Watchman Nee might have said that to many Christians the normal Christian life is some strand or variation of the old covenant mentality - a mindset where people live from a system of ethics, a belief system and a community of morality in the supposition that this is the Kingdom. But in the new covenant age we need to understand that sin is not the transgression of the law. Sin is a refusal to live in our inherited union with God and the reality of Christ our life.
Spiritual slavery is mostly invisible. It’s effects are a crippled soul and a ruined spirit. Paul spoke to this issue when he wrote,
‘Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children’ Gal 4.25 NIV.
Men and women of God had the anointing in the Old Testament. But none lived in The Spirit of Sonship and none were incarnated with The Trinity. There had been no cross. No end of the Adamic life, and no entrance to that state of being in which humanity is one with God and no Pentecost.
People were potentially sons but not yet sons in spirit and in truth. This had to await our Messiah and the incarnation of His life as ours. This was the result of the cross, the at-one-ment and the Spirit poured out. The anointing is not life in the Spirit. The anointing is the result of our life in the Spirit. This state of being is our life in God as established sons, rooted in Our Father through the at-one-ment accomplished by God and gifted to us.
We are not in the Spirit if we remain connected to the law.
‘In the Spirit’ is entirely a new testament entity. It did not just miraculously appear because it could. It is not self-sustaining and is never a thing in itself. Without our embrace of the new covenant, charisma and the gifts inevitably fade. As with Jesus so with us - the anointed life happens because we and our Father are one. Jesus’ had the Spirit without limit because He and His Father were one. Under the principle of the vicarious humanity of Christ, what belongs to Jesus is ours. No one can undo this. Thus we and Father are one and more. We have been drawn into the heavenly family to live in our inheritance as the sons and daughters of God.
PATH TO EXTINCTION
The kingdom of God will not grow out of the old covenant. The anointing and gifts of the Spirit will never become the Kingdom of God should we not have abandoned, Moses, the law, any kind of performance gospel or the more subtle deceits of religion. A law culture is incapable of nurturing the Kingdom and promotes death in the name of life. The gifts that come initially to reveal the glory of Jesus will fade when planted in the garden of the law. Holy Spirit, who lives to bear witness to Jesus does not remain if we ignore the new covenant, seek nurture in an identity separate from Him or plod stubbornly onwards in an Old Testament mindset. First we will just go dormant. Secondly we will become extinct. But there is always resurrection in Christ our life.
‘Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live”John 11.25 ESV.