As a son or a daughter of God you are the manifest presence of God. We can be much more than we are when we cease diluting ourselves with false mediators and live in the fullness of Christ our life.
‘For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.3,4 NIV.
The glory of God is to reveal Himself in fullness in you and your glory is to be who you really are as a son and a person.
Life to the full is a possibility today. This is our inheritance when we live from the person of Jesus rather than from lesser things such as a culture of church, Christianity as a belief system or from a generalised notion of God. Life is in Jesus and in none of these lesser things. An agenda of the things Jesus did is not His gospel. Is spirit-life acting through us is His Kingdom realised. Morality, ethics and solutions to pressing issues separated from Christ belong not to His Kingdom but to the prince of this world. We need to be clear about our roots and where we and the church are rooted because the root produces the fruit.
We need to be clear. The Kingdom is not us doing things for Christ. It is Christ in us doing His things.
‘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.
You were made to live in God. You have been redeemed into God and you are sons in spirit and in truth when you live in what He has given you – your newly created life.
Don’t expect fullness of life and the Spirit of Sonship if all we have done is add Holy Spirit onto our out of dated law-based old covenant religion. It’s not going to work. We’ll get drops when we can have rivers of life. The anointing and life in the Spirit are in full power when we are entirely one with the trinity – as we are in the Spirit but never in the law.
I was raised in a law-based version of Christianity. Over time Jesus revealed Himself as the righteousness sent from God and more – as personally our life and the life of the world. Many years ago I heard what needs to be comprehended and acted on by many Believers today: That Christianity is not a religion but a person. It’s disappointing how many do not know this. Not only because it stifles their being but because it impedes the Kingdom of God. If we are living from an agenda of good works we are living from the law just as much as if we remain tied to Moses and his laws.
‘But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe’ Rom 3.21,22 NIV.
The righteousness of God is never separated from the life of God. It is a function of His life and His love. Righteousness and works of love flow from His being in us into the people and things we touch.
My daughter, was amazed when out and about with Christian people at the embeddedness of a pervasive legalism among Christians in general. Many live in a subtle legalism and possibly regard it as giving legitimacy to their Christianity. A Christian is less ‘a busy person’ and more a peaceful son who touches people with spirit and life that flows from His life within. Many busy Believers are bereft of this kind of life and their well-intended actions are accompanied by a cloud of death.
What a works based agenda promotes, is the knowledge of good and evil with Jesus’ help. That’s not the Kingdom and not what Jesus sowed into the world with His life. Jesus resurrection and re-entry to the world in the Spirit is our new creation life. That He is incarnated in our being and released when we act in His name is the only hope of the world.
Joe has a high regard for the practice of good works of charity and busyness. To Him this is godliness. But it’s not. It’s him busy and not necessarily godly at all. If it is part of a religion of doing it may be good for those helped. But only as good as that offered by the atheist and the agnostic. If all we have to offer is kindness we are not ahead of the non-believer. But we have infinitely more. We have spirit and life. We carry the presence of God. He has placed us in the Holy Family. Operating from this reality and filled with His Spirit we offer the needy healing and life. But if we are doing good things to recommend ourselves our very actions block spirit and life from our being and from those to whom we would minister. When Christ is our life and we agree that we are sons and one with our Father we are rivers of living water.
Good deeds and works of charity, particularly when done conspicuously to be noticed by people and by God are not spiritual and not the Kingdom of God. They are however religious and because of this accomplish nothing for the Kingdom.
The Kingdom is the life of the King. It is His life in us and His life as us. When by the Spirit of Christ in us we are sons of our Father we are filled with the Spirit of Sonship. We are fully alive in God and the things we touch become charged with spirit and life. Christ come in our flesh is always spirit and life. Anything that is us acting in the flesh is lifeless and dead as far as the Kingdom is concerned.
‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation’ Gal 6.15 NIV. If these rites mean nothing as regards our growth in the Spirit of sonship, neither does any religious activity contrived to multiply the life of God.
Don’t expect the world to stop going for Trumps, demagogues and false Messiahs when what we offer them as Believers is far less than Christ our life –just more religion, an agenda of good works or a blinkered kind of morality in which we are obsessed with some things and blind to others. Christianity is not a religion. It is the person of Jesus manifest as you.
The culture of Adam and the knowledge of good and evil is tenacious in its hold over the human mind. It has had the effect of framing the good news more in terms of law and a courtroom than in what it is: Life without limit undiluted with artifice. Christ is not a fountain of ‘doings.’ He is the source of ‘being’ and of our being sons of God. Sons not because we are busy-busy in charitable works or fervent in moral excellence but because we are joined to God - not in theory - but as sons in spirit and in truth.
With an old covenant mind-set and chained to the law, we are sons in theory. In the new covenant we are sons in spirit and in truth.
It is from out of our sonship that spirit and life flows and we can offer the real water of life and healing to a chaotic and broken world. We have been placed in Jesus in the fellowship of the trinity. The three-personed God lives in us. The river of life that flows from the throne of God is with us and in us – when Christ and not the stuff of Christianity is our life we are the hope of the world.
Some of us have a strong attraction to religion and as a result to institutionalism. Law and religion impart a reverence to institutionalism that does not belong to it.
When our heart remains embedded in the law or in some contemporary version of it, we are separated from Christ. What we think is a noble regard for things proper is a respect for the hallows of death. Religion is good at hallowing death in the name of life. It dulls our spiritual eyes. In its thrall we can make what seems legitimate interpretations of natural and spiritual occurrences, but legitimate is all they are. They are not spiritual and are dull of discernment. They miss the mark and the ability to discern the real situation and what God is saying in the moment and the season.
There is a culture of death that surrounds the law and legalism. Paul calls this the body of death and exclaims that we are delivered from it. Nevertheless many live in it and imagine they are pleasing God. But what follows them is a cloud of deadness that can be seen by all who live in the Spirit. Such views of pleasing God come from warped view of God and who He is. If we think that He is pedantic and difficult to please we will have a different idea of what He has done and what He expects than if we know Him as joyful and generous in disposition.
It is not a coincidence that fundamentalism nurtures judgement and violence. As a child I received many beatings prompted by the idea that beatings are approved of God for holiness sake. As a child I did not conceive of Father as a nice person. There are many atheists and many Christians, who truth be told, think of God as a pain – not because He is - but because living in the separation of the law imagines Him that way. There are nicer human beings about than some of our concepts of God. The fruits of the spirit of the knowledge of good and evil are just as real as the fruits of the spirit of Christ. Law, wrath and vindictiveness go together. Even in their less blatant forms they produce an impression of a mean god. Jeff Turner writes, ‘We specifically attempted to answer the question of whether Christ's death occurred for the purpose of appeasing God's wrath, or whether it was to heal the human race from the problem of sin.’ The notion of a law-obsessed God makes God less than God and less than human. He does not obsess over where we worship or when we worship. In Jesus He has gifted us Himself as our life. His nature is our nature and His oneness with Father our oneness. His desire is that He Himself be our life. Living from Jesus we have life to the full and streams of living water flow from our being.