One might think at times that Jesus came to us so that we could go to church, do Bible studies, sing hymns, do some praise and worship and have an outreach. Some might even assume, covertly to themselves, that He lives so we can have a denomination, be employed in it and get an identity from it. Others of us may assume that he sits atop the pyramid of our belief system in order to legitimate it and by extension be The Affirmation of us.
LIFE OF THE WORLD
Well it’s none of those. Who knew? Jesus came to be our life. He invites us to receive His life as ours as an individual, as the community of the church and as the inhabitants of the world. Jesus means to be the seed from which grows the civilisation of a new world. It’s called the new creation.
‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation’Gal 6.15 NIV.
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ 2 Cor 5.17 NIV.
"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation’ Rev 3.14 NIV.
‘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.
SEE HIM AS HE IS
There’s nothing complex about Christ’s message. It’s simply Him as us. Simple on the one hand, profound on the other. We can constrict and desiccate Jesus by changing all Jesus represents in the Spirit to the letter so that we get a massive abstraction. An abstraction that bears His name and denies His life. But in Him is life and that life is the light of men and women.
Francis Du Toit quoting John G Lakes writes, ‘The struggle of the centuries has been to free the soul from narrow interpretations. The world is still waiting to see Him as He is, Jesus the magnificent, Jesus the giant, Jesus the compassionate, Jesus the dynamic, the wonder of the ages. Take the shackles off, let Him have a chance to bless mankind through you without limitations!’ John G Lake, from his book God Believes In You.
I seldom urge people to exchange their denomination for another. This is because what we need for spiritual life is not a new set of beliefs. We need to feast on the banquet of life that is Jesus. Yet what we believe is important. If we believe that Jesus Christ is totally our life; if we understand the vicarious humanity of Jesus. The meaning of the Lord’s Table is not for us to mourn over the crucifixion or wring our hands about sin. The meaning is that by ingesting Jesus by the Spirit are graced with His life. We are feasting on life in Him!
Christ our life is not some weak inconsequential thing. It is the incarnation. It is God come in our flesh. By the Spirit it is the life of the trinity in us waiting to be manifest as us. Christ come by the Spirit into our physical bodies is the new creation burning for release. This is our life in the Spirit of Sonship and the means of the new creation erupting from our being. Live in this. Don’t settle for anything third rate in religion. That’s the shadow. The reality is Christ – Christ for you , Christ in you and Christ as you. Just walk in what already is!
‘For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law’ Gal 3.10 NIV.
Having seen himself demolished, the father of lies cast about to see what could be done to leech the life out of the victory of Christ over all that is feeble and dead. He settled on a scheme that has proved an unfortunate success. He would contrive to muffle the Christ and denude His power by diluting Him. He would insinuate that Jesus is here to support the law. He would bury Him in religion. He would smother Him in Christian Culture. He would imply that His life is mediated through the church. He would betray thousands into being consumers of Christianity and lure them into dependency on a supposed mediatorial class. He would promote these dead substitutes for life as if they were alive. Thus he would sap the life out of Christ and negate the explosive power of His coming in the flesh of every individual. He would do this by wrapping Jesus in layers of religiosity and so insulate them from life to the full. He would contrive this so just enough life could get through in order to persuade them that they were being ‘blessed’ when they were actually cursed.
Christ is our life individually and as the community of Christ. All that is alive and eternally fruitful arises from this relationship – from our union with God. Here we are alive with infinite and eternal life. We are overflowing with spirit and life. The fruit we produce is Kingdom Fruit because it is the manifestation of heaven on earth. All this is based on the fact of Christ, Holy Spirit and Father alive and active in our being. This is the meaning of Christ come in our flesh – and quite the opposite of a religious life lived in the flesh.
Christ is our life because He is. Live in this. Rest in it. You will be more content, more alive and an actual river of His life rather than a dry stream of self-effort and religion.
‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV.