of romance and love. He is the light which illuminates the mysteries of our humanity, from cooking supper and managing a hardware store and painting houses to friendship and laughter and music. It is all the way the dance of the Trinity is being played out in us. When you see the Trinity and the incarnation for what they are, you are poised to see yourself and your life in a new light, the true light. You are poised to see that there is nothing ordinary about you and your life at all. You and your life are the living expression of the glory and joy and beauty and love—the great dance—of the Father, Son and Spirit.” (2)
There’s a wonderful difference between a law-centered, sin focussed spin on the gospel and the Reality that is Christ – because the reality that formed and sustains the universe is alive in you and expresses itself in you and in us. It’s the New Creation. In union with God you are alive with His life and a river of life.
* No matter how well our teaching is researched and no matter how informative it may be if it is delivered from a position in the law it will contain no spirit and life.
(1) Karl Barth, Commentary on the Book of Romans, page 45.
(2) Baxter Kruger, The Great Dance. The Christian Vision Revisited. p.23