THE GOSPEL OF JESUS AND THE APOSTLES
A young fellow I knew many years ago told me that his father, a long time Christian got annoyed ‘By all this talk about Jesus.’ This was not so surprising when it is realised that the Dad was raised in something akin to an ideology rather than a culture that was Jesus from first to last. It has to be said, however that this guy’s dad was not so different to many whose relationship is to Christianity, rather than to a personal Jesus.
As I wrote recently, any teaching or any book that begins with Christ and ends with the law did not come from God and is not Christ’s Gospel. The law leads to Christ historically and spiritually. Christ never leads to the law.
The fact is, that our Christ relationship, is more than personal. It’s an inter-weaving of being, our being and God’s being woven together in Christ. The cross made us one with God by atonement and the incarnation makes us one with God by the Spirit in everyday life. This oneness is the ‘ground’ of our spirituality and the rootedness of the anointing and the gifts.
Christ is not separate to the creation. Neither are we separate from Christ. We were created as daughters and sons of God and have been re-created anew in Christ, our Last Adam who is both the New Father of the human race and the Life-giving Spirit who inhabits our being, joining us to Himself and the ecological wonder of the Earth. There is no pantheism in Christ and neither is there any deism or dualism.
Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola assert that Paul tells us that “The entire universe was created by Christ, through Christ, and for Christ. In addition, all things in heaven and earth are held together IN CHRIST and will one day be summed up in Him.” Consequently, the new creation is also being formed in Christ.
“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
“That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-in Him.”
SONS IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
How do we take on the nature of the sons of God? Our being is imbued with the Son of God and we are joined to the triune God in Jesus Christ. As a result we are part of them but take on the full uniqueness of ourselves as expressions and manifestations of God. The result is that the Church becomes to be an expression of the fullness of God.