Many Believers would have been raised in the belief that godliness is something you earn and must work for. That is we make grace part of our regime of works and situate it more in ourselves and less in Christ. Even grace can come into this ‘purchase’ type mindset if we have been raised in a religion of works. Trouble is, works that come from the flesh are always dead. Which is why Paul declared that anything that is not Christ our life is rubbish. For some people the fruits of the Spirit are works that we must ‘do.’ This is not surprising if we are still in a mindset of law rather than in the Spirit where Christ is our life and we are the fruit of His person. NO MONEY CHANGING I once heard a brother talk in this mode on one of the fruits of the spirit. He said that if we work on ‘a fruit’ hard enough, Holy Spirit will come alongside us and and enable the fruit to be realised in our life. This may have sufficed as a ‘time-slot filling homily’ but the talk was the exact opposite of what fruits are and what the scripture describes. But this is how we think if we have been brainwashed in a culture of legalism. The notion that you earn what you get is deep seated in religion. Thankfully Jesus threw out money-changers and money-changing and replaced it with the new and living way of His grace for us and His person manifested as us. Father is better than anyone thought and the gospel of Christ is superior to what most of us imagine. Such is the case with ‘grace’ which is personal and a state of being. Grace is Father, son and Holy Spirit making their life yours. Francois Du Toit writes, ‘Grace is not something you qualify for by receiving it! Grace already belongs to humanity without their permission! Here's Romans 5:17 again, "If the effect of one man’s crash-landing engaged humanity in a death-dominated lifestyle, how much more is the very same mankind now the recipient of the boundless reservoir of righteousness empowering them to reign in this life through that one man, Jesus Christ, whose gift to mankind is their redeemed righteousness and innocence. Grace is out of all proportion in superiority to the transgression’ - Mirror Bible. Christ is our grace, our life and our righteousness. The essence of the gospel is the at-one-ment. Belief in the efficacy and total sufficiency of our having been made one with God qualifies us as the Body of Christ. This being the core of our life in Christ, any diminution of this fact places us outside Christianity. LIBERTY AND TRUTH We are at liberty to express our Christ life as we choose. It matters little whether we are baptised by sprinkling or immersion or whether we are Anglicans or Baptists. You can hold your prayer meeting on Monday or Wednesday. But you cannot negate the atonement, suffocate the cross or oppose Christ come in our flesh and not be a tare. It does matter if we so alter the gospel of Jesus and the apostles that what we have is quite a different gospel - a gospel so different that it is no gospel at all. Here were are not a sect but a cult. Paul speaks clearly to this issue. ‘I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 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! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse’ Gal 1.6-9 NIV. It’s absurd to say that we can pervert the gospel of Christ and at the same time consider ourselves part of the Body of Christ. Such nonsense is calling light darkness and darkness light. There is no room for pluralism in Paul’s statement. We are His Body because He Himself is our life - never because the law is our life. Law is a subcategory of an alienated state in the knowledge of good and evil. Law separates from God. So do private gospels. Some gospels are so private and such a distortion of Christ’s gospel of the Kingdom that they barely qualify as Christian. We are the Body of Christ because we agree with Father that by the Spirit and by grace Jesus is us. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Neither is there separation. We are His Body when and because He Himself is our life. ‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NLT.