Religion will always make us less than we are in the guise of pleasing God and elevating ourselves. Jesus made a curious remark in this regard while countering the unbelief of the religious leaders. They were annoyed that Jesus had assumed deity. He then quoted a scripture that said, ‘You are gods.’ Jesus was not saying that we are deity. But He was alluding to the fact that we came from God, that we are God-breathed, that we possess His Spirit and that we would be re-woven into God through Jesus’ ministry and life. Jesus was both fully God and fully human. In Jesus we are alive. As John Powell would say, ‘Fully human and fully alive.’
Our humanity enjoys great advantage when through Jesus we live as sons through our Father. Rooted in Father and nurtured in the Spirit of Sonship we are able to flourish and grow into the fullness of our humanity.
Great sports men and women often fade, lose their way and end up in re-hab when they retire from a field in which they excelled. Their identity, purpose and humanity dies with the loss of their career. The have been defined by their vocation. But what if we and our vocation is defined by our being - by who we are as sons in God? This is the proper ordering of our life, the root of our being and the guarantee of the flowering of our humanity and personhood in distinctiveness and fullness.
Herbert Marcuse coined the term, ‘One dimensional man,’ to describe the narrowness of being that can afflict many of us as a result of the division of labour in modern industrial society. He was referring to the likelihood of people living as cogs in the economic machine. We can assert our humanity by striving for ‘work-life’ balance. But we will do better at work, at life and as a human being when we are rooted in Father because Jesus is our life.
Nothing affords better balance than the Son of Man as your life.
The fact is, Jesus rose from the dead. In doing this He transcended the life and the social set-up that Adam began. As the new man He undid the suffocation of life that was Adam’s society and pseudo-life. He put Egypt and Babylon to death and rose as life Himself and the new creation. Firstly He ignites you with spirit and life and restores to you your real humanity, made according to the design of heaven. Secondly His Spirit in you touches others and his undoing of all things dead spreads life, hope and possibility. This is the new creation. When Jesus is our life we flourish in our humanity and nurture it in others. We are more than a role. We are the sons and daughters of God on the way to infinite development. Abraham Maslow spoke of self-transcendence. This becomes our reality when Jesus the person is our life. You need to know that this flowering of the self and the process of constant becoming is never the product of self-effort. Nor can the religious person gain it through the law because the law is an abstraction and inert. It takes a person to regenerate dulled humanity and this person is Christ your life. The wonder of Jesus for each of us is that to see Jesus is see yourself. Don’t hope to find in the gifts of the Spirit what is only found in the your new covenant union with God.
In Jesus we are joined to our Father as sons - no longer alienated or theoretical sons but sons and daughters in spirit and in truth. The mystery of Godliness is that not only do we as sons dwell in spirit with the trinity. But the ‘we’ of the trinity make their home in us. In Jesus the life of God manifests as us. By the Spirit Christ becomes you and by the indwelling trinity the diversity of creation and the wonder of the universe is seeded into your being.
‘Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are "gods"'?’ John 10.34 NIV.
The Kingdom of God grows from our life in Father. Life in the Spirit is grounded in life in our Father. We were always sons and daughters of God. Even in our fallen state our humanity glints with our origins. Yet there is a fullness of life, of Sonship and God-likeness that belongs to all as our inheritance. This is the manifestation of ourselves as sons and daughters in the fullness of Christ our life. This is yours in Christ. But it will never be ours in the law or in religion. The latter will define and confine us to be slaves and workers, outside our inheritance and near God but not in God. Rooted in the law we are not sons of God. We are sons of the law. Rooted in Father we are sons of God and have the Spirit without limit.
There are four things that have a toxic capacity to dull spirit and life in anyone. The first is the attempt to forge self-worth through work. The second is similar. The attempt to achieve wholeness and acceptance with God through the law. The third is a combination of both: The attempt to find life in religion. The fourth is more subtle since it is the attempt to live a spirit-filled life from an old covenant mindset. None of these things can manifest the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God’s sons is not a religion. It is a person and the life that is the real you in Jesus. Together we are the church Jesus builds and the new creation Kingdom of God.