Of recent times most of these posts bear some relation to the new covenant. Our understanding and practice of this inheritance determines our ability to live the Kingdom of God rather than something less and faulty. There is no new creation outside the new covenant and barely faint glimmerings of Kingdom life. There may be a some drops of moisture due to grace. But these are minute when compared to the river that is Christ all and in all.
Every attempt to gain spirit and life from rites and practices as if they are life-giving entities has the opposite effect. They decrease the potency of Christ, dull our being and multiply the flesh. Jesus lived totally from His Father and as a result multiplied spirit and life in abundance. We can do the same when Jesus is exclusively our life. Indwelt by the trinity and in the name of Jesus we are living rivers of spirit and life.
‘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. We are more than the one new man in Jesus. We are spirit and life ourselves.
‘Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts’ Col 3.16 NIV.
Some denominations and many Christians know little of the new covenant and do not understand the gospel of the Kingdom, which is Christ writ large, Christ expressed as us. The new covenant is not a theology. It is the reality that is Christ. It is what The Divine Conspiracy has achieved in Christ. To ignore the new covenant is to limit the gospel of the Kingdom and impede the advance of the new creation. The new covenant is the arrangement in which the Holy family unilaterally draws us into its fellowship on the basis of the vicarious humanity of Christ. The old covenant was ‘do this and live.’ The new covenant is ‘you are alive because I have done all that needs to be done and it is finished.’ We need to know the meaning of the new covenant in order to graduate from religion to the Spirit and from the Spirit to becoming instigators of the Kingdom of God.
‘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.
The new covenant is the gospel of the Kingdom. Some Believers refuse to investigate the meaning of the new covenant. They fear, correctly, that if they did, the foundation of their denomination and their personal identity would evaporate. But better to have an identity founded in the gospel of the Kingdom than be a phantom of oneself in a culture that is a cunningly devised fable.
ROOTED IN THE TRINITY
For many years I wrote on the anointing of Holy Spirit and His gifts. But these gifts are not stand-alone entities. They cannot operate effectively in an old covenant mindset. ‘In the Spirit’ has no effectiveness independently of the new covenant. Life in the Spirit is antithetical to the law. Life in the Spirit and the gifts will not continue to flourish in an old covenant mindset or a mixture of old and new. In the former they will inevitably fade as will any polity built on an arrangement which God has abandoned on the grounds that He never meant it to last. His new soil and the foundation of all life is Jesus Christ and our belongingness in the Family of God. The new creation is simply Christ write large. Christ in all by the Spirit of Sonship.
‘For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ’ 1 Cor 3.11 NIV.
The new wineskin refers not to salvation as such but to the new and living way of life in the Spirit that is Christ our life. The new wineskin is the new covenant in which the law of Moses is abolished in favour of the law of the spirit of life who is the person of Christ. There never was and never can be a law existing as an independent entity from God. The spirit of life is God. Thus Paul correctly calls Jesus the law of the Spirit of life. The cosmic order is the person of Jesus embedded and manifest as existence. It is the person of Jesus manifest by the Spirit in all who believe. This spirit of life never fades. It advances in cumulative power and breadth to fill the entire earth with new creation life.
‘But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory’ 2 Cor 3.7-11 NIV.
ROOTED IN THE TRINITY
As with Jesus and His Father, our life in the Spirit with the gifts is a function of the fact that we and Father are one - one in a manner in which no old testament person was able to experience - even David. David’s intimacy in God wherever he happened to be, was a shadow of the real that was to come. This was the reality that has become Christ in us and with us. With the incarnation we have a greater inheritance than John the Baptist and a more extravagant unity with God than Moses or Elijah. We have what belongs to Jesus when He says, ‘I and My Father are one.’
‘ My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours’ Luke 15.31 NIV.
‘All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them’ John 17.10 ESV.
A RIGHT SIDE UP GOSPEL
Learn to see from cause to effect. LIFE IN THE SPIRIT is not a function of life in the gifts. The gifts are the function of life in the Spirit and life in the Spirit is the reality of our union with Father.
Life in the Spirit is a function of life in Father, of our union with God and the fact that we no longer live in the law but in God! The charismata are sustained and rooted in our life in our Father. They are the fruit of the Spirit of Sonship and the branches of the vine. Kingdom life cannot be sustained from the charismata alone. Should we remain attached to the law or a performance regime or an amalgam of religion and rite, we are sons in theory. But not in spirit and in truth.
THE RIVER OF LIFE
The new covenant is a river of life that is the person of Christ. The new covenant means that in Christ you are in God and in the trinity you are in the life that is the core of the universe. The core of the universe is the Love Heart of Father. Here is our place in the trinity. God is more than benign and infinitely more than an unmoved mover. He is love personified as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You belong in their company and can live in their fellowship.
Any interpretation of Paul or the Bible that dilutes the new covenant in favour of the law did not come from the Spirit of Christ. Quite the opposite. The new covenant is not an abstraction and never a thing of the letter. Every deployment of the letter kills. Death is its nature. Dullness of spiritual discernment is its effect.
The new covenant is the fullness of God manifest as the Christ who lives in you. It is you in God. It is the Spirit of Christ manifesting through you. The new covenant - Christ your life - manifests in you, as the church, as the Kingdom, the new creation and the new earth. In Him we and the entire creation has its purpose and being. In this bond we are the regeneration of the earth.
WHAT THE NEW COVENANT IS NOT
1 The new covenant is not an adjustment to the old. It is radically new.
2 It is not ‘Now I love Jesus so much I would not want to offend Him.’ We are not that resolute. It is totally Jesus’ life as ours.
3 It is not a doctrine or a prescription. It is the reality of Christ in you, resulting in the fact that each of us are the manifestation of Jesus.
4 It is a living River of Life. It is the Spirit in you that makes you and the church the manifest presence of Jesus.
This book by Dr Stephen Crosby off-loads much of the old covenant humbug associated with conceptions of the contemporary prophet and has much needed revelation on the nature of the new covenant and our life in this inheritance: The New Testament Prophet: Understanding the Mind, Temperament, and Calling.