NOT A COMMODITY
‘But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!’ Gal 1.8 NIV.
ONE WITH GOD
We can live in the illusion that we are in the Spirit when we have never been in the Spirit because we have contained ourselves in the law. The difference between a spirit-filled culture and one that is not is the difference between spirit and life and its absence. The out-pouring of Holy Spirit at Pentecost was the result of the church receiving what Jesus had – our inheritance of union with God - namely a state of being in which we and Father are one.
No man or woman had this before the cross, which is why Jesus declared every Believer to be greater than John the Baptist. After the cross and Pentecost all who believed would be the expression of the trinity – If they seized their inheritance and we not diseased by some alternative gospel.
The key is believing what you have.
YOUR ‘TRUTH’ MUST BE THE TRUTH
So what has happened here? The separation wrought by Adam has been undone in Jesus and we are having what Jesus is having. Note that the gifts and the Spirit are contingent on our new covenant union with God and our living in this reality.* You can live in this state of belief or ignore it and do good deeds with Jesus’ help. That might be Christianity but it is never the Kingdom of God.
Life in the Spirit is more than operating in the gifts. It’s incarnation with Christ’s life as yours.
IN THE SPIRIT
Being in the Spirit is the life of the trinity as ours, their oneness as ours and their ultra-life as ours. We have this when we agree that Christ is our life. The gifts are the result of the incarnation. They are one kind of fruit that comes from our tree of life that is rooted in the trinity.
The gifts, the anointing and signs are not a self-contained package. They are the fruit of our new covenant union with God. Deploy them in this ‘we and Father are one inheritance’ and they are a powerful multiplication of heaven’s life.
Bolt them on to the old covenant Adamic life and they can spread confusion, be polluted by the Enemy and hinder the advance of the Kingdom like nothing else. The plan of the Enemy has always been to replace union with God with any kind of religion. Even the spectacular kind. The gifts are not a thing or a commodity. They are not separate from God or from you and are a function of ‘being.’ Our new covenant being of union with the trinity. Dr Stephen Crosby writes,
[The customary application of Ephesians 4] “is unfortunate as it gives the impression that what is given is a "thing" or a "commodity" dispensed from the heavenly gumball machine. These "gifts" of the resurrected Christ are not spiritual charge cards we take out of our Christian wallet when we want to do some "ministry" for Jesus. They are not talents or skills exercised in a meeting once a week. They are not charismata as in 1 Corinthians. They are δόματα: domata. These gifts are woven into the nature of the one who has them. They are the deposit of a facet of the nature of Christ into human beings. The human being is the gift, not the exercise of a manifestation! Neither are these gifts symbols of status or rank worn on the collars of spiritual officers in the army of God. They are not a title of privilege and hierarchy. If there is any metaphor that can be gleaned from the KJV language of perfecting and building it is contractor language, not military or governance and ruling in a political sense. These gifts are not the equivalent of a CEO of a civil engineering company. There is already one, and only one, chief executive-Jesus Christ.” (1) Exactly right. The main manifestation of the trinity in this age is the Believer as a son of God.
FATHER AND SONS IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
Crosby is speaking to the nature of church governance but what he is saying applies to all of us as members of the Kingdom. Jesus has revealed who God is – our loving and trustworthy Father. He represents who we are – the sons and daughters of God. Life in the Spirit along with the gifts is the expression of God’s life interwoven with ours. It’s more than magic tricks. It’s heaven’s life manifesting through you where you are on earth. Who and what is the channel of this life?
“A prophet [or an apostolic representative] is someone who has a unique, God-given ability to bring forth a clear unveiling of the Person of Christ, and His current purposes in the cosmos, through the opening of the scriptures, by the Spirit of God.” (2).
The gifts are less about telling the future or a ‘god told me’ support for our private and sometimes misguided views. They reveal the truth about Father, about Jesus and about you and I. The gifts are operating at their best in a new covenant culture and when deployed to reveal who Jesus is and who we are as sons expressing His spirit and life.
* Manifestations of the Spirit where about before the cross. But none were incarnated with God. There are outbreaks of the Spirit due to God’s grace and love. But their purpose is always to draw us into the fullness of Christ. By persisting in an old covenant life we guarantee the fading of the anointing and admit the possibility of the influence of ‘another spirit.’
(1) Crosby, Stephen. The New Testament Prophet: Understanding the Mind, Temperament, and Calling (Kindle Locations 2961-2969). . Kindle Edition.
(2) Ibid. (Kindle Locations 3035-3036). . Kindle Edition.