The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Col 1.15-17 NIV.
Christ is all and in all. Not only is Christ in you but He is the new creation manifest as the church. There is no additive required with Christ. A pluralistic, liberal perspective where one believes it is ok to add a piece of law as one’s own contribution is out of line with the new covenant. It is out of alignment because this living way is the one way of life and connection to our Father that has been put in place our Father. We are either aligned with Father and the new and living way of HIS SON or we are living in the futility of slaves and workers.
The authority and fullness of our Father is in Jesus. In Jesus the fullness and authority of our Father is in each of us by the Spirit of Sonship. The unity of Father and son - the communion that is their life - is ours in Jesus. The life that is their, the holiness that is their being becomes our possession because they live in us. Jesus said,
‘All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him’ Matt 11.27 NIV.
To live in the law. To acquire a fragment of law. To live in anything not Christ. To make a thing of religious routines and patterns is to dull this knowing, blunt this union of being and smother what could have been an adventure in a routine. This is the difference between giving a Bible study and giving spirit and life, between living our a belief system and being a son in spirit and in truth.
There is a way to spiritual dullness and a way to life without limit.
The efforts of some to add an element of law and performance to the simplicity of Christ our life are zealous but convoluted. They are misguided because we have adopted a gospel of our own. We think we must be fortified, backed-up or ‘stiffened’ by reinforcing rods of law. So we search the scriptures and seek out scholars who may suggest some chance of negating Jesus declaration that He Himself is life, way and truth. Or we might cast about for an old and dead way of weakening Paul’s gospel in which Christ is entirely our life. We need to be clear. Jesus is not a new way of keeping the law and neither is He way of living from the knowledge of good and evil. Jesus is The Way of Imparting Himself to us by the Spirit.
A sincere Believer assured me once that we needed an element of law. Not so. The place of law in the life of the Spirit - our new covenant life - is zero. Should we fall short, a dose of law is not the solution. Grace allows for more of Christ and less of us. All of this in the Spirit, in His incarnation and indwelling of our being. He must increase. We must decrease. Christ come in the flesh is what it seems. His person manifesting as you.
‘When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.4 NIV.
Jesus declaration about Himself and Paul’s gospel are unconditionally absolutist. Christ is entirely our life. Correct theology understands this as the vicarious humanity of Jesus. Living in the Spirit of Sonship depends on living in Christ’s joining of ourselves to our Father. To be in this union is to be apostolic in the sense that Jesus was apostolic: The expression of His Father. Joined to the law we are not joined to Father. We are united to religion. This will muffle your spirit, dull your mind and make you dormant no matter how sincere and busy you may be.
This morning a friend of mine told me about a colleague of hers who lives from the law and claims to be a son. He is potentially a son. He has a son’s inheritance. Living in the mindset of the slave woman, he’s not a son in the Kingdom sense or in terms of ‘Now we are the sons of God.’ He’s not a son in spirit and in truth. Just a son notionally. Neither is he apostolic. Should we retain the law, performance and old covenant mindset we are sons in the mode of Adam, sons of the law and of the knowledge of good and evil. We are sons of alienation. But not sons in the living way of Jesus where we are one with our Father.
We are sons in spirit and in truth when Jesus alone is our life. George said to Steve, ‘ I’m different to you.’ Steve looked away before looking him in the eyes. ‘ You are. You live in the old covenant. I live in the new.’
‘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.
BEING GOOD AND BEING ALIVE
‘Being good’ is not the key thing for the Christian. ‘Being alive’ is. We have this spirit and life in Christ. ‘Being good’ is a lower order category that flows from the spirit and life of Christ that has enveloped us. Being alive is a function of our union with God. Being good is a function of our life in God.
‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing’ John 15.5 NIV.
Much fruit is entirely spirit and life. Activity, good works, ministry and missions are not innately spirit and life - not unless we and Father are one in person and the expression of His being.
You have been made a son in spirit and in truth. Your first priority is to live in the sonship that is your inheritance. This is a state of being called, ‘Now we are the sons of God.’ It is enjoyed by living in God - by living where you have been placed by no effort of your own! Yet it is here in peace and rest that the goodness of Jesus and the antipathy towards evil fills your being. One with Father you will hate anything that is not alive, that deadens, binds and degrades human beings. Especially when this degradation and binding takes place in the name of religion.
A holy life is the fruit of our sonship - not the reason of cause of it. Transformation is the effect of our being sons of God and the result of our being joined to His person. Religion is a duty. Sonship is the harvest of a life that you never earned but which is yours by the love and grace of God.
‘For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.3,4 NIV.
The gospel of Jesus and the revealing of this good news by Paul is that Jesus is totally your life with no add-ons. The effect of living from Jesus plus bits of law is to negate your Christ life entirely and leave you with the illusion of your own godliness and a shambles of collected and patched together behaviours that you call your ‘Christian life.’ Even a bucket of Holy Spirit anointing will not help in this.
But you have an adventure called Christ your life. In Him you are the adventure. This life in the Spirit is the inheritance of sons. It cannot be sustained from the pseudo husband of performance or the false father of the law. Rootedness in the trinity makes us sons of God in spirit and in truth and the apostolic representative of our Father. In Jesus we don’t just talk about life. We are His life!