PIETY MAY NOT BE GODLINESS
‘I am the Vine, you are the branches’ means our life is the effect of Christ’s life manifesting as us. This is the one holistic gospel and the only genuine whole person approach in which the Believer becomes the manifestation of Christ who is her life. Thus justification and sanctification are not a dichotomy. They are the effect of Christ in us.
IN STEP WITH CHRIST
The post cross age is the age of the incarnation – of the trinity in us. Oneness with God is derived from the atonement and the incarnation. It’s what Paul called Christ our life. To seek holiness, godliness, in bits and piece of virtue is what we have been set free from Not what is our inheritance.
Christ our life is more than virtuosity. It Christ in place of us, Christ for us and Christ expressed as us in our being and persona. Grace and truth is a person.
You are one with God, before you do anything – before you begin to enact any rite, any observance, any sacrament. Your Christ-life is the sacrament. You and Jesus being one and your living in this reality is the foundational sacrament of our life.
Any gospel in which one earns oneness with Christ is bogus. Oneness with God is already yours. It’s what Jesus cited in John 17.21 NIV, ‘Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. Thus as Jesus gave up His life He announced that separation is finished!
This life of oneness with God is It’s what Paul describes in Galatians 2.20: ‘I live because Christ lives in me..’ Incarnation is not Christ rattling about inside us like a ping-pong ball. It’s His life blended into us, as us. Perichoresis means we are one in being with God, yet uniquely ourselves as sons and daughters of God.
Advance in the Kingdom is mainly about us allowing God to be for us what He already is and allowing ourselves to become who we are becoming in His life. This is the essence of what it means for Christ to be our life.
ROOTED IN GOD
Some of us are natural contemplatives. All of us need to engage in it to some extent. It’s the difference between being flotsam and a person with divine identity, agency and purpose.
Our main teacher is Holy Spirit, who lives within yet is also without - using everything around us to draw us into the life of God. Holy Spirit applies God’s spirit-life to us in every situation and teaches us all things concerning Christ and ourselves. The Spirit is with you and in you.
BY THE ONE SPIRIT
In this mode we are in the flow of the new creation – delivered from compartmentalised thinking, segmented time and bisected places. We are being made whole. Because Christ has drawn us into the company of the trinity we are in the flow – in the River of Life that proceeds from the throne.
‘In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind’ John 1.4 NIV.
We can imagine that we are Godly by performing rites and doing laws. But in actual fact we are the weaker brothers whose ignition in the Spirit of Christ is hindered by self-effort. Godly people are not who they are because they were nourished by the law.
WHOLENESS AND HOLINESS
When Christ is our life we are joined with Him to the triune God.
The whole is more than the sum of the parts. One with Christ, one with God and one with the creation we are joined to the whole. Here we are in the flow of spirit and life and we impart life to the parts. Thus Jesus’ statement, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life is seen for the micro and macro of what it is: He joins us to the Hub of life where we are positioned to ‘see’ the true meaning and potential of every person and every situation.
IN HIS LIFE
J Baxter Kruger explains that the way is less about us receiving Christ than us agreeing that we have been received into His life. As we rest in this Sabbath we are charged with divine life and equipped to release spirit and life into everyday activities. We are the new creation in person. There’s a space in you called your ‘heart.’ This was symbolized in the temple as the ark of the covenant. Richard Rohr observes, “The only difference between people that matters is the difference between those who allow this space to fill with flow—and those who don’t, or won’t, allow it. Like Mary, the model for contemplatives, “it is done unto you,” and you can only allow.” (1)
(1) Rohr, Richard. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your transformation (Kindle Locations 1938-1940). SPCK. Kindle Edition.