FULLNESS OF CHRIST
There is much to be said for the liberal perspective. It is the child of the Renaissance and the Reformation in that it is non-authoritarian, open minded, is founded on grace and is pluralistic - up to a point. More on that later. There is no relativism in the Kingdom of God’s Son. There is one King and one new and living way, but there is diversity - so much so that the Christian Community of the church in all its variety is the manifestation of the fullness of Jesus Christ. As sons and daughters of God we may think of ourselves as manifestations of our Father and as fruits of the tree of life.
Human marriage and family is an image of the reality that is the trinity. God is three distinct persons who celebrate their togetherness in extravagant harmony and individuality. Yet God is one. So full of joy and satisfaction was trinitarian life that there was a desire to share this fullness of life. This desire to share, this extravagant love resulted in the birth of the human race. In Birthing Adam and then Eve, God birthed humanity and its genius for diversity and creativity.
Men and women are the expression of God. Women, it needs to be said, in their beauty, femininity, motherliness and nurturing power are an expression of the trinitarian nature of God.
Marriage emulates trinitarian life in that babies appear in the world as a result of love, intimacy, ecstasy and joy - just like human beings were created as a result of trinitarian joy and love. We are made in the image of God. In union with God we express Godliness as sons and daughters of God. This is why sons can only be sons in spirit and in truth when one with our Father. It is why we are not at liberty to choose the old covenant way of the law when we have been given the new covenant way of God’s manifestation through us.
We were created to share the life of God. God is resolute in securing this outcome. Your membership in the trinitarian circle is the already accomplished and basic fact of your life. IT IS FINISHED. It cannot be undone unless you decide to walk away from it and choose you own way and reject the gift of union with God. Pluralism does not permit choosing our own way rather than the new and living way of Christ our life. So despite our spotty and erratic performance, we always belong and are positioned to be revealed more completely as sons, simply by resting in God and believing His Son.
In the new covenant Christ is your life. He is our life because He has forgiven our sin, covered us in His grace and become one with us as a human being. As such He has drawn us into the presence of God, making us one with God. The at-one-ment of the Father is the Son and you in Him. Your union with Father in this way is the source of the anointing as it was with Jesus. The charismatic gifts flow because we and Father are now one - if we are in Jesus and not in the law or some performance mode.
Let’s be clear about the gifts. ‘Fullness’ in Christ is not everyone exercising the gifts. ‘Fullness’ defined as such is a recipe for conflict or extinction. Fullness is your being fully a son. The evidence of this version of fullness is seen in the crippled habits and the lack of spirit and life in inmates of old covenant living. I have seen people who attempt to live in the law and the spirit simultaneously disintegrate as persons. Others are bereft of spirit and life and quite unaware of it.
Fullness is everyone living fully as a son/daughter because they are fully one with our Father. They are fully one with Him because their union is not adulterated by any law or performance mentality. They are fully one because they are incarnated with the trinity and they are full and complete because God is complete. Fullness is sourced in fully living in Father in the truth that we and Father are one.
The fullness of Christ is living in the entirety of who Jesus is for us and what He has won for us.
The gifts and Holy Spirit are not a thing in themselves. They are the function of our life in Father and the spirit of sonship. The ‘try harder’ gospel is a function of law, letter and institutionalism. We have no legitimate liberty to align ourselves with any old and dead way that is not Christ as us.
Unless we are new covenant believers we cannot access the fullness of Christ. Legalism or any attachment to law smothers fullness in Christ.
A summary of the new covenant can be found in Galatians 2.20,21. The new covenant is not listed like the Ten Commandments because it is not a list of prescriptions. It is a life. It is Father’s life as your life in Jesus and Holy Spirit. Paul expressed this in another place as ‘Christ your life’ and mentioned the result of this by speaking of our togetherness in God by The One Spirit.
‘But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him’ 1 Cor 6.17 NIV.
The liberal perspective is irrelevant to this union with God. It is relevant only in that we are each an expression of Christ. None are at liberty to drum up their own perspective by adding or subtracting from this gospel of the Kingdom. If your gospel is not this gospel it is not of the Kingdom and its source is the pit and its spirit is anti-Christ.
‘But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!’ Gal 1.8 NIV.
Paul warned against teaching and gospels that conform to the principles of the world. The main principle here is the knowledge of good and evil. Lesser principles all rely on the flesh and self-effort but are devoid of spirit and life. Fullness is denied by attachments to law because we make ourselves live in shadows instead of the reality of Christ.
‘Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ’ Col 2.16.17 NIV.
Fullness comes from the regranting power of the new creation in us. The gospel of the Kingdom is authoritarian in that there is but one way to limitless life - the person of Jesus. There is one consequence of Jesus’ cross and the Outpouring of Holy Spirit - His life as yours. There is one life that is your life and the life of the entire new creation. So where does diversity come in here? It doesn’t. Should it do so it is ‘another gospel.’ Diversity reigns in the sons of God, filled with the Spirit of Sonship and manifesting by the One Spirit each in their unique way the limitless life of the new and living way.
‘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.
We have no right to a denominational or personal perspective that is out of line with the new covenant life that is Christ our life - not unless we think some aberration like a tumour is an improvement on normality. Don’t ever imagine that you have any right to a personal or denominational perspective that neutralises the cross and denies the old covenant. To do so is to live your life and to teach others to live their Christian inheritance in shallows and in miseries; to lived crippled when they could have been living in the fullness of Christ.
‘Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ’ Eph 4.13 NIV.