‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ Gal 2.20 NIV.
We can either advance the new creation by agreeing that Christ is our life or inhibit it by clinging to Adam, the law and bits of the flesh. There is a power in the flesh and the law is the flesh. In The Lord of the Rings the carnal power of the ring and the influence of evil is extended long after its time. Extended due to the refusal to throw the ring (the power of the knowledge of good and evil) into the fires of Mt Doom. But in actual fact it has already be cast in at the cross. The question is, do we own what Jesus did or are we absorbed in some project or ‘gospel’ of our own that denies it?
‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation’ Gal 6.15 NIV.
When we, through passivity, inertia, smugness or ignorance choose to live in the law and old covenant, or join ourselves to it in any way, we inhibit the new creation and empower the production of orcs - so to speak. Let orcs here represent distorted and crippled human beings. The most subtly distorted and deluded are unfortunately the religious who are so close yet so far from the kingdom of God.
A teacher of the law spoke with a significant degree of understanding. Yet he had not entered the Kingdom because His life was not that of the King to whom he was speaking. When Christ is our life, our righteousness and the incarnation of the trinity in us, we belong to the Family of God which is the Kingdom of God.
‘When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions’ Mark 12.34 NIV.
There is a power and a strength in carnality that manifests as religion. This has an attraction to evil doers as well as sincere Believers who see themselves as working pragmatically in God’s cause. But thew new creation is being inhibited, often because of inertia, careers to be had and a name to be made in the Christian Industry. Jesus does not coagulate as an institution. He is life to the full. As a son you are a manifestation of the Father. The church so composed is the Kingdom of God and the advancing new creation.
‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’ 2 Cor 5.17 NIV.
The new creation springs totally out of the person of Christ. Firstly in you, secondly in the church and finally in the world. The new creation is unconditionally Christ our life, Christ plus nothing and Christ who is all and in all. In Jesus is found the potential and the reality of infinite possibility and extravagant advancement of humanity and its institutions forever.
‘Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen--the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's new creation’ Rev 3.14 NLT.
Jesus is the River of Life. The river of life flows out of the throne of God. Jesus has placed us in this river that is the presence of God, the trinity and spirit and life. This river of life is a reality and a figure of the life that flows from God and then into irrigation channels to nurture the whole earth. There is no limitation in God. No false dichotomies as in the knowledge of good and evil, no thesis and anti-thesis, no conflict, no frustration, no self-interest and no Babylon and Egypt. But there is a new Jerusalem taking its place among humanity.
‘The prophet was speaking of this new Jerusalem when he wrote, Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.” While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’ “Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the Lord, “for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” declares the Lord’ Zech 2.1-6 NIV.
We are not entitled to a perspective that differs from the new covenant. You are entitled to manifest the spirit and life of Jesus according to another identity that is an addition to Him. We are not entitled to establish a programme together with a series of disciplines and patterns and then universalise this as the way to life. Christ Himself is our life.
‘Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ John 14.6 NIV.
Be warned. There in only one way and it is not the way of a denomination, ministry or sect. A non-sectarian disposition does not entitle you to side-line the new covenant, cling to some aspect of the law, add a discipline and a raft of prescriptions in some area of living and acquire some special identity that goes along with ‘your perspective.’ You have no identity as a son outside of your totality in Christ. Such identity-mongering will cut you off from the vine and render you a dead branch.
‘If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned’ John 15.6 NIV.
An extra-Jesus identity will dwarf your spirit. Holy Spirit, charismata and the gifts cannot bring such dead branches to life. The best that can be said for adding Holy Spirit to a non-gospel is that this opens the door to the fullness of Christ and His gospel of the Kingdom. But the Kingdom of God, even with the help of Holy Spirit and the gifts cannot grow out of the old covenant.
When Christ is our life we have the potential to expand in life, creativity and power without limit. This is the ever expanding new creation Kingdom of God alive in us. It is the result of our rootedness in our Father. But we need to be clear. Should we cling to an identity that we think we have, through doctrine, special emphasis and practice that is out of line with the new covenant, we join ourselves not to life but to a body of death.
There is a way to stultify life a new and living way to limitless life.
To hold to an extra-Christ identity or a Jesus plus culture is to define ourselves out of the Kingdom of God, negate out status as sons and deny His new creation expansion of everlasting life. Others will participate in it. But it will not be you. Not because God is not gracious and does not love you. But because Jesus does not cultivate tares and because of self imprisonment in your own ideas. You have buried your talent of Kingdom life in the ground. Rather than bury our new creation life in the ground we must allow Jesus to bury us so that we can be done with Adam and Moses and be raised to new creation life in Jesus.
‘Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life’ John 12.24-25 NIV.