One can, if one chooses, live a routinised godliness that has little to do with God Himself. Due to conviction, reliance on religion as an insurance policy, or a predilection for meetings, one can board the treadmill of institutional godliness and receive scraps of God.
Whether any of them take hold will depend on purity of heart. Jesus asserts that the pure in heart will see God. In this post I am saying that the pure in heart will know God.
SUPERFICIALITY OF DEPTH
We can live an entirely religion-churched life without any depth of God or real knowledge of ourselves. Here we are giving out drops of living water rather than rivers of spirit and life. Nevertheless we may attain a certain credence and even honour in the circles of life minus spirit and life.
Real ‘knowing God’ comes from ‘being’* which is ours in fullness when Christ is our life. Then again one can live a rich life in intimacy with God in a normal Christian culture and in an institutional setting. But not because of the externalities in which one is involved. But because one has sought to know God and Jesus Christ whom God has sent.
We have seen in the rise of populism that people can seek refuge in the ‘common sense.’ But we should understand that such ‘common sense’ is at best an addiction to my own ideas and at worst ignorance and nonsense.
Knowing God comes from union with God - a union that is already ours. This is the union Jesus declared prophetically in His prayer of intercession in John 17. This union now applies and it is yours.
Since the cross you can know God well and know Him better than any pre-cross Believer. This is because the Spirit of Christ is with you and in you. Myk Habets nails it when he writes, “Scripture contains truth statements but not the Truth, which is exclusively the being an act of God himself.” (1)
Truth is life and this life is the real presence of you in God and God in you. The word of Christ to you is not a gospel of words but a gospel of being in which Christ is in you and is your life.
We need to ponder this truth and enter it. We enter it by saying ‘yes’ to Christ and by agreeing with Him that we have already been drawn into His life.
The religious person ascribes life to ‘god motions’ and observances. The spiritually alive person is alive because God is her life. It’s the being of God that is our life. Nothing else. This ‘being’ is incarnated in you so that we are sons and daughters in spirit and in truth. When the words of God written in scripture are alive in the Living Word who is Christ Himself, you are doing more than reading the word of God. You are in the Living Word.
THE ONE LOAF
Activism is not a life in God any more than we are of the Body of Christ because we have found a scripture that talks of ‘the one loaf’. Our life in God is agreeing with God that we and Father are one. In this ‘oneness’ we are the one loaf.
RIGHTLY INTERPRETING THE WORD OF TRUTH
The scriptures may be given a perverse meaning if we are living outside oneness with God. The scriptures exude spirit and life when Christ is our life
‘Truth is the being and act (presence) of God’. Habets statement applies to Bible study and religion. Life and light are in Christ, not in the container. Religion and good works are directed towards God but are not God Himself. Spirit and life is the being and presence of God Himself in you EXPRESSING HIMSELF AS YOU. We call this incarnation.
Jesus urges us to ‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20, so that we are the expression of God as sons/daughters and the reality of His life in the world. Thus in the ‘Jesus lens’ we ourselves become a lens that rightly applies the word of truth.
TRUTH IS CHRIST
Communities of belief can arise from wrongly interpreting the word of truth. This is the weakness of fundamentalism, when it treats the words of God as if they are God. Faith in words and definitions* separated from union with God separates us from God’s truth causing us to postulate ‘truths’ in our own image. Stephen Morrison observes that it, “Makes the Bible an independent source of revelation apart from grace, i.e., apart from God. Plainly, an inerrant Bible is a Bible that does not need God.” (2)
This is why new covenant and incarnation are foundational for truth, life and the Kingdom of God. * We take ‘being’ to mean union with God. * A law mindset maintains separation from God leaving us with definitions and mis-applications of scripture, in the mode of the knowledge of good and evil. (1) Habets, Myk. The Anointed Son: A Trinitarian Spirit Christology (Princeton Theological Monograph Series Book 129) (p. 239). Pickwick Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. Kindle Edition. (2) Morrison, Stephen D.. Karl Barth in Plain English (Plain English Series Book 1) (p. 50). Beloved Publishing. Kindle Edition.