Jesus said. ‘The truth will set you free.’ He is the truth. Bound in Him we become free to be human to the fullest extent. Hidden in Him we gain the ability to see.
The truth about the new testament and the new birth is that Jesus becomes you. The truth for the church is that Jesus becomes all of us – when we live in the incarnation and not in the flesh.
Do you, so to speak, touch Jesus with your own hands? Is your Christian life the life of Jesus or a life of religion? Do you know and experience Jesus as real or are you living from a bunch of constructs you call ‘your faith?’
A MANIFESTATION OF HIM
In the last post I wrote about you being a person who is the expression of Jesus rather than a compilation of righteous abstractions. In the new covenant this is achievable. In an old covenant mindset it is not.
Look at it this way. When I was a boy I had a bag of marbles. Many of them were butterflies. One was a pitted glass orb called a glass ally. Two or three were agates which I now understand must have been made from a genuine semi-precious stone called agate. I acquired many marbles by buying them in Coles. Others I won. My bag of marbles was something like the Christian beliefs we acquire. We buy some by paying the price of listening to many sermons in church – like buying marbles in Coles. We get others by winning a few doctrinal arguments in which we persuade ourselves that our beliefs are correct. All in all, we end up with a dilly bag of what we call ‘our beliefs.’ Simple people will talk about ‘what they believe.’ The more academic find satisfaction in toting their ‘belief system.’ The charismatic might add a clutch of supernatural experiences to his dilly bag. But what we have in common is that they are ours.
But are they God’s beliefs?
Here’s my point. This bag of marbles is not God. It’s our stuff. And it can disguise the absence of Christ’s real presence in our lives. Our marble bag contains bits and pieces of our knowledge of good and evil – the assumptions we are living from. Assumptions that are unconsciously leading us to suppose that we know God or even His authority. But we often we do not. We represent bits and pieces of our authority and our religion. At the best we are simply not alive and at worst we go out to battle with cardboard weapons. At the worst we are keeping in place a system of iniquity. Significantly when Jesus spoke to the un-believing Jews He used the words, ‘your law.’
‘In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true’ John 8.17 NIV.
Some Believers have a marble in their bag called ‘law.’ Other have a collection called ‘performance orientation.’ A most deceptive marble in the bag is the one marked ‘Keeping close to Jesus.’ This one turns Jesus Himself into a work of the flesh and has us obsessing with self to earn what is already ours. Jesus is already close. He is in us and has placed us in Him.
‘To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory’ Col 1.27 NIV.
The difference in Believers who are alive and authoritative is clear to those whose life is Christ. But not to those who live from a marble bag of religion. The more religious we are the more we suffer from spiritual astigmatism. But in this season Jesus desires to draw every believer into Himself so that He and not externalities becomes our life. Why live in shadows of the real when you can live in the One who is reality Himself?
YOU AND FATHER ARE ONE
In the Spirit we are today able to be more intimate with Jesus than were the disciples. Intimacy with God is not just one more thing you have to do. It is already yours. Here the apostle John describes the inheritance of any one who is humble enough to believe with the faith of a little child. You are part of Him and He of you.
‘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. This is the interwoveness of you and God and us with the creation.
God has a law. It is His Son. It’s not the law of Moses and nor is it our own constructions of the knowledge of good and evil. It is the law of the spirit of life. This is you, society and the creation holding together and finding its meaning and purpose in relationship to Jesus Christ and the trinity.
‘He is before all things, and in him all things hold together’ Col 1.17 NIV.
John’s declaration below owes nothing to the law but everything to the incarnation. This is the gospel of the kingdom. The only gospel and the gospel in which we and Jesus are one and all who receive Him as their own are interwoven into the family of God. ‘We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy’ 1 John 1.1-4 NLT.