Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones wrote, ‘False doctrine makes joy in the Lord impossible.’ He’s right about that. Any deviation from God’s truth means a degree of bondage and a portion of death for the individual and the community. One may extol belonging to the Body of Christ but belonging of itself does not immunise us against spiritual disease and a crippled soul. In fact the kind of ‘belonging’ to which we belong will condition what becomes of our being – whether we live as a slave or as a son of God.
THE WHO OF YOU
The most important issue in life has to be identity – Father’s identity and ours. The fact that we began as sons of God and have been restored to sonship in spite of the fall releases us to be at peace with God, at one with ourselves and gracious towards those with whom we live. Love, life and identity are linked. To grace someone to be who they are is both to love them and release them into fullness of life. We have one real identity and one real self.
SHIP IN A BOTTLE SELF
You may have friends who have never become their true selves. They are insulated from their identity in Christ because their identity is in their achievements and their church. Or in some communities their identity is shaped by a life in the law – which effectively insulates them from Christ and their true selves. The Real Self emerges as us when we are born again – not into religion or the law but into Christ as us.
ONENESS IS YOUR GLORY
Who we actually are is who we are in union with God.* All of us have an inheritance. We have been made one with God in Jesus. We are ourselves and come to know ourselves as the sons/daughters we have been created and re-created to be in the nurture of oneness with Father. ‘In Him’ we are who we are and it is in this union with God gifted us by Christ that we have a genuine and authentic identity. You are the real you in Christ your life.
ILLUSION AS FAITH
If we have embraced false doctrine and accommodated ourselves to a distorted narrative; if we have made the law our Father/Saviour we will neither know God or know ourselves. We will possess a caricature of both. In this shell we can never be our real selves and will hobble others with suggestions as to how they can be a ‘self’ that the Lord never meant them to be. People tied in any degree to the law can effect an appearance of grace, no matter how well disguised, but they possess a heart of judgment because the law is judgment and makes people judge.
YOU HAVE YOUR GLORY
There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus and no condemning in those for whom Jesus is life. Swallowed up and hidden in Christ we are revealed as ourselves and continually advance into the glory of our real selves because we are living in continuous resurrection and rebirth – from one degree of glory to another which is to say from one degree of our real self and our real identity to the person that is as a son/daughter of God.
John Crowder observes, “Theology, for starters, is “God knowledge.” For some reason in our Charismatic circles, theology gets downplayed – or at least pitted against personal devotion as if it should be frowned upon. Everyone has a theology. Theology is not a problem … it’s bad theology that’s problematic. Good theology always enhances your joy, fuels the party and guards you against religion, legalism, condemnation and self-destruction! Ultimately, your theology consists of whatever you believe to be true about God.” (1)
* This is why union with law produces such a distortion of the self.
(1) Crowder, John. Cosmos Reborn: Happy Theology on the New Creation. Sons of Thunder Ministries & Publications - Digital version by Ten10 Ebooks. Kindle Edition.