I cannot extol or celebrate enough the genius of our Lord and God in making His new and living way so new and living - so personal and unaffected by artifice or the humbug of religion. Just in case you are offended, being religious, you need to know that there is nothing sacred about religion and no life in it. Religion is the most subtle kind of idolatry in existence. It’s what we do to fill a space that we think is absent of God. It’s about us. We can think it is the way to God. Some people even think religion is God having never had an encounter with His real presence through Holy Spirit.
But God is Himself. He is I AM and enjoys being with us and in us. The way to have a real God instead of a religious existence is to embrace a personal Jesus.
We get to be ourselves by inviting Jesus to be Himself in us. When whole communities do this we have the church He builds - without human hands. This church is the expanding Kingdom of God and it has little to do with intuitionalism except of the repentant kind. Genuine fellowship with God is not about the venue or the building. We can fellowship intimately with God in His presence simply because we want to. Yet Holy Spirit is a must in this. He makes an objective presence often called the manifest presence.
Thus in a manner of speaking we are like the garden in the picture. Liberated from religion and from the many artifices of the world; set free from law and legalism and pedantic rites and observances we have become the expression of the Sun of Life, the soil of our Father and the air of Holy Spirit. We are in them, surrounded by God who expresses Sonship through us each in the fullness of our unique identity and joy of being. Like the flowers in this garden we simply give glory to God by basking in His presence and being ourselves.
Just so you know and in case I have not been clear enough, Christ is your life. Don’t expect to live in the fullness of Jesus, to advance from glory to glory or to touch the lives of others with spirit and life if your life is no more than what church has made you. Again don’t see yourself as a life-change if you are merely the expression of a culture - of what Christians should do. That’s not it at all. As a son or a daughter you are the habitation of the trinity and the manifest presence of Jesus. It’s Christ in you who makes you alive, makes you human and builds bridges between you and others. This is the spirit of the son of man in you who is spirit and life.
Expect to grow into the fullness of a daughter and son if you are hidden in Jesus, formed in His Spirit and your being (flesh) is the result of His manifestation as you. In Jesus you are the expression of Christ. In anything else you are the product and expression of those things that are actually a substitute and replacement for His person and being. There is one mediator of His life and this is Him - in the agency of Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Sonship that is the ministry of our Father. They all have a hand in it since they are one.
‘This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God’ 1 John 4.2 NIV. This scripture is less about discerning demons and more about the multiplication of Jesus in us in this age.
There is no substitute for a personal Jesus as Lord of our lives and who is intimately entwined in our being. His stuff is not Him. Only He is Himself which is understandable because He is “I am.” He is the meaning and actuality of spirit and life. This life does not come from the law. Neither does it come from the church as an institution. It comes from Jesus and is ours when Christ is our life.
There is only one way to be spiritually alive as daughters and sons. You have no liberty in this to have a perspective of your own. This one way is Christ your life - Christ in you. You as the branch and fruit of the vine.
When He is our life we are the church, the Kingdom and the new creation in progress. Which leads me to suspect that the most Godly people who are living in the reality of Christ rather than in shadows of the real are never clones of the institutional church. They are not so diminished. If there is any enlightenment and spiritual discernment to be enjoyed, it is not usually found in the managers of institutions who are too busy managing church to present the simple profundity of Christ our life. Church is never a mediator of Christ’s life. But Christ is the mediator of the life of the church.
Neither is spirit and life found in religious consumers living in dependency on their celebrity preachers. It would appear that there is some substance in the notion that a church of many thousands has more in common with a tumor than it does with a fully functioning organ of the body. This is not to say that there are no Godly people in the institutional church. Neither should we think that God’s presence is determined by the way we meet as a group. But it is most certainly to say that the church is the expression of Jesus and not Jesus of the church. Don’t ever imply that the church is a stairway to heaven. It’s idolatry.
Those who are the church Jesus builds, without human hands, live as sons not in name but in spirit and in truth. This spirit-life flows because they are the expression and multiplication of Christ. They are sons and not tares. They are the result of the planting of Christ and the harvest as sons of God. This helps us understand the cogency of this recent post by Jeff Turner in Facebook.
“On behalf of the many of my friends and peers who very passionately follow Jesus, but who choose not to "attend church," in the traditional sense, may I ask a favor? Please don't assume that their absence means that they have turned into sin-gobbling zombies, or that that they've left faith behind altogether, or that their lives are in shambles, or that they're absolutely miserable. Those [things] rarely, if ever, are the case, as many have found greater freedom in meeting in non-traditional communities, and are actually usually more involved in active Jesus-following than they ever were before.
One thing that is almost always the case, is that one who has chosen to walk away from traditional church has also typically decided to take their faith more seriously on an academic and theological level, and so are anything but disinterested in things pertaining to God.
I don't say this disparagingly, but I don't think people often realize how difficult a decision it is to make in the first place, and how badly undue criticism, suspicion, and accusations can hurt. Remember, please, how wide and vast this organic entity called "the church" really is, and that there are varieties and species of it that may seem strange to you, but which are no doubt, a part of the whole. Peace.”