Ghan at Marla SA



The atonement is not something you have to complete. During my childhood and youth, I never heard that Christ was our life. I absorbed the idea that I was my life and that acceptance with Jesus was earned.

Our culture like many others was not about Jesus, but about Christianity – our version of it. But as Gordon Moyes once said, ‘Christianity is not a religion. It is a person – the person of Jesus who is not just the centre of us all but the life of us all.
In Colossians Paul declares that Jesus is not only a spirit but the one in whom all reality finds its being. Life is personal and it is the person of Jesus. Paul says in the same place, ‘Christ is all and in all.’ An acquaintance once astonished a group of Christians in a staff meeting by saying, ‘If you have not got Jesus you have not got anything.’ We might be Christians if we go to church but we are not sons of God in spirit and truth if Christ is not our life.
I heard many sermons by administrators in my youth and middle age. They were in the main dull and lifeless and I wondered if it was ‘administering’ that made them dull or the kind of ‘gospel’ that had formed them. There are gospels that are not the real gospel and which are parasitic on the Gospel of the Kingdom without being that gospel. They suck life out of it and rob Believers of spirit and life. They are paddocks of tares. Thomas Torrance asserts that we are not of the Body of Christ by membership of an institution but because Christ is incarnated in persons.
God is not the instigator of unlife and the inhibited outlook and mode of many Believers has nothing to do with God and a lot to do with the aberrant version of Christianity that had deforms  lives. There were people in my church (they are in many churches) who would seek to justify such dullness as though it was Godly -  as people have done throughout the history of the church with their attachment to  stoicism, Neo-Platonism and varieties dualism and puritanism.
When a pastor at our church told about being out with his son on the lake in a strong breeze, with one hull right out of the water on their catamaran and his son shouted, ‘Dad, Jesus would have enjoyed this!’ I knew he was speaking for God.
I don’t know why Godliness should be associated with inhibition and morbidity, but in some circles it is. It has to be because of a misguided focus on the cross to the neglect of the harvest of the cross – that all may have life without limit and the neglect of the truth of the gospel that Jesus is life Himself.
His invitation is to come to Him to possess life without limit. Jesus did not mean to start a religion. People did that. Jesus meant to start a life for each of us that is in God. When Paul talked of Christ our life he meant Christ our life. This was incarnation – God manifest as you and all who believe.
That pastor has gone to be with the Lord now without knowing that his words had opened to me a window on the kind of God I had always suspected. I was alone in my young adult life on Mt Wellington after a heavy snow fall. The beauty of the snow on the snow gums provided an intense sense of the presence of God.
Many years later at Yosemite National Park, I sensed joy amongst many who were in no way religious. I knew that their joy came from the presence of God.
Baxter Kruger in his book, The Great Dance observes that, “
At key moments in his early life, [CS] Lewis had similar experiences.  They were always powerful, but fleeting.  And they always stirred an inconsolable longing in the marrow of his soul.  Lewis was being wooed by what he eventually came to call “joy.”  It haunted him, and like Solomon, he turned over every leaf in his universe to find it.  As the years rolled by, his quest for joy became the only quest that mattered.  In his search, Lewis finally stumbled into God and was summarily shocked to discover that joy and God were connected.  He says that he had never had so much as a hint that there was a relationship between God and joy.[3]  It had never occurred to him.” (1)
You have joy because you are not just an associate of God. You are a son/daughter of God. God is not somewhere else. Not imprisoned in some religious setting but alive in you, with you and in the world of Everyday. One of the greatest religious delusions is the sacred/secular dichotomy. God is not enclosed in religion. He is in you and with you. God, Jesus and Life are Jesus Christ.
(1) Kruger, C. Baxter. The Great Dance: The Christian Vision Revisited . Perichoresis Press. Kindle Edition.
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