If we are the product of a church we will be small in Kingdom effectiveness, producing little spirit and life. If we are the expression of Jesus we will be rivers of living water. Jesus is not the church, a denomination, any belief or ‘thing.’ He is Himself as I AM and the personification of love and life. Nevertheless, Jesus is the church when we are the manifestation of His person as a fact and in spirit and in truth.
‘The church as a designation of the letter is a nothing. The church as the expression of Jesus in Bill and Mary is everything.’
Jesus multiplied spirit and life because He and Father were one. There was no separation between Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit. He lived in this union and as a result possessed and multiplied life without limit.
All this is ours today. We have what Jesus had when we have Jesus and not lesser entities like the law, a moral program or an attachment to a religious miasma. We need to run a fact check on ourselves periodically to determine who or what is our Christ. When Jesus is our Lord we have this amazing inheritance of Christ in us and more. The trinity dwells in us and is perpetually with us. There is no separation between the Believer and God in the New Testament age - if the Believer believes what God believes about us.
By aligning ourselves with the narrative of Jesus and the apostles teaching we overcome the lies of the Enemy and live in the mindset of truth and life. Mindsets are important because they determine the reality we create around ourselves. We can possess a mindset that is largely cunningly devised fable or the mindset of the trinity, the apostles and those who inherit the gospel of the authentic gospel of the Kingdom. Do a fact check and find out if ‘your gospel’ is Christ’s gospel.
Yoked to the law we are unable to be spiritual people. It leaves us separated from God in externalities, separated from fulsome union with God and separated from our true selves and from others. Here we can be religious people, yes but not spiritual in the sense that Jesus envisaged when He said, ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. This is spirituality: Interwoveness with God. In this state of union we are the branches of the vine whose roots are in the trinity. We are sons in spirit and in truth and are the manifestation of life, righteousness and the agents of bringing heaven to the places where we live on earth.
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV.
Spirit and life has great relevance to ministry, pastoring and spiritual leadership. Religion and law would cast our communal life institutionally as a structure of the letter that kills. The letter always kills. This fact is foundational for the building of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus had authority that far exceeded the scribes. What might be a scribe today? I believe it’s the difference between a worker and a son.
The institutional church is a manifestation of the letter. In this medium, many leaders see themselves as managers of factions: Politicians who attempt to manage difference in a regime of the letter that kills. Even if such cultures are not toxic they are seldom life-giving, which is why we need to re-define what we think the church is. It can be the Body conceptually or it can be the actual manifestation of Jesus in people. It is not the latter because people have a position on it. It is so when we have made Jesus our life. It’s not idealistic to expect the church to be what Jesus designed it to be: The expression of Himself in unity and diversity. It just obedience. And living from His gospel rather than a ‘gospel of the church.’