‘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.
Religion is an orientation and mode of behaviour. Spirituality is Christ in you. Religion has subtle and benumbing effects on the Believer. Making us less than we are and dulling our perceptions of who we can become. Sourced in the knowledge of good and evil, religion is a substitute for a life in God. Religion operates in the name of God while sidelining Jesus in favour of some effort from ourselves. We can have a religious view of Christianity or we can have Christ as our life. The former creates many clones in lock-step with conformity. The latter births and matures sons and daughters of God.
Many Believers think Christianity is finding some truth, some admonition or a warning from anywhere in the Bible. Then getting some understanding of what it means and then disciplining their life into conformity with the principle. Many homilies and Bible studies are given on this basis. Sometimes whole conferences. In this mode the Ten Commandments may not be regarded as the law. But by default the whole Bible becomes a pseudo Torah. This might be ok if it were not for the fact that Christ and not the Bible is our life. Living from natural elements whether as an unbeliever or a Christian is called living from the flesh and the elemental principles of the world. Some Bible versions us the words elemental spirits, which is appropriate because anything that is not Christ is empowered by the spirit of anti-christ. Paul writes,
‘See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ’ Col 2.8 NAS.
While living from Christian culture may not be overtly legalistic, it is intrinsically so and this is because it is living from the knowledge of good and evil via the Bible with a few pushes and shoves from Jesus. This is religion but not the gospel of the Kingdom. This gospel is Christ our life. It is not Christ helping us to live life. It is Christ Himself as our life and being our life. Should we insist on living in elemental principles of the world, we can expect to stifle our being and bury our treasure in the ground. Jesus cannot use us to impart life when we are actually dead folks walking.
You, yourself and your persona, manifesting as the direct expression of Jesus is vastly different to you as the expression of Christianity. One is through a glass darkly and the other is the trinity incarnated in you. Now you have become the manifest presence of God. This is called a son. As daughters and sons you and Father are one and you emit His spirit and life.
The Lord may have spoke to your spirit, expressed Himself in you, enabling you to be who you are and express your personal mission in Him. As a result your efforts have been very fruitful. Don’t be side-tracked into joining a ‘name’ for added effectiveness. You may find your ministry sapped of effectiveness because such imagined strength is carnal and an example of ‘elemental principles’ of the world. This does not mean the ‘name’ is carnal. But it does meant that your ability to grow the Kingdom with spirit and life is not reliant on such alliances.
You have a Jesus life that joins us to the trinity. Since Jesus is Lord of all, Jesus is the Interpreter of the Bible. The old testament pointed to Jesus. Jesus reveals our Father and He reveals who we are. To see Jesus is to see our Father. It is also to see ourselves. To See Jesus through the Holy Spirit is to see Jesus as He is. This is to know the goodness of our Father and to receive the vision of who we are becoming. The law led to Jesus. But Jesus never leads to law, rites or religion. He leads to Himself, our Father and Holy Spirit. Jesus never leads to anything less than Himself. Jesus is the fullness of God and the completeness of you. Don’t add to Him with lifeless additions and the elemental principles of the flesh. Yo are a life-giving spirit because you are in the Spirit of Christ and Christ is in God.