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Freedom in Christ is to intuitively be who we desire to be as His disciples. We can enjoy this freedom to be holy as God is holy because Christ lives in us and becomes us as His spirit manifests in our flesh. His burden is not onerous. It is light and His life as our life gives us the agency to love as He loves with0ut artifice and pretence.


We can effect to love people. We may do this because we know that is what Christians are supposed to do. Even so our heart may not be in tune with the front we are putting on. So we may fake it until we make it. But we never will, if moralism is our creed.

God’s solution for His sons and daughters is Christ our life. He graces us with forgiveness and He graces us with His incarnated self. “Scripture teaches that God’s goal for humanity is something like a marriage. God aims at, and in Christ achieves, a one-flesh and one-spirit relationship with us (Eph. 5:21–32; cf. 1 Cor. 6:17). God is not first and foremost interested in acquiring a people who happen to believe all the right things and act in all the right ways. God’s first concern, and really his only concern, is to have a people who are united with him in love. Indeed, as we have seen, God’s goal is to have a people who participate in the same love that the Trinity enjoys eternally.” (1)


God’s priority is to secure us in genuine belonging with Himself. He did not leave us to ourselves to do this. God achieved it in Christ. It’s the reality in which we are invited to live – the starting point of a life graced absolutely in Jesus Christ. ‘For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation’ 2 Cor 5.19 NLT.

We do not get ‘united with Him in love’ by trying hard. We are united with Him because He has made it so in the atonement of the cross and the factual union with ourselves by the incarnation in which Christ is woven into our being by the Spirit. We are positioned in Christ in oneness with God. This is the accomplishment of the cross.

So when Jesus says that ‘He is the Vine and we are the branches’, He is assuring us that our life joined to Him bears the fruit of grace and love and every other kind of being alive.

(1) Gregory Boyd, Repenting of Religion.. p.61