“Natural theology goes behind the back of Jesus Christ by seeking a union with God, or some higher knowledge of God, independent of Jesus Christ. It is therefore akin to a rejection of grace and likened to (intellectual) salvation by works.” (1) This was Karl Barth’s position – an insight that applies as much to ‘other gospels’ and gospels that seek to adapt the gospel of Jesus and the apostles to their own lights, as it does to knowing God without the mediation of the Spirit of Christ.
Jesus need not be sought by us in some particular time or special place. He is in us and with us. Jesus said, that if we believe His teaching the trinity will - Make their home in our being. This is the reality in which we live and the testimony of scripture.
Jesus is never somewhere else. He is in you, with you and woven into your being. We call this life in the Spirit, which of an entirely different nature to life in the law and the letter. Life in the Spirit is not law plus the gifts. It’s life in our post cross union with God and more. It’s Christ’s life as our life.
HE BECOMES YOU
When the Bible reinforces our dependence on Jesus we are greatly blessed. It tells us that Christ is our life; that our at-one-ment is complete and that we are incarnated with the fullness of God. We already are one as Jesus and His Father are one. Religious motions do not improve our state of being. It’s not reading the Bible that makes us a better person. Reading with the Jesus lens will reveal that Jesus is our life and reinforce the truth that in Him we live and have our being. This is the meaning of the Lord's Table. He becomes us just as food and drink become us.
This is our new covenant life in spirit and in truth - Jesus manifesting as our person. And then as our community. We become what we eat. Eat a diet of burgers and chips and the result will be seen in our bodies and take effect in our minds. When we eat Jesus in His fullness and resist the junk food of the old covenant or our addiction to ‘other gospels’ and other identities, we manifest His life and the life of the trinity.
Such a life is not religious motions or Christian pieties. It is agreeing with Jesus that we have been drawn into His fellowship in the trinity and that God lives in us. We become holy because God is holy since God is woven by the Spirit, into our being. You become the expression of Christ when He is your life.
Jesus said ‘Those who eat me will live because of me.’ He is the food and drink of life. In eating Jesus, we become sons in spirit and in truth. Christ our life births sons of God, who manifest the Kingdom of God. Sons are not people who have adopted a moral agenda or a bunch of behaviors. They are not in Adam. Neither are they in Moses with a Jesus additive. They are in Christ and Christ is in them. They are people through whom Jesus manifests in their flesh by His Spirit. In a new covenant mindset, you are in God and God is in you. This is His doing and it is the gift of infinite life.
‘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.
Realise this now. You will change from notional sons to sons in spirit and in truth. You will be transformed from notional members of Christ’s Body to become living expressions of Jesus, our Father and Holy Spirit.
JESUS LENS/JESUS LIFE
If we read the Bible through the Jesus Lens, we will see Him in the stories and teachings. Of ourselves we have no power to replicate them. But Jesus will be these things in us. He manifests the Spirit of Sonship in your being. This is the meaning of the living word. This is the word made flesh and alive in us and manifesting as George and Margaret. The new covenant is entirely holistic and is the one and only whole person approach. The law can never produce whole people. The supposition that the law can produce whole people is an oxymoron.
GRACED WITH HIS BEING
Christ our life means Christ our grace. We are graced with His life as ours. Our deformities are covered in Him even as we are being changed into an expression of Himself. We can live a pure and gracious life because Jesus is living His purity and grace through us. This is Christ come in our flesh: The core of the new testament age. This is how we live as sons and daughters in the spirit of sonship.
Sure, we can live from the law or from a bunch of self selected elements of the knowledge of good and evil that make us feel good and pander to our denominational ego. But we will never be fully human or fully alive, much less sons of God and life-giving spirits who are Jesus multiplied in the earth. As Paul warns, we will remain workers and slaves.
‘Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children’ Gal 4.25 NIV.
(1) Morrison, Stephen D.. Karl Barth in Plain English (Plain English Series Book 1) (pp. 13-14). Beloved Publishing. Kindle Edition.