People can be churched and be sensitized to Christian morality and ethics. Yet because they are churched rather than alive in Christ they have never been transformed. Many of them live their lives as mendicants and consumers of religion when they have within them a fountain of living water. Essentially they live their lives in Adam instead of a resurrected new creation life in Jesus. Churchianity can have us living in shadows. But the reality is Christ. The question is, ‘From where are we drawing our life?’
‘These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ’ Col 2.17 NIV.
Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’ He was the way that was not found in Adam with his death tree of abstract knowledge, relative ethics and contradictory dichotomies. He was here as the living way of life Himself. Through His crucifixion on the tree of knowledge, He undid death and began anew our life in God. It is through Jesus the new and living way that each person is a channel of the life and presence of God.
Jesus became humanity to identify with us and include us in Himself. He participated in human death that we might be included in His life; that He might rise from the grave, undo death and multiply infinite life by coming to live in His people. In Jesus God becomes our life and we are certified and established as the sons and daughters of God.
In Adam we are dead. In Jesus death is undone and we are alive in His life.
There is what may be called the ‘Christian Industry.’ This is almost a synonym for Christianity or the part of it that is called the church. There is a church built by man and the church Jesus builds - without human hands. The real church is not determined by whether we are meeting in a large auditorium, a medieval style building, a café or a lounge room. What counts it the answer to the question - Is Christ our life?
‘For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is yourlife, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory’ Col 3.3,4 NIV.
The real church, the reality that is Christ, is the manifestation of Himself as His people. This is the church that emerges where His people are the expression of Himself. This happens because Jesus and His people are one and the Father lives in them, as does the Spirit. The real church multiplies His spirit and life. The church that is shadow rather than reality inhibits the new creation. We need to discern which spirit we are of.
In Trinitarian Conversations we find this: ‘In the New Testament, what was implicit or nascent has now come to birth, has now come into reality through Jesus, who can now say, “Everything that was intimated by the presence of YHVH in the Old Testament is embodied in me. I am the temple, the temple is now within me, I embody the reality of God with you.”
The church where every Believer lives in the reality that he and she is the temple is quite a different church to the one where people are encouraged to believe they have come to the temple on Sunday morning. When Jesus was in Palestine the presence of God was where Jesus was - out and about where there was a need for light and life. It is so today. The reality is not only Christ. It is Christ in you. Jesus did not come to build an institution. He came to multiply life!
This is the incarnation, the reality of God in us and the conversely the fellowship of us in God. It is the Spirit of Sonship by the One Spirit - never known in the law but revealed in the person of Christ. In Jesus who is in and with us through the incarnation of God with us. In the reality of the continuing and expanding humanity that is ours because we are being drawn into the fullness of Christ. This happens because God come in our flesh by Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Jesus is everything that was for shadowed by the temple and the law. He exceeds this in the same manner as a shadow is exceeded by the dynamic of reality.
Life is found in Jesus. Those who live in Him are one with our Father and they rightly discern the word of truth. The wonder and miracle of this age - the truth of God, is that those who believe are the manifest presence of God. Just as Jesus was the manifest presence of the Father so we are the manifest presence of the trinity who live in us and express their love and live through us. This is the foundation of Kingdom ministry and the reality that is Christ.
‘By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames’ 1 Cor 3.10-15 NIV.