In ministry we can have the advantage of knowing what Jesus is doing now, knowing what is on His heart and knowing which piece of wisdom and revelation He wishes to pass on to His people. We can do this without effort when we are one with Jesus and as a result one with our Father. Here, by reason of our status as sons and union with Father we know what He is doing - mainly because we are one with Him and also because He will have communicated His purpose through the gifts of the Spirit.
There is however a more foundational union than gifts of the Spirit. It is this incarnation. The blending together of our life with the fellowship of the trinity. In this mode we can do better than give Bible studies. All our teaching is spirit and life.
‘But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him’ 1 Cor 6.17 NIV.
The Kingdom of God arises from persons. It is personal, flowing from the three personed God into the persons of Believers. There is nothing generic or religious about being at the pointy end of what Jesus is doing now. It means that we are immersed in what He did at the cross and Pentecost and that we live in the superior covenant that is Christ Himself as our life. Christ our life is more than a single person. Our life in Christ is the life we enjoy having been made participants with each member of the Holy Family. Just in Jesus dwelt the fullness of the God-head bodily - so it is with us. This fullness of God indwells us and accompanies us so that we have the Spirit without limit.
Thus we are in Him now. This is how we minister the now message, the now wisdom and revelation of Jesus in our teaching. In the flow of the trinity we emit streams of spirit and life, rather than serving up a piece of religion that fills a time slot. Sincerity or years of service do not render us sons. Agreeing that we are received into Christ’s life does this. In Christ we are in Father and He is in us. A now message of freshness and life is ministered by sons who are one with our Father. How do we get this way? We believe it!
‘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
WHAT GOD DID
There is nothing optional about the new covenant. It’s not a theology. Neither is it a perspective. It’s your new reality. The reality that God through Jesus has made us one with Himself - has included us in the fellowship of the trinity.
Minus the new covenant we live as workers or slaves. In the new covenant we minister as we are meant to minister - out of our uniqueness as sons of our Father in the power His Son.
The gifts of the Spirit are not the new covenant. Neither is the anointing. Both are not the Kingdom when attempted outside the new covenant. They are without root and without connection to the reality in which we are called to live in this age: Christ our life.
Not a few Believers think they have departed legalism. Others - who have left behind legalistic religion for life in the Spirit are sometimes unsure if they have done the right thing. They know legalism is bad and that it stultifies. But they are not sure why. The answer is found in the new covenant. Here Christ Himself is our life. He is incarnated in us. We have union with God. We live out of Father and not from lesser fathers like celebrities, institutions or the bareness of laws. We are sons because we are joined to our Father in spirit and in truth. We are sons because we live in the Spirit of Sonship - this is the reality of our relationship with Father manifest as our life. The new covenant can be expressed succinctly as Christ our life. This is His life as our life in the Spirit - which is the only way that Christ can come in our flesh and live through all of us.
God is never somewhere else. He is in you. You are not separated from God. He has made you one with Himself. As a minister you are not a mediator of God. People and our Father are one. Steve Hill writes, ‘That we all tend to talk new and act old is a truism that unfortunately applies to much of the expression of charismatic community life. Many may talk about the New Covenant and believe that they are in the New Covenant, but their actions express the Old…’ They certainly do. Institutionalism is the child of old covenant thinking because the institutional church is the expression of the letter rather than the Spirit. The letter is the law and the law is separation from God. Don’t live from holy actions, holy places and holy times when none of these are alive with spirit and life. Live from He who is alive within you and overcome being a dead tree!
The new covenant determines how we think of church, how we live as the church and the authority in which we minister as the church. Religious affectations mean nothing. Filling a time and a space with a piece of religion means nothing. Religion separates us from God and separation is the great darkness. Live in the resurrection that is alive and personal in your being. Now you are alive in His light. What counts is a new creation which is the continual upwelling of Father’s life in us.