The ascended Jesus spoke of thinking we are alive when we are in fact dead. Not physically dead but dead in our spirits. In a legalistic perspective this ‘dead’ might be seen as not enough zeal or insufficient works of charity. Yet there are many busy Believers who are zealous and active whose spirit is not alive and their soul remains dormant. The solution as Paul said is joyful and life-giving. It is Christ in you.
‘And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you’ Rom 8.11 NIV.
Through the incarnation of the Son of God among us, the cross and the second incarnation that is Christ in us, Father has made a new and living way to recreate the earth. God so loved the world that He sent His Son to the world so that all that all may enjoy the infinite life of God that is eternal and based on love. The new creation is a tree that grows from Jesus Christ. It is the vine of which all who believe are the branches and fruit or what is called the new creation. It is the tree of life. The new creation is entirely Jesus and nothing of Adam, the flesh, religion or human self-effort.
'Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation' Gal 6.15 NIV.
The new creation is not a new version of Baal and Asherah and neither is it the old world system from the tree of knowledge revamped. The nations in this Kingdom are not the nations whose culture is based on the survival of the fittest and the exercise of force operating through fear. The new creation is entirely Christ our life - Christ our life individually and Christ our life as the societies and nations of the world. As disciples of His we don't live for ourselves, our hearts are filled with kindness and we have respect for the least in society because we know that but for the grace of God, there go we.
'Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all' Col 3.11 NIV.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
It's possible to live a 'Christian life' in our own strength; a life in which Jesus is marginalized and mostly unknown in any deep or meaningful way. We are talking a life if externalities. We live according to our wits and our skill in negotiating and mastering to some extent the world system. This a system that we smugly think, gives us some status and one which we support politically through the party to which we have attached ourselves. The party whose values, we imagine, vindicates the kinds of people we are - self made, practical people who believe God helps those who help themselves. But even in the old testament the wicked are not defined simply as those who live by violence and immorality. They are defined as those who live near Him or in His presence but with their faces averted from His.
'If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land' 2 Chron 7.14 NIV.
We might live our lives in a form of godliness or a pseudo-Christian life where we give token allegiance to the notion of god (sic), engage in token acts of charity and ostentatious labour, designed to prove our worth to ourselves and to our god if he is looking, which we hope He is, since we have gone to considerable effort to be noticed! We can do all this if we define our self as a worker (but are actually a slave). But the illusion in which we live is that we have made a god in our own image, having convinced ourselves that he is such a one as ourselves. But thankfully God is the image of Jesus and if we have seen Jesus we have seen the Father. Make sure you see Jesus and not a reflection of yourself!
While we may have shown ourselves approved in our own eyes as inmates of the world system, we have disqualified ourselves as sons of God and chosen to be a worker rather than a son. We have added to the kingdoms of this world but not the Kingdom of God.
The double tragedy of this existence, for an existence is all it is, is that no matter how good our standard of living, and no matter how economically astute we are or how hard we work, we have never done enough to be earn the love of God or receive the gift of eternal life. This cannot be earned.
Spirit and life are gifted to those who believe in the living way that Has a name: Jesus Christ. The other tragedy of this parody is that we are working to earn the respect and love that is already ours in the eyes of the Father. Human beings will never give us the deep love and approval we desire. Much of this approval is based on self interest and the need to manipulate. But the love of Our Father is unlimited and revealed in Jesus.
'Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval' John 6.27 NIV.