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The core of Adamic culture is the illusion that we can ‘be as gods’ which means to make ourselves Godly. This is the attraction of religion that leads to the dilution of spirit and life. It’s expressed in words as innocent as ‘Keeping close to Jesus.’ The subtlety of this ‘keeping’ is that it’s our measures, our strategies and our arrangements that position us to possess the salvation that is offered in Christ.

But we already have our life in God.

You need take no steps to Christ because Christ has already taken steps to be one with you. God in Christ has taken steps to include you in the Communion of Godself. So it’s not about us ‘receiving Christ.’ It’s about us living in the reality that we have been received into His life.

The assumption of law-based culture and law-based teaching is that we can work ourselves into the acceptance of God and know Him by our own efforts. People will say that intimacy with God depends on a righteous life or ‘keeping close to Jesus, which perversion of the gospel. We can pretend to ourselves that we are righteous by fixating on one or two denominationally sanctified observances – which then become for us a ‘false grace’ and a pseudo messiah. But all of this is to delude ourselves and deprive ourselves of rivers of spirit and life.

None of us are righteous and not one of us a capable of consistently ‘keeping close to Jesus.’ This is like saying you need the water of life to live but you must fetch it yourself.

Intimacy with God depends on His life. Christ in you and His life as yours. Stephen Morrison observes, “God is the “great but” which contradicts all our attempts to work ourselves up into a knowledge of God with ourselves at the center. God confronts us as the God who may not be reached by what we deem pure, through our own works, but only as the God who makes Godself known to us by grace. God lives in unapproachable light, a light which must illuminate in our darkness, which we cannot reach by ourselves and must come to us by grace.” (1)

Grace is radical. Grace involves the cross and the incarnation – firstly God among us and following the resurrection and Pentecost, God in us. Christ our life is very simple and never as convoluted as religion, fundamentalisms and retrograde ‘revelations’.

(1) Morrison, Stephen D.. Karl Barth in Plain English (Plain English Series Book 1) (p. 23). Beloved Publishing. Kindle Edition.