‘In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind’ John 1.4 NIV.
If we have gone along with the natural inclination to legalism or should we have imbibed the related culture of self-effort and ‘try-harderism’ that is the stuff of much Christianity or worse. Should we have been socialised into a denomination that has never left behind the law in favour of the Spirit of Christ, but has in fact re-instated it and made a religion of it, we have missed the great fact of new testament living - the miracle of the mystery of Christ in you; the incarnation of the trinity in the individual and the church.
This scripture will either authorise your ministry or denomination or define it as illegitimate and ‘another gospel.’ ’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. Jesus comes to our bodies by the Spirit and incarnates us with His life.
We can tack Holy Spirit onto our old covenant mindset and stumble along attempting to facilitate the Kingdom of God through Holy Spirit and His gifts. But the Kingdom will no more grow from the law and old covenant than carrots will grow in concrete. Holy Spirit and the gifts cannot be sustained in any kind of a performance culture. Life in the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit are the tree that grows from the trinity alive in us, our rootedness in Father which is the fact that we and our Father are one. Should we live from the law we are not the Bride of Christ. But we are the Eve of the first Adam, destined to labour in pain and futility.
‘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.
God is three. To have Christ is to have all of God. Father sent the Son. Jesus sends Holy Spirit and Holy Spirit undoes our orphan spirit. Made one with God we are positioned in God and nurtured and formed in the Spirit of Sonship. Here we are both the expression of our Father and nourished into the authentic realisation of our identity and destiny as sons.
Immersion or baptism into God as He is involves our repentance from our ideas and mistaken notions that define Him as He is not. In Jesus all such veils are removed. These are the unwinding of the twisted imaginings that betray Him as He is not - maybe mean and demanding or uncaring and dismissive of the detail that is our life or that we are forever outside Him striving to get in. But the scandal of His grace is that we are already in Him and with Him.
Woe to those who put darkness for light and light for darkness’ Isa 5.20 NIV.
To rightly divide the word of truth is to live from the teaching of the apostles. A distorted knowledge of the real Jesus, of the real God and Father of human beings can come from our own imagination, our guilt and fear and from the those around us who have been trained in Christian myths - well accepted distortions of God that surface as ‘try harder’ talk or old covenant theology purveyed as the gospel of the Kingdom. The gospel of churchianity is usually a different gospel to the gospel of the Kingdom which is Christ from first to last.
None who live from the law and performance have healthy eyes.
‘But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!’ Matt 6.23 NIV.
Christ is all and in all. The knowledge of Christ comes to us by Christ, the Holy Spirit and our Father. God explains Himself through Himself. The scriptures cannot give up their true meaning read independently of God. They can only be interpreted correctly by those who are in God, in Spirit and in truth and not in some private version of who God is and what He has done. To rightly discern the word of truth we need to be one with our Father. This implies a new covenant life and a life in Jesus rather than Adam. In the law we are in Adam. In Jesus we are in the Spirit of Truth. Here we are walking life in the Spirit where we and our Father are one.
Only Jesus knows the heart of the Father and only the Father knows the mind of Christ. Only in the Holy Spirit can be rightly divide the word of truth because in the Spirit we are privy to the mind of God as expressed in the scriptures. A law-centered old covenant mindset can not deliver God’s truth about Himself or about us.
Jesus Christ is not only our life. He is the Interpreter of the Bible. Any accurate interpretation of the Bible takes place in who God actually is and what He has done for us in Christ and Holy Spirit. A distorted knowledge of God may come from the possession of a distorted gospel. A perverted account of life in relation to God will come from ‘another gospel.’ A gospel that posits the law as the transcendent element in universe detracts from the authority of God and His nature. It demotes the trinity and makes personhood subservient to an abstraction. Law is law wether or not it is Moses, ‘all the things Christians should do’ or some supposed life-style benefit constructed as religion.
Law has a dulling effect. It reduces intelligence and suffocates discernment. Law limits, separates and kills. It kills imagination, vision, initiative and every form of life. The letter always kills. The Spirit of Christ is life.