Moving into the new covenant in our mindset is not just a position. It is what the trinity accomplished for us and where God has led. We have been led out of Adam’s life and the deception of the tree into our Christ life who is the tree of life.
The rise and fall of human beings, their liberty or continued stagnation depends on what narrative we believe. It always has. This is why Jesus bids is REALISE that we are woven into God as whole persons and no longer separated and fragmented beings defined by the law. To live old covenant when God has given us the new is at best dilatory and at worst obstinate.
The liberty of the new covenant is not just liberation of soul and spirit. It multiplies liberty in social relations. Dr Stephen Crosby writes, “Contrary to many stereotypes today, real, New Covenant-based Christianity is the best thing that ever happened to women compared to the attitudes in Judaism and the pagans of their day. That is one of the many reasons that most early converts to Christianity were women and children. The real gospel undoes male hegemony.”
The implication of this statement is that the real gospel undoes vested interests. It liberates people from the ‘money-changers.’
Moving from the old covenant to the new means installing mental software that allows us to see in a new way. It’s the change from Adam’s glasses to Jesus as our lens. Our Adamic lens is innately dualistic, limiting us to ‘either or' thinking. It attempts to divide phenomena into right and wrong because its source is the dichotomising nature of good and evil. There is of course right and wrong. Wrong is living in separation from God. Right is union with God which means right is spirit and life.
USE AND LIMITATION
Nevertheless, dualism has relevance in the physical realm. It helps you walk across the road without getting run over and gets you your flight to Los Angeles instead of getting on the flight to San Francisco.
But dualism cannot process union with God or explain spirituality.
Which is why fundamentalism, although a variety of religion is fundamentally non-Godly. We may offer dualistic attempts at promoting life in the Spirit. But such attempts invariably make spirit less than the sum of the parts, reducing that which cannot be contained in words formulae and taxonomy. Spiritual gifts are a function of our new covenant union with God and must be used in this oneness in order to be fruitful.
THE PRESENCE is a function of union with God, which is the main result of the cross. The incarnation is Christ in you – it’s what Paul called Christ our life.
It’s a mistake to speak of spiritual gifts in terms of method and formulae. The gifts are a function of God in oneness with us. Jesus had the Spirit without limit because He and His Father were one. He was never insulated from this union by the law or religion.
WE AND OUR FATHER ARE ONE
The new covenant embeds us in a state of being – the state of being one with God. We are in this state of belonging because we agree that we are and because we have followed Jesus direction, namely ‘You will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV.
GOD HAS DONE IT
We are one with God because God has made it so in Christ. We live in this realisation to possess its life. We are not one with Him because we have found a proof text that we utilise to persuade ourselves that we are one with Jesus even though we have ‘another gospel’ that is based on law and separation.
DEGENERACY OF THE LAW
The law contains us in dualism. The law is a sub-set of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The law has us attempting to be Godly independent of God. The law has us trying to be like God so that we will be accepted by God. But God in Christ puts us in Himself so that we will become what we are: Sons and daughters of God.
In a law bound epistemology it’s easy to claim to be non-sectarian, yet be bound throughout our life in the mindset of separation and legalism. In the law the web of our thinking is the letter that kills.
Historically, separation came from the mindset of Arianism. Present day legalism has the same roots. A law connected culture is innately separatist, segmented and compartmentalised. It negates the cross and smothers the truth of the incarnation in everyday life. What is this truth? It’s that we as daughters and sons are one substance with God.
Leander Keck recognizes the force of habit and patterns of thought with which we have been brainwashed. “Theologically, the demand for “circumcision” can take many forms, even today. It appears whenever one thinks along these lines: “Faith in Christ is fine as far as it goes, but your relation to God is not really right and your salvation not adequate unless…” It does not matter how the sentence is completed. Whenever such fine print is introduced to qualify trust/faith, there is “circumcision,” and Paul’s defence of the adequacy of trust/faith can come into its own again. The Galatian situation is never far; in fact, it is all too familiar.” Insisting on one law or any law separates us from God in our minds and our lives.
DON’T LIVE A GALATIANS LIFE
‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation’ Gal 6.15 NIV. The new creation is your life as an expression of God. A son.
We are all addicted to our way of thinking. Addicted to what we learned up to the age of seven and the mould that we and others confirmed ourselves into by the age of twenty. But Jesus is an open door to truth, freedom and life without limit.
The issue is, ‘Will we follow Him or follow the rationalisations that give us the illusion of following Him?’
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? Luke 14.26-28 NIV.
What is the cost? It is our willingness to abandon all of our ideas that do not agree with God’s ideas and follow Jesus into our union with God.