Now hear this! To know Jesus is to know the truth that sets us free – free from error and captivity to false doctrine. We are in trouble when the light that is the lamp of our life is a deception.
‘But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!’ Matt 6.23 NIV.
All doctrine that is an end in itself is false. Doctrine (belief) that reveals the glory of Jesus and His unlimited saving power is true. To read the Bible in Jesus is to read it in the Spirit of Truth. To read it through our preconceptions or with denominational glasses is to pollute it with error. What you will get is ‘another gospel’ which will be the doctrines of demons – doctrines that reduce the power of the cross, limit the fullness of Christ, focus our attention on ourselves and burden us with the illusion that we have some special possession over and above the doctrine of the apostles. Only the Jesus lens will do.
One of the scriptures that I carefully noted during my youth was, ‘If they speak not according to this word, there is no light in them’ Isaiah 8.20. This was held to be the touchstone of truth and so it is. Extra-biblical teaching that does not fit this template carries no weight in the matter of right belief and should be seen for what it is: A ploy to sidetrack Believers and slow the advance of the Kingdom. Right belief has a power and that power exists because our belief is couched in God. It coordinates us with the provisions He has made for us. How important then to live in the truth and be separated from every delusion from the father of lies.
‘I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth’ 1 John 2.21 NIV. Truth has no limits. We are safe and astute explorers in Jesus. We can make a limited and marginal contribution to the human condition when we follow truth as far as our inherited assumptions and cultural beliefs permit us. But it is limited to doing the best we can with damaged goods. When Christ is our life and our truth and we following Him without condition we open our lives to unlimited life. The alternative is to remain well-intentioned blind leaders of many who would like to see.
The living truth is Jesus. He is man. He is God. He is the door to the Father. He is righteousness itself. To belong to Jesus is to have our sins washed away. To have the son of man is to have the light of life. To eat Jesus because He is our life is to be alive. It is to have the manifestation of heaven in us in our daily walk. It is walking in the light of heaven.
‘But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away’ 2 Cor 3.16 NIV.
To remain tethered to Adam and his mistaken way or to Moses by even one rule is to tie ourselves to what God has passed by and what Satan intended as the imprisonment of the human race. To embrace Jesus plus nothing is to participate in life without limit. To remain tied to the law and old covenant is to accommodate ourselves to a limited life. This is what Jesus meant by tares.
One enters the Kingdom of Heaven through Jesus. We perceived the difference between His Kingdom and mere religion through His eyes. We call this using the Jesus lens. Only in Jesus can the Bible reveal God’s truth. It is in the Spirit of Truth, meaning the Spirit of Christ, that the true meaning of the Bible is revealed. Not by might (hard work) or by power (prophetic or scholarly position) but by my Spirit (the Spirit of Truth) is the nature of God’s Kingdom revealed to us as we read the Bible. The true meaning of the Bible is revealed to us by revelation from Jesus Christ. The Jesus lens is the new covenant.
RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD
‘So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’ John 8.31, 32.
Jesus’ word is that He is life and light. We must live in Jesus to be His disciples and know the truth. Truth is knowing Him. More to the point it is following Him wherever He leads.
THE LIGHT OF LIFE
The Bible read in a vacuum will not reveal Jesus, God’s will or His truth. A generic respect for God profits little in the way of revelation. What counts is a personal relationship with Jesus. Innocent companionship with Jesus is worth more than all religious scholarship. There are biblically literate Believers who have little connection with Jesus and his life. Some of the most erudite are the most dim in discernment, lacking entirely the gift of revelation. Others are steeped in ‘truth’ as an abstraction because they are rooted in law. The knowledge of good and evil cannot reveal God. But Christ as our life reveals what is good and what is evil, what is Kingdom and what is flapping about. TORCH AND SWORD
The sharp, two-edged sword of wisdom and discernment is the living word. It is wielded by those alive in Him. Not in those who seek life in religion, a ministry or a name. What counts is JESUS AS OUR LIFE by the Spirit. This fills us with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation that is the light of life.
Paul wrote, ‘I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better’ Eph 1.17 NIV.
Imagine if Paul had not bothered to know Him better and has justified his ‘Saul life’ by saying, ‘It matters little about our theology.’ But it does. Saul’s theology was what made Saul a binder of men and women. God theology turned him into a ‘Paul’ and a liberator from an inferior way into the new and living way.
GOD GIVING US WHAT WE VALUE
What if the Lord sent us darkness because we presumed to find credence and status in gathering to ourselves extra-biblical assumptions amounting to ‘another gospel?’ What if we had made for ourselves a veil of confusion because we had dismissed the new covenant Christ for ourselves and and blundered on in ‘another gospel?’ What if our ‘truth’ was a lie?
‘Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun." Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand’ Acts 13.11 NIV.
‘But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!’ Gal 1.8 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.