SHADOW TO REALITY
I hope there are many Believers whose life is Christ - whose being and work is the expression of the Spirit of Jesus in them. These are the blessed hope and the hope of the world benighted by an arid hope in Mr Trump and other of faint figures of hope.
How can we as Believers be hope, salt and light when what so many of us are living is ‘Christianity’ rather than the union with God that is ours by right of cross, Spirit-outpouring and incarnation. The fact is - any Believer living in their inheritance is one with our Father just as Jesus was. Yet we find ourselves in great numbers living from Christianity; living from the shadows and fabric of church life when we have this reality - we have Christ our life in us to ignite with Kingdom life everything we touch. The scandal is that we have genuine people living out their christianity with help from Jesus. Jesus is not the means to the life of the Kingdom. He is the life. My fear is that if the practice of church were to be removed from many Christians, they would have no relationship with Jesus whatsoever.
In Australia many bleat that the government should do more. They appear to look to government as ‘god’ which is as close many get to having one. Is it their fault that they embrace their humanism with such blindness and desperation? The Kingdom of God is not found in institutionalism. It is advanced by the trinity multiplied in each of us. They are not somewhere else - not captured in the church, not up with the worship band or down in the slay-bay. God in His fullness is in you!
If your church were to suddenly disappear, like down a sink-hole; if the Christian book-shops were to go out of business and if some truth seeking thief were to make off with your library of Christian books … If your Bible was found to be mislaid - would you have a life in Christ. Or is what you call Christianity an involvement in the Christian stuff?
I hope you would survive very well because Jesus is none of these things. He is independent of them and just as real around you in His Spirit as He was with the disciples in Palestine. Let’s be so clear as to say that His stuff - actually ours - is not Him. Yet Jesus is in us and with us. The things are never a substitute for Jesus. Yet they are ignited when He is our life and as such become illuminated by His Spirit.
We hear a lot of the manifest presence of Christ by Holy Spirit. This is exciting and reassuring. But the gifts are not the main event of the new testament age. They are the effect of the big deal which is the incarnation - Christ in you! The big deal where you are right now is that you are the manifest presence of God!
Christ in you, the hope of glory is the hope of the world and its light. The next and final move of God will not be the result of institutionalism or presided over by the Christian Industry. It will come at the hand of apostolic people for whom Christ is life and who are the living effect of Father, Son and Holy Spirit resident in their being. They will not be life-giving spirits because they are hyper-spiritual. They will be ordinary people who have left behind shadows to live in the reality that is Christ. Consequently they will be their authentic selves, rejoicing in who they are and releasing streams of living water because of it.
Jesus affirmed that He was way, truth and life. He never said he was partly sufficient or even mostly enough. He was saying, ‘I am all there is. I am totally for you and meet all your needs.’ He said ‘ I am with you always and that we would never be orphans. Always sons of our Father and brothers and sisters of His. Paul talks of Christ in us and of Christ our life. This was no mere religious saying. He meant what Jesus had already implied - that Christ is our life in all ways. Theologians call this the vicarious humanity of Jesus.
Francois Du Toit writes,
“Jesus Christ remains the most current, relevant and pivotal message of all time. He is the language of God. He is the Word that was from the beginning face to face with God, nothing in him distracts from who God is; He holds all things together for ever; the Father of mankind has us all wrapped up in him. The sum total of philosophical thought and contemplation could never match or replace him.
He is beyond the principle of the promise, and gives personality and person to every detail of the prophetic word. He is the very one in whom all things exist. He completes mankind’s every expectation.”
You are who you are in Him. You have eternal life in Jesus. And just as important, you have every day life in His life. Living the Christian life is not your life with Jesus added. Kingdom life is His life as ours with us ignited and complete in His life. In His life we are alive with spirit and with life. As ourselves we release rivers of living water.