Yesterday we celebrated the Lord’s resurrection and concluded with the Lord’ Table, which is the natural result of the risen Christ come alive in us by the Spirit. The inauguration of life in the Spirit began at Pentecost. But there could be no life in the Spirit, no fruit of the Spirit, no gifts, no multiplication of Jesus in us if there had been no cross, no atonement and no incarnation.
Paul summarised the Gospel as Christ in you and elaborated on it as Christ our life – which is what the Gospel is. John expressed it as Christ come in our flesh, which is what the new creation is: Christ expressed as us.
We can adopt diluted gospels of the law or bits of law. But if we do, we have accepted a fraud and will minister elements of death as if they are life. When institutions do this, the fabric that is the culture suffers because leaders must be chosen whose lack of perceptiveness does not allow them to see through the fraud that is the prevailing culture*.
That Christ has come in our flesh is fundamental to our new covenant living. This is the basis of the Kingdom and the rock on which the church is built. This is the fact that makes the new creation real and not just a slogan.
‘Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand’ Matt 7.26 NIV.
Not only did God’s Son manifest as a human being in Palestine. The treasure in us is that Jesus manifests in in us by the Spirit to become the expression of Himself today. As Francois Du Toit says, ‘God has found a face in you.’
The beauty of incarnation means that we have jesus as our treasure in jars of clay. We have Jesus in our being. This is way more than some theological notion by which to represent ourselves. We have the trinity lived out in the unique personhood of ourselves. ‘In Him we live, move and have our being’ in our bodies. The spirit and life igniting our body comes by the agency and interweaving of the trinity with our body, soul and spirit.
‘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.
The beauty and fertility of Christ our life means that life is never constricted in some religious space, but flows through people out into the real world.
The cross is great. It is by the cross that ‘It is finished,’ the separation caused by Adam’s deception is undone. So, let’s not sing a whole lot of mournful songs about the cross. The cross ends Adam’s life as yours and begins Christ’s life as yours. God lives in you.
The point about baptism is that we rise from the water. Entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven is signified by baptism. Baptism by immersion illustrates the reality of what is happening to our being. Our body goes under the water and then we come up again shedding water and wiping the drops out of our eyes. This is the sign of our death in Adam and our resurrection in Jesus. We have died to the old way and come alive in the new way who is Jesus. The earth(water) is not our life. Christ (the air and the sunshine) is our life.
NOT SIN MANAGEMENT
Take note that in this picture of new birth the primary meaning is not giving up sin and opting for righteousness. It is exchanging our Adam being for Christ’s being. We have become a new creation. The notable fact about the picture of death to life is that it’s not about laws, regulations and abstractions. It is about new life in in bodies that have become the expression of God. This is why what is ours, is not just ‘life’ but fullness of life.
Life in the Kingdom is not signified by the clothes we wear. Nor is it represented by Sabbaths, sacrificing parts of the body as in circumcision or spending time in ‘sacred’ locations. We can be better than community of ‘meeting goers.’
In this age something becomes filled with spirit and life because you are ignited and you release the indwelling that is in you at that place and among the people with whom you are enjoying life. Christ in you is the hope of glory because the creation waits in the expectation of the delights of being infused by you with the presence of the trinity – of the spirit and life that is carried by the agency of you!
HIS LIFE IN YOU
Jesus said, ‘Unless we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we have no life in us.’ He’s urging us to embrace the incarnation. Living the Kingdom in this age is signified by the Lord’s Table. This is the sign that ‘Those who eat Me will live because of Me.’ It is the reminder of how to live since the cross and the object lesson of our nutrition by the very being of Jesus.
This is it. You are who you are because of who Jesus is: Your life.
BANQUET OF LIFE
The Lords Supper began as a meal and not as minute portions of bread and wine that can so easily lend themselves to religification. Just as food becomes you, so eating Jesus becomes your life. Thus, Jesus is much more than an example. To say that He is our Helper in doing good works underestimates who and what He is for ourselves and the church. He becomes us. His life becomes our life because by our spirit we have ingested Jesus into our body and soul.
*We are talking lack of emotional and intellectual ability and with it degrees of incompetence and imagined capability.