READ THE BIBLE IN THE BEING AND THE ACHIEVEMENT OF GOD
In the last post we talked of the grid we must use if we are to interpret the new testament as what it means and gain the vision of Jesus as our life rather than the miser[s view of Christianity in which Jesus is seen as a better way to do the law.
THE PEARL, THE TREASURE AND THE YEAST
This grid is the incarnation of the Son of God as the Messiah of which the result is the incarnation of the trinity in us. This is our inheritance as Believers and the inherited wealth of every Christian.
If you have had much to do with a miser and the culture such people engender, you will know that scarcity-austerity thinking narrows the mind and withers the person. It’s no coincidence that the misery and miserly go together. Except that spiritual miserliness can give the illusion of wealth.
Those with a more than adequate income who live from a scarcity outlook, obsessively hang onto what they have. Compulsive hoarders, their life is their stuff. Viewing their world through the lens of scarcity, they keep a watchful eye to see that others are not receiving more than they. In their thinking another’s gain is their loss. Many hoard useless stuff and useless ideas because scarcity is more of a reality to them than the abundance in which they actually live. They stick to the old like toadstools under a log and resist new ideas in their religion and in the world at large.
We have seen this obtuse and niggardly attitude in politics in recent years – where advance is resisted because it is not old and where opportunity is rejected because it interferes with the wealth of friends and cronies. Most misers are not poor. But all of them are scrooges. One can have a sound bank balance and still be a peasant scrounging to make a living because one’s being has shrunk to the coins and pieces of paper.
SONS OF GOD
In the spiritual realm, there are many who have been conditioned to see themselves as peasants when they are actually kings.
‘I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!’ Gal 2.21 NIV.
Christ our life is radical, yet ordinary grace. It’s ours. It’s grace because Christ’s life is our life.
Yet people set it aside on religious grounds. We are talking of the stubborn resistance to the new covenant, the retention of the self in the currency of the law and its association with a money-changing, contractual mindset its imagined entitlement to God they think it gives. There is resistance to change even when the Bible and Holy Spirit clearly signal to them that they are bearers of a shifty gospel (Gal 2.21).
PARABLES OF LOSS
Parables that Jesus used to illustrate this niggardly attitude to grace are the Parable of the Talents, the story of The Sower* and The Foolish Virgins.
In the talents one man leaves his inheritance in the ground because he thinks Christ our life is too good to be true. In The Sower the Kingdom is stultified because the garden owners remain hooked on the law. The foolish virgins miss out on the wedding because they have made a life out of their religion instead of Christ their life.
THE VICARIOUS HIMANITY OF JESUS
God is not small, austere or miserly. We must not live from a law-sin mentality when we have the abundant life as His life and HIS communion with the trinity as our life. Not if we would present ourselves as messengers of life. To do so we must become ministers of the new covenant.
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV.
THIS IS THE WAY
God has shared with us who God is. Any genuine gospel of the Kingdom joins us to His way of being. Thus it is truly a new and living way into union with Himself.
“What God is toward us and for us in his revealing and saving acts in the incarnate economy undertaken for our sakes he is in his personal divine Being as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and what he is in his personal divine Being as Father, Son and Holy Spirit he is toward us and for us in the revealing and saving acts of his incarnate economy.
This is very evident, as we have noted above, in the New Testament witness to the fact that God is Love, and indeed a Communion of Love, out of which his love overflows freely and gratuitously toward us through the Son and in the Spirit as the Love of God for us, in a redeeming movement of Love in which God through his Son and in his Spirit gathers us into union and communion with himself.” (1) * In this story the rocks, stones, weeds and crows are indicative of the man-made and demon encouraged resistance to the deep soil of Christ our life. This is a paddock in which the new covenant has been ignored and religion has grown like weeds in stony ground.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 8). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.