THE RIVER OF LIFE IS ALIVE
If you are in Christ you are a new creation. Namely you are not in Adam and the dichotomies of the knowledge of good and evil. You are in Christ and one with God, joined to the Communion that is the trinity. The ‘two become one’ means you do no live in dualism. You live in union with God, frequently called oneness with God in which His life becomes our life. Now you live in the Last Adam and not the first Adam. You are in the river of life. You swim in it because it’s the reality that surrounds your being and you are filled with it because Christ is your life and Christ is woven into your flesh.
HE BECOMES YOU
‘This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God’ 1 John 4.2 NIV. The opposite is also true. Every spirit that advocates that the law must come in our flesh is not of God.
Christ incarnated does not mean that you are suddenly sinless. But it does mean that you are graced to be yourself without obsessing over sin because Christ has taken care of you sin and your righteousness. Thus Paul is able to say ‘By the grace of God I am what I am.’ Paul never became sinless. Neither did he hold back from giving his life for his Lord. Being Himself in Christ was universally true for Paul irrespective of the conversation in which he was engaged in the epistle. He is not riven with contradictions as described in Romans 7.24 since He is alive in the resurrected Christ and not attempting life in this body of death which is the law and the dichotomies of Adamic life. Paul lives in Christ and hints at the vicarious humanity of Christ in Galatians 2.20,21.
CHRIST IS ALL OUR LIFE
Christ is our life and our sanctification. In Him our sanctification is complete and in Him we are advancing from glory to glory. Such glory is less about sinlessness and victory over sins and more about you becoming who you are according to your creation and redemption. I have heard many prophetic words. The majority of them are about encouraging and empowering the saints to become who they are already becoming in Christ. The face of Christ is manifest in the faces and personas of His daughters and sons.
YOU HAVE YOUR OWN GLORY
God has drawn you into Himself in Christ so that you can be you and He can enjoy you as the real you that you are growing into. Nothing narcissistic about this. You died in Christ to become you in Christ.
John Crowder offers some helpful remarks about growing up into Christ which I believe is also growing up into you. He writes, “The Greek verb “to sanctify” does not mean to “purge and purify over a period of time.” The word hagiazo simply means to “set apart” or to “make separate for God.” The moment you were saved, you were set apart for God.
Sanctification is not a process. It is a Person.
The Bible tells me so! ‘And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption’ (1 Cor. 1:30, ESV)… He is your sanctification. Any system that tries to draw your attention away from the person of Christ and onto your own efforts is antichrist in nature. Your union with God is not an incomplete relationship that comes progressively. Time is not the magic formula that makes you holy. Jesus sacrifice made you holy” (1) by joining you to Himself and the Trinitarian Communion.
THE REAL YOU WILL MANIFEST IN HEAVEN
We may become more gracious as we get older but we may also become more bitter and grumpy. Knowing that God loves us as we are rather than as we should be brings comfort and empowers us to be our best selves. Nevertheless the real you is who you are in Christ. There is a real you who is revealed as we are hidden in Christ, as Christ come in our flesh and as His incarnated life manifests in our spirit, soul and body.
Jeff McSwain following Karl Barth observes, "I was AND STILL AM the old man, I AM AND WILL BE the new man! Both are AM (present tense) but the asymmetry is also there.” We can live in the law and religion and remain in this riven body of death where we may anesthetise ourselves with common fictions about our discomfort. Then again we can live in the life of Christ. We do progress in wholeness and holiness when Christ is our life. We can live directly in Him in oneness with Him as our life so that His life is our life. This is the freedom to be alive and a life-giver in everyday life. In the ordinary that has become the extraordinary where everything we do is a ministry with Jesus that is spirit and life.
(1) Mystical Union by John Crowder.