Christ Your life

His Kingdom multiplied through you

NARROW WAY


This piece is written mainly for friends who have been raised in a law based fundamentalism and for the many Believers who have absorbed a far more subtle and subterranean culture of performance with Jesus help - or what Gregory Boyd calls a Christiansted version of the knowledge of good and evil. The first group of Believers are living from the law because it is their doctrine and identity. The others are ensconced in a more diffuse kind of law - ‘doing what a church person does.’

Both views are a mixture that have us talking Jesus and living Adam. Primitive Godliness is not what many of us think. It is not decisive living from a black and white grid of behaviours. Nor is it living from a more liberal philosophy of Christian values. Primitive Godliness is a life in union with God - a life where we and Father are one, just as every member of the trinity is one. Today Godliness is Christ our life.

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Not a few Believers consider themselves delivered from legalism. Yet they live in a subtle performance routine often described as the attempt ‘to be like Jesus,’ or ‘to live by Christian values.’ A feature of such religion is that the most legalistic Believers can be found among the most luke-warm cultural Christians. Then their are those whose legalism finds them active in good works. But this is not God even it is a proxy God.
The result is that cultural Christian lives in a bare-bones imitation of godliness and the workaholic in a parody of it. Both groups remain separated from Jesus by themselves and a personally distorted jesus made in their own image.

Some Believers worship a false christ made from their own conjecture. Others worship a false christ who is subordinate to the law. Some have both a false christ and a false gospel because they read the Bible through the lens of false teaching and a false prophet. Some have turned themselves into a ‘christ’ of sorts. Should we being using human effort to appear worthy in the sight of others, in the eyes of God and ourselves, we have made ourselves a hard task master. Whatever scraps of satisfaction we may obtain, we will not live in joy. Better to rest in Jesus our Sabbath and exult from where He has positioned us in Himself because He thinks we are worthy. In Jesus we always belong.

A law-based religion seriously distorts our concept of God. But these ‘jesus images’ are not the Christ of God even when they are the christ of Christian mythology. They are a false Christ that can easily be dissolved when we seek Jesus for Himself. When we pray, ‘Jesus reveal your glory!’ false christ’s like false veils of understanding fall away in the presence of the unadulterated and real Jesus - in the Reality who is Christ.

‘Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away’ 2 Cor 3.15.16 NIV.


False Christs are less often demonic/occult figures and more often distortions and perversions of who Father is, what He has accomplished with His Son and who we are as a result. The main illusion fostered by parts of the church is
separation when we all possess union with God.

To live in the fullness of our inheritance we need to receive good teaching on
the new covenant and the vicarious humanity of Jesus. Here we embrace Christ as our life because, He with our Father and Holy Spirit are one with our being. We manifest His life because we are His life.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing’ John 15.5 NIV.


AVOID VAIN MOTIONS

Let’s be clear. Kingdom life is not ‘trying to be like Jesus’ or ‘keeping close to Jesus.’ We are the expression of our Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. The cleverness of Father’s plan is that He lives in you and manifests as you. There is no ‘law’ other than this in the new testament age. This is not a law at all, yet is called the law of the spirit of life since it is Christ in you.

‘To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory’ Col 1.27 NIV.

Many people doing their bit as Christians to make the world a better place is enterprising effort, but not always the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is doing what Father is doing because you are one with Him and the expression of Him. Here we are channels of spirit and life.

‘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.

We can minister out of connection of disconnection. A law-culture is innately the latter because we are not ministers of the new covenant but of the old. Drumming up some homily or self-improvement sentiment to fill a slot is not Kingdom advancing because it is not the Kingdom. The kingdom of God is always the spirit and life of Father alive and flowing through you.

‘Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit’ John 3.6 NIV.

THE HOPE/REALITY OF GLORY

I am familiar with sincere and lovely people who love Jesus. But I know of no one living in glory who is a child of the law. On the contrary I have observed emotional disease and un-healed, fragmented lives even as some exalt in the spirit-filled life. In some cases I have seen the lives of those encased in law made worse by the coming of the Spirit. Yet the simplest person living from the un-diluted Jesus can transcend herself and manifest her own glory as a life-giving spirit.

In the new covenant we and Father are one. In the old we are not.


In the new testament you are in Christ and thus in God. He is in you and He is your life. All that God is comes to be expressed through you. Thus you are a son in spirit and in truth. Live in His provision and you will utilise your inheritance. As sons we are the manifest presence of God in the world. You are the manifest presence of God in your kitchen and study. This is not presumption. The glory of God is best revealed when you are who you are as a daughter and a son. There's more to life than praise and worship, or thanking Jesus for the cross. The cross paves the way for God to be expressed as you. The anointing and the gifts are the effect of our new covenant union with God. Live in this reality and they will multiply. Live in what God has done away with and they will fade - as will you.

SPIRIT AND TRUTH

The woman wanted to get her worship right. She said,

‘Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in
the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth’ John 4. 20-24.

How do you worship in
spirit and in truth? By being a son. How do you be a daughter/son? Christ is your life. How does this work? In Jesus you and Father are one. In Jesus you live in God and He in you.

In the law we are sons in theory. In the Spirit we are sons in actuality.


Real worship is living in spirit and in truth. It is being who you are in Christ and expressing who Father is in you as a son. You can do this because you and Father are one. You have what Jesus had when among us and what He has now.

‘For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility’ Eph 2.14 NIV.


Jesus has made the two one. He has made you one with your real self. Paul is here referring to the combined effort of the trinity in bringing the sons of God to glory by drawing them into their fellowship. Father’s glory is revealed as
your glory in empowering you to be who you are in law and performance mode you are always less than your real self. Only in Christ are you made alive in the glory of your sonship. Now you get to be doing what Father designed for you to do.

THE FREE WOMAN

The thoughts in this blog were prompted by the confusion of a woman I knew. She would not come to terms with life in the Spirit and the substance of Romans eight - which is a problem because this is the core of all God has achieved for us in Jesus. Miss this and as far as we are concerned Christ died for nothing. He didn’t of course but we have effectively annulled His efforts for us.

Steeped in the separationism of the law and old covenant Mavis has not yet emerged from the deceit of the Enemy in
robbing so many of us of our inheritance as sons of the Free Woman. Read Galatians four on this through the Jesus Lens.

The old covenant person instinctively lives in a false separation between themselves and God. For example, I asked Mavis, not her real name, if she wanted to come on a mission trip with us this winter. She replied, I have to work out if it is just me who wants to go or if God wants me to go. Mavis is frequently confused. But this is understandable because if we are not in the Spirit as in Romans Eight we are not one with Father. Mavis needs to know that when we are and Father are one what we want and what God wants are the same.

So here’s the thing. When we are living in the new and living way of union with God that is ours in the present,
what He wants is what we want because He is in us. His heart is our heart. As such He is part of us and we and Father are one. We have the mind of Christ which is the mind of our Father. We are one in the Spirit with God.

‘Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God’ Rom 8.5-8 NIV. But those in the Spirit of Christ are one with God.

So we are not living independently of God in the new covenant age. Not if we are in the new and living way and not the old way of separated Adam.


HAGAR OF THE LAW

Daughters and sons of the slave woman live in separation. This is why they are not enjoying their inheritance of union with God. Although serving God they serve as slaves and workers.

Hagar became separated from Abraham’s family and from herself. She is an old covenant icon. Her Ishmael was the son of Abrahams ‘doing it my way’ and not resting in what Father was already doing. This is the core of the fall’s lie - striving to get what you already have.

Abraham was attempting to help God fulfil the promise. But God did not need his help. And the promise was on its way to be fulfilled. Isaac was the child of the promise, a picture of Jesus born out of the natural course of events and a picture of you as a reborn son. Isaac is the result of Abraham and Father being one. Isaac is the harbinger of the Christ who made our ‘at-one-ment’ in conjunction with the Holy Spirit and our Father.

The child of the slave woman represents self-effort, law and separation. The child of the free woman represents freedom, the life of the Spirit, inclusion and fellowship with God. This is Paul’s message in Galatians.

‘For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility’ Eph 2.14 NIV.


In Jesus we and Father are one with God, one in our person and one with each other. Jesus brings all people and all things, the entire creation together in Himself. Because of the atonement and incarnation we do what Father is doing because we have His spiritual DNA. Thus we are not performing and we are not doing.
We are being. We are being sons only doing what Father is doing because He is part of us and we are part of Him. We and Father are one.

‘And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth’ Eph 1.10 NLT.


This is life in the Spirit, life in Romans eight, life in John seventeen, life in the new covenant and life in the spirit of sonship as a son. This is Christ alive as you!