Life in the Spirit grows out of our rootedness in the trinity. The attempt to live a charismatic life when we have not embraced this new covenant reality is as futile as talking the new wineskin while living in the old. It is a folly because we have not, by faith, been reborn from our life in Adam into our life that is Christ from first to last.
The charismatic life has been called in some places, ‘the full gospel,’ and so it is of sorts. It is non-cessationist and ‘full’ in respect that it assumes that in Christ we are authorized to multiply what He began and flourish in the gifts of the Spirit that are described in Ephesians. Yet a gospel that advances the gifts of the Spirit but remains old covenant cannot be considered full in any way, because it is cut-off from the root that would make it genuinely life in the Spirit. It is an unfortunate case of branches that must eventually wither because they have no connection to the vine.
The possession of spiritual gifts is not life in the Spirit. Life in the Spirit means life in the Spirit of Christ who is our life and in our Father who nurtures us in the Spirit of Sonship. Don’t imagine that we can sustain this life while remaining rooted in the law. Living in the Spirit, along with the gifts is a function of the new and living way. This is the new and living relationship that is ours in union with God, The oneness that is our inheritance - ours because we are not in Adam and the regime of good and evil he introduced. Ours because we are in the new covenant where we are in Christ, embraced in the trinity. Ours because we are now God’s expression of Himself as sons in His entirely new creation.
Communities not joined to this vine cannot to grow. Or if they do grow they lack spirit and life, produce spiritual cripples and mendicant consumers of religion. When Christ is our life we will fill any space/time opportunity with spirit and life. When the old covenant is our life we fill these places with religion. There is but one way to be doing what Father is doing. It is the living way of union with God that makes us competent to minister the Kingdom of life.
Holy Spirit comes to testify of Christ. There may be a display of His presence and an outbreak of gifts. But His attention and focus is not the gifts. It is the Christ. Holy Spirit lives to reveal Jesus and our Father and what heaven has accomplished. If we are short-sighted enough to resist the fullness of our salvation and our inclusion in God and make a thing out of the gifts, they will not last because they have no root and because Holy Spirit withdraws until we are willing to reject self-effort and keep in step with the Spirit. The Spirit waits to draw us into alignment with that which God has done. As the witness of Christ and executive power of our Father, draws us into His plan and purposes, leaving behind what God has left behind and never intended to remain - life in Adam, Moses, the law and old covenant.
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV.