How can one be dead, a spiritual blind person and yet practicing the gifts and active in good works? When the elephant in our room is what we have always believed to be the truth and the truth is something far better than we have ever imagined.
‘In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind’ John 1.4 NIV.
Poet Pablo Neruda writes "You start dying slowly if you do not travel, if you do not read, if you do not listen to the sounds of life. You start dying slowly if you become a slave of your habits, walking everyday on the same paths. You start dying slowly if you avoid to feel passion and their turbulent emotions; those which make your eyes glisten and your heart beat fast. You start dying slowly if you do not allow yourself, at least once in your lifetime, to run away from sensible advice."
‘Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life’ 1 John 5.12 NIV.
Christ our life is the Source of openness to that which sparkles, all that is nimble and vivacious, all that fresh and self-sustaining, all that feeds the heart, the soul and the mind and with it the power to separate the numbness of un-life from the reality that is Christ. All cases of torpor among Believers, all inertness and stagnation can always be traced back to a diminution of Christ and the lessening of who He is for us through false doctrine and deviant Christian tradition.
Some Christianity represents the Kingdom of God. Some folks are a replica of Jesus in the fact that these mature Believing Sons possess Christ as their life rather than ‘churchified’ institutionalism as their routine. Generally speaking, however much of what we call ‘the church’ is less authoritative, less fruitful and less emblematic of the life and spirit that is God than it could be. Why? Because so many live old covenant in their doctrine and their polity. As a result and despite talk of not being legalistic or in the law, much of the church is only a small advance on pre-Christian quality of life and polity. Sure, there are spots that shine with spirit and light but this is more the product of individuals who eat and breathe Jesus more than the fruit of institutionalism with its protection of habit, tradition and imagined prerogative. His church is simply Jesus multiplied in those who believe.
Lets’ be clear. To live in anything other than Jesus is to be a dead branch. To live from institutionalism and networks of common religion is to represent life when we are discarded twigs. To say that we live in Christ when we live in Christian morality and church mores is to represent the letter rather than life. Jesus is life Himself. The presence of the trinity within our being is new creativity. It is the personal life of a personal Jesus in the persons who take His name that is the Kingdom of God’s Son.
‘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.
To live an old covenant life as an individual or a community is to live in Adam. Whether or not we live specifically from the law that Father discarded or the mores of Christian culture and the externalities of churchism, we are old covenant and have not embraced the inheritance that is ours - Christ Himself as our life, our love, our liberty and righteousness. Christ our life is the new covenant in spirit and in truth. Those who are the sons of God are led by the Spirit of God. So we cannot label ourselves as the sons of God with the life and authority of Jesus if we are living in a regime that the Spirit of our Life has left behind at the cross. We are either in step with the Spirit or in step with ourselves, our myths, our veils and our flesh.
‘And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit’ 2 Cor 3.18 NIV.
The Kingdom of God is not the old covenant with a coat of Jesus paint. It is a separate, new and bold way that is alive because it is the person of God incarnated in us as individuals and the church. Life in the Spirit is not life in the gifts. There were miracles in the old testament. So what is different? The Kingdom is life in our Father where we and our Father are one through Jesus Christ. A charismatic life rooted in charisma will fade and die because it has no root. The life of the Spirit is the living out of ‘I and the Father are one’ as ourselves and as the church. This is the soil of our authority and the gifts. Due to the incarnation each of us is a gift of God’s life to ourselves and the non-believing world.
Beware of those who define good religion as that which is old or conservative. Take a healthy skepticism to those who equate godliness with the interests and views of their social class. Reject as bad religion fear mongering and visionless, anti-life attitudes purporting to be the life of Jesus. Such attitudes are pro-death, which explains why how Jesus, the Representative of life became crucified by religious people.
God is I AM. The life of God is neither left or right, liberal or conservative. It is simply is alive, fruitful, self-multiplying and eternal. It is Jesus who is light and life. Don’t live in an old truck when you have a new car that is the Kingdom of God’s Son.