The first thing Jesus said to the assembled disciples following His resurrection was ‘Peace be with you’.
REST AND PEACE IS CHRIST
Jesus said, ‘Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls’ Matt 11.29 NIV. There is no agitation in Christ Jesus, no obsession with proving oneself worthy. But there is the rest of a Sabbath Life.
‘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.
ROOT PRODUCES FRUIT
Many of us try to be Godly by what we do. This is not entirely misguided. But it’s not the new and living way that is Christ our life. Who God is starts with His being – which explains what He does. It’s the same with us. Correct being results in fruitful doing. We are life-givers as daughters and sons. Religion spreaders as workers and slaves. As ministers of the new covenant, we nurture sons of God. As ministers of the old we capture people in religion.
There are multitudes of ‘human doings’ and many who are anxious to exhibit themselves as a ‘doer’ in order to establish their self-worth. Much of Christianity identifies itself by what it does and does not do – which is pretty basic knowledge of good and evil behaviour. But we are not in that realm. We have passed from death to life – to our life in God; to our life in relationship. We are sons and daughters of God included in the oneness of God.
We are Godly because we are sons of God. ‘Jesus Christ’s incarnation is the controlling centre of the Christian doctrine of God’. This unites His being to our being. ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14:20
KNOWING IN DEPTH
‘To know God through the incarnate Son who is ‘of one substance with the Father’ is to know God in strict accordance with God’s nature.” To agree with Christ that He is our life is to be one with Him, the effect of which is to share in His oneness with God.
Your being is in God, now. Obedience is living from where He has put you.
God gave Israel the law as to lead to Christ. This provided a degree of fellowship with God but fell far short of the oneness with God that would come to all by way of the incarnated Christ. Christ in you is the hope of glory because this glorifies God in the expression of you as you mature into the real self envisioned before the creation of the world.
KNOWING GOD IN ONENESS
Any ‘gospel’ that is law-based insulates us from union with Christ because it remains a version of the knowledge of good and evil and its Adamic separation from God. It actually perpetuates the fall as the ‘Christian life.’
God is love. We cannot know God without love. Love is the trinity who lives in us and we in them, when we agree that Christ is our life. “Knowing God requires cognitive union with him in such a way that our whole being is affected by his love and holiness. In the new covenant our being is one with God’s being and we are immersed in His love as a state of being – which is to say we are one with God in spirit and truth. (1)
‘All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him’ Matt 11.27 NIV. This intimate and exquisite knowing of God is ours in Christ our life.
It is from this position of non-insulated oneness with Christ that we grow to understand God and the salvation that is ours in all its depth. The state of our ‘knowing’ follows the state of our being.’ It’s the pure in heart who know God as God is and who are coming to know themselves in the glory that is theirs as daughters and sons of God. The pure in heart see God. Those with dual loyalties and a divided heart see their illusions and call this ‘their faith’. Don’t expect to know Christ and the gospel of the Kingdom if one husband is Christ and our other husband is our inherited beliefs.
GRACE IS PERSON AND BEING
Grace is much more than Jesus forgiving our sin. Grace is not a coping method for the law. Grace is Christ’s life as your life. Grace is incarnation. ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ Gal 2.20
Your meaning, which is your identity is your meaning in God. You are a son/daughter in spirit and in truth. Should we attempt to establish our meaning through performance and law keeping, we scramble our real meaning as sons, deconstruct ourselves and become sons of the father of lies. This is the lie that instigated the fall and the lie that tells people to establish their own credentials as the ‘godly. It retains people in old covenant religion. It’s what Jesus meant by tares.
Jesus identified Himself as His Father’s son, declaring that He and Father were one – which was significant because Adam as a son was tricked out of the oneness he already possessed and lured into the attempt to be Godly in separation from our Father. Separation has been called the great darkness because it stems from the great lie – the deceit that Father is not trustworthy, the lie that we lacked something as sons and the suggestion that we can be Godly by going it alone and earning our Godliness by things we do. This is the deceit that permeates religion. It is based on the contention that the great issue of life is the law of God. It’s not. The core issue is the utter trustworthiness of Father and the fact that as a son/daughter you belong in the company of the trinity.
The fact is Father is good and you are a son.
‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing’ John 15.5 NIV.
NOW WE ARE SONS
The issue of our life and Kingdom, is not the law. Godliness is not found in what we do. Godliness is what we are: Sons of God. The issue is the sonship that is already yours in Christ. Will you live in it or will you live in a religious lie?
The spirit of sonship surrounds us and flows from us as rivers of life because we and our Father are one. We are one because God in Christ has made it so. Thus when we read, ‘Here are they who keep the commands of God and the testimony of Jesus’ – we must read this through the Jesus lens and not through grid of the law. The command of our Father is to believe His Son. The testimony of Jesus is that He is your life. In believing this way we agree with the ‘belonging’ that is ours and we possess it. We are now the Body of Christ and we belong to the Family of God and the community of the saints who have gone before us.
Richard Rohr puts it this way – “Jesus is revealed to us Christians by calling himself the Son of the Father and yet one with the Father. [H]e is giving clear primacy to relationship. Who you are is who you are in the Father, as he would put it. That is your meaning.” (2)
FRUIT IS WHAT SONS DO
It is your meaning as a son in the same way that it was and is Jesus’ meaning. You are holy because you have been defined as a son and made a son because you and Father are declared one. What you do is the fruit of your being, the fruit of your vine and the fruit of your sonship – if you are a son and not something else; if you have not been living all your life on the edge of the Kingdom. Martha was on the edge of the Kingdom. Mary was in it.
You are really a son. But in the old covenant with Adam’s eyes, you are defining yourself as less than you are – like a fish in a bowl when you are really a human being. The fishbowl is the false reality. The tiddler in the bowl is the false you. (The fish in the bowl is what the tare is to the wheat in the parable) Your life on God is the authentic reality of you as a son. This is you in the new covenant realm.
In the old covenant fish bowl you swim around and around trying to become who you are already in Gods reality. But you remain a fish caught in the delusion that is as old as the fall.
We cannot be ourselves if joined to the law. If so joined, Paul warns, for us ‘Christ died for nothing,’ as far as our identity is concerned. We have confined ourselves to being a minnow when we are really a heroes in Christ. We live a life of unrealised potential, emitting drops of life living water instead of rivers – because Jesus came to set us free but we would have none of it. None of it because we had our own husband: Our own identity, our own status, our own ideas.
‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.4 NIV. Christ has appeared. Your glory appears when you agree that He is your life.
(1) Davis, M.M., 2016, ‘The pre-history of the incarnation of Jesus Christ in the Christology of T.F. Torrance’, In die Skriflig 50(1), a2045. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ ids.v50i1.2045
(2) Rohr, Richard. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your transformation (Kindle Locations 669-672). SPCK. Kindle Edition.