What sustains you? What food are you relying on to nurture your inner person? ‘Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me’ John 6.57 NIV. Jesus is saying that by living from His Person we will be alive in His life and the life of our Father.
The father of lies has put out an enormous slander cloud against the Father of Love. In my early years I did not like the Father much – At least not the impression I had of Him. Father is a much nicer person than many Believers think. He is a kinder, more gracious, sensitive and heart oriented than many Believers imagine. He is not the bad guy to His Son’s good guy and neither is He a stern and unbending headmaster presiding over the law. He is love and presides in love. Father is just as kind and sensitive as Jesus. Jesus is the exact expression of the Father. He says, ‘If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.’ He is the kindest, most personable person in the universe. How important then is it to know and see Father in Jesus rather than in some projection of our own?
Father is ‘Home.’ He is ‘home’ in person. He is our origin, the place of our nurture and the source of who we are – in person. He offered Himself to us in His Son. By giving ourselves to Him we offer ourselves to life itself.
'Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship' Romans 12.1 NIV.
In offering ourselves to Jesus we are agreeing to a relationship that is already ours. God is relationship in that God is three persons. Life and righteousness ARE RELATIONSHIP lived out. Life is a lived-out union with God.
This living sacrifice is not some program of works, church attendance or charitable effort. It's simpler and more profound than this. It is Christ our life by the Spirit - the spirit of sonship. It is sacrificial in the sense that the rebellions person ceases living for himself and the religious person ceases earning God's love by regulation, performance and acts of the will. We are living sacrifices when we agree with Father that our life in Adam is dead and our real live in Jesus is active and expanding.
In the old testament God invited us to give Him our hearts. In the new testament we are invited to be living sacrifices. Father gave Himself in Jesus. Now He invites us to agree that our being is in Him on account of His Son. 'Our life is not our own' because He is mean and possessive. It is not our own because Jesus is our life, manifest in us by the Holy Spirit. Of course this is the only way of having our real selves and being ourselves. Now we are the sons of God!
'Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own' 1 Cor 6.19 NIV.
This is not ‘control speak.’ It means that since Christ is your life you are the expression of His life. Exult in this!
It is by the atonement and the Spirit that we are made one with God. The Son of Man has joined us to God. His Spirit imbues us. Our life is Christ. There is nothing undone. The spearing of Jesus side was a prophetic sign of our new creation life as Jesus' wife. We are now the sons of God and also the Bride of Christ having come out of His side as a new Eve. Jesus is the new Adam and the new father of the human race in that the new creation comes forth from Him. The imagery here is all relational. Yet it is entirely of the Spirit and manifests in the everyday world of the Kingdom of Heaven in and among us.
People walked and talked with God in the old testament. In the new we have more than this. We have union. Just as a man and a wife are one flesh so we are one spirit with God. God is no longer over there or up there. He is in you. 'In you' when you are in bed or at the clothesline, in trouble or out of it, in sin or in victory. In Him we are loved, purified, transformed and made able to love ourselves and others with His love. It is the fact that Christ is in us and our life that we are the agents of the new creation. We re-create His life by being ourselves!
In the new testament age we are interwoven with God by the One Spirit. Jesus said, ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. Not only this but when we obey Jesus’ command to make Him our life the trinity come and live in us. Not only are we holy but in this mode we make all we touch holy and ignite it with spirit and life. Recently I wrote, ‘Our job is to draw our entire life from Christ and manifest that life to others.’ Note the words ‘entire life.’ Add anything to this like the veneration of Sabbaths or holy places and we dilute what we could have had in the Spirit of Christ. These religiosities do not add to the spirit of sonship. They dilute it.
‘But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him’ 1 Cor 6.17 NIV. ‘There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called’ Eph 4.4 NIV.
INSTRUCT YOU HEART
Not only are we washed. Not only are we clean. We are one with God. Since our task is to believe in the One He has sent, we access this eternal life when we agree with and live in who Jesus is and what He did. His heart has already sought us. Our role is to command our heart to seek Him, to eat Him and to find sustenance in Him. Say it now. ‘Jesus you are my life!’
This is what it means to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. It's not some tricky, double-talk, method of works through the back door. It means seizing this new and living way with love and trust. It's about actively embracing who you are in Him!