The rich young ruler says to Jesus, ‘What must I do to inherit eternal life.’ So it’s about performance, as it is with many. Jesus replies, ‘Only God is good.’ This is the key to life, righteousness, holiness and wholeness. The real Gospel is that we have been made part of God as sons. But as daughters and sons we have all of His life, all His righteousness and all of His infinite life.
We need not be intellectuals to understand the gospel. But it does help to be willing to think, abandon misguided ideas and be humble enough not to weaponize ignorance and label truth as false facts.
Some ‘bodies of belief’ have been subverted by time, having been inundated by the human style of religion which is always some variety of the knowledge of good and evil presenting itself as a version of Christianity.
What is notable about numbers of ‘Bible Believing’ Christians is that many don’t know what is in it and their gospel is not the Gospel of Jesus. It’s a gospel of moralism, a gospel of the law with Jesus help and a gospel of ‘It’s up to you to keep close to Jesus.’
GOSPEL OF DEATH
‘Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!’ 2 Cor 3.7-11 NIV.
There are some understandings of individuals and of entire denominations that are but a bending of the truth and others that are a delusion. Yet they have been followed for years as though they were a special revelation from God. These include watered down and revisionist gospels that ignore and undo the new covenant. Others that come from supposed revelations that initiated churches whose culture is derived entirely from the law that is words on stone.
Not a few think it’s ok to travel through life with a combo of law and grace – as if such a thing is possible as a son. It’s either one or the other. The Spirit of Sonship as us is the product of a total baptism into the Spirit of Christ. Anything less than this and we are not reborn. Neither are we able to give more than a sputtering account of the Kingdom. One may be rightly startled by the fact that if we remain contained in the law and religion we are not born again. Theologise and preach as much as we like in this state of being we will not recognise or preach the Kingdom of God.
ONE OR THE OTHER
Michael Kapler writes, “Law and grace were never meant to be a corporate merger, which is why Paul contrasted the ministry of death and condemnation to the ministry of righteousness. This isn’t chocolate and peanut butter and they don’t belong together. Paul went on to say that when the previous covenant is read, there is a veil that lies over the heart, symbolic of the veil Moses put over his face to cover the end of what was fading. He continues with this: “But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:14-17). Notice how Paul shows us that the first covenant and Moses were synonymous and hardened their minds. What happens when one goes from living under the commands of the Mosaic law and turns to Christ? The veil is taken away.” (1)
Old covenant legalists can be so veiled in their understanding of the what is Kingdom and what it not, that they think the drops of blessing that come their way are an endorsement of their moribund beliefs. By maintaining a connection to the law, we limit our spiritual discernment to the that of a water melon or marrow.
Jesus set the captives free from delusion and crooked vision. He did this by drawing us into Himself which is into His light. Paul asserts that to stick with the law is to neutralise the efficacy of Jesus, which explains why the spiritual discernment of the law addict is so atrocious. But it is the ‘hardened mind’ that increases in its leathery nature the longer we deny the climate change to new covenant union with God. It is our unconditional following of Jesus through the cross into resurrection that removes the veil so that we can ‘see.’
(1) Kapler, Michael C.. Clash Of The Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee. Kindle Edition.