Jesus was not religious and never spoke in favour of religion, which might come as a shock to the religious to learn that Jesus was and is, nothing like them. Others might say ‘Thank God!’ on the ground that they had always equated religion with humbug. What is humbug you may ask? It’s stuff people do because they do it even though it has no usefulness or utility.
Everything Jesus is and does is spirit and life.
As a son Jesus lived in His Father, spoke on behalf of His Father, drew attention to His Father and declared, 'If you have seen me you have seen the Father.' In The Shack, the author has Jesus saying, 'I'm not a Christian.' I thought this funny and poignant. Although born a Jew, Jesus never lived from religion, despite the attempts of religious minds to argue that He did. Jesus was ethnically Jewish but did not live out of Judaism. Jesus lived entirely from His Father and Himself as all ‘I AM’ folks do. They lived from the life and identity that they were as persons unadulterated by artifice and piety. This is why the Spirit of the Lord brings liberty – liberty from externalities and nonsenses promoting themselves as life. Liberty to be yourself without encrustations and pesky barnacles.
Bound to Christ we are free. But tied to Jesus and religious motions in a kind of hybrid, we are a human blur. Certainty eludes us and spiritual discernment is beyond us. Beyond us because we have two masters and in this respect are not pure in heart. Sure we may not be immoral. Just divided in heart and soul.
Jesus never lived out of a culture or belief system and neither should we. If you want a real life then live out of Jesus. He lived out of His Father as a son. Jesus came to model being a son and to empower us to be sons by believing and living in Him. Jesus is what Adam never was. But as a human being He is the Last Adam and the new Father of the human race. He stands apart from the father of lies and the father of humbug. In Jesus is life and that light of the life of all who love life.
I was shocked when a group of Christians started asking 'what God was like.' Either they did not consider Jesus as equal with the Father or they had not absorbed that Jesus is the express image of the Father. It's not difficult to float along in an ideology without ever have ferreted out the truth about God and ourselves for ourselves. There is a Jesus lens. Only in Jesus are veils removed. We need to know the scriptures and the power of God. Spiritual gifts and the occasional prophetic word do not entitle us to be illiterate in the scriptures or encased in the old covenant.
‘And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit’ 2 Cor 3.18 NIV.
Are you living in the Spirit of Sonship. You can if you embrace Jesus as your life. Sons are not just people who go to church or have a Christian belief system. Sons are sons because they live in the Son and as a consequence are one with our Father. Sons know the Father because He Has nurtured their hearts. Sons are joined in love to each other because they are alive in the Son of Man. Today, just as Jesus was one with the Father so are we - if we believe in Him and have made Him our life. Today the life of a son flows from the life of the Father into you because Christ is in you.
'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.
Let's be clear. Your place is in Father's arms and heart is not yours because of what you do but because of what Jesus has done. He is the way to the Father, the new and living way who lives in you!
Religion has many configurations. Christian religion will have us living out of Christianity instead of Jesus. But Jesus will have us living out of the Father. Christianity and Jesus are not the same thing and never were. The religious life is entirely different to Christ as your life. One attempts to draw life from religious things and the other imparts the life of God to all things. This is the new and living way and the new creation. As one of His priest-kings you have it in your power to co-labour with Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit to build the new creation.
Jesus said, 'If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.' Jesus is the Father expressed as a man. As someone said, Jesus is the human face of the Father. All that Jesus was and did, as Jeff Turner says, was Jesus holding up a mirror to the Father.' Jesus was also the perfect image of a real man. He was a real man because He was Father's Son and loved powerfully because His Father is love. This Son of Man lives in you by the Spirit to be your life.
Did you know that we cannot do anything Godly unless Father, Son and Holy Spirit are alive in us?
Those appointed to build the church are apostles. But apostles are not necessarily those with a teaching gift or persons who have built a large congregation. The genuine apostle does not create religious consumers or a mass of dependent babies. Sons are not fathered by boys. Sons lived renewed lives in the Father. Sons are people who have been fathered by the Father in spirit and in truth. There are sons whose sonship has been formed in the spirit of their Father. As such they co-labour with Jesus to birth and mature sons.
All who embrace Jesus as their life express Jesus to others. To that extent all are apostolic, as all express the Spirit-life of the new creation Kingdom of God. His Spirit in them is realized in speech and action. No Ishmael's here. Their branches spring out from His Vine. Their fruit comes from His tree of life. They are the fruit of His tree. They represent the Father because they have the same Father. In Jesus you and the Father are one. With Jesus as your life people will see Jesus and the Father.
'I and the Father are one' John 10.30 NIV. In Jesus you are one with the Father. You and the Father are one, which means you are son of God.