Joy can elude us, our marriages remain un-healed and a test of endurance and the promise of life to the full is mainly a mirage. Many of us can live in non-awareness that what we believe and follow is a travesty of who God is and what He has accomplished for us through Jesus. These posts are written for those who inadvertently live in and from the law. Law may be our basis because it is our doctrine. Legalism can be our life because we live a christianised version of the knowledge of good and evil. This is the heart of the message in The Torch and the Sword and the observation of Gregory Boyd in Repenting of Religion.
Living from religion - the most subtle and therefore LEAST VISIBLEform of legalism may seem normal and natural to the natural man. But it is not normal for the spiritual person. Sure we can live religious from the law and deliver a form of godliness. But we will not be able to live in spirit and in truth as a son of God.
The law and fresh rigidities may be marketed as spiritual solutions for a chaotic age. But this is a delusion. Firstly the law is not spirit. Secondly it is not the truth for this age. You may think rules, laws, control and punishment is the solution for the world’s ills if you are a Muslim. Maybe also if you are a fundamentalist. Or someone with a law based ‘other gospel.’ But you should not be persuaded by this is if you are a Believer in Jesus and His new and living way. It is new and living because it is not formulations of good and evil, behaviour modification or the laws of Moses. It is new and alive because it is the re-commencement of life in the risen Jesus. It is Christ in you and Christ as you.
There is no law here. Even when Paul speaks of the law of the spirit of life he is not talking Mosaic strictures or a program of beneficial practises. He means Christ in you as the fountain of life. The trinity alive and manifesting through you and the church is the new creation that began with the appearance of Jesus and was inaugurated by His resurrection, then executed by the Spirit at Pentecost.
Jesus’ life is your life. His person in you is your life, your ability to love yourself and others and your freedom to be yourself without artifice or religious humbug. God desires people to worship Him in spirit and in truth. This is not another religious hoop to jump through. It is ours because Christ is our possession and our life. This is the vicarious humanity of Jesus for all.
So we can do this without striving in the person of Jesus who is all things toward God for us - namely that in Him we are sons accurately and without artifice and humbug. In Spirit because we live by the spirit of sonship and in truth because Jesus is God in person and a human being in person who represents you. It is He who has reborn us into who we are: The Sons of God in spirit and in truth.
In the law you can be a husk. You can be a figment of yourself. You can be a shadow of who you really are as a son of God. But you cannot live real holiness or be holy because God is holy. This is beyond anyone who lives in the structure and abstractions of the knowledge of good and evil. But it is a fact and an ever-growing reality when our life is Christ by the Spirit of Sonship.
Because Christ is our life we are Holy because God is holy. The power of Christ as our life is that it is He who is grace being us in ourselves. Paul called this ‘putting on Christ.’ The amazing fact of the new testament age is that God in three persons makes His home in you and shares His life in you. His life is not a bunch of rule-keeping. It is original and unsullied life in itself. Such life is righteousness and light. It expels all kinds of sin and death - which results from the law of sin and death in which we live in the law of Moses and the knowledge of good and evil.
In the law we can never rise above the flesh. This is our dead spirit plus our un-energised soul and body separated from God. In Christ we are in the Spirit. We have His life. He joins us to Father and Holy Spirit. There is an artery of heavens life that flows from heavens throne room into us and into those people and things we touch. It is this artery of life that ignites those joined to Jesus - the body of Christ. Thus those who eat His flesh and drink His blood are filled with the supernatural spirit life of heaven. Jesus said this is my blood of the new covenant because the death of His body brings us His life - this stream of spirit that is the river of life that flows from heaven into earth through the sons and daughters of God.
Read what has been written here through the Jesus lens and you will know whether this is a made-up story or the result of rightly dividing the word of truth.
You are a son/daughter of God because you live in the joining to God accomplished by the trinity in concert. You are an apostolic person not because you are a good, organised, or have built a large church but because you are a son of your Father. You are a son on account of the fact that you one with Father in Jesus and doing what Father is doing and doing so because you and Father are one. It is possible for whole churches to move in this union with God - not by jumping through hoops, forty days of fasting, a new version of church or by some new elements of the Try-harder Gospel. Christ is already in you and you are one with God. You are a son. Live from who you are and from where you have been placed and life will multiply around you!