REAL WINESKIN/REAL RE-BIRTH
What does it mean to be born again? It’s more than ceasing to be an immoral person and beginning life as a moral person. It’s the start of an incarnated life. In this life the real God and the real you come into being in your world as you proceed from glory to glory as sons and daughters of God.
DEPARTING THE ADAMIC SELF
“Your egoic false self is who you think you are, but you’re thinking does not make it true. Your false self is a social and mental construct to get you started on your life journey. It is a set of agreements between you and your parents, your family, your school chums, your partner or spouse, your culture, and your religion. It is your “container.” It is largely defined in distinction from others, precisely as your separate and unique self. It is probably necessary to get started, but it becomes problematic when you stop there and spend the rest of your life promoting and protecting it.” (1)
This is the self that is made from the social construction of reality. We see that this lesser self is a personal and social construct. It is real. But it’s not the real you. It’s the difference between you as the son of the slave woman and you in Christ your life as a son of God.
‘But what does Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son’ GAL 4.30 NIV.
“Jesus would call your false self your “wineskin,” which he points out is only helpful insofar as it can contain some good and new wine. He says that “old wineskins” cannot hold any new wine; in fact, “they burst and both the skins and the wine are lost” (Luke 5:37-38).
I would call this self our non-born again self – the self that is us in our old covenant Adamic life. Not yet the self we are called to become in Christ our life. The latter is our non-dualistic union with God. It’s the expression of Christ as you.
“Your false self is not bad or inherently deceitful. Your false self is actually quite good and necessary as far as it goes. It just does not go far enough, and it often poses and thus substitutes for the real thing. That is its only problem, and that is why we call it “false.” The false self is bogus more than bad.”
As far as it goes. It is pre-life because it poses diminished sonship, inferior spiritual discernment, suffocates life in the Spirit and hinders the advance of the Kingdom of God. We are talking religious versus incarnated lives in which being baptised in Christ our life joins us to the Real God and our Real Selves.
SONS AND WORKERS
The worker, works to make a self. The son is a self in Christ because Christ is the son’s life. We can be a generic person of we can be a son/daughter of God. That which happens between us and Jesus is what make us ourselves as people of worth rather than persons who just happened to pass through life. Some folks are more naturally contemplative than others. But this need not be a problem if we are willing to adopt a mindset of being with Jesus continually. Jesus lives in us in our life, not someone else’s.
CHRIST IS OUR LIFE
When Paul says, ‘Christ is our life’ Jesus is our life and is personally in us and with us in our daily activities. Jesus lives in us in our life, not someplace else. Bu the Spirit Jesus expresses Himself as us so that we are graced with His forgiveness, atonement and holiness. Holiness is less some kind of morality, less some ethereal religiosity and the reality of you as a son in oneness with our Father.
Because you are incarnated with the fullness of God, there are no holy times and holy places in the post cross age. The creation is holy. In every time and place, you are His life. To restrict yourself to segments of time and place is to dull yourself and suffocate the Spirit.
Union with God is a state of being. It is spiritual yet the manifestation of God as you because it is Christ come in your flesh. Charles Ringma writes,
“The place of solitude is where we are changed. It is the place where we abandon some of our agendas, where we acknowledge our compulsions, where we discover new directions, and where, more importantly, we find a new self.” (2) The place of solitude is not only your prayer closet. This place is where you are in the world that He invites you to put under His feet. You and Father are one in the world.
A MANIFESTATION OF JESUS
We find this new self as we are lost in Jesus. Hidden in Christ He becomes us and we gain our real identity as sons of God. Believe Him and He is you. You as a channel of life is not restricted to public prayer or public meetings. Real life of the kind that is called spirit and life comes from your living in what is already yours: Union with Father.
Jesus did not need to have a vision or dream to do what Father was doing. He did it because He was the expression of His Father. There’s no dualism in God. No separation between God and you. Christ has made the two one. When we are living in what we have as ours – ‘oneness’ with God - the Spirit is powerfully with us and we move in our real identity – a son of God and a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
(1) Rohr Richard – ‘What is the False Self?
(2) Charles Ringma. Dare to Journey--with Henri Nouwen (Designed for Influence) (Kindle Locations 159-160). Kindle Edition.