One of the ways in which we can live a ‘less than ourself’ life is to live semi-insulated from the person of Jesus Christ. Another way to live as a restricted self is to live as an expression of our religion rather than as Christ our life. We can live in the fullness of spirit and life when we live from Christ come in our flesh.
The re-creation of the sinner is effected by Christ’s resurrection from the dead to live in their person and by the mystery of the Spirit to become them. They are not just adopted as sons. They are transformed by Christ in them into actual daughters and sons in spirit and in truth. The Believer is not just declared righteous. The Believer becomes righteous as a result of Christ’s life incarnated in theirs.
To live from the incarnation is to live unhindered by any degree of death because you are living from infinite life itself.
The Plan of the trinity has always been to create sons and daughters who would share their joy of life. God is I AM and sons were created to be the same as unique agents of selfhood. This is why our deep identity is complete in God and diluted by any kind of add-on. The law was made for man. Not man for the law. The law was a stop-gap given to the Jews to lead the way to Christ. So that with Christ as their life, humans could once again ‘Become themselves.’ To become a True Self is to live as a son rather than a worker. Sons have a Sabbath life all their life.
The law was never the way. Never the way because its ‘letters on stone’ had the purpose of leading to the new and living way – the way in which God is woven into us and we are woven into God. This is the way in which, through Jesus, we and our Father are one and we are sons in spirit and in truth.
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14,20. Know this and we will be sons in the completeness of our inheritance. This is the day we are born again – born from religion into oneness with Christ.
The law is an effect of the knowledge of good and evil – that realm that Adam plunged us into out of his immaturity; the realm of a false father who lies and who consumes his sons. The law is a travesty of relationship and of life. In this age it make cripples of those who could have been whole and smothers what could have been Christ as you. It’s not that we don’t get any of Him. We get drops when we could have had rivers.
The law is what you have when you have externality and no empathy. There’s a reason why we can never get close to each other living from the law. It is non-personal and non-human. It is an externality and an abstraction. One who has a belief system in her heart is a different person to one who has the trinity in her heart. One has Person. The other has the knowledge of good and evil. Intimacy, communion, laughter and joy started in the trinity. It’s their essence. Such togetherness is the trinity who has come to live in you.
‘Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV.
Union is ours not because it has been done. It is ours when we have believed it, agree with it and live in it. It is effectively ours when we have the mind of Christ. Having His mind, we live in His reality and we and Father are one. This oneness is our real identity and the only identity required of the sons of God. Every ploy of the Enemy involves seeking to shift our identity from God to some external identity that dilutes God and cripples our being.
SPIRIT AND TRUTH
I have known people who have made a thing out of etiquette and manners – people who are stilted in themselves and superficial in their souls. They live from a split self - the public persona and their inner ‘real self.’ Manners are useful but are never a replacement for genuine friendship, real love and unaffected humanity. Etiquette is to deep friendship what legalism is to fellowship with God. It’s ships passing in the night.
FICTION AS RELIGION
We can adopt fictions about Christian theology. As if we can make it up as we go and all will be ok. As though we will still belong if we have a different christ and a different gospel. As if we will still be the body if we have distorted our theology so much that what we have created is a different body. The Body of Christ is one with many organs and ligaments - one because we and Father are one. It is not a plurality of bodies. Look at it this way. People sometimes say, ‘No denomination has everything right.’ But this is a red herring. Any denomination that has ‘another gospel’ adopts a mindset that separates it from Christ and the community of faith.
Fortunately most communities do belong to the Body because they live from the gospel of Jesus and the apostles. Jesus said. ‘Those who eat Me will live because of Me.’ And so they will. But we will die of malnutrition if we cannibalise ourselves. Richard Rohr puts it well.
BAD WAY OF LIFE
“Bad theology is like pornography—the imagination of a real relationship without the risk of one. It tends to be transactional and propositional rather than relational and mysterious. You don’t have to trust Person, or care for Person. It becomes an exercise in self-gratification that ultimately dehumanizes the self and the community of humanity in order to avoid the painful processes of humbling and trusting. Bad theology is not a victimless crime. It dehumanizes God and turns the wonder and the messy mystery of intimate relationship into a centrefold to be used and discarded.” (1)
Bad theology can result from an infatuation with a community and co-dependency on an identity independent of Jesus. If bad theology is like pornography an extra-Jesus identity is life same-sex marriage. It is fundamentally turned in on itself and incapable of birthing the Kingdom of God.
When Christ is our life, we are a son of God and a son of the Second Adam.
(1) Rohr, Richard. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your transformation (Kindle Locations 298-302). SPCK. Kindle Edition.