THE NEW SHOOT THAT IS YOU
We are either learning or stagnating. Something I learned two years ago has changed my view of God and my life in Him for the better. I found this written by a number of theologians in a small book entitled, “Trinitarian Conversations.” I had not paid much attention to the trinity regarding fellowship with God, deeming this too difficult to address.
It turns out it is less difficult than we think – not that we can know this Mystery completely. But we understand that it is the Trinity and not the law that is the core reality of the universe and our salvation. To be honest I had thought of the trinity as some kind of a blob that we call God. It turns out that each member of the trinity is distinct, a real individual, yet these persons live as part of each other in a relationship that the Church Father’s called perichoresis. The coolness of this is that each of the trinity are part of each other yet distinct as persons. God is three persons and one God.
The cool thing about this is that it is the trinity and its nature that is germane to our salvation. God as the trinity has reached out in Jesus Christ to draw us into Jesus’s oneness with God.* In Jesus we have been drawn into His trinitarian life. Thus our salvation is more than the forgiveness of sins. It’s the undoing of Adamic separation and the re-doing of union with God of the kind that was ours before the fall, only better.
THE REAL YOU CAN STAND UP
Here’s another cool thing. In being ‘hidden in Christ’ we are revealed as ourselves. The true self of daughters and sons is revealed and grows from our union with God. The perichoresis that is God – union with individuality- has become our relationship with God. In Jesus we lose our Adamic self and gain our real self who is Christ our life.
There are many good things we can learn as we mature as Believers. Jesus means all of us to grow out of a rudimentary experience of the knowledge of good and evil into A LIFE THAT IS HIM. It seems that we need to make the progress from law to grace and from grace to spirit in order to become mature daughters and sons. The paucity of the early stages is a necessary preparation that enables us to see the later developments – our striding into the new covenant as the welcome advance in our STATE OF BEING that is Christ our life – not only the driving out of sin but the relentless advance of our person into the our original design and our omega in the Omega of Jesus.
It’s an advantage to read the Bible. Those I know who are good apostolic teachers are familiar with its teachings. There are those who ignore them or misunderstand them - to their cost. Having said that, one learns that it is not the Bible that makes us better people. It cannot transform us any more than Moses’ laws could. The witness of the Bible and the Spirit is that it is Christ in us that changes us from the inside.
‘Realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20.
We are not Godly because we belong to a certain denomination. Across the Christian Church Godly folks are those who have embraced a personal Jesus. Paul is right to talks of Christ our life because when we seek Him as ours, we become the expression of Him.
CHRIST IN US
The indwelling of the Spirit in us is consistent and relentless. The miracle of this deal – this incarnation is that the fullness of the God Head bodily lives in us and MANIFESTS AS US. This is to say that you as Bob Smith become the effect and representation of Jesus.
I mentioned to my daughter that reading the Bible and then attempting to put it into practice has small effect. It’s not really meant to. It’s not a larger version of Moses’ edicts – even if it is so often used that way. We are no more successful in making new testament values real than the Jews were at keeping the law. Read carefully the new testament and see that it is not put out there as a moral program. It testifies of Jesus as our life and insists that the branches are the expression of the Vine who joins us to very God of very God. The branch and fruit is you.
HE IS OUR LIFE
The Bible draws our attention to the fact that it is Christ in us who becomes us. HE BECOMES US. The fruits of the Spirit are the manifestation of the Spirit of Jesus in our being – not a bunch of qualities we have legalistically attempted to put into effect with Jesus’ help. (We are not deities. But we are sons/daughters of God)
START FROM WHERE HE HAS PLACED YOU
In the new covenant, the life of God starts with Jesus in you and manifests as you. This is the joy and the fun of Christ our life. My daughter observed that until people realise that that it’s not the Bible that transforms but Christ in you who becomes your life, we do not begin to ‘see’ or to change for the better.
Encouraging people to read the Bible is a good thing to do. As long as we follow Jesus instruction that the scriptures testify of Him. They are not an account of moralism or religiosity.
THE NEW COVENANT
The new covenant is not a theology. The new covenant is the achievement of the cross. The new covenant is Christ. The new covenant is your Christ Inheritance.
The new covenant* is not written down anywhere because it is a life and not a law. Paul summarises it in Galatians 2.20,21 when he writes, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” Paul is not saying Jesus helps is live Christianity. He is declaring that His life become our life. It’s direct.
We will preach better in new covenant mode than in the old. We can give a Bible study supported by a series of scriptures that imparts some information but is bereft of spirit and life. In oneness with Christ, we can give the same Bible study because we are alive with spirit and life. Then again we can give a Christian talk with no scripture references and be a steam of living of water – of spirit and life because we are spirit and life. Incarnation is not a work. It’s agreeing with Christ and resting in where He has positioned you in the communion of God.
SPIRIT AND LIFE
The life of God is not information. The container may be information but the bottom line is incarnation. The new testament is not something to read and then attempt to apply. It’s not a more sophisticated kind of law. That’s not what it is about. The new testament is the account of God revealed in Christ and how Christ is your life as the atonement and incarnation.
It’s Him as you – or not. Don’t expect to be a river of spirit and life with and old covenant mindset. Leave Adam behind and be Christ your life.
CHRIST OUR EVERYDAY LIFE
Keep in mind that the Bible is stories about persons and their lives. It’s not some religious compartment. There is a BOOK OF LIFE that we live in every day in the company of Father, Son and Spirit that we can engage in – a daily classroom in which we can invite mentoring from the Lord. Christ our life is more accessible and much more cheerful than many realise. Richard Rohr writes,
“You can, therefore, be ignorant of your birthright. You can neglect the gift, and thus not enjoy its wonderful fruits. That seems to be the case with many people, and is what we mean by “sinners.” The word signifies not moral inferiors so much as people who do not know who they are and whose they are..” (1)
There are many Christians like this. I would not call them ‘sinners’ since they have a new identity in Christ. But they are only accessing a fraction of their treasure from the field. Because Christ is in you, you can live an Easter life. This personal upwelling of life is in you and has become you.
We are not talking about a state of ecstasy but a state of being – a consciousness that we live in companionship with the trinity and that we are there representatives as daughters and sons. As such our life is a worship. Christ our life is not religious. It’s being in and with God.
In Jesus we are drawn into the trinity and into their fellowship. In Jesus we are also one with humanity, by the One Spirit. This interwoveness of our being of God and us Adam is the real meaning of the Body of Christ. It’s not notional, not a figment of the letter. And not imaginary. It is real and the state of the Believers being. It is our being in God, God in our being and all of us in God and in fellowship with each other.
* Jesus did not live in union with the law and was not subordinate to the law. If this was so He would not be God and the law would be God. He lived in oneness and obedience to His Father.
* The New Covenant is..
(1) Rohr, Richard. The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (p. 21). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.