One of the most limiting beliefs in old creation thinking is the belief that the law is a transcript of God's character. The Bible clearly tells us the righteousness of God is Jesus. More to the point, Jesus is described in Hebrews as the exact expression of the Father. The truth is, Jesus is the only transcript of God's character, being Son of God and Son of Man. Jesus said, 'If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.' But there’s more to come. To see Jesus is to see yourself!
'But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago' Romans 3.21 NIV.
HIDDEN AND REVEALED
I say 'should have seen' not to give anyone the guilts or manipulate folks into shaping up. New Covenant living means that our life is both hidden in Christ and revealed in Christ. To have Jesus as our life means that Jesus is in us and is expressed as our unique selves. All of this by the Spirit which is why in the new testament we live in the Spirit.
We are both uniquely true to our identity in Jesus and an expression of the Father as re-created sons. Not only this but we are life-giving spirits dwelling in the presence of God. This Spirit-presence surrounds us, is in us and goes before us. The new creation implies that we are living from the person of Jesus and not lesser things like the Ten Commandments, religious rites, religious habits and churchy notions of performance and conformity. Jesus lived from His Father. Our joy is to live from Jesus. There is no joy and no power in these externalities. We cannot juggle them. But by believing and resting in Christ our life, His life is ours by the Spirit and we manifest His likeness – called the fruits of the Spirit.
These fruits are not things we do to gain acceptance with God as some worksy folks will tell you. They are the expression of Jesus by the Spirit as you.
'Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation' Gal 6.15 NIV.
'Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ' Col 2.16.17 NIV.
'I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!' Gal 2.21 NIV.
NEW AND LIVING WAY
Jesus will not be seen in us if we are living in religion and law. HE IS SEEN UN US BECAUSE WE ARE THE EXPRESSION OF HIM, THE SPIRIT AND OUR FATHER.
Jesus liberates and expands the sense of the possible. Religion constricts, contracts and puffs up. Christian religiosity can produce bound individuals who take a smug pride in their bondage. Of course it’s not defined as bondage. To the exponent of the knowledge of good and evil with a Christian face it’s godliness. But unfortunately not the Christ of God but the false christ of human re-invention.
It's not uncommon for law-abiders to exclaim how 'free' the law makes them. It does in sense. They don't have to think outside their square, they can remain confident in their proof texts and handed-down assertions. They don't need to tolerate people of revelation and vision. They can imagine they are righteous because their version of righteousness is so formulated that it could make a robot righteous. Yet it should be seen for what it is - a body of death. Those who begin in the Spirit but still wade in the law may start with a bang but eventually coagulate back to a whimper. Some cry out to Jesus, ‘Who shall deliver us from this body of death?! Jesus replies, ‘I already have. Live in your inheritance!’
God's genius in the creation of man was that He Himself was expressed through Adam and Eve. As Dutch Sheets remarks in Intercessory Prayer, one might say 'I thought it was God going past but it was actually Adam.' Man was to be a revelation of God by being himself. This is so again since the cross and Pentecost. Adam's old creation is dead. Moses and his law is no more. Today you are a new creation because Christ lives in you and He is your life. You are washed and alive in Him and growing in His life even as your body ages.
But Christ our life implies more than righteousness and a preoccupation with not sinning. Christ your life means that you personally grow increasingly into the you, you were designed to be from before the creation. In drawing you into Himself Jesus draws you to become your real self. This is His glory and yours!
As hard as we might try as an old covenant Believer, our witness will always be dull since it lacks the life of God. Intelligence and education cannot dissipate the innate dullness and life-denying nature of law/letter/religion-based living. It is pure limitation. Jesus had life without limit. His life was totally in His Father. Our life is totally in Him since there is nothing lacking in His accomplishment for us. As an old covenant, old creation person, fear disguised as prudence pervades your life. Political instinct replaces spiritual discernment and repetitive effort is the substitute for the anointing. The tragedy of old creation living is that we don't get to live in Christ's resurrection and we are without the authority of Christ as were the scribes.
'He taught with real authority--quite unlike their teachers of religious law' Matt 7.29 NLT.
In law we are formed in limitation. We are unable to live in spirit and truth and will find ourselves clinging to items and behaviors that have no life. Old creation man is innately religious. He has to be. We can’t live in the old covenant and have the Son. Well not much. Some drips through the grid out of grace. But hey, grace is the means of living in the fullness of what Jesus has done! You can do better than a meagre life attached to the law with a spatter of Holy Spirit anointing. Holy Spirit is not the solution to a law bound culture. The cross is the solution and the new covenant is the cure.
A life in false doctrine means we carry buckets that leak. A lot. When Christ is your life your witness is sharp, powerful and fresh. It is life-giving. Living water flows from your being. If you are a teacher you will feed people with revelation from the Father. Christ has come in your flesh and you are a life-giving spirit. You are an apostolic person because you are of the new creation and you embody its life as a son whose heart is at home in the Father.
HIDDEN IN CHRIST. REVEALED AS A SON
Hear this! A son living from the Spirit of Christ is way ahead of one whose spiritual formation is institutionalized Christianity. Those who have the Son have life. But life is not ours if we are living from the law and creations of the letter. In this state, we cannot minster the new creation because we have not been reborn and are not yet alive.
'Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!' Romans 7.24,25 NIV.
'Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life' 1 John 5.12 NIV.
'He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life' 2 Cor 3.6 NIV.