This post is about REMAINING, which is to say REMAINING in the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. Human beings have a bent towards law. An attraction to legalism and constructing our own self-worth and righteousness is as natural to us as breathing. Many Believers who are long term Christians view themselves as liberated from the law, yet live in a subtle and embedded day to day legalism of ‘christianity’ that dulls their possession of Jesus and turns what could have been ‘His life as ours’ into religion.
Some denominations have their basis in law and live an old covenant life as if this is pleasing to God. Yet this is not the new and living way of Christ our life or what Father is doing now. It denies life in the Spirit on the basis that ‘You are a hard man.’ Hard because Christ our life - the vicarious humanity of Jesus - is counterintuitive and an assault on the flesh. Yet it was this life in the Spirit of Christ living in us as us that Paul was referring to when He said ‘Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.’ Yet many are so embedded in the soil of works that they interpret even this as support for their try-harder gospel of hoops and performances. By agreeing that we are engulfed in the person of Jesus and nothing else, we actively believe and participate in His life by the Spirit of Sonship.
Jesus said, ‘Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death’ JOHN 8.51 NIV.
There is a greater ecology than many people know. The word is Jesus Himself. The living word, the logos is the He in which all existence holds together and has its meaning and purpose. In Jesus we are not only joined to the trinity as sons but we take our proper place in the structure of creation.
To say that we will never see death means that we will never become extinct and that we will have eternal life. This eternal life begins immediately we receive Jesus as our life. When we receive Jesus our spirit becomes alive and the infinite life that is Jesus begins to grow in our being. It also means that whatever should befall us, we need never despair - there is always resurrection in Jesus.
‘Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die’ John 11.25 NIV.
One of the signs of being alive is the growing ability to love unconditionally. Another sign is a transition to a life in Jesus and that is Jesus and the abandonment of imagined life/holiness in religious patterns and behaviors. There is nothing in creation that can provide the human spirit with life. But the human spirit joined to the Spirit of God makes the creation come alive with His spirit and life.
As a new creation we grow up into Christ. We do this individually and collectively. Keeping Jesus’ word is keeping our focus on Him and finding ourselves in Him. It is also obeying what He said and what His apostles explained in the New Testament. In regard to His teaching, Jesus said, ‘Build on My teaching and you will build on Rock’. The rock that is His teaching is that He is totally our life.
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them’ John 7.38 NIV.
Those whose faith is in the observance of patterns will tell you that they give them life. People with discernment who know them will tell your they carry the aroma of death.
A focus on the church, ministry, a denomination and even the Bible is not necessarily a focus on Jesus. He can provide life to the above but they cannot impart life. An allegiance to the truth is not necessarily the worship of Jesus. Truth is a Person. Never an abstraction. Truth when worshiped is often the compilation of our ideas, which means that it is the worship of self. Jesus is the way and the truth and it is He who reveals truth through the Holy Spirit, His words and our life events.
Entering Jesus’ new covenant usually means laying down our own religious ideas and taking up His. The grand conspiracy of the trinity is two-fold. Firstly they live in us. Secondly we have been drawn into them! Taking up the new covenant means daily advancing into the radical fullness of Christ our life - laying down ourselves and our religious ideas, resting more in Jesus and allowing Him to do through us what He means to do if only we would get out of the way. Christ our life is greater rest and more fruitfulness - infinitely more. The truth of what I have just written it the light of the world.
‘I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness’ John 12.46 NIV.
Keeping Jesus word pleases His Father and our Father. It demonstrates humility and a worshipful heart, all of which attracts the Presence of God. Keeping Jesus’ word means receiving Jesus’ death as our life and accepting with joy the Gift of His Holy Spirit. Jesus is the supreme Person of the New Testament age and the One through whom all that is, the creation, finds its real meaning.
‘As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father’ 1 John 2.24 NIV.
‘What you have heard from the beginning’ is the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. This is a clear warning about ‘other gospels,’ doctrine that dilutes the new covenant, ‘try-harder’ teaching and beliefs that are a reversion to the law, Adam and Moses.
‘Obeying this word’ is aligning ourselves with the word of Jesus concerning Himself. This weaves us into the trinity which is the family of God. The word of truth, rightly divided and interpreted is alone received through the new covenant. The new testament interpreted through the law is a contradiction and a nonsense that undoes the work of God in favour of a cunningly devised fable.
The Holy Spirit is the Gift of God, multiplying Jesus in and among His people. But this is not all that is put in the shop window. The Holy Spirit is the reality of an Open Heaven. He is not only the Agency of God being among His people. The Spirit is the Reality by which the angels ascend and descend on the sons and daughters of men, just as they did on Jesus. Heaven is opened so that the world can see that heaven is real.
‘Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV.
The Presence of Jesus in the Spirit makes possible the community of Jesus. God makes His home with us. The Presence of God joins His People to God through the blood of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit too, who illustrates that God is at home with His people to heal, restore and bind the schemes of the Enemy.
But hey, there's more. When Adam fell the world began to die. When Jesus rose from the dead the earth arose with Him. All of creation began to come alive because life had overcome death in the person of Jesus, the Life of the World. Don't delay the new creation by living in rebellion, in religion or in the smug satisfaction with the ideas that have suffocated you for so long. Christ is your life and the life of the new creation.
‘Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death’ JOHN 8.51 NIV.
To obey Jesus word is to abandon the law to possess His spirit and life. To remain in the law is to remain dead men walking. nTo be in Christ - to have Christ as our life - is to participate in ever-growing life, ever-expanding glory and the multiplication of the new creation that is Christ through all and in all. In Christ we participate in limitless life. In any performance mode we are dead men walking. We live in fading light and are dead already. But you and the world are alive because the Resurrected Jesus lives in you!