‘I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of 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! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!’ Gal 1.6-9 NIV.
Good theology blesses and does not curse. In good theology the whole is more important than the parts - as it is in many things. In good theology we are in God - not in beliefs, behaviours and positions. Good theology is our alignment and agreement with the new covenant. Paul described this as ‘Christ our life,’ ‘Christ in you’ and ‘I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live because Christ lives in me.’ Jesus described it as ‘ I will be with you and in you.’ Good scholarly theology describes it as the vicarious humanity of Jesus.
Bad theology according to Paul is death presented as life, rubbish presented as nutrient and poo presented as the bread of life. Take a stand as a Kingdom minister of the new covenant - not as a purveyor of shadows and substitutes for life in the name of God.
‘What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ’ Phil 3.8 NIV.
When Jesus came among us, He was God’s life. By ourselves, among friends and in the face of the unbeliever, we are His life. We are His life when we are sons. But not His life when we are workers, slave and purveyors of the knowledge of good and evil in Christ’s name. Because Christ is our life and this is of the Spirit, we are the manifest presence of Jesus and the sons of God. We can be sons notionally and sons in spirit and in truth. Good theology is about the latter.
Rooted in the law we will turn even the things of the Spirit into a formula. Connected to the law we will taint all we do with law. But what is required is Christ in you and Christ through you. This is the spirit that overcomes all that is dead and of the world. It is the spirit of union with our Father. It is the Spirit of Sonship.
The anointing and life in the Spirit has no existence independent of our Father. Holy Spirit and the gifts flourish because we have been made one with Father as Jesus is one. We are one with God when we are one with Jesus. Never when we are one with some abstraction such as the law.
A Spirit-filled ministry flourishes in the Spirit of Sonship - never from performance or religion. What counts is not some adherence to a matrix of behaviours. What counts is God’s life as you! Any Spirit-filled ministry rooted in the old covenant will eventually fade. He who has the Son has the Father and the Spirit without limit. This is living water and eternal life.