THE LAW AND MORALISM IS NOT THE GOSPEL JESUS LEFT YOU
Any Gospel that re-installs the law did not come from Christ. A cross that institutes the law as a gospel is an upside-down cross which is to say ‘no gospel at all.’
Concerning those who insisted on re-installing the law, Paul wrote, ‘As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!’ Galatians 5.12 NIV. To live from a law-mangled gospel is to emasculate one’s spirituality for wooden externalities.
‘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. What is your inheritance. It’s Christ your life, which means Christ expressed as you.
John writes, ‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV. A gospel that is not Christ in you is not Christ’s Gospel. Jesus is not here to express Christianity. He is in us to manifest as us.
There’s a difference between being a son and being a worker. In Galatians Paul goes further and distinguishes between slaves and sons – sons of the free woman and sons of the slave woman. While Paul is referring to the sons of Sarah and the sons of Abraham by Hagar the deeper meaning is to be found in the sons of the new Eve who is the Bride of Christ – the one who comes from the side of the Last Adam.
These sons are both the Bride and the true sons of God because they are truly themselves as persons and new creation beings.
We can live from the world’s template and define ourselves by our accomplishments – as though this is who we are. Sadly in many cases it is all we are and our real self is in deficit. We live as a husk of our true selves while the kernel lives hidden and unrealised because we have made a life out of externals.
Make no mistake. With Christ as your life you will live a righteous life. You will grow in wholeness and holiness and will be alive in His spirit and life. We can ‘be holy as God is holy’ when graced by Christ our life.
Here is a quote from a recent post. I include it again because I still get shocked when I find people I know living from this template of faint substance and limited sonship as though this is the normal Christian life. Here’s the quote,
“I read about a man, we’ll call him Jack, who was talking to Jesus in a vision. Jesus asked him what he thought he had accomplished with his life. Jack gave a rendition of his accomplishments as one might in presenting a resume for a job interview. Jesus was amused. He laughed and said, ‘No that’s not it. I just wanted to know what success you have in being Jack.’”
We will not become ourselves in externalities. We will become who we are in Christ our life who shapes us into our original identity as a daughter and a son.
ONLY CHRIST GIVES YOU, YOU
Neither the law or an ethical programme will make us whole because it will not make us ‘US’. Only Christ our life will make us into our true selves which is Him doing the new creation on our being. Christ our life is the only genuine whole person approach in existence. Its other name is the new birth. No one born into the law is born again. Everyone who lays down religion and takes up Christ is becoming the new creation.
It’s a sad thing to settle for a religious agenda when you could have chosen to be you.
What are we making of ‘being Jack’ or Joan or George or Carol? Are we realising who we are or are we a shadow of our real selves? People who are abused or imprisoned cannot be who they are because others have degraded them to something less than themselves. Yet even then some of them will transcend their circumstances to shine as who they are.
SET THE CAPTIVES FREE
The point is, where are we putting our effort? People give their lives to set captives free, because liberty is better than bondage and wellness better than disease. We cannot live from bread alone but by every word of God declaring who we are. The person of Jesus is the declaration of who we are. To see Jesus is to see you. To know Jesus is to know who you are becoming. It’s one thing to talk on the spirit of sonship. It’s another to be a son in spirit and in truth and shed the encumbrances on which we rely but which can never deliver the true us. This ‘deliverance’ from our false self takes being born again. Richard Rohr observes,
“To live in such a way is to live inside of an unexplainable hope, because your life will now feel much larger than your own. In fact, it is not your own life, and yet, paradoxically, you are more “you” than ever before. That is the constant and consistent experience of the mystics — their vision that can also be your own. “God, you were here all along, and I never knew it” (Genesis 28:16). (1)
To re-install the law and promote a gospel in which Jesus supervises and helps you keep the law advertises to all that you do not know what Jesus one for you. He has gained you His life as yours.
(1) Rohr, Richard. The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (p. 24). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.