Our spirit can enlarge even as our body decays. A growing spirit draws its life from life itself – from life personified in the Holy Family that we call the trinity. Since the cross we have the privilege of union with God. Called the incarnation this is the solution to the degradation and chaos of the world – not the gifts or the anointing but the state of being on which the anointing rests: Union with God.
SET APART TO BE ONE
John Crowder puts it succinctly, “The Greek verb “to sanctify” does not mean to “purge and purify over a period of time.” The word hagiazo simply means to “set apart” or to “make separate for God.” The moment you were saved, you were set apart for God. Sanctification is not a process. It is a Person. The Bible tells me so! And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from
God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30, ESV).
He is your sanctification. Any system that tries to draw your attention
away from the person of Christ and onto your own efforts is antichrist in nature.”
A friend once asserted that legalistic gospels are a form of witchcraft. At the time I thought he was demonising and overstating it. He was not. This kind of narrative is the same kind of false fact that was propagated from the magical serpent in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.*
Let’s be clear. Sanctification is not applying Christ’s life to yours. Genuine sanctification is you living Christ’s life as your own because He is expressing Himself as you.
‘Christ is our life because He is the Vine who joins us to the unlimited life of God in His fullness. Joined to God in the Christ of God we have access to life and truth without limit. Jesus referred to this kind of life as spirit and life when John wrote, ‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life.’ Jesus was not just talking of the flesh in the manner of Paul. He was emphasising that we are truly alive when in the flow of spirit and life that is the trinity in us – in our body, soul and spirit.
I wonder how many understand that a person can spend fifteen years in the mission field and have only ministered a half-life. In the new covenant you minister spirit and life in its fullness because Christ is your life. We can do better than purvey a moral agenda. We can be ourselves in Christ.
This kind of life is the difference between a sincere but ‘dead person talking’ and the life that makes us sons in spirit and in truth. It may be an unpalatable truth, but we need to know that we are not born again if we are not incarnated, not in the new birth when we are not a manifestation of the trinity. In the law and performance mentality we are not re-born.
MUM AND DAD THEOLOGY
Dad jokes are sad. So is a mum and dad theology composed of cunningly devised fables. There are folks who got their ideas from their mums when they were fourteen and have not changed them since. Sadly they have passed these limited ideas and visionless perspectives on to their kids. Some are successful businessmen and women, others are academics – but not the kind of people whose spirits are alive. They are more like sleep-walkers such as the current political leaders who speak platitudes as the world expires.
FALLING INTO THE DITCH
We live in a time in the world and in the church in which we have blind leaders of many who can see. So much of their life is spent in hanging on to what they have – which leaves them with half dead souls and tin ears that stopped listening in their youth.
Loyalty to Jesus and loyalty to our faith are not the same thing – although the Enemy would like us to think this is so. Any dilution of Christ’s gospel of the Kingdom dilutes us, which suits his project of denying that we are sons of God.
A passion for Christ is a passion for life. If our passion is something less than Christ, such as our inherited ideas or our belonging in our denomination, we cannot expect to become increasingly alive as we age. Some folks are super-alive in their ageing bodies. Others calcify and stagnate into inertia because they loved their family of ideas more than they loved the life that is Christ. They may be quite active but their spirits are not alive and their souls live in a coma.
In the book of his vision, The Torch and the Sword, Rick Joyner urges that God is always moving and that we need to be following. There is nothing stagnant about the new creation that came forth on Easter Sunday. Henri Nouwen assures us that the way to continued growth is the new and living way that is Christ our life.
“Nouwen observes that we may gain a new insight, but this will only lead "to many new questions." This means that we need to learn to live without finality and without out closure. We are always on the road. Always in flux. Therefore we are always faced with the possibility of growth and the overcoming of our rigid, secure, but inauthentic self.” (1)
OPEN TO WHAT
Some are open to everything except the truth – the truth that their gospel is not the gospel of the Kingdom.
We can belong to the Church of the Constantly Circled Mulberry Bush or we can be fruit in the tree of life. The key to our being the latter is that Christ is our life, meaning that by the Spirit, Christ is us. This is the real meaning of life in the Spirit. Never a bunch of gifts and miracles added to old covenant, law-bound, separationist religion.
* Under the tree of knowledge and good and evil we are subject to any and every distortion of God and His truth that is possible where darkness manifests as light.
(1) Charles Ringma. Dare to Journey--with Henri Nouwen (Designed for Influence) (Kindle Locations 181-183). Kindle Edition.