I’d rather be alive than in-dead. With Christ as our life our spirit is alive and graced with His person. Should we be content with a mere Christian routine we are missing the treasure that is ours every day. The gold remains hidden in a field when the reality is that it is so close at hand it lives in us.
‘These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ’ Col 2.17 NIV.
In Jesus we are graced with freedom to grow into life while living in that life. Unburdened by guilt and any performance regime, we are free to be ourselves in our incompleteness, even as He takes over more of our lives to draw us into His fullness.
Some talk of ‘keeping close to Jesus.’ We don’t have the capacity to do even this. Our ‘keeping’ is fitful at best. The truth is that He is in us and with us and heaps more apt at keeping close to us than we to Him. Your sins cannot separate you from God because you are joined to God by His sinless life. This is not once saved always saved. It is living in our inheritance of union with God.
There is nothing in our life as sons that depends on our accomplishment. Not even one link. Jesus is totally our life in all things. Our comfort and assurance is the vicarious humanity of Jesus which means that He is in all things our life in relation to God, ourselves and each other.
‘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. Any improvement in my character, I put down entirely to the presence and persistence of Jesus in me by His Spirit. I attribute nothing to my striving, self-discipline or will. Independently of Jesus we are completely untrustworthy and incapable of living to our potential as sons of God. This is the paradox: In Jesus we have a life that is not ours to be filled with because He is ours - one with us as the Son of Man. This is the vicarious humanity of Jesus.
The fullness of God in the church is never made up from a community of half empty people. Any who live from the law will always be empty, fragmented and a figment of their real selves. In the Spirit Christ is our grace, our life and our fullness.
You will never take your character with you to heaven. You will take His character but your identity. Meantime on earth and in the body, you will become more who you are, more the design you were made to be, more a son and less a slave, more like Jesus your life. Here’s the truth: Law, performance orientation or religion in any form are never more than a coat of paint over a derelict old vehicle. But in Christ you are a new creation and a maturing son/daughter of God.
‘May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God’ Eph 3.19 NIV.