I came across these words, recently and grasped them to my heart because to me they mean the difference between being fully alive and existing in the kind of ‘coma’ that many call ‘belief system’. Too few realise that we have a treasure of spirit and life that shades any institutional form of religion. We can live from Christian Religion with a life of sorts but we can live Christ our life and be alive with spirit and life.
LAYERS OF GUNK
There are layers of religion that we can mistake for Godliness, when all the time they are just the motions of us. The cross undid ‘layers.’ The resurrection began our naked union with God. The one sacrament Jesus left us is not about achieving oneness with God. It’s celebrating the un-impeded oneness with God that is ours every day. We miss a lot of enjoyment with God when we think that encounter with God is contained in religious boxes and times.
A LIVING LIFE
There’s a big difference in coming to the end of your life as ‘a Christian’ and coming to the end of your life as a companion of Jesus, and as a person who has enjoyed the fellowship of the persons of the trinity as the normal and ‘living way.’
Some people do have more of God as Watchman Nee explains in The Normal Christian Life. But they do not have it because they are more clever or more worthy than others. They have it because they are not passive. They have had the passion to push through religion to union with God and as a result have moved beyond the fabric of respectable mediocrity.
We can have an adequate life plodding around our traditional mulberry bush, but we can have unlimited spirit and life by eating Jesus.
‘Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you’ John 6.53 NIV.
Godliness is less information and more a state of being: Which is to say being a son/daughter of God.
Eating Jesus is not a ‘work’. It’s a rest and agreement that God is for us, that Jesus is in us and that we and Father are one. Live in this and you will never live on a religious treadmill.
THE OFFENDED RELIGIOUS
Some take offence when the thought is offered that there is more spirit and life available to them than what they have accommodated themselves too. It comes from a smug assumption that others cannot be more Godly than they. But if we are a disciple of religion we think we must cling to all we’ve got. The miser view.
FORM OF GODLINESS
Jesus is at the periphery of many Christian’s lives. If you are a pastor with the belief that Jesus is everything, you will know how discouraging this is.
Some people do have more of God than others – but only because they want Him more and are willing to make a sacrifice to get it. What is the sacrifice? Being willing to be a follower of Jesus rather than a follower of man and rationalising the latter as ‘obedience.’
The reason for offering THE ‘GREATER LIFE’ is the same reason that Jesus came into the world: To offer life to the full. He did not come to be our ‘add-on.’
MINISTERING THE NEW COVENANT
Genuine disciples have the same passion. They are not here to boast but to advertise the good news that life without limit is for all – and particularly is this so for those who have settled for a limited life and passively made a virtue out of some miserly version of Christianity.
LAST YEAR’S LANGUAGE
So these are the words uttered by two Christians as their way of life. “They embraced the adamant rejection of “last year’s language” (any kind of comfortable habit, clinging, or stopping at a lesser goal). The old covenant is a lesser form of life, a glass one quarter full and selling people short.
‘Last year’s language’ was abandoned when Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’ By His cross He had brought the age of separated Adam to an end and initiated the next age that we know as the new testament – the age that we know as our new covenant union with God.
Last year’s language is religion. Your ‘now language’ is Christ as you.
CALLING IT OUT
Last year’s language is the language of the law and the old covenant. God’s now language in play since the cross and Pentecost is the incarnation – God’s life as our life and fellowship with God. This is the same kind and quality of companionship that prompted Jesus to declare that “He and the Father are one.”
This is a fact of your life and the life of the church if you believe it and if you want it. We can choose to be a Christian clone or a son/daughter of God in spirit and in truth.
The infinite life of Christ in us means that this year’s language is the ever unfolding revelation of the ways that God is for us in Christ and the ways that we are sons and daughters of God next year’s language. This is our practical, everyday fellowship with the trinity.
The life of God and the glory of you has nothing to do with the law and everything to do with the fact that in Christ, God has become you. By which we mean, we have become sons of God in spirit and in truth because God has already made it so. Last year’s language is you in Adam. The adventure of future life is Christ as you.
“Some Christian teachers erroneously assert that the destiny of humans is to "become God as God is God." But that is NOT what the orthodox Christian doctrine of theosis proclaims, for humans will never cease being human - they always will be created beings and thus can't become God, who by definition, 1) has no beginning (is un-originate) and 2) depends on nothing outside himself for existence (is self-existent).
However, to share in God's divine nature, through Christ, is to be exalted to a very high place (Ephesians 2:6). It's as close to becoming God, while remaining God's creation, as is possible. “Torrance and Barth spoke of theosis as becoming "fully human" - finally experiencing in all its fullness the glorified humanity possessed already by Jesus.” This is why we should agree with Jesus, Paul and John as well as the Church Fathers that Christ is our life.